Deciding on the best men's undershirt (modern vest)
Posted on November 15 2016
Undershirts. Chances are, you don’t give them much thought. If you wear one at all the likelihood is you wear a mass produced undershirt purchased from one of the big high street retailers. You’ve probably not thought much beyond keeping warm and only wear them when you have to, right?
However, the right undershirt can make a big difference in how you look and how you feel. It’s one of the reasons we put so much into the design of our breathable undershirts and why we spent a long time choosing a technical, natural, lightweight and soft fabric.
Here are some tips on deciding the best men’s undershirt for you.
Your needs and dress code dictate which style is right for you
Many people just put on any old vest or undershirt based on a whim. But there’s so much more to it than this.
There are three main styles to consider: crew neck, v-neck, sleeveless vest. How to choose?
Do you wear an open collar or buttoned up shirt with a tie?
Most people, alongside most style experts, agree that if you’re wearing an undershirt under a dress shirt (or under any shirt), the undershirt should NOT be seen. This means that if you are wearing your collar open without a tie, you should make sure your undershirt has a deep v-neck so that it does not peek out from under your shirt. This is especially important if your undershirt or vest is old, somewhat faded, a bit discoloured and out of shape!
Both our undershirt styles are designed with a deep v-neck so that they are not seen under an open shirt, even with two buttons undone. Our technical, natural bamboo viscose fabric also has 5% spandex which helps keep the undershirt in shape.
If you prefer to wear your shirt buttoned up with a tie, you should opt for a crew neck, as it will be hidden by the collar; for dress shirts with a very thin fabric you may also prefer a crew neck, so the outline of the v-neck doesn’t show under your tie.
Do you want armpit protection?
Undershirts are specifically designed to absorb sweat and protect your outer shirts. The problem with the sleeveless vest is it doesn’t help prevent armpit stains so if you are wearing a shirt you care about, or tend to have sweaty armpits, then stick with a crew neck or v-neck to protect your shirts.
If you are prone to sweating then we recommend our enhanced sweat protect undershirt (the Oxford). This has a unique underarm design you can’t buy anywhere else which makes it a great sweat absorbing undershirt. It has a double underarm panel for double protection against sweat as well as a secret pocket where you can put a sweat pad (if needed).
What colour undershirt?
In the large high street store when looking for a vest or undershirt, you tend to be confronted with one colour choice - white. We would guess that if you’ve owned an undershirt at all it will have been white.
White does have some advantages: it’s easily bleached, and if you are among the few who prefer to let it peek out from behind your shirt, it’s a neutral colour at least. But we don't all wear white shirts and, sometimes, white undershirts show more than a light tan colour.
We believe that an undershirt should be a close match to your shirt colour. All our styles of undershirt come in four colours: Ivory white, tan, sky (light) blue and midnight (navy) blue so that you can choose the colour which most suits your style.
White is still great under a lot of shirts, it's still our best selling colour, but it’s not always the right colour, depending on your outer shirt.
What are the design features to look for in an undershirt?
Undershirts are designed to be fitted, they are a closer fit than the average t-shirt. You might think that since your undershirt is hidden under another shirt that fit doesn’t matter as much. This couldn’t be further from the truth. A poorly fitted undershirt can add bulk and bunching in all the wrong places… making you look larger than you are and giving you that misshapen look.
Undershirts also need to be long enough to be tucked in comfortably. There’s nothing worse than an undershirt riding up and becoming untucked. It’s uncomfortable and again looks like you have an extra spare tire.
Our undershirts are all designed to be snug against the body and are all long in length to make sure they stay tucked in, no matter what.
What's the best fabric for an undershirt?
Fabric is another important consideration. Lots of guys see fabric thickness as a sign of quality in a vest or undershirt. While it may help if you want extra warmth and padding under your layers, in general, the best quality undershirts use thinner, more technical fabric. Good undershirt fabric is designed to be worn under other garments, and it helps protect and absorb sweat without adding any extra bulk.
The fabric we use for our undershirts is a lightweight bamboo viscose fabric. We spent a long time choosing it and we love the buttery soft feel. It’s light but warm as the fibres allow for body temperature regulation. It's a moisture-absorbing fabric.
We believe that as with other personal improvements, like a new haircut, or shining your shoes, the seemingly small change of upgrading your undershirts will give you a new spring in your step and renewed confidence to go out and make the most of the day.