Should You Layer Undershirts To Keep Your Outer Shirt Dry?

Here’s an email from a reader who offered up a suggestion for sweat control that I had never thought of before! (and it’s a damn good suggestion if you ask me)

Hey Tug,

I’ve recently found out about your site and I have to say that I’m impressed with the sheer volume of information you’ve compiled.  I’ll be looking into some of your top picks.

I wanted to write you because I did not see my specific strategy on your site.  I wear multiple undershirts. I saw that you did not like sweat wicking undershirts because they get your outer clothes wet, however have you ever tried wearing a tight-fitting second-skin-like sweat wicking shirt with a semi loose fitting 100% cotton undershirt over top, then your main shirt?

This is the strategy I use and it rarely if ever fails to keep my outer clothes nice and dry.  My logic: The tight fitting sweat wicking layer pulls the moisture from your skin keeping your skin comfortably dry. 

The 100% cotton layer collects any sweat coming from the sweat wicking layer.  The air pocket in between the wicking shirt and the cotton shirt provides an air buffer to keep you cooler. The wicking shirt helps in this matter because it’s functioning much as your skin does to cool your body down by using your own perspiration.


Sweat Proof Undershirts

Specifically, I wear Underarmour Heat Gear Shirts, with regular Hanes 100% cotton undershirts. Now that I’ve seen how you rate the bamboo fiber undershirts with double under-arm and back layers this strategy may be even better!  I’m excited to try new combinations.

Lastly I want to say thank you, TUG, for bringing Undershirt awareness to the masses.



My Response

Hi C,

Thanks for writing in and for the compliments! I really do appreciate it.

Although I’ve never considered doubling up on undershirts like you have recommended below, I think it’s a really good suggestion that I will share with my readers.

The key to making that work, as you have suggested, is to wear a very thin, second skin-like undershirt as your first layer, such as the ones from UnderArmour. By doing this, you would minimize the chance of being too warm by wearing two layers of undershirts.

I have also seen some other “cool” second-skin type of performance shirts other than UnderArmour, although I don’t recall their names off the top of my head.

If you do wind up trying out those bamboo undershirts, please be sure to email me back to let me know what you think!

Thanks again for taking the time to write in.

Best, Tug


How to wear undershirts

8 thoughts on “Should You Layer Undershirts To Keep Your Outer Shirt Dry?”

  1. In cold weather, I will often wear a tank top undershirt as the first layer, with a crew neck T undershirt over that, then my outer shirt. Very warm yet comfortable. The tank top undershirts tend to be very snug, and one doesn’t get bunching with sleeves. Yet, my chest [most of it] and back get an extra layer of warmth.

  2. I have ordered 3 Silverback Apparel shirts and will try them and let you have feedback. However, I still feel that a similar bamboo undershirt or X-Static with a waterproof layer would be the ideal solution for us. I would be willing to put up the funds for some prototype shirts as I know that such a shirt would provide a huge relief to hyperhidrosis sufferers all over the world and would become a best seller in no time. Maybe you can speak to some of the manufacturers about this. Thank you.

  3. HELP HELP HELP!!! I suffer really badly from a condition called hyperhidrosis and have really terrible excessive sweating on my front and my back. I have tried every combination possible, even the Kleinert and Bamboo undershirts, but still I manage to sweat through to my outer shirts and end of with large embarrassing wet spots. Is there any double layer undershirt with some kind of waterproof material inserted in-between the layers? Or something like those new controversial swimming gear!

    • hey marc, have you tried the undershirts from silverback apparel? They’ve got the double layer of fabric, but they don’t have waterproof material in between the two layers (which is a pretty damn good idea).

  4. I am a police officer and have been wearing this combination for years. Underarmor (actually WalMart brand), then 100% cotton t-shirt, body armor then regular duty shirt. When I take off the body armor, the cotton t-shirt is SOAKED but my skin is dry. The only way to do it, in my opinion.

  5. Hi Tug, I know you’re the undershirt guy and my product core line is underwear. I designed the line using the same concept that C discussed in the post above. I’d love to send C a free sample. Would you mind seeing if he’d like to try a pair? He could email me. sincerely, Lea


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