Do Undershirts Really Suck? No, I don’t think so.

Call me a little bit biased (ok, maybe a lot biased), but I definitely don’t think that undershirts suck.

Earlier today I ran across a post that included a video from Atlanta-based men’s image consultant and stylist Aaron Marino where he defiled our glorious undershirt! 

Well, he really wasn’t that bad, but he did suggest that under some circumstances, wearing an undershirt is un-stylish.

Since I started this blog, I’ve posted a ton of information about undershirts and their value to the male wardrobe.

I’m really surprised that I’ve never thought to include any articles or information of opposing views, but after I watched Aaron’s video today, I thought I’d broaden my horizon’s a bit and share this video with everyone here (and of course, include some of my own viewpoints along the way).


Rules to wearing undershirts

Let me summarize what I believe is Aaron’s position on undershirts:

  1. wearing an undershirt is less stylish – it breaks up the visual streamline from head to feet
  2. wearing an undershirt is less comfortable
  3. wearing an undershirt looks terrible
  4. wearing an undershirt adds unnecessary bulk underneath your clothing, especially when you tuck in your shirts
  5. if you have to wear an undershirt, make sure you wear a v-neck or a wifebeater so it doesn’t show

To be fair, I think I understand why Aaron has that opinion.

If you watched the entire video, you’ll recall that he said if you have to wear an undershirt, you can pick up a pack of Hanes v-neck undershirts (or wifebeaters) really cheap.

Ah Ha! There in lies the problem my friends.

Truth-be-told, and I mean no offense to Hanes or FoTL, but if you’re buying a 5-pack of plain white crew neck undershirts for $10 – $15, you’re not buying them because you’re worried about how stylish you are. You’re buying them for their utility.

What Aaron may not know is that there are literally hundreds (or more) of different undershirts to choose from that not only serve their utility purposes (sweat protection, flattening/smoothing, keep outer shirts cleaner longer, etc.), but they can look stylish too when paired correctly.

Also, if you really think about it, the term “stylish” has a very broad meaning.

No doubt, Aaron does look good, but not everyone could or should pull off his look.

I know if aaron-marino-undershirts-suck-video-picI tried the no-undershirt unbuttoned shirt look, all my chest hair would be popping out for the world to see – and that would make me feel very uncomfortable.

All that said, I do agree with him that wearing an undershirt in some circumstances and combinations will not look appropriate or stylish.

He demonstrates one of them in his video, although it exaggerates the point a bit. I really doubt that anyone would ever wear a crew neck undershirt like that with their outer shirt unbuttoned that far, but it does show that an undershirt can look out of place at times.

Granted, if you buttoned up that shirt and replaced his white crew neck with one that had a complimentary color, it definitely would look more put together.

Or, if you prefer, change out the crew neck for a colored v-neck and that outfit would probably look pretty stylish.

For what it’s worth, an undershirt doesn’t have to be worn 100% of the time.

If you do need to wear an undershirt when you’re trying to style-it-up, be sure you pair the right undershirt with your outfit so it actually compliments what you’re wearing instead of it taking away from the look you’re trying to accomplish.

Thanks again to Aaron for putting together the video and for trying to help guys look their best!


How to wear undershirts

12 thoughts on “Do Undershirts Really Suck? No, I don’t think so.”

  1. what about on a brown buttoned shirt. I bought a brown t-shirt to wear under but it is a little to think for my taste. My wife didn’t really like black or white so that is why i bought a brown one.

    What would you do hear. Give your opinion, regardless what I said about my wife. I was just wondering even if it doesn’t change my situation any.

    By the way the shirt also has thin lght blue, lght brown, and cream vertical strips.

  2. thanks, I used to were either white or black (even with a grey shirt). I will have to pick up a couple of grey undershirts though. I do have another question. I have a long sleeved buttoned shirt that I love. It is a medium/drk brown w/ thin lght/blue, lght/brown, and cream verticle stripes. I bought a brown undershirt to go with it since my wife didn’t really like white or black. But to get a brown undershirt, it is really a thicker brown t-shirt and is a little to think for my taste. Witch you whit/black/gret set what color would you have chose.

    At this point since my wife didn’t like the white or black it night be a moot point but just wondering.

    • hey john, well if the undershirt doesn’t show or the collar shows a little, the best color to go with would be white. while i’m no a fashion expert (as mrs. tug would attest to), i think pairing a white undershirt with the medium brown long-sleeve button shirt is much more suitable. if your wife wants to suit you up with a brown tee as a base layer, you ought to look at american apparel’s summer tees or the tees from banana republic. both companies make those lightweight tees in a variety of colors, including the brown tones and they are lighter than many other regular tees you’ll find. also, if you can’t find something you like, find a nice thin white undershirt and dye it to your desired color using rit dye (which you can buy at your local target or grocery).

  3. This guy says that he is Italians tend to not rock the undershirt. I am also Italian and from my experience Italians are hairy. Undershirts may not be the most fashionable thing, but when it comes down to it would he recommend displaying your chest hair. Also it is hard to fins a white dress shirt that isn’t see-thru, and yes you can see hair and nipples through them.

    Also, for those who have been wearing undershirts there whole life, the layers are more comfortable. Anyway, I would like to know that if you are in that situation having an exposed undershirt, are you best to stick with white or try to coordinate. I heard both.

    • hey john, thanks for your question. definitely agree with you – a undershirt will definitely help cover up any unsightly chest hair.

      in general, i would not recommend trying to coordinate the color of your undershirt with your outer shirt, even if a little of the undershirt is exposed. for the most part, you can wear a white undershirt under most colors. personally, i wear a black undershirt under a black outer shirt and from time to time wear a heather grey undershirt. with those three colors (white, black, grey/heather grey) you should be good to go!

  4. Ahem … WIFE BEATER? C’mon now, how about a little respect for ladykind.

    And with all respect to Aaron, I don’t agree with at least 90% of what he said. So I’d like to offer my views as counterpoint for the sake of healthy argument. I’m not saying I’m the last word on this of course, but I’m clearly coming from the opposite corner:

    Here’s where I kind of agree with Aaron (this post was recently mentioned here on this blog):

    I also have some posts on armpit sweating too. And since Aaron brought it up, how about this one on the open shirt:


  5. I can see his point – if you were wearing his outfit, the white crew neck T looks out of place – but he is wearing more of an evening – casual attire. I wouldn’t wear a crew neck T then, either. In a business casual setting, or other open collared work situation, I would argue that it looks less professional to not wear a T-shirt. I wouldn’t consider not wearing one.
    So, my fashion tip: evening casual = no, workplace = always.

    • good stuff Mike! sounds like some pretty good advice. i went out evening casual last night with mrs. tug and did wind up wearing a v-neck undershirt, but since it was the same color as my over shirt (black) you couldn’t tell i was wearing one. good for style, good for me!

  6. (This post was severely edited by the poster.) My mother said if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all. Sorry Mom. This guy is a Jerk!

  7. Nice article Tug! I had NO idea about there being different levels of undershirts! You opened my eyes. Not saying I’m going to go out and start wearing them, but I love that you are helping other undershirt enthusiast! Keep up the great work my friend!


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