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Undershirts

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Michael, Jul 31, 2002.

  1. Michael

    Michael Senior member

    Messages:
    108
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2002
    Location:
    Athens GA
    I grew up in a town where all the kids wore a t-shirt underneath anything. Undershirt under t-shirt, undershirt under dress shirt, undershirt under polo, it didn't matter. Heck, I saw someone wear an undershirt under an undershirt once. Anyway, I just bought some really nice Jeff Rose shirts and I was wondering if I should wear an undershirt. With one of them, it makes the neckline of the shirt look really funny. With the other, it's tolerable, but the white undershirt looks dingy underneath the yellow shirt.

    Should undershirts always be worn? If so, where would I go to find different colored undershirts, and is this acceptable?


    Michael

    PS: Hey everybody, and Steve, I can never find you online.
     
  2. jst

    jst Active Member

    Messages:
    40
    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2002
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    I always like to wear something under a dress shirt, or even a polo for that matter. For me its just comfortable to have something as a barrier between my skin and outer clothing. (Could someone please alert all the people that don't look in the mirror in the morning that if you're going to wear a cheap white button-down that is as transparent as cellophane to please for everyone's sake wear an undershirt, we can already imagine what your man-breasts look like, we don't need to see it.) The only suggestion i can offer is that if you like to wear an undershirt, get a few v-necks. IMO, it just looks sloppy to see a white undershirt exposed while wearing a button-down without a tie or a polo, especially in the workplace.

    JST
     
  3. ken

    ken Senior member

    Messages:
    2,192
    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2002
    Location:
    Chicago
    I think the healthiness of the debate on undershirts is due to the fuel provided to it by the many pros and cons each side claims. During the warm season, I rarely wear undershirts (save for when I'm wearing a tie) because I like to leave a few more buttons undone. To me, a person wearing two shirts when it is hot out appears stuffy and uncomfortable. The cons to that argument include the potential for sweating to seep onto the shirt. A product called "Certain Dri" usually saves me from that.

    During the cooler months, I would suggest matching the color of the undershirt to the outer, or choosing a pleasing combination. As I'm not one to break the bank on a piece of clothing that only peaks out from a few un-fastened buttons, I purchase most of mine from BR or Express. Both have cheap undershirts in many colors that can compliment dress shirts.

    I've pretty much given up on trying to hide the undershirt. I haven't found a v-neck that is cut low enough to never slip out, which is why I'd say the safest bet is to match the two shirts.

    Ken
     
  4. davei

    davei Senior member

    Messages:
    294
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2002
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Hanro makes a very nice and very pricey ($60-70) undershirt with a deep V neck. I think they're viewable on the Saks or Neiman Marcus website. When I leave the top button undone on a shirt, I can usually get away with something underneath that has a slight "v" - two buttons (walking around outside in the summer) and something deeper is required.
     
  5. vantheman

    vantheman Active Member

    Messages:
    27
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2002
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    I also grew up in a town where everybody wore an undershirt, but it wasn't for fashion reasons.  The heat and humidity were so high, that anybody who didn't wear one would end up with sweat stains on their outer shirt.  If you're in a place like LA, this isn't a very big issue.  But if you're instead in a place with consistently high heat and humidity like Houston, sometimes an undershirt is necessary.  If you haven't gone without one before, this may be something to consider, depending on your climate.

    But in any case, you can find undershirts of varying quality, colors and neck styles to better match your outer shirt.  Just because you choose to wear one doesn't mean you have to stick with white Hanes.
     
  6. PeterMetro

    PeterMetro Senior member

    Messages:
    796
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2002
    Location:
    New York
    I lived in Taipei for a year or so -- I don't know where you guys are from, but it was so hot when I got there in August, I thought someone was playing a joke on me.

    All the men wear undershirts, for a good reason. Essentially, outside it's very hot and humid, which causes people to sweat. But because all the buildings are air conditioned, people would catch colds by going back and forth from cool to hot environments. Undershirts help insulate you when in airconditioning, thereby preventing sickness.

    On the flipside, if you're sweating and want to cool down, change your undershirt - a dry undershirt will keep you cooler.
     
  7. NavyStyles

    NavyStyles Senior member

    Messages:
    521
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    New Orleans, LA
    Personally, I always find it necessary to wear an undershirt unless I'm running, exercising, or just lounging around. But, when dressed to go out (polo, oxford, sweater, or even nice regular-collared shirt), I wear an undershirt underneath. Of course, I live in Louisiana where the weather on average can be summed up as "humid." So the undershirts help to protect my outer shirts from those highly attractive pit stains. Also, in the August issue of GQ, one reader wrote in about his nipples showing through his shirts. So, undershirts help prevent this problem, as well. Anyway, for my part, I mostly have 100% cotton tee shirts, and they are nearly all white. I do have the occasional color here and there, but a lot of the colored ones are the "stretch" material. These come from BR and Structure. So, un question, s'il vous plait... where can I find well-priced 100% cotton colored tees? Just something I can use to enhance colors, instead of the standard white shirts, under polos or v-necks. The white shirts are fine for the round collar shirts, but I'd like to have a wider variation for matching with the color of the outer shirt. Thanks.
     
  8. thc

    thc Senior member

    Messages:
    317
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2002
    Location:
    New York
    J. Crew has lots of different color t-shirts and they're actually really comfortable--the cotton is very soft. Plus they won't break the bank.
     
  9. ulf

    ulf Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    83
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Location:
    Milan
    I don't wear undershirts with anything except cashmere/wool sweaters. AFAIK practically noone else does either where I am. I really don't understand the concern some have about their own or others "manbreasts"/nipples showing through shirts/sweaters. Is it an American thing?

    I may be wrong in assuming it's an American hangup about being "bodily". Is it? In Europe (I'm Swedish) the body, its functions and being naked doesn't seem quite such a big deal as in the US. An American friend of mine visited a couple of years ago and was surprised that swearing and nudity appeared on regular TV. It does, on occasion, just like in real life.

    I'm genuinely curious here, is it considered somewhat indecent, tasteless or daring to not wear an undershirt in the US?
     
  10. ulf

    ulf Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    83
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Location:
    Milan
    edit: double post.
     

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