Wondering if wearing an undershirt in hot sticky weather is good idea? Will it keep you cooler? Read on.
Looking for a lightweight undershirt that’ll keep you cool in the summer (or hot climates)? Check out my thin lightweight undershirts article.
Also, when you’re done reading this article, here’s another article about wearing undershirts in hot weather you may find helpful.
Dressing in Hot, Humid Climates
My buddy Gabe is the Style Editor over at Guyism.com (now Brobible).
He recently did a brilliant job answering a reader’s style question about dressing in hot, humid climates like Florida.
I read style articles all the time and one thing that I’ve noticed is it seems that most of them are geared towards people living in cooler climate than what we deal with here in Florida.
During 80% of the year it’s just to freakin hot to wear any kind of layers or even a button up at times.
What suggestions would you give to dressing casual but still looking good when going out in 90 degree weather.
I’m sure a lot of guys down here would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks in advance!
What Types Of Clothes Should You Wear In Hot Weather?
This was part of Gabe’s response:
The key here is lightweight fabrics (cottons, linens, seersucker), a slightly looser fit, and light colors.
Not so loose that you’re swimming in your clothes a la Kris Kross, but enough so that your body can breathe and you won’t get sweat stains where the sun don’t shine.
So, let’s break it down a bit shall we?
T-Shirts / Undershirts
A nice, well-fitting 100% cotton tee is perfectly acceptable for a chill, backyard BBQ or friendly get together.
I’d say you don’t want to wear a t-shirt if you’re going to a bar or club (even if it has dragons on it).
Please – no reader of mine will be caught dead in Ed Hardy or Affliction.
It’s just tacky, you can do better. I don’t care what the “Jersey Shore” says.
Just remember to keep it slim, so size down. Especially if you’re wearing it as an undershirt.
Depending on how much you perspire, you may want to wear a v-neck undershirt underneath whatever oxford shirt you will wear.
I know that sounds a bit backwards (2 layers = hotter), but an undershirt helps keep sweat from soaking through to your button-down.
Not to mention it will protect said shirt from antiperspirant stains (those nasty yellow stains on all your t-shirts in the under arm area).
Gabe is spot-on when he says that an undershirt is a good thing to keep sweat from soaking through to your shirt and protect it from antiperspirant stains.
Plus he makes a couple other really important points:
Point #1 – Well Fitting 100% Cotton Tee
While Gabe was talking about outer t-shirts, the same holds true when wearing 100% cotton undershirts.
Cotton absorbs and breathes well, so it’ll perform good in keeping your outer shirts clean and dry.
Just make sure it’s not a thick, heavy undershirt. It’s best to wear a well fitting lightweight undershirt.
Some blends with spandex are ok too, but I’ve found some to wear a little on the warmer side.
Pay close attention to the “well fitting” portion too.
A loose, baggy/boxy undershirt won’t be as comfortable to wear as one that fits more proper and close to the body.
Point #2 – Remember To Keep It Slim, So Size Down
Traditionally, sizing down was the best way to ensure your undershirt fits close to your body.
Generally speaking box-cut undershirts are cut more generous so they fit a wide variety of body types.
The challenge is that some 100% cotton undershirts can be uncomfortable to wear in the smaller size or when they shrink after washing.
The good news is that there are some newer stretch undershirts that address that issue.
One good option is to try out some of the 95/5 blend undershirts like my new top 5 Alfani Stretch undershirt.
Another good option is the Jockey Classic Streamlined undershirt that is cut more narrow than other box-cut undershirts and still moves with you pretty well.
Lastly, there are two nice 100% cotton slim cut stretch undershirts: the Jockey Modern Classic and RibbedTee.
I’m not sure if Jockey is still making the Modern Classic, so I’ll have to check into that.
Another option would be to wear a ribbed tank top (aka wifebeater).
Since I don’t sweat a lot, I find myself wearing ribbed tank tops on hotter days here in SoCal under one of my favorite linen shirts and I feel perfect.
The body of the tank top offers great coverage and ribbing provides a wee bit of slimming too.
When wearing a ribbed tank, to avoid getting antiperspirant stains on your outer shirt, try the following:
- Put on your antiperspirant earlier and let it fully dry before you put on your shirts
- Try using a 7-day or hyperhidrosis antiperspirant that keeps you dry for up to 7 days. You put it on at night, so in the morning when getting dressed you don’t have to worry about wet antiperspirant getting on your shirts
- If you get your shirts stained, just use something like Deo-Go or Pit Stop to remove the yellow pit stains.
Now, go out and get yourself a well fitted 100% cotton undershirt!
Thanks to Gabe for the great advice!