This post is sponsored by RibbedTee. For 20% off your purchase use the coupon code “MS20”
Believe it or not, undershirts are one of the more polarizing subjects in menswear. There are camps who argue vehemently that no man has any real reason to wear an undershirt and others who will contend just as forcefully that they should be worn every day.
This post will give you the three reasons I lean towards the wear-an-undershirt camp, along with some tips for buying the right kind of undershirt to avoid the problems the other team complains about.
I try to get as much bang for my buck when I purchase my clothing. As a result, I’m often willing to spend more on quality pieces than on cheap, Asian-made garbage that doesn’t even last an entire season.
That said, I’m not made of money and I want to ensure that the clothing I do invest in lasts as long as possible – a desire that applies to my shirts as much as to my suits and shoes.
One of the biggest advantages of an undershirt is the protection it offers your clothing from your sweat and natural oils, along with the substances and/or chemicals that can be found in things like deodorant.
The last thing I want in a nice, white dress shirt is yellow stains in the armpits. It’s aesthetically awful and breaks down the material in the shirt more quickly.
Dropping a few bucks on a quality undershirts and replacing them every year or so is infinitely easier on my wallet than having to replace an entire closet’s worth of shirts.
I sweat. You sweat. We all sweat.
Most of the time I sweat in the gym, but if I’m in a suit in the dead of summer, about to present in front of an audience, or am dealing with a particularly stressful phone call, I sweat.
And one of the last things I want people to see is me sweating – both because it looks bad and because it shows weakness.
A well-made undershirt isn’t necessarily going to stop all signs of sweat, but it does provide an extra layer that needs to be fully saturated before it’s visible through your shirt.
And by protrusion I mean nipples.
There are many men in the world (myself included) who just seem to have a pair of diamond cutters on their chests. While it’s not exactly embarrassing, it can definitely be distracting. I know I don’t want a client to be paying attention to my chest as I’m walking him through the design of his new suit.
Whether it’s extra hard nipples, man boobs, or anything else that has a tendency to stick out, an undershirt adds an extra layer of suppression to help tone down the appearance of distracting elements.
How to Wear One
The difficulty isn’t in wearing it so much as in buying the right one – because it’s not just a matter of picking up a six-pack of white T-shirts at the nearest Wal-Mart.
Here are a few things to look for.
- A deep V-neck. You don’t want anyone to know you’re wearing an undershirt, and it certainly shouldn’t affect the clean lines of the rest of your well-fitting wardrobe. A deep opening in the chest means there won’t be any distracting material when you wear your collar open.
- A long body. Dress shirts are more comfortable and more effective when they’re tucked in. Make sure what you’re buying is designed for that purpose and is long enough to stay in place.
- Shorter sleeves. This applies for all the same reasons as the deep V. You don’t want the sleeves of your undershirt popping out from beneath your shirt sleeves.
- Snug fit. A properly fitting undershirt should be so snug you’d be uncomfortable wearing it on its own. A tight fit like this will ensure it doesn’t affect the drape of your other shirts and preserve the visual effect you’re after.
Where to Buy One
This is where my friends over at Ribbed Tee come in. I first met Mike at StyleCon back in 2014 and the guy is legit. He has invested a ton of time and energy into creating the ultimate undershirt and what he’s come up with is as near to perfect as I’ve seen.
Because Mike’s a friend, I’ve got a hook up for you as well. Head on over to Ribbed Tee and use the coupon code “MS20” for 20% off your purchase. These things are already a killer deal for their value and that extra 20% makes it even easier to stop destroying your nice clothes and embarrassing yourself in front of others.