Where Can I Buy Slim Undershirts?

Calvin Klein 3-Pack Slim Fit Crew Neck from Freshpair.com

Are you tired of box-cut undershirts that are too big and baggy on you? Do you have a more slender physique and wondering what kind of undershirts would be the best suited for you? Are you looking for slim-cut undershirts like this reader? Maybe I can help.

Do you know which brand or where I can buy undershirts that are slim? I have tried size S of several brands and they are usually bigger than the shirts I am wearing over them. The perfect size for me so far is medium for kids, but they are too short. The worst I tried are the Polo ones, where the arms were at my elbows and the bottom almost to my knees. I am 5’7″ is not like I am a short guy, but I have a 27 inch waist and a 34 inch chest. Small are supposed to be 34 inches in the chest. I know manufacturers make them bigger because people are getting fat, as an example, I have used all Gap polo sizes from L to XS in 10 years and now that size is too big for me. I have not shrunk, in fact I have added body mass from lots of weight lifting. Brands like Armani Exchange size XS fit perfectly, but I would be paying $25 per shirt.

Thanks for the info. E

Here’s my reply:

hey e,

thanks for stopping by my site and sending in your question. sorry about the delayed response, but i get a boatload of emails and sometimes its hard for me to keep up!

here is a list of undershirts and their body width measurements when the shirts are laid down flat. all are size medium, unless otherwise noted. ordered from narrowest to widest:

– jockey seam free – 16.5″ (nylon/spandex/polyester)
– ribbedtee classic fit – 16.5″ (100% cotton) – after washing
– jcpenney bvd – 18″ (cotton/spandex)
– tommy john – 18.5″ (micromodal/lycra)
– jockey classic streamlined fit – 18.5″ (100% cotton)
– costco kirkland – 19″ (100% cotton)
– execwear – 19″ (nylon/spandex) – size large
– american apparel summer shirt – 19″ (100% cotton)
– sweatshield undershirts – 19″ (modal/spandex)
– stafford performance cotton stretch – 19″ (cotton/spandex)
– macy’s alfani stretch – 19″ (cotton/spandex) – size large after washing (was 20″-21″ before washing)
– jockey 3d – 19.5″ (cotton/spandex)
– old navy – 20″ (cotton/polyester) – size large
– urban outfitters bdg – 20″ (cotton/polyester)
– vdri – 20.5″ (polyester)

it’s been a while since i measured one of my standard hanes or fruit of the loom, but i would say that most of the undershirts above will be narrower than a typical box cut undershirt.

my recommendation would be to lay your existing undershirt down on a flat surface, then measure from underarm to underarm and the width across the bottom. take that measurement and compare it to the above width measurements and then determine which undershirt would be best for your purposes.

since you’re a size small, take about 1″ off the width of the mediums and 2″ off the width of the larges, and you’ll have a good idea how wide a size small would be in the undershirts above. as for length, all the above undershirts will have ample length for you.

pricing of the shirts listed ranges quite a bit, but you’ll find most of them under the $15 per undershirt price point. the only exceptions are the ones made from micromodal (since that is a higher-end fabric) and the jockey seamfree.

hope the above information helps! let me know what undershirts you decide to try out and what you think of them.

— best, tug

I’m pretty happy this reader wrote in, because I received a similar email from a reader in late 2009 who was also looking for a slim undershirt. His mother had bought him some 100% cotton Byford brand undershirts at Macy’s and he absolutely loved them!   This is how he described them:

Notice how it’s not very baggy; it fits very snug on my body. The sleeves are also very short and tight, and don’t flop around my arms (something that annoys me about undershirts). And just another little thing I like about it: it covers the area of my armpit, so if I’m ever sweaty, I mostly won’t feel the skin on my armpit sticking onto itself cause of the undershirt. I’m a very slim guy as well, so it’s surprising how snug it fits on me. It’s a Byford brand undershirt, sized extra large (surprise!), and is 100% cotton.

When he went to look for them again, he couldn’t find them any longer.  I did point him to the no-longer-available J Ferrar undershirts because they had a similar measurements, but since those are gone now, it’s a good idea for us to locate some other slim undershirts.

If you know of some, please recommend them here.

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