Tips On How To Prevent Undershirts From Sticking To Shirts

What do you do when undershirts stick to shirts?

We’ve got a combo question from a bigger guy looking to find a way to manage sweat-through and keep his undershirts from sticking/clinging to his outer shirts.

The Problem: Undershirts Sticking A Dress Shirt

I’m a 6’2″, 260 lb. man with a new job.

I haven’t been used to wearing undershirts before, and I’m having trouble finding something to address the issues I have with the undershirts I’ve bought so far.


I found undershirts to fit, yet they keep clinging and tugging at my dress shirts. It only adds to the ‘grossly overweight’ look that I seem to exude.


Sweat Proof Undershirts

What undershirts do I wear to prevent that from happening?

Sweating on Face & Head

I was motivated to wear undershirts to hide my very hairy, sweaty dress shirts. Now, my dress shirts look great, yet I constantly perspire on my face and head.

I thought that 100% cotton would be the answer, but now I look like the “big, hairy, sweaty, new guy” at the office.

Obviously, cotton DOESN’T keep you cool, so I need a solution.

What now?

I Asked Some Clarifying Questions

My questions back to him were about what kind of undershirts he was currently wearing and about how much and where he sweats.

His response:

Thanks for the reply!  I appreciate your help.

Q. What type of undershirts are you currently wearing?

I have tried both Fruit-of-the-Loom and Hanes. I bought them at Target or JCPenneys, I think. Wife-beaters don’t help with underarm sweat, so I don’t use them. 

I like v-neck undershirts moreso than crew neck undershirts. The full-ring collar t-shirts ride the front of my neck too hard.

Q. Give me an idea on how much you sweat normally and where.

I sweat pretty heavy, and I’ve lately found success with the deodorant, Certain-Dri. I end up using it on all of my chest, and it stops sweat for maybe 6 hours out of my 9 hour work shift. 

Without a t-shirt, I sweat heaviest from my shoulder blades to the top of my pants (which will also collect the sweat and show it). 

I sweat heavy under my arms.

On my front, there will be an ever-growing sweat line that grows along the length of my diaphragm. 

I can probably solve this with a 2nd application of Certain Dri.

What Bugs Me The Most

What’s been bugging me the most is how my dress shirts keep sticking to undershirts. The undershirts are form-fitting and O.K.

The dress shirt will be lumpy and it almost seems like static-cling against the undershirt. I’ve used anti-static-cling sprays to relax that kind of electrical connection, so I know that’s not the problem.

Thanks for your time, and I appreciate your feedback.

Example: Shirt Sticking To An Undershirt

undershirts sticking to dress shirt
A quick example of how an outer shirt can stick to an undershirt.

Tips to Prevent Shirts From Sticking to An Undershirt

Hey there,

So let me throw out some ideas:

Find Better-Fitted Undershirts

Generally speaking FOTL and Hanes aren’t fitted undershirts, so they usually will be baggy on you in some areas.

When there is excess fabric, it will be easier for your outer shirts to cling or get stuck to your outer shirts.

If your undershirts do fit close/snug everywhere, then the undershirts you have [or the inner surface of the dress shirt] are a little too fuzzy. That is what is causing the clinging.

The solution is to either switch over to a more fitted undershirt or something with smoother/slicker fabric.

When Undershirts Stick To Shirts, Try Smoother Fabrics

Cotton and other types of undershirts are not all created equal.

That simply means that two different undershirts with the exact same fabric content can fit and feel very different. So, you may want to think about trying out some better quality cotton undershirts as their fabric and surface will likely be smoother/softer than your current undershirts.

If the surface is smoother, it’ll be less likely to snag on your outer shirts.

Remember though, switching over to something fitted (but not too tight) will be a big factor in reducing the shirt sticking problem.

Choose Synthetic Undershirts

You may want to consider trying out an undershirt with a slicker synthetic material.

If you do this, then you still could wear something less form fitting because polyester, nylon, modal (viscose/rayon) and other similar fabrics are very smooth and your outer shirts just can’t stick to them.

Buy Undershirts with Sweat-Through Protection

Regarding your sweating situation, you might need to consider looking at a sweat-through resistant/hyperhidrosis undershirt.

Since you sweat on your chest, I think your best bet is to look at the products from Neat Apparel or Sutran. Their undershirts offer sweat-through protection in the chest area.

Be sure to check out my Top 9 Sweat Management Solutions article. It contains information about sweat blocking undershirts, sweat proof underwear, various antiperspirant & sweat-reducing options, and much more.

By using Certain Dri on your chest you are blocking the sweat ducts of your body. That sweat has to go somewhere else because your body needs to cool itself. 

My guess is that is why you’re sweating on your face and head.

I don’t think the cotton undershirts are making you sweat there. I think it’s the fact that your blocking the sweat with Certain Dri.

When you wear a sweat-through resistant undershirt like Neat Apparel or Sutran, you wouldn’t need to use any antiperspirant on your chest, maybe with exception to the small exposed area that will show through the v-neck.

Use Shirt Stays for Tucking

Wearing a more fitted, longer-cut undershirt such as the ones described above will solve your problem of undershirts coming untucked along with your shirts.

If you still have a problem, you might want to either do a little experimenting with shirt stays, try tucking your undershirt in your underwear (a last resort) or possibly use a little double-sided adhesive tape.

For additional information about shirt stays, please be sure to check out this article.

A Quick Recap

Definitely consider trying out the sweat-through resistant undershirts from Neat Apparel or Sutran. These will keep you from having to use antiperspirant on your chest.

Other than that, I think you can pretty much try any form fitting, smoother undershirt. That should solve the issue related to your undershirt sticking to your shirt. There are tons available either online, or at your local department store like Nordstrom or Macy’s.

Hope the above information helps! Let me know what you wind up trying out and how it works for you.

My Comments About Head Sweating

Since I am no physician, my comment above about his head sweating being a result of him using Certain Dri antiperspirant on his chest is pure speculation.

The reason I believe that could be true, is based on information I’ve learned about compensatory sweating as a result of having ETS surgery.

Basically, when people have had surgery to stop sweating in one area, some experience sweating in other areas.

My theory is that if that can occur in some patients post ETS surgery, then why couldn’t blocking sweat from a large surface area like the chest have the same after-effect?

Some folks over at the Ask Andy About Clothes community seem to have the same opinion as I do about blocking large areas of sweat gland areas with antiperspirant.

There is also another suggestion there that I like and that’s shaving the chest hair down to reduce the amount of heat retention in that area. Personally speaking, I don’t do it for sweating purposes but fir grooming reasons. I use my beard trimmer to trim my chest and underarm hair down.

I was doing some research about chest sweating, and interestingly enough, I couldn’t find too much info. However, my Sweat Management Solutions article has a comprehensive list of different types of antiperspirants and sweat reducing solutions, many of which can be used on chest, back, hands, etc.

Do You Have Any Advice for this Reader?

If so, tell me about it in the comments section below.

This article has been updated, re-written, and republished. The original comments below have been maintained for historical purposes.


How to wear undershirts

3 thoughts on “Tips On How To Prevent Undershirts From Sticking To Shirts”

  1. I have a slimming undershirt so fitting tightly does not solve the cling problem. If I lift my arms, for example, my top shirt stays hiked up and stuck in place and I have to tug it back down. I’ve tried 3 brands of slimming shirts coupled with all kinds of outer shirts and the cling is a problem. The fabric the under shirts are made of is just too rough.

  2. This might be a little strange for your sight. I don’t want to offend anyone.

    I have a Concealed Carry Permit and at times I carry a pistol. Not very often and I don’t ever want to have to shoot anyone.

    During the Summer in South Carolina it get’s very hot. I usually wear a t shirt and shorts.

    I have a holster that fits inside the waist band. Which puts it in contact with my skin.

    Therefore I am looking for a very thin, cool, close fitting t shirt to wear under my outside t shirt. Do they make any such animal??

    PS:Is this the most crazy ever???

    • heya rick, good to hear from you buddy and thanks for your question!

      if you’re looking for a thin/lightweight base layer undershirt that would be good in your situation, i’d recommend something like a compression undershirt.

      you can get compression undershirts pretty cheap on amazon or even ebay.

      if you want something more mainstream, you should probably take a look at something like the uniqlo airism undershirts. they come in mesh and non-mesh versions. you can get them online or at a uniqlo store if you have one near you.

      hope that helps. good luck!


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