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Think You Don't Need an Undershirt?

The undershirt was once considered a necessary component of a man’s wardrobe. Your grandfather wouldn’t have left the house without one - and only rebellious men would be seen sporting nothing but a white crew shirt. 

But as fabric has changed, many men have ditched the undershirt and sport button-downs without one. If you’ve spent your life ducking the many advantages of this prime layer, we’re here to prove you’re doing it wrong.

First line of defense

Your undershirt is there to take the brunt of the sweat, oils, and odors emanating from your body throughout the day. Sure, your deodorant keeps things fresh for the first part of the day, but then you pile on work, stress, and way too much coffee. Before the end of the day, there’s no denying it - you smell like a human.

The feeling of a good undershirt outshines any outerwear. When you find one you like, you’ll catch yourself wearing it to bed. If you spill your latte on it while you’re getting ready, it doesn’t matter if the stain ever comes out. You can hang on to your favorite undershirts long after you’d have to toss a piece of outerwear. 

Just because no one will see them doesn’t mean you should skimp on quality. A good undershirt not only absorbs sweat - it also dries quickly to keep you fresh. Tommy John’s Air collection can even fight odor-causing microbes. The stay-tucked fabric is light enough to forget you’re wearing it.

The cooldown factor

It might seem nutty to wear an extra shirt when it’s hot out, but a good undershirt enhances your natural A.C. When you sweat, your body cools as water evaporates. The fabric in your undershirt will absorb excess sweat and, when made from the right materials, allow it to spread evenly. This helps everything dry out faster and keeps wet fabric off your skin. As your shirt dries, this prolongs the cooling effect of normal sweating.  

Material is key when choosing your shirt. Many of the high-tech cooling shirts rely on a chemical additive. Put them through a few washes, and they’re just like any other shirt. Tommy John’s Cool Cotton line doesn’t rely on anything other than the natural properties of the fabrics. By using a Prima cotton blended with spandex, you can be sure it will keep you cool wash after wash. 

Mind the gap

Button gap is an ongoing issue for men as much as it is for women. Too much bending or twisting and your belly shows. The more furry men might have errant hairs peeking through the plackets. An undershirt is a simple solution that won’t have you using tape or adding buttons to your wardrobe. 

Many nicer shirts have a stiff fabric you’d rather not have rubbing against your skin anyway. And it’s hard to deny the sharp look of a starched shirt. It resists stains and wrinkles throughout the day, but no one wants to feel the chafe. Never rely on a tie to hide your button gap again.

Bring your A-game in the offseason 

Some days the weather can’t make up its mind. Throw on a jacket, and you’re sweating through your commute. Leave it at home, and you find yourself shivering from the breeze. A good undershirt can help you find the happy medium during those flip-flopping temperatures. The undershirt is equally perfect for an impromptu happy hour in the Fall when you didn’t think to bring a jacket. 

The science is there to back this up. Keeping your core warm allows you to send more blood to your extremities. When the gang steps outside, the guys who skipped the undershirt will be the ones blowing hot air in their hands while you walk in comfort. 

Keep it smooth 

Office jobs can be a grind. Maybe you were a star athlete in college, but the long hours at a desk will soften you up if you never have time for the gym. Luckily, new studies have shown you don’t need to hit the gym for hours to get back in shape. Short, high-intensity workouts can jumpstart your metabolism, leaving you burning calories even after you’re through. It can get you back in running form if you stick with it. 

That doesn’t mean you have to look lumpy in the meantime. A tight-fitting undershirt will shape and contour your torso. The extra layer provides a more uniform appearance to your body, so you can feel confident in any setting.