Why, When and How To Wear An Undershirt

Have you ever asked yourself, “should I wear an undershirt?” while getting dressed? If you have, you’ve come to the right place. This article will go over why, when, and how to wear an undershirt, with some help from RibbedTee and Jeff from The Style O.G. YouTube channel.

Let’s get into it!

FREE Guide: Undershirt Wearing Rules

Why Wear An Undershirt?

Here are the top five reasons why wearing an undershirt is a good idea, no matter the occasion.

Reason #1: Undershirts Trap Sweat

There’s nothing more embarrassing than sweat seeping through your dress shirt or, worse yet, your jacket.

Undershirts form a protective layer between you and the rest of your clothing, keeping sweat at bay. If you sweat on occasion, it’s smart to wear an undershirt. And if you’re a heavy sweater or have hyperhidrosis, you’ll definitely want to wear a sweat proof undershirt that is designed to block sweat and odor.

Reason #2: Undershirts Prevent Deodorant Stains From Ruining Clothing

Not only do undershirts provide a barrier against sweat, but they also protect your clothing from sweat and deodorant stains. Wouldn’t you rather have stains on your undershirt than your nice dress shirts?

By protecting your outer layers, you may get away with washing your shirts less often, which helps them last longer.

Reason #3: Undershirts Mask Flaws

An undershirt does a great job of concealing some of your flaws. Whether you have prominent nipples, your chest hair shows through your shirts or you’re still working on perfecting your six-pack, an undershirt can provide a bit of compression that hides parts of you that make you feel self-conscious.

Reason #4: Undershirts Offer An Extra Layer Of Warmth

If you get cold easily or you live in a chilly climate, having an extra layer between you and your clothes helps keep you just a little bit warmer. And if you live in an exceptionally frigid environment, you can try a long-sleeve undershirt for additional protection. 

Additionally, if you live in a warmer climate, undershirts help absorb sweat, so you can stay cool and comfortable.

Reason #5: Undershirts Keep You Looking Your Best

For all the reasons above, undershirts help keep you looking your best by keeping you cool, crisp and confident all the time.

Video: Five Reasons To Wear Undershirts In 52 Seconds

The folks at RibbedTee extracted the main takeaways from The Style O.G.’s video above and distilled them down into this 52-second animated video. Enjoy!

When Should You Wear An Undershirt?

Well-fitting undershirts can be worn under most garments — except t-shirts! Here are some tips on when to wear an undershirt.

Wear Undershirts With Dress Shirts

Wearing an undershirt under a dress shirt can provide several benefits, including:

  • Improved comfort. Some dress shirts are made with coarse fabrics, which are not as skin-friendly as they should be. Undershirts are made with skin-friendly materials and provide a comfortable layer between your body and your dress shirt.
  • Cleaner clothing. An undershirt provides an additional layer of protection between your body and your shirt, keeping sweat and body oils off your shirt.
  • Enhanced confidence. Nothing’s worse than worrying about getting visible sweat stains on your dress shirt, especially during a meeting or special occasion. Undershirts provide a thin sweat barrier, keeping your shirts sweat-mark free.

Wear Crew Neck, V-Neck, White and Colored Undershirts Appropriately

Crew necks, v-necks, white or colored undershirts — when should you wear which? Most men reach for a white undershirt by default. However, if you’re wearing a white dress shirt, a white undershirt is not what you should wear as the collar and sleeve lines will be visible underneath it.

Jeff Style OG wearing tan undershirt under light blue dress shirt
Wearing tan undershirt under light blue dress shirt. No visible sleeve or collar lines.

The key to successfully wearing undershirts is to make sure it’s invisible. Here’s how to wear different cuts and colors of undershirts:

  • Button-up shirts with ties: Wear a crew neck undershirt
  • Open-collared shirts or v-neck sweaters: Wear a v-neck undershirt
  • Darker colored shirts: Wear a white undershirt or colored undershirt to match the shirt
  • White shirts: Wear a skin tone or light gray undershirt 

For more information, check out my wearing undershirts under a dress shirt article.

Don’t Wear Tank Tops As Undershirts

Technically, you could wear tank tops as undershirts, but they do not absorb sweat or have the same capabilities as traditional undershirts. Also, the neckline of a tank top can be visible beneath shirts, detracting from your overall appearance.

How To Wear An Undershirt

This is not an undershirt — this is a T-shirt. What’s the difference?

Example of t-shirt. Loose fitting. Not an undershirt.


Differences Between T-Shirts And Undershirts

T-shirts are usually made of 100% cotton, which can be heavy, bulky and baggy. Most aren’t made of lightweight, breathable material like undershirts are.

Also, T-shirts are usually cut short and slightly boxy. True undershirts are longer and more tailored, making it easier for them to stay tucked in throughout the day.

This is an undershirt:

An undershirt should be close fitting. This is not a t-shirt.
An undershirt should be close-fitting. This is not a t-shirt. The Style O.G. is wearing the RibbedTee EVO TENCEL deep v-neck undershirt.

Notice the difference? This undershirt is much lighter, more breathable and form-fitting. 

Undershirts are compressing and can help mask some parts of your physique. You can also see that an undershirt is longer, making it easier to stay tucked. The typical shorter T-shirt won’t stay tucked in your pants all day.

Read: T-Shirt vs. Undershirt: Top 7 Ways They Are Different

Want To Know More About Undershirts?

Check out all my articles related to undershirts here.

7 thoughts on “Why, When and How To Wear An Undershirt”

  1. this is all about dress shirts, right?

    that last pic theres NO WAY ANY undershirt will be sticking out of that dress shirt collar lmfao

    see if im rocking a polo, i want my under shirt to match it, i want it to show. so i like my undershirts collars nice and tight.

    Reply
    • actually, the last photo demonstrates how a tan undershirt won’t be visible through a light blue dress shirt. if you wore a white undershirt under that blue dress shirt, you would likely see the sleeve and collar lines through the shirt.

      as for matching a tight collar undershirt color with a polo shirt — that is something that i’ve heard others do too. but most undershirts are usually only available in white, grey, tan/beige, and black. so if you’re trying to match a polo of a different color, you’d likely have to buy a t-shirt and wear it as an undershirt.

      here are some articles where you can find tight neck undershirts and tight collar t-shirts:
      https://undershirtguy.com/tight-collar-undershirt/
      https://undershirtguy.com/best-tight-neck-t-shirts/

      Reply
  2. RibbedTee is showing that they’re closing. Do you have any other recommendations for undershirts that have similar qualities?

    Reply
    • heya joshua — yeah, there’s still a chance that the ribbedtee products will resurface.

      in the meantime, i’d recommend checking out these brands — all of which have similar characteristics:
      1. underfit
      2. tommy john
      3. sloane men
      4. uniqlo airism
      5. me undies

      if you need an undershirt with extra underarm sweat-blocking padding & protection, you could also check out:
      1. ejis
      2. thompson tee

      Reply

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