As you can probably tell by my other reviews, I’m fairly particular when it comes to undershirts and am not easily impressed.
I’m finding that most undershirt companies aren’t trying to address all the problems (fit, feel, function, and affordability), but rather are addressing one or two of the issues and forgetting about the others.
Let’s review the Calvin Klein flexible fit undershirt in these four areas.
Calvin Klein Undershirt Review
I purchased this 2-pack of crewneck medium black undershirts on sale at Macy’s for $22.12 (plus tax), normally $29.50. Even at the regular price, I really don’t mind paying $14.75 for a nice undershirt, and to be honest — these are. Affordability, Check.
I was immediately impressed with the very soft, stretch fabric (made of 94% cotton, 6% Dow XLATMlastol) that Calvin Klein uses in these undershirts and was anxious to put this puppy on. Here’s a blurb about Dow XLA lastol from Dow’s website:
DOW XLA™ is a revolutionary stretch fiber that redefines the clothes we wear to enhance the way they move, look, feel and withstand the rigors of modern living.
Fabrics enhanced with XLA fiber wrap the body in gentle support with a soft, non-snap stretch that endures multiple washings and dry cleanings while maintaining garment shape.
Consumers have confidence that they will look and feel great, wear after wear.
I put it on, and it didn’t disappoint. Right out of the package, this shirt is very soft and extremely comfortable. The stretchy XLA lastol fabric makes this product very forgiving so the shirt moves with you extremely well.
If I were to make a comparison, although slightly different in texture, this fabric feels about as soft as the black-colored undershirts from RibbedTee and Tommy John. Feel, Check.
The overall fit is good for a standard undershirt. (Pictured here to the left is Tug’s undershirt model who is 6′). On me, the bottom of the shirt falls about 10″ below my waistline which should provide enough length to keep the shirt tucked.
The 5.25″ shoulder strap length is about perfect for my build and the 8″ long short sleeves are a respectable length and didn’t peak out of my short-sleeved Tommy Bahama shirt last night at dinner.
Although I will point out one thing. I bought this shirt in a medium size because I knew it was stretchy. While it fits good in the shoulder area, it provides a little more room in the torso and the waist area than I would expect for a medium-sized shirt.
Depending on the cut of the shirt, I typically wear a large medium, or a small large. I could likely fit in a size small in this style undershirt. I’m doing the wash test right now and will report back after. Fit, 75% of a Check.
Now function is a tricky one. In undershirts, I look for several things:
Do they protect your outerwear from underarm perspiration?
This undershirt seemed to handle typical perspiration well. I couldn’t comment on whether or not it would perform well in more taxing situations.
Do they keep you cool?
Not really. I found myself a little warm when I was wearing it. I felt it lacks a little “breathability”.
Do they stay tucked in?
I wore it (tucked in) under an untucked casual shirt and didn’t notice it coming untucked at all, but the real test is wearing it with a tucked-in dress shirt and I haven’t done that yet.
Do they bunch up underneath your clothing?
Not noticeably, but again, I’ll defer to my comment in #3 above.
How easy is it to care for?
This shirt provides care instructions in the form of symbols — no written instructions anywhere to be found. I was utterly perplexed on what the symbols meant, so I did a quick search on the net and found that the care symbols told me I had to wash it in cool/cold water, no bleach, tumble dry low heat, no ironing, no dry cleaning. I don’t mind washing my items in cold water, but I find that drying on low heat takes a really long time.
For me, Calvin gets 3 out of 5 stars in Function.
Overall, I’d say this undershirt performs generally well in most of the four areas I identified above and because of that, it definitely should be listed in Tug’s favorites.
I’d say the very best feature is the “feel” factor, as it’s one of the more comfortable undershirts I’ve reviewed here recently.