Anyone who works in a more formal office environment understands that your clothing choices aren’t driven by comfort. Often, the traditional suit and tie approach leaves you wanting when it comes to mobility, temperature control, and general feel. As you have the option to buy higher-quality options, many men focus on the outer layers, hoping for a better feel based on those choices. However, many stick with the same undershirts they have been wearing since they entered the professional working world (or even earlier).
If you dream of being more comfortable throughout your workday, then you need to start with the layers that actually touch your skin. And the undershirt is a great place to start.
Choose Your Cut
Undershirts come in multiple cuts. The most common options are a traditional crew neck with short sleeves, a v-neck with sleeves, or a tank top. Depending on your build, you may find any (or all) of the options acceptable in regards to comfort. However, undershirts are not meant to be seen. So, if a crew neck shows when the collar is open, and you intend to wear the collar open during your day, then make sure to choose a proper neckline. Most commonly, that will be a v-neck with a suitable depth.
In contrast, button up shirts made of thin material may require a crew neck. Otherwise, the neckline of a v-neck may be noticeable under the shirt. In some cases, it can be quite distracting, even if you wear an appropriate tie.
Consider the Function
The main purpose of wearing an undershirt is to help absorb moisture and sweat, preventing it from reaching the layer above. If you tend to sweat, then choosing an option with sleeves will help with the underarm area while tank tops won’t.
Another point to consider is whether you want the benefits of compression wear. Compression undershirts for men can create a smoother silhouette and may even help support your posture. In cases where a suit jacket won’t be worn for the majority of the day, a compression undershirt may create a more flattering appearance than a traditional offering.
Most men default to white undershirts. While they are prevalent in the store, white isn’t always the best option. In fact, when you wear light colored button up shirts (including white), you want to choose an undershirt that is a similar tone to your own skin. Alternatively, a light gray shirt can also blend more effectively, preventing the line of the undershirt sleeve from being overtly visible under a white dress shirt. Gray and skin toned shirts also take longer to show wear or develop stains, giving you more life out of each piece.
Undershirts are not meant to be bulky. The material is thinner than traditional t-shirts, and the cut is more fitted. This helps avoid the unsightly effects of excess fabric bunching up, as well as wrinkles caused by poor fit.
Additionally, undershirts may be cut longer than regular t-shirts. This helps them stay tucked in more easily throughout the day. Again, this limits the risk of the shirt bunching up around your middle because it has escaped the control of your waistband.
Consider the Care Involved
Before you buy any garment, you want to make sure you are up to the challenge of cleaning it properly. Cotton undershirts don’t require any special treatment when it comes to washing and drying, making them a simple addition for most men. Those made from other materials may have different care instructions that require more effort. While the additional requirements don’t make them a bad choice, it is important to understand what you will need to do before you choose to invest.