Now that it’s heating up, there have been a lot more questions about wearing undershirts in summer.
The questions range from whether or not it’s practical to wear undershirts during hotter months to which are the best undershirts to wear under certain shirts.
Here’s a forum discussion I was involved with recently, over at The Art of Manliness, regarding wearing undershirts in summer:
I think I am not the only one who suffers from those awful armpit sweat stains from sweat in summer.
Some deal with them using antiperspirants.
Although I use deodorant, I don’t want to use antiperspirant.
The undershirt seems like a solution for me.
So, is it appropriate to wear an undershirt in summer under a shirt, a polo, a T-shirt?
It gets pretty hot in our places (45C/110F), won’t I heat-up more?
What other undershirt recommendations can you give?
Thanks in advance.
Tug’s Advice Regarding Wearing Undershirts in Summer
Well my friend, that is a great question about wearing undershirts in summer – the hottest months of the year – and is something I actually addressed recently in the following article on my site:
So, be sure to check out that article to learn more about wearing undershirts during summer.
The Rules of Wearing Undershirts
Here are some other undershirt wearing rules to consider.
It is definitely appropriate to wear an undershirt under button shirts, polos, and t-shirts, but here are my top 7 rules:
Rule 1 – When Wearing A Tie
Button-up dress shirt with a tie: crew neck undershirt
Rule 2 – When Wearing An Open Collar
Button-up dress shirt without a tie: v-neck undershirt
Rule 3 – When Wearing a Polo
Polo: v-neck undershirt (since you generally wear the collar open on a polo)
Rule 5 – When Wearing a T-Shirt
T-shirt: crew neck undershirt or tank top undershirt
Rule 6 – When Wearing White or Light Colored Dress Shirts
If your button-up shirts are light colored or semi-transparent, consider wearing a neutral-colored undershirt like light grey, heather grey or flesh tone.
They won’t show through as much as white undershirts will because they reflect less light.
To see articles here on my site related to neutral-colored undershirts, please click here.
Rule 7 – The Exceptions
In any of the above cases, you could opt to wear a tank top since those will generally wear cooler than full undershirts.
Since you seem to need the underarm sweat protection, a tank top (a-shirt) might not be right for you.
But, a tank top undershirt might work for someone else who doesn’t sweat as much in that area.
If your undershirt is to loose/bulky or heavy/thick, you’ll generally feel warmer and slightly uncomfortable.
So, it’s best to go with a undershirt that is lighter and either close or form-fitting.
Be sure to check out my article about lightweight undershirts, where I’ve compiled a list of the lightest undershirts I have found to date.
There are plenty of those to choose from nowadays so be sure to look through the options. Many of which you’ll find on my website.
- Fabric: Best to stick with cotton or a modal (i.e. viscose, rayon, bamboo, Tencel) blend.
Cotton breathes really well and modal absorbs more than cotton.
Stay away from polyester,
nylon, or anything “moisture wicking” as those will be more prone to transport wetness to your outer shirt more quickly.
CORRECTION: Nylon is very absorbent, and dries faster than cotton.
If you do get pit stains your shirts or undershirts, you can clean them with products like Deo-Go or raise stain remover.
If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!
Wearing Undershirts in Summer or Not?
Here’s something that was forwarded to me today from Jill Haney’s Image Rules column over at the Cincinnati.com
QUESTION: I don’t like to wear undershirts in warm weather because it just makes me hot and uncomfortable.
My wife thinks it’s gross to not wear an undershirt.
What are your thoughts?
I must agree with your wife.
My preference is that men should wear undershirts with their dress shirts as it provides for a crisp, clean look.
I like to joke that if you look like an Abercrombie model, have no chest hair, and don’t perspire than it is ok to go without.
Very few men fit into that category.
Research shows that on average we produce 2 cups of sweat per day. That’s pretty gross, especially if it is seeping through our clothes.
Remember the old saying: “Never let ’em see you sweat.”
Mike Schwarz, the founder of ribbedtee.com undershirts, offers a number of reasons why undershirts are a must in every professional man’s wardrobe.
“While it might not be apparent, wearing undershirts in summer months or in hotter/more humid climates can be a huge help.
First, undershirts provide an additional layer of protection between you and your clothing.
Not only will they help keep sweat from reaching your outer clothing, but they will also help protect your outer shirts from body oils, odor, and underarm perspiration stains.”
Schwarz adds that wearing an undershirt allows you to wear your dress shirt more than once between washings, thus saving you money and extending the life of your clothes.
The key is to find lightweight undershirts that are either form-fitting or have a slimmer cut.
“Wearing undershirts that are too thick or too bulky will wind up making you feel warm and uncomfortable,” he says.
Try it, and let me know.
With the right undershirt, you can stay cool while still looking fresh and crisp.