Friday, December 4, 2020



Well, it’s summer now, and pretty soon we’re going to start seeing guys’ undershirts whether we want to or not. When it heats up outside, you see outer layers come off and occasionally even see someone wearing a white t-shirt or tank top out and about around town. Just last weekend I was at a bonfire as part of a wedding festivity and came across at least one fella rockin’ just his undershirt.

Somewhere back in our early human history, someone presumably decided to stick a thin layer under the rest of their clothing to soak up sweat. That was an undershirt.

Function of an Undershirt

The basic purpose of an undershirt is to absorb your sweat. It’s there to provide a defensive layer between your body and your more expensive clothing.

A good undershirt can also provide insulation when needed, and some are worn to “compress” the figure in a slimming attempt. But for the most part it’s a sweat rag. Don’t shy away from thinking of it as such.

The easiest way to explain underAdd in the really high-tech ones — athletic gear and compression shirts, mostly — and you’ve got a wide range of products. Some are as plain and utilitarian as you can get; the upper-body equivalents of plain white cotton briefs. Others are stylishly designed for visible wear, especially in the athletic sector.

shirts is to say that it’s pretty much exactly like underwear for your upper body. Some guys go without it entirely, and lots of guys have their own preferred style, but for most of us it’s a basic necessity that keeps the rest of our clothes from getting gross.

The reason we have so many different styles is that climates and the clothing worn in them can vary widely. A thick, knit undershirt with long sleeves and a high collar makes sense in a snowy winter, but the same wearer might want a short-sleeved variety with a deep V-neck or scoop neck in the summer, so that he can wear short sleeved shirts with the top couple buttons undone.

But at the end of the day, they’re all there for the same reason: your body eventually makes the clothes it’s touching pretty gross, and an undershirt is a lot cheaper to wash and eventually replace than your nice clothes.

Which Is Best?

The best undershirt is one that does everything you want it to.

What that might be depends on your needs and your tastes.

For someone who prizes value and convenience, cheap cotton tank tops or V-necks from a bargain store are the way to go. They’re unglamorous but functional — capable of soaking up sweat to protect the rest of your garments, and infinitely washable until their fabric wears out.

For a park ranger whose uniform covers his arms and collarbone, and who does real physical labor in extreme conditions on a regular basis, a long-sleeved athletic undergarment provides insulation, protection, and moisture-wicking.

For a young man in the summer, a white short-sleeved shirt with a low V-neck hides neatly under casual clothes and allows him to expose a lot of chest.

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