The Ultimate Guide to Men’s Undershirts: When, Why and How to Wear an Undershirt

Let’s face it. Undershirts aren’t exactly the most glamorous thing in the world, and they aren’t a particularly hot topic of conversation. They are, however, an important part of every man’s wardrobe. While they don’t usually get much love, guys rely on them to help them stay dry and to protect their other garments.

portrait of man wearing jean jacket

Men have been wearing some form of undergarments since the dawn of history. However, the men’s undershirt of today evolved from the union suits of the late 19th century. Originally worn by members of the U.S. Navy, the t-shirt undershirts we are familiar with today are now worn by just about everyone.

If you are like most guys, you probably have some undershirts in your dresser or closet right now. You might not, however, always know when, why and how to wear them. In this guide to men’s undershirts, we’ll demystify these simple garments and help you better understand when you should wear one.

When and Why to Wear an Undershirt

Undershirts serve a few different purposes. For starters, they absorb perspiration and help keep your other garments clean. This is especially helpful for those who wear uniforms for work and are not able to wash them every single day. Needing to wash uniforms less frequently also cuts down on wear and tear and helps them last longer.

An undershirt also serves as a base layer that can help you stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Wearing an extra layer during warm weather may seem counterintuitive, but it’s actually a great way to avoid feeling like you are sweltering in your own sweat all day.

Keep in mind that an undershirt will protect your main shirt from deodorant stains, too, and that it can prevent embarrassing moments if you are someone who tends to sweat profusely.

man buttoning up collared shirt

How to Wear an Undershirt

Clearly, there are a lot of situations in which wearing an undershirt is a good idea, and the benefits of doing so are numerous. If you have decided that you would like to start wearing one, though, it’s important to understand how to do so the right way.

For starters, you need to make sure it fits properly. An undershirt should be made from relatively thin material so that it doesn’t add a lot of bulk or restrict your range of motion. It should also fit close to your body. Wearing a baggy undershirt adds bulk and isn’t comfortable. The armholes should be relatively small, too, and the shirt should be long enough to stay tucked in throughout the day.

Typically, you should avoid wearing sleeveless shirts as undershirts. They may be comfortable, but you can usually see the outline of this type of shirt underneath your regular shirt. This style of undershirt isn’t appropriate from a functional standpoint, either, because it won’t absorb underarm perspiration.

Your undershirt should never show underneath your shirt, You shouldn’t be able to see its outline, nor should it peek out from under your collar. If you are wearing a polo shirt or a button-down shirt, a V-neck undershirt is more appropriate than a crewneck one because it will stay hidden.

Types of Undershirts

Men’s undershirts come in many different forms. Crewneck and V-neck short sleeve t-shirts are the most popular option, and they are usually made from cotton or a blend of cotton and polyester. Long sleeve undershirts are also available, though, and they are an excellent choice when you are trying to add some extra warmth to your outfit.

There are also high-performance athletic undershirts. They are made from moisture-wicking fabric and are the best of the best when it comes to ensuring that you stay dry all day long. They’re typically worn when exercising or engaging in other intense physical activity, though, and aren’t usually worn under professional attire.

man pulling t shirt open


Undershirts have been around in various forms for nearly as long as humans have been wearing clothing. Though the style has evolved throughout the centuries, the general premise of providing a layer between one’s skin and their outer clothing has remained the same.

If you want to add some undershirts to your wardrobe, buying wholesale men’s underwear is a great way to get what you need at a price you can afford. At The Adair Group, we have the base layers you need. Browse our full selection of men’s underwear and undershirts today to find the perfect pieces for your wardrobe.

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