Most men's dress shirts look best without an undershirt. Yet, this most practical invention has a very fundamental purpose: to provide a defensive layer between your body and your more expensive clothing. A quality undershirt offers personal comfort, absorbs perspiration and protects against sweat and deodorant stains. Undershirts can also help to control your body temperature. Using a high quality undershirt adds up to less frequent dress shirt laundering, preserving the integrity of your dress shirt fabric. These are all good reasons to invest in quality undershirts.
The Lingo Luxe designers are sharing their top undershirt tips because behind every great shirt is a great undershirt.
Fit matters for undershirts. If your undershirt is too large it will add bulk to your frame. Instead it should skim the body, not sit away. A V-neck style that cuts away from your collar and tie knot can also reduce bulk. V-necks are also preferable if you are wearing a shirt with the top button undone as it won’t peek through, ruining the silhouette.
Consider the Colour
While many men reach for white undershirts (as it’s a colour that we associate with undershirts), white can shine through a light-coloured shirt and make its presence obvious, interfering with the overall aesthetic. If possible, we recommend wearing an undershirt that most closely matches your skin tone to reduce its visibility.
The Right Fabrics
We recommend you consider lightweight cotton alternatives such as natural fibres or blends like modal or tencel which will breathe like cotton but are finer than most cotton knits. Spandex or lycra blends are advisable as they will allow you to sport a slimmer cut without feeling restricted. T-shirts are not appropriate undershirts as they are not designed to be worn underneath a fitted shirt and often are made of a bulky cotton knit. They are also usually not long enough to comfortably tuck into your trousers.
Hide the Undershirt
One of the worst style mistakes you can commit is to reveal your undershirt when you wear your shirt unbuttoned or when the lines show underneath your dress shirt. Think seasonally – if you wear summer shirts with thin fabric, be smart with tones since there is always a chance it will show through, whereas winter shirts will almost always hide the lines of a well-constructed undershirt.
The maxim out of sight, out of mind can also be applied to undershirts. The unseen undershirt is crucial. Undershirts are all about comfort and helping to properly maintain your better pieces of clothing. Avoid these undershirt styling faux pas and you will be well on your way to fine dressing.