Should guys wear undershirts under T-shirts?

Published by Chuck Boylan on

Should guys wear undershirts under t-shirts?

Should I wear an undershirt under my T-shirt? You must have asked this question yourself especially if you love tees and maintain them as key players in your wardrobe. Men’s style has gotten more casual and dress codes are becoming more relaxed with every passing day. This preference for relaxed casual style has backgrounded some timeless basics and time-honored practices. Tees were once an undergarment, but it was almost a century ago. Now in the 2020s, t-shirts and even tank tops are regarded as summer outerwear, not just casual outerwear but a staple for some smarter outfits and partywear. Men are now wearing tees to offices, parties, and bars, thanks to the versatility, ease of use, and simple elegance a t-shirt embodies. Being one of the most popular and versatile shirts, a tee deserves some care and respect. An undershirt helps you take care of a tee, especially the one you intend to wear for dressed-up situations and smart casual suits. 

Undershirt vs t-shirt:

It will be just the right thing to remind you of the different roles the tee shirt and undershirts play. And it will also help you answer the question itself, that is, should a guy wear an undershirt under a tee? At first blush, it may seem counterintuitive to wear a tee under a tee. But, wait a minute, an undershirt is not a tee, you would appreciate this information for sure. 

  Both tees and undershirts are different in some ways, the biggest difference is that of the “role”. Undershirts are underwear whereas t-shirts are outerwear. Sometimes, yes you are right, these roles can be switchable, but this happens only rarely. Undershirts need to stay invisible and undetected, because, well, they are underwear! This explains why they are of longer lengths as compared to tees, because, you guessed it, they have to stay tucked in to stay undercover. Undershirts are of tighter fit as compared to the tees and sleeves of an undershirt that are of shorter length too. If you are in search of more information on how an undershirt and a t-shirt differ, you will find this article interesting.

Should you wear an undershirt under every tee?

Obviously no, not with every tee, because as they say not all t-shirts are created equal. There are tees in your closet that are actually undershirts for all intents and purposes. But there are some t-shirts in every guy’s wardrobe that are, y’know, meant to be worn in a slightly dressed-up way. With these tees, we definitely recommend that you should wear a quality undershirt as a layering piece. This should be done especially in the muggy days of summer when sweating and subsequent body odor are a real nuisance. 

Why is it better to wear an undershirt under your tee?

It is better, especially with the tees that are pricey and stylish and you intend to get the best bang out of them. It’s easy to get them spoiled by using them next to your skin without an undershirt in between. So a t-shirt that wants to stay with you for a longer period of time must have the support of that humble undershirt. An undershirt underneath will surely increase the age of your tee by keeping it away from direct contact with your sweaty skin in summer, you will have to launder it less often. This means improved durability and performance of a t-shirt. Let’s have a look at how wearing an undershirt, and you should own a handful of them, will be better than not wearing it under a tee.

5 reasons why you should wear an undershirt under your tee:

Should guys wear undershirts under T-shirts?

Here is a quick rundown of 5 compelling reasons to layer an undershirt under your tee and believe me, your t-shirt will thank you for that. 

1. Moisture wicking:

Summer is the time when you use tees more often and you sweat a lot. A moisture-wicking undershirt offers your tee protection from shvitz, the known enemy of fabrics like cotton and polyester blends. 

2. Structured base layer and definition:

Undershirts are figure-hugging and they help in making your upper torso look more defined and structured. It’s something a simple tee can’t accomplish, so kudos to that humble schmatte under your tee. 

3. Odor resistance:

It’s no small feat either, a quality undershirt will fight your body order and won’t let it reach your tee and beyond. An undershirt will sacrifice itself to save your pricey tee by enabling you to use it longer. 

4. Saves your privacy by concealing chest hair and your nipples.

A tee that clings to your chest without an undershirt in between, can expose your nipples and your chest hair if manscaping is not your forte. That’s a nice little favor that an undershirt will offer without demanding anything in return. 

5. Antimicrobial properties:

This is brilliant, the antimicrobial properties of some quality undershirts will save your skin from a lot of trouble. Isn’t it nice to know? 

After all this, you must be clear in your mind by now that wearing an undershirt under the tees that you want to stay with you longer, is a must. 

Should guys wear undershirts under polos?

Should guys wear undershirts under polos?
image source: M&S

A polo is that dressier cousin of the tee that you wear for relatively smarter outfits and it’s pricier at the same time. This means you are more interested in keeping your polo shirt usable and presentable for a longer period of time. So, it turns out that wearing an undershirt under a polo shirt makes sense and it’s something you should do. Every benefit that an undershirt offers for a tee that we have enlisted earlier is equally true for a polo shirt. You absolutely need to wear a moisture-wicking, stretchy, and form-fitting undershirt to support the polo shirt that you intend to wear to a party or a sporty get-together. Some fashion bloggers totally oppose wearing an undershirt under a polo shirt because supposedly it adds bulk and they don’t mix well. The truth is, a modern undershirt( and we are not talking about a tee) is figure-hugging, and is made of very lightweight fabric which rules out adding bulk to the polo shirt. As for the “not mix well” part, we can easily debunk it. You do not wear an undershirt to “mix or match” your polo. You wear it to protect from sweat stains and body odors without showing it, you keep your undershirt well concealed under the polo. Here’s something you should keep in mind when layering an undershirt under the polo. 

  1. Choose an undershirt that is long enough to be comfortably tucked in.
  2. Opt for a scooped neck undershirt, the one with a deep neckline, this type of undershirt doesn’t show when you undo your polo shirt buttons. 
  3. Choose the short-sleeved undershirt layer under a polo shirt, this way sleeves will not be visible. 
  4. Use white when it comes to the color of an undershirt, opt for the black ones only when wearing a polo shirt in black color or dark earthy tones


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