A Recommendation for Merona Ultimate Undershirt Replacement

As 2011 is quickly coming to a close, I thought I’d share some news of an undershirt that may make a lot of guys very happy. Anyone looking for a Merona Ultimate replacement? Keep reading.

Call this Tug’s holiday gift to all of you who’ve been so desperately looking for a suitable replacement for that Target Merona Ultimate 95/5 undershirt that you loved so much.

A Replacement for Target Merona Ultimate Undershirt

This news, courtesy of a very kind reader who reached out to me recently:

Hey Tug,

Just wanted to give you the scoop on a new (to me, at least) 96/4 undershirt at Kohl’s.

apt 9 t-shirts


Rules to wearing undershirts

I purchased this at a store (on sale now for $9), but I’m pretty sure the link below leads to the right product.

I also saw a V-neck cut, for those who prefer that.

I’ve been looking for a replacement for the old Target Merona Ultimate tees that fall in the same price range.

I have pics of me in both the Merona and Apt9 if you’re interested, but I’ve noticed (on visual comparison only–I haven’t measured anything) that the Apt9 has a wider neck and *slightly* shorter sleeves.

The rest of the fit seems pretty much the same.

Definitely seems like a good deal at the sale price.

Apt. 9® Solid Deluxe Ribbed Layering Tee

Hope you enjoy the holidays!


My Response to Daniel’s Recommendation

Hey Daniel!

Happy holidays buddy!

Thanks for sharing the intel on the Apt9 tee/undershirt from Kohls!

Thant is to say, I’ll definitely share that information in an article early next week.

It’s a great find that I’ll be happy to share with my reader-base.

So, tell me something, the description says “ribbed” – is the shirt of ribbed fabric construction?

Or is just a cotton/spandex jersey blend??

Lemme know, ok?

Hope you have a great holiday and thanks again for reaching out.

Daniel Sends the Pics of the Undershirts

Hey Tug,

Had a great holiday, and I hope you did as well!

I’ve attached the pics of me wearing the two shirts.

The Merona is 95/5, and the Apt9 shirt is 96/4.

apt 9 t-shirts

Also, it looks like I mistyped my original email to you when comparing the fit of the two shirts–the images are correctly labeled.

It’s the Merona Ultimate that has a wider neck and slightly shorter sleeves.

Personally, I kinda prefer the Merona cut, but the two are similar enough.

I saw the “ribbed” descriptor too, and I’m not sure what it’s referring to, unless I’ve linked to the wrong product (although it doesn’t look that way to me).

To clarify, the shirt I have is simply a cotton/spandex blend without any special texture.

Best, Daniel

A BIG thank you to Daniel for taking time to send in this information about Kohl’s Apt. 9 cotton/spandex undershirt.

He deserves a medal!

Happy holidays everyone. Thanks for reading.


Sweat Proof Undershirts

24 thoughts on “A Recommendation for Merona Ultimate Undershirt Replacement”

  1. For anyone looking for a 95% cotton/5% spandex shirt, there are other options. Under Armour makes shirts with that blend. In the promotion field the Sport-Tek and In Your Face brands have that blend. The In Your Face t-shirts are made in USA.

    • hey john, good info here on ua, sport-tek, and ‘in your face’ brands. do you know by chance the price point of each shirt? are they available in small quantities through staples promotional products?

  2. Posting this at Tug’s request…originally posted in another string (note, I am 6’1″ 180ish lbs, athletic/muscular build):

    Just wanted to follow up. The mediums fit perfectly BEFORE washing. They shrunk considerably after washing in cold and drying. While they still fit, I wasn’t going for the “Jersey Shore” look, just wanted something that fit well, so I returned the remainder of my purchases and exchanged them for Large. Having gone through a couple wash cycles with some of them, I will say they meet my expectations. The fit is good (not baggy in the arms, shoulders, or waist), but not too tight either (the mediums were REALLY tight in the shoulder after washing, and the arm length shrunk considerably). I would not have paid the $16 original price for these, but got them buy one get one free…which was in my price range. I wear them both as undershirts and alone, though the Target Mossimo T-shirt really fits a bit better I couldn’t find any in the colors I wanted and in my size when I was buying (now they are all in stock again…of course). So, if you go with these I would suggest erring to the side of a little too big as they will shrink, and wait until they’re on sale.

    undershirtguy says:
    February 9, 2012 at 12:11 pm
    thanks for the follow-up phil! i really appreciate you taking the time and providing all the details!

    can you post this same info on the apt. 9 article? just search the site and you should be able to find it.


    • I can’t imagine someone 6’1″/180lbs wearing a medium and saying it fits perfectly (before washing of course). It makes me wonder if I even know how a shirt is supposed to fit! I’m 5’7″ and weigh 180-185 (I know, I know…). Anyway, I used to always get X-Large shirts cuz I like ’em to fit loose. Just recently started buying Large because I’m sick of looking sloppy all the time. Even with Large, like with the the Target shapewear, the shirts feel almost uncomfortably tight. I don’t think I’ve ever tried on a Medium shirt except maybe when I was in high school. LOL

      • for what it’s worth dave, i am around 175-180 and 5’9″ and all my undershirts are size medium. undershirts are supposed to fit close, but traditionally i’ve seen guys buy larger undershirts than they need to for two reasons:
        1.) many like wearing undershirts alone (they want them to double as an undershirt & t-shirt)
        2.) many undershirts shrink a lot after washing and then become too tight

        for reference, most of my t-shirts are size large though because i like them to fit a little looser.

        for outer button or pull over shirts, i wear anything from a medium to an xl, it all depends on how the manufacturer cuts the shirt. seems like the european shirts are the larger sized ones.

        hope that helps!

      • Thanks Tug, that helps a lot. I’m pretty sure I’ve been wearing the wrong sized undershirts all along then… I always have to reach up under the arms of my shirt and pull the undershirt sleeves down so they don’t bunch up. And then I usually end up with fabric bunched up under my outer shirt in various other spots too.

        So… I’m guessing you’re in a little better shape than me, even though everyone says I “carry my weight well.” I could stand to lose 20-30 pounds, and it’s all in the spare-tire area. :) Based on that, would you say a Medium in the RibbedTee Classic Fit v-neck would be the right fit for me?? I’ve been holding off ordering anything from RibbedTee because I was afraid I’d pick the wrong size and not be happy. Based on their sizing chart, I would have ordered a large because my chest measurement is in the 42-44″ range.

        Is there anything comparable to the RibbedTee Classic Fit from maybe Target or Kohls that I could pick up in a Medium to see how it feels??

        Thanks again for all your help! Who woulda thought a 43 year old dude needed so much help getting dressed!?!? HAHA!

      • hey dave – happy to help for sure, that’s what i’m here for buddy!

        actually, i *usually* recommend buying shirts based on chest size, so i do think you’d be better off with their size large than size medium. the reason i like using chest measurement is because the closer/tighter an undershirt fits in the chest area, the tighter it will likely fit in the armpit area. if it’s too tight in the armpit, it’ll be pretty uncomfortable. the rt lines are primarily all fitted, and made with stretch cotton, so the size large should fit you just fine. if you’re not sure, sign-up to my mailing list and download my undershirt workbook. i have laying flat measurements for over 150 undershirts in there, including a couple different sizes for ribbedtee undershirts.

        as for finding something comparable at target or kohls, i’m not sure i know of any off-hand. see each manufacturer makes their undershirts with different dimensions and different fabric blends. a size medium or large in one undershirt could fit significantly different from another. at target, there are only a couple options for crew/v stretch undershirts and i haven’t been to kohl’s yet. one additional tricky thing is that i’m pretty sure 95/5 target merona (no longer sold) and 94/6 apt. 9 from kohls are not presented in the undershirt aisles. i assume they are in the t-shirt section.

        the great news about stretch undershirts like ribbedtee or 95/5 blended lightweight t-shirts like apt. 9. is that they fit a wide range of body types pretty comfortably.

        oh, one last thing — sizes in stretch undershirts are usually very different than non-stretch. so your safest bet is to go based on chest size. if you’re between sizes and want something closer fitting, then you should size down. otherwise, size up. there are exceptions to this rule of course – so don’t kill the messenger *wink*

      • I’ve been buying 95% Cotton / 5% spandex stretch tees from the GAP (No. 54023) and can’t find them anymore. Up until about a year ago I could find them in the GAP outlet store here in UTAH but they haven’t carried them since. I know the fit that works for me, I know the thinckness of these shirts and also the durability of them. It is hard to find the same quality, size, thickness and fit in any other shirt out there. Does anyone know where these are being sold, say out of CHINA?

        With regards to the fit, I’m 6′-2-1/2″, 190 lbs. and in shape. I usually buy mediums because I like a snug fit but don’t feel these shirts are too tight that way. Even the smalls will fit snug but they are too short and tend to rise up out of my pants. A medium size in a tall fitted shirt would be perfect for me. With regards to Kohls APT9, does anyone know how they compare to the GAP No 54023?

        Does anyone know where to buy an exact replacement?

        Lost without a Stretch T Shirt in UTAH!

      • hey gianni!

        thanks for stopping by and posting your question. i’ve got two ideas for you:

        1. lay your gap 95/5 t-shirt on a flat surface then take the measurements outlined as shown in my undershirt measurements graphic. use those measurements to find something comparable at a store. one shirt that comes to mind is banana republic pima stretch undershirt. since br and gap are related (owned by the same company), it may be possible that they have a similar fit. a shot in the dark, but maybe.
        2. take a look at this list of 95/5 cotton/spandex undershirts.

        if you sign-up for my email list, you’ll automatically get emailed a link to my undershirt workbook that has measurements to over 150+ undershirts, some of which are listed in the links above. maybe after measuring your gap 95/5, you find something similar in my workbook.

        hey bud, if you do wind up measuring your gap 54023, can you come back here and provide the measurements for each area identified in the graphic above?? make sure you tell me what size and collar style too. also, before or after washing.

        maybe someone who owns an apt 9. t-shirt can take measurements of their t-shirt and let us know too. i’ll add it to my workbook! yeah!

      • TUG,

        Thanks for your fast turn around, and your genuine interest… This could be a decent business to establish if no one is making them and there are that many Men and Women who like them on MEN… With that said, I’m sure there is a business plan to be had and I would be interested in talking.

        I Have two newer shirts from the GAP that are almost a virtual replica of the original. They are also from the GAP No. RN54023, and I have two sizes. Both of which have been washed several times. Here are their measurements of washed and dried shirts:

        For Size SMALL:

        A – 24.5″
        B – 18.5″
        C – 18.5″
        Same measurement between B and C without a letter designation on your sketch – 17.25″
        D – 5.5″
        E – 7″
        F – 6-3/8″
        G – 9″
        H – 2.25″
        Collar Width – 6″
        Shoulder Seam Width – 16″
        Collar Inseam Width – 14″

        For Size MEDIUM:

        A – 25.5″
        B – 19″
        C – 19″
        Same measurement between B and C without a letter designation on your sketch – 17.75″
        D – 6″
        E – 7-3/8″
        F – 6.5″
        G – 9.75″
        H – 3″
        Collar Width – 6.25″
        Shoulder Seam Width – 16.5″
        Collar Inseam Width – 14.75″

        I have not yet looked into the other information and suggestions you provided. will do now!

        Note that the thing that was special about these shirts was that they were a little thicker when not stretched, they keep you warm in the winter and keep you cool in the summer by whisking away the moisture, they came in a multitude of colors so you can wear as an accented undershirt or as T shirt alone. I have not been able to find anything like that… YET!

        Thanks Pal,


  3. I’ve seen these at Kohl’s, but I wasn’t sure if folks were recommending these as outerwear, or as an undershirt…?? If undershirt, would anyone consider these a worthy competitor to a RibbedTee Classic Fit for instance?

    • hey dave, i haven’t tried these apt. 9 shirts yet, but i’ve already heard from a few readers that this apt. 9 wears pretty well as an undershirt.

      it’s a little hard to compare the apt. 9 and ribbedtee for the following reasons:
      1. apt. 9 is presented designed as a t-shirt, but doubles as an undershirt. ribbedtee is designed as an undershirt, so it will likely wear a bit cooler than apt. 9. i will buy some to confirm.
      2. apt. 9 has 4% spandex, so it will likely hug your body (fit tighter) closer than ribbedtee. the ribbedtee classic is made with 100% stretch cotton, so it will fit close to the body right out of the wash, but relax slightly during daily wear. after washing again, it will fit close to your body.
      3. from what i’ve been told, the apt. 9 is not “ribbed” – it’s a jersey stretch. ribbedtee classic is ribbed cotton, similar to fabric used in tank tops/wifebeaters.

      one great competitor to the ribbedtee is the supima cotton undershirt from uniqlo – those two products are neck and neck, the only problem is you cannot easily buy the uniqlo undershirts because you can only get them in-store in nyc.

      all that said, you might like apt. 9 more than ribbedtee if you like jersey fabric over ribbed, and if you prefer a tighter fit.

      i’m going to head to kohl’s and pick some of these up so i can experience this tee first hand.

  4. Good morning tug
    The claims for bamboo are that it is very soft, very durable and is naturally antibacterial. Some also claim it is hypoallergenic, though I’m unaware of which fabrics would be allergenic (there are claims about certain dyes …. I just checked on fabric.org and they say 20% of all people have some contact allergies with textiles. I never knew). Sometimes the antibacterial qualities are enhanced by turning the bamboo into charcoal and using the fibers from that process.

    The FTC will not be permitting people to say a fabric is bamboo. They will allow people to say it is rayon created from bamboo. The rayon process involves lots of chemicals to turn material into mush and then extrude it as fiber. I have read about a Swiss process that actually captures the natural bamboo fibers for use. I think it is as rare as naturally created polyester. I haven’t seen any of it anyway.

    I don’t know of any compression shirts made with bamboo rayon. There are some shirts with spandex content to give some stretch.

    Here are the shirts with bamboo rayon content I have in my files:

    • Akwa – a made in USA shirt with 70% rayon from bamboo and 30% cotton
    • alo – mostly ladie’ shirts with 57% bamboo from rayon/38% cotton/5% spandex in a jersey knit. They also have a tank that is 67% bamboo from rayon/29% cotton/4% spandex
    • Colorado Clothing – Some of their Soybu shirts also have rayon from bamboo content including men’s and ladies’ slub and classic designs. They are 62% cotton/27% rayon from bamboo/6% soy fiber/5% spandex.
    • eco by Boardroom – This Canadian company has a couple of shirts. A short-sleeve t-shirt is 50% polyester from post-consumer recycled material and 50% rayon from activated charcoal made from coconut shells and bamboo. They also have a long-sleeve shirt made with 66% rayon from bamboo/28% cotton/6% spandex.
    • Obermeyer – This is a high end ski company that makes a flex underlayer zip T that is 51% polyester/49% rayon from bamboo charcoal.

    We have used Next Level Apparel, but I’ve never seen anything with bamboo content from them. They are one of those companies I need to call to check on fabric content, because they don’t list it on the web site.

    Is this helpful?

  5. I am looking for some awesome compression shirts that are made out of bamboo. In real need of these for a Martial Arts Studio.
    The current ones, underarmor, are, shall we say, inadequate. Quite expensive at $25 a shirt and do not really last very long.
    I really want a shirt that has a long front and tail so that it stays tucked in better. Please help if possible. Thank you so much.

    • hey jim! thanks for stopping by and posting your question!

      i don’t know of too many companies that make bamboo undershirts/t-shirts. for sure, i don’t know any companies that make bamboo compression/slimming shirts.

      the only companies that i know of off hand that carry bamboo t-shirts are klen laundry and jerico (bamboo stretch tee).

      they contain 6% spandex and 5% spandex respectively, so they may not contain enough compression for your purposes. my recommendation would to buy one size smaller than you’d normally wear to get added compression. if they fit too tight in the armpits, you might have to remove the sleeves or open up the armholes a bit.

      you might also want to search my site for “bamboo” to see if anything else comes up or check with some t-shirt wholesalers (like staplespromoproducts.com) to see if they have any compression/performance bamboo-based t-shirts.

      why so set on bamboo? just curious.

  6. Yeah – I did a search and realized that I just happened to luck out with the Next Level shirts I found. I’ll be sure to remember them next time I need 500 shirts. ☹

  7. Awesome find! It looks like the Apt9 might have a bit shorter overall length than the Merona. I’d like to know if it’s still long enough to stay tucked in since that’s usually one of my gripes about undershirts.
    On an unrelated note, I’ve recently purchased a couple Next Level v-necks from Gordman’, and I’ve been very impressed. The cotton is very soft, and they’ve gone through several washes without noticeably shrinking. The only possible issue is that the V runs a bit close to the neck, but I don’t really mind that.

    • hey austin, thanks for stopping by and providing your input!

      i have another reader that i am exchanging emails with that said he was going to purchase the apt 9. t-shirt/undershirt from kohls and let me know what he thinks of it. once he does, i’ll encourage him to post his comments here in this thread.

      i agree with you on the next level apparel t-shirts. they have a good fit, and feel very nice on the skin. the main reason i haven’t talked about t-shirt products like next level apparel is because you typically have to buy them from wholesalers that have minimum purchase requirements. also, these products are usually designed as “blanks” and sold to wholesalers looking to relabel them, screen print on them, or both. in fact, next level apparel does not sell their products via retail at all, that i can recall.

      that said, one of the things i want to do in 2012 is to try out a bunch of these light-weight wholesale t-shirt products, like the ones offered through screen printers or companies like staples promotional products. it’ll be fun to see how they compare to typical undershirts you find in-store.


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