Undershirt Review: Feeling Flat in My Firm51 Compression Tank Top and Undershirt

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been wearing my compression/slimming tank tops and undershirts a lot! Now, I know what you’re thinking – Tug is getting fat! On the contrary my friends – I have actually been working out pretty regularly over the last few weeks and I have been taking off some weight and trying to firm up some.

To aid me in my mission of trimness, I have been wearing two to three layers of compression/slimming undershirts while I work out. I’ll be sporting one or two compressing tanks, then I’ll throw on a third slimming undershirt on top. I feel I get a more intense workout and hope that the compression in the chest, stomach, and love handle areas help target some weight-loss during my 60 minutes of cardio and additional 30-45 minutes of arms, chest, and abs. Even after the workout is complete, I’ll continue to wear my gear for the next 2-3 hours following. Maybe this is all in my mind, but I really feel that wearing a compression garment during a workout has helped me trim down a little faster than if I hadn’t been wearing one.

One of the very first compression undershirts I became aware of in late 2008/early 2009, was the line of compression vests (tank tops) and undershirts from UK-based Firm51. In fact, they were one of my early/first advertisers on UndershirtGuy.com!

As the popularity of men’s shapewear grew over the last year, I got feedback from readers who tried a variety of men’s slimming undershirts and reported back that Firm51 undershirts performed very well from a compressing and slimming perspective, compared to others. Unfortunately I didn’t get the opportunity to try out their products until just recently when the company sent me a black tank (outer shell: cotton. inner lining: 80% nylon/20% lycra. price: $66 USD) and a white crew neck (outershell: microfibre. inner lining: 80% nylon/20% lycra. price $72.50 USD) to try out. Now the very cool thing about this line of tops is that they have two layers throughout the garment. The inner layer is the one that does all the heavy lifting (slimming) and the outer one looks just like a regular tank or undershirt. Because the tank’s outer shell is made from stretch cotton, it looks a bit more like a traditional tank than the undershirt does seeing that the undershirt’s outer shell is made from more of a synthetic microfibre blend. The combination works well together because once you get this guy on, which is a little difficult of course, it actually looks more like a regular tank or undershirt than most of the others.

Here’s a note I sent back to the folks at Firm51 after I had the opportunity to try out the product:

hey e,


Sweat Proof Undershirts

thanks so much for following up. I did, in fact, have the opportunity to wear the tank top today. I will say that it is a very nice looking tank and it definitely does not “look” like a slimming tank when worn. I very much appreciate the design with the two layer of fabrics – the inner one for support, the outer one for style. I put on the black tank and was very pleased with how it looked on me and how it supported my mid section. I wore it for several hours this afternoon and my overall experience was pretty good. however, the one characteristic that bothered me during the day is that the inner fabric seemed to pull/pinch my skin and body hair, making me feel uncomfortable from time to time. it was most prominent around my love handle area, lower back, and lower stomach area. those are my “problem” areas where I carry a little of extra weight, but I have not experienced that type of discomfort in any other slimming undershirts or tanks.

it seems to have to do with the inner fabric’s construction – when you stretch it, it looks like a mesh of some sort and what might be happening is that when the mesh closes as I’m moving around, it’s grabbing on parts of my skin or hair. the garment says it’s 80% nylon and 20% lycra, but the outer shell and the inner lining seem to be made of two very different fabrics. also, I am currently washing my firm51 shirts to see if the inner lining softens up after first wash. could you tell me more about the inner slimming lining?

also, I was very surprised when I saw that the garment was made in the U.S.A.?? seeing you’re from the uk, I most certainly would have thought you’d be manufacturing them on the europe side of the world. are these garments made specifically for firm51 or is there another U.S. brand that is selling a similar slimming undershirt line under their own label?

I haven’t formed any definitive thoughts on it yet. I do like the construction, quality, and support. but, the pinching kinda bugged me.


I haven’t yet heard back from them, but here’s a recap and some thoughts about the compression undershirts and tanks from Firm51:

  1. Extremely well made product, and made in the U.S. coincidentally. Construction is very durable and you can tell it’s a quality product.
  2. Made in two layers. Inner lining for the compression. Outer shell for the style and look of a traditional undershirt or tank.
  3. Roughly in the same price range as the other higher-end slimming undershirts. A Firm51 compression tank top will cost you around $66. One of their undershirts will cost you $72.50. Worldwide shipping is free and you get a 10% discount if you purchase 2 or more.
  4. I got size Large in both and the fit is really good. These guys run a little small, so size up one. I normally wear a medium in everything, but wear a large in the Firm51 compression tops (their website recommends this as well).
  5. Very good compression and flattening. I’d say the areas that perform the best on these undershirts are in the chest and in the love handle area. Feels like it has more control than many of the other slimming undershirts I’ve tried.
  6. Inner lining pinches on my skin a little when I move around. It seemed more noticeable the first time I wore it, but I have since washed and tumble dried it and it feel like it’s softened up some. The pinching is still there slightly, but it’s not too bad. Maybe it’ll soften up more after more washings.
  7. Shirts tuck in nicely and don’t seem to roll-up as much as others.
  8. Overall, a very well made and good performing compression undershirt/tank top. You’ll likely see a little more compression/flattening wearing one of these over some of the others, but the trade-off will be the mild pinching you’ll feel on your skin. Of course, you can always wear a thin, tight base layer underneath to mitigate any skin pinching.


How to wear undershirts

2 thoughts on “Undershirt Review: Feeling Flat in My Firm51 Compression Tank Top and Undershirt”

  1. Tug,

    I think the Firm 51 is also sold by Underworks. I have a very similar shirt from them. Nice compression it is probably the most supportive shirt on the market. a couple of thought about the mesh liner: 1 I think if the mesh folds over and wrinkles it will cause some of the mild pinching you described. Make sure you pull the fabric away from the body if you notice this happening. 2. pull the shirt all the way up and down so the mesh has been stretched a bit vertically. It will help eliminate the folding problem. 3. the mesh isn’t as soft on the skin as the knitted fabrics.Yyou may get a little irritation from the friction of moving back and forth. I can’t say that I’d wear this shirt every day but it is the go to shirt if I want to look great.

    • thanks for the info pat. it’s definitely a supportive shirt, so I’ll try the stretching thing that you suggested. funny, i haven’t yet tried out underworks shirts yet – maybe i’ll see about contacting the company to see if they’ll send me a couple samples. then i’ll be able to see if the underworks and firm51 shirts are the same/similar product. firm51 is made in the u.s.a. so it could be possible they are made by the same company.


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