The Pros and Cons of Wearing an Undershirt

In days gone by, every man wore an undershirt or singlet on a daily basis. Outer garments were not as comfortable against the skin, not as easy to wash, and the undershirt not only provided warmth and comfort, it protected and preserved the life of the outer shirt.

These days, however, undershirts are, for some men, something of a taboo. For others, they’d never leave the house dressed well without one.

So should you wear or not wear a singlet or undershirt?

Here are some pros and cons for wearing an undershirt…

PROS:

v Undershirts (particularly T-shirt styles) reduce the incidence of sweat marks appearing on and staining your shirt or even jacket

v Undershirts can be more comfortable and prevent chafing when wearing stiff or starched dress shirts

v A cotton undershirt can be cool under synthetic shirts in hot humid weather

v An undershirt provides a thin but effective insulating layer of warmth

v Undershirts hide dark nipples from showing through light coloured shirts

v Undershirts disguise heavy chest hair and prevent it from poking through the surface or buttons of a shirt

CONS:

v Multiple layers can feel constrictive

v An undershirt can be stifling in hot weather if worn under a cotton shirt

v Undershirts are obvious under a lightweight or light coloured shirt

v Historically, “elegant” men did not wear undershirts under their dress shirts

v Today’s antiperspirants work so well the need for undershirting is negated

There are, even today, many proponents of the belief that without a vest or undershirt, a man is not properly dressed. Fortunately, the days are passed when all undershirts were obvious through clothing. The humble white vest now has evolved and there are other options available in flesh tones, or other colours to complement the over shirt so as not to be as obvious.

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And from this woman’s perspective, a plain white T-shirt under a casual button down shirt looks very well put together – and gets a thumbs up from me. Think Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, Marlon Brando… enough said!