Taken out of context, that heading could be pretty misleading. We’re talking about ribbed tank tops folks (aka “wife beaters”), and whether or not they are appropriate to wear under a proper shirt and tie.
Here’s a note from a reader who was having a debate about this very topic with his fiancé:
Tug, great site.
I live in New Orleans and I sweat a lot. I usually wear scrubs paired with a t-shirt and change into a new t-shirt when the original one gets soaked (I sweat as a response to heat and stressful concentration which is a good description of what my work entails.)
My question is not about work wear but what to wear when I wear a proper shirt and tie.
My fiance tells me that a wife beater is never appropriate. She is a lawyer and here in New Orleans, lawyers dress up and are very traditional.
My approach so far has been to avoid her lawyer friends as much as possible but over the lifetime of our marriage this may not always be an option.
Do I need to buy t-shirt like undershirts or can I hold out with my wife beaters. I never wore an undershirt before I moved south.
After a soaked shirt or two (it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity!)
I gave in and bought a wife beater from brooks brothers. I hated the bra-strap sensation of the shirts but quickly grew accustomed to them.
They work great and I haven’t had problems with sweaty pits. If I didn’t have to, I wouldn’t change.
I also hate to admit that my fiance is right and I am wrong, so no pressure, but who is right?
Should You Wear Wife Beaters?
Thanks for stopping by my site and sending in your question! Sorry for the delayed response, but I was away for the holiday.
I hate to say it (that your fiancé is right), but in general I wouldn’t recommend wearing a ribbed tank top / wife beater with a button up shirt and tie.
It’s kinda a tough one because our dear president can sport that look pretty well.
But for the most part, it’s considered a fashion no-no to wear tank top undershirts under button up shirts, especially light colored ones. [more below in comments section]
If ribbed tank tops do keep you cooler, then I suppose wearing one under a darker colored dress shirt and tie wouldn’t be a problem.
Or, if you can track down some heather grey ribbed tanks, you might find that they do not show through as much under light-colored dress shirts.
Of course, there are many thinner/lighter undershirts options currently available that you may not have tried, and it’s very possible those undershirts will keep you as cool as your tank tops do.
There are some super-thin (but expensive) ones from zimmerli, but there is also a large variety of thinner products from companies like jockey, ck, emporio armani, tommy john, ribbedtee, etc.
There are also undershirts and undershirt products that help manage sweat through too that you might not be aware of.
Products like Kleinerts, Sweatshield Undershirts, Silverback Apparel, etc.
If you search my site for those product names, “excessive sweating”, or hyperhidrosis, you’ll find a lot of great reading material to go through.
Hope the above information helps you find an undershirt you love.
If you need other info, let me know or email me back and let me know what you decide to try and how you like it!