A couple weeks ago I came across a new concept in Men’s Shapewear Undershirts, a padded undershirt, made by designer Greg Cross.
Instead of using compression technology to flatten your chest and squeeze inches off your mid-section, Cross’ undershirt is padded in the shoulder and top chest.
The padded undershirt gives you a more buff appearance by way of making your shoulders and chest look more full.
I’m teasing a bit (in a nice way) when I call it the “pump you up’ undershirt.
When I first put this undershirt on a couple of days ago and looked in the mirror, an image of the Classic and hilariously funny Saturday Night Live characters Hans and Franz instantly popped into my head. Coincidentally, I did fell more buff when I put it on.
Before we get to my initial thoughts, I thought I’d share a Hans and Franz video for those youngsters that aren’t familiar with them:
Greg Cross Padded Undershirt
Cross sent me two of his padded undershirts – one medium, one large.
Currently he uses the Hanes ComfortSoft undershirts as a starting point and then adds in his patent-pending retrofitting.
Tried on the medium first, was happy with the fit, so I decided to wear that all day.
The front of the medium undershirt is pictured here.
Giving some props to Hanes, the medium fit close (similar to a fitted undershirt, but not as stretchy) and generally comfortable to wear.
It was a tiny bit tight because of the padding, but not too tight that I couldn’t comfortably wear it all day long.
As I mentioned above, I actually did feel a bit more buff when wearing it (even though it was all in my head).
I think it was the combination of the padded shoulders/chest and the tight/close fitting of the body of the undershirt around my mid-section.
If the body was a little looser, I probably wouldn’t have felt that way as much.
After trying on a couple of over shirts, I’ll have to admit, Cross was right – I looked slightly more in shape without it being over obvious that I had on a padded undershirt.
Granted, because of the stitching and current design, if someone saw me with only the undershirt on, they’d know right away.
Can’t wear this guy solo.
I had to switch from wearing a lighter colored casual button up short sleeve shirt to a darker one because the shoulder stitching on the undershirt showed through the light colored shirt.
Since there is a vertical stitching line that comes down through the middle of the top of the shoulder you can see it through lighter colored clothes and it stands out.
One possible way Cross could fix this would be to extend the padding to come to the collar and run the stitching around the collar so the stitching is in line with the undershirt’s stitching.
Change To Stretch Undershirt
I think Cross could benefit from using a stretchy undershirt instead of the Hanes ComfortSoft undershirt.
Although the undershirt was generally comfortable, it was a wee bit tight in my underarm area and around the shoulders due to the padding.
A stretchy undershirt would be a lot more forgiving to various body types and conform to the wearer more comfortably.
A Little Warm
As Cross noted in his product description, the shirt was a little warm to wear outside in warmer/hotter weather.
It was in the 90’s on Monday here in northern California and while I was not uncomfortable (from a temperature perspective) indoors, when I was outside in the heat, I was slightly more warm than I like to be.
If you notice in the picture above and to the right here, you’ll see some air holes that are cut into the padding.
These air holes definitely help with the breathability. If they weren’t there, I would have been much warmer.
I think if he moves to a stretchy, lightweight undershirt or possibly find alternate padding that’s a little less dense (it’s pretty light as it is) and more breathable, I think it’d make a difference.
Looks Like A Prototype
While Cross’ seamstress does a nice job with the stitching, because the stitching is done outside of the undershirt’s stitching, the finished product looks more like a prototype/sample than a mainstream shapewear undershirt.
Once he finds an alternative way to stitch in the padding, I think it’ll have more appeal to a larger group of people.
All-in-all I’m pretty impressed with what Cross is doing here.
I’m standing up clapping right now because of his innovative thinking. You just gotta give him credit for being so creative.
Although not quite ready for prime-time, I think the concept is sound, and with a bit more modernizing, Cross’ shapewear undershirt could become more mainstream and be a big hit with a segment of the male population.
Here’s how you can contact Greg:
email: [email protected]