Undershirts are the unsung hero to every man’s wardrobe.
From being the brunt of the joke on whether your nipples can cut through glass to hiding embarrassing sweat stains on a hot summer day – simply put, undershirts don’t get enough credit.
However, the problem with most men is that we wait until the last possible second before we order replacements.
If you undershirts have yellow pit stains (due to the aluminum in antiperspirants), holes riddled along the seams, or simply the collar is experiencing bacon neck, it’s time to order some new ones – ASAP.
Comparing The Best Undershirts For Men
|Name||Pack Quantity||Cut||Color(s)||Sizes||Price Range|
|2(x)ist Slim Fit 3-Pack Cotton Undershirt||3||V-Neck||White||SM - XL||$$|
|BOSS Crew Neck Cotton Tee||3||Crew||White||SM - XL||$$$|
|Calvin Klein 3-Pack Cotton T-Shirt||3||Crew||Black, White, Gray||SM - XL||$$|
|Calvin Klein Men’s Body Modal Short Sleeve V-Neck||1||V-Neck||Black, White, Blue, Gray||SM - XL||$|
|Emporio Armani Men’s Crew-Neck Lift T-Shirt||3||Crew||Black, White||SM - XL||$$$|
|Everlane V-Neck Undershirt||1||V-Neck||Variety||XS - XL||$|
|Fruit of the Loom Men’s Crew-Neck T-Shirt||5||Crew||Variety||18 Varieties (regular/tall & SM - 5XL)||$|
|Kenneth Cole REACTION||3||V-Neck||Black, White, Variety||SM - XL||$|
|Lacoste Men’s 3-Pack Essentials Cotton V-Neck T-Shirt||3||V-Neck||Black, White, Gray, Variety||SM - XXL||$$|
|Nordstrom Men’s Shop 4-Pack Trim Fit V-Neck T-Shirt||4||V-Neck||White||SM - XL||$$|
|Polo Ralph Lauren Classic V-Neck||3||V-Neck||Variety||SM - XXL||$$|
|SPANX V-Neck Cotton Compression T-Shirt||1||V-Neck||Black, White||MD - XL||$$$|
|Tommy Hilfiger V-Neck||3||V-Neck||White||SM - XXL||$|
|Tommy John ‘Second Skin’ High V-neck||1||V-Neck||Black||SM - XXL||$$$|
Why Undershirts Are Likely Different From The Type of Shirt Your Envisioning
While I once was in this same boat as so many other men when understanding the function of an undershirt, know this: undershirts are not T-shirts and T-shirts aren’t undershirts.
When comparing the two articles of clothing they look nearly identical. In addition some manufacturers of undershirts may further confuse more men by also calling them ‘Tees’ or T-shirts.
However, their core purpose of use is what separates these two articles of clothing apart.
Undershirts are meant to only be worn underneath an article of clothing. Whether you are wearing a V-Neck or crew neck sweater, you will generally wear an undershirt underneath. Now most importantly, and the likely reason why a guy buys an undershirt, is to be worn with a dress shirt.
On the flip-side to this, T-shirts can be worn solo – that means whether its a poolside day in the summer or just generally on the weekends, a T-shirt is perfectly acceptable. T-shirts in general typically will carry a bit more weight (i.e. thicker) than an undershirt to account for the external environmental conditions that it is exposed to. Therefore you would never wear an undershirt by itself outside.
Lastly regarding the thickness of materials, as we just eluded to, undershirts tend to be slightly thinner to reduce the visual evidence of lines especially when worn under a dress shirt or polo.
Undershirts Come In Different Cuts
First and foremost do you know the reason why you may want to wear a V-Neck shirt compared to a crew cut?
Depending on the article of clothing you are wearing will determine the type of cut should be wearing as an undershirt.
If you are wearing a V-Neck sweater a crew neck undershirt will be the best choice among the majority of men. The only exception to this rule would be if you are extremely fit and toned and would like to expose a bit of your chest – in this rare instance a tank top may be a suitable undershirt to wear. Wearing a V-Neck undershirt with a V-Neck sweater will look confusing as the angle of the V’s will likely not match.
On the other hand, if you are wearing a dress shirt with an unbuttoned top, generally speaking, a V-Neck shirt is whats preferred among majority of men. Wearing a crew neck shirt in this instance is a bit outdated and also typically common among the younger crowd – therefore if you are in a business setting its better to opt for a more mature look of the V-Neck.
Furthermore, if you are wearing a dress shirt buttoned up with a tie, then a crew neck shirt will be your best choice as it won’t have any of the lines beneath your clothing that you may traditionally see with both a V-Neck or tank top undershirt.
Now if you are adamant about wearing a crew neck with a button down shirt and the top button is unbuttoned – then you want to make sure that you have a flat and crisp undershirt collar. An undershirt that has been worn too many times may begin to bunch and roll up that just looks downright sloppy and you will have bacon neck:
The 14 Best Undershirts For Men Reviewed
2(x)ist Slim Fit 3-Pack Cotton Undershirt
Undershirts add another layer of protection under your clothes, and are especially useful for under dress clothes. Undershirts are generally made of cotton, and are designed to absorb perspiration to minimize sweat leaking out onto your day clothes. 2(x)ist (pronounced “to exist”) has a soft cotton tee that is not only exceptionally effective at minimizing sweat stains, but it also barely feels like it’s there, so it won’t restrict your movement.
These V-neck T-shirts come in a pack of three, and are cut for a slim fit. They sit flush across the chest and stomach, making them virtually undetectable under a regular t-shirt or dress shirt. The bottoms are narrow, and sit across the hips to allow for maximum movement without being seen. These t-shirts have a regular fit to them, so even if you aren’t ultra slim, these t-shirts will still feel comfortable.
They are also 100% cotton, which is an exceptionally breathable material, great for hot summer days. Unfortunately, this means that they also shrink very easily, so it is advised that you wash them in cold water to help minimize shrinkage. These shirts fit true to size, and are available up to an XL.
BOSS Crew Neck Cotton Tee
The crew neck is a classic look for both under and over shirts, but no one makes a better crew neck undershirt than BOSS. In fact, all of their products are top of the line, and any man can feel good wearing one of these tees underneath their clothes or just by themselves.
These exceptionally thin t-shirts come in packs of 3, and for being a brand name article, they are incredibly affordable. They feature a mid-cut crew neck and a 28 inch length to the hem (as measured on a Medium shirt).
The biggest selling point on these tees are the fact that they are 100% cotton, and they are luxuriously soft. The regular fit of the shirt means that they hang rather loose around the waist, but not so much that they are bulky under a dress shirt or t-shirt. However, because of this fit, you may see some wrinkling or bunching as the day goes on, but it should not be uncomfortable or even unsightly. Take care to wash these shirts in cold water; because they are an average length, shrinkage along the hem is very common. Otherwise, this is a very good shirt to own; soft, comfortable, and most of all, affordable.
Calvin Klein 3-Pack Cotton T-Shirt
This incredibly soft undershirt by Calvin Klein is starkly different from the Modal fabric single undershirt reviewed above. First and foremost this undershirt is 100% cotton and has been pre-shrunk therefore you shouldn’t have to worry about upsizing upon checkout. Secondly, this shirt will seem a lot more airy given that it will drape on you rather than being form fitting like other undershirts reviewed. With its 100% cotton construction, the fabric is incredibly soft and is in line with the quality that one would expect when picking up an undershirt from Calvin Klein.
Regarding the construction of the shirt, as you can see in the picture above, the seams are incredibly small and streamlined to ensure that the undershirt, when worn with a dress shirt or beneath a sweater, should be virtually invisible.
Lastly, this shirt does come part of a three pack including white, black, and heather grey (pictured above) making each shirt likely versatile for you depending on what you should be wearing as your outerwear.
Calvin Klein Men’s Body Modal Short Sleeve V-Neck
This V-Neck shirt by Calvin Klein is marketed both as a pajama shirt along with being an undershirt. However, by and far most men when they purchase this shirt tend to use it as an undershirt throughout the day. The construction of the shirt itself is made from Modal fabric (90%) which is a type of synthetic fabric constructed from cellulose fiber. This modal fabric will have more of a form fitting feature as opposed to shirts that are 100% cotton making it perfect for men who want to achieve a clean line look where their undershirt is nearly undetectable beneath their favorite dress shirt. Being that this is constructed of a synthetic fabric, you shouldn’t notice any pronounced shrinking when you machine wash this undershirt. While the cost does tend to run a bit higher for this shirt, its constructed from quality and should last you for a long time.
This undershirt does come in a variety of colors including black, white, mink (heather grey), and blue shadow (pictured above). In addition to the colors, the length of this shirt should tuck in nicely in your trousers and shouldn’t bunch up throughout the day.
Emporio Armani Men’s Crew-Neck Lift T-Shirt
This Emporio Armani crew neck T-shirt is an incredibly soft shirt that will compliment your dress shirt or sweater of choice. In addition to being incredibly soft, this shirt, like many of the others that we reviewed will tend to be a bit on the thinner side regarding fabric. However, the weight of the fabric should be more than sufficient to absorb any light sweating that you could experience throughout the day. Regarding the care of this shirt, it is machine wash safe – just due to the weight of the fabric, we would recommend washing it with like items.
Generally speaking, men tend to find that this shirt does shrink substantially when its in the washer, therefore if you are undecided on the size or tend to go between two sizes, we would recommend going one size up. Unfortunately Emporio Armani does not offer this undershirt in heather grey, however you can pick it up in either a black or white variety.
Everlane V-Neck Undershirt
This relative start up to the men’s fashion world puts together a finely constructed undershirt at an incredibly affordable price. In fact if you check out their product page, they state how transparent they are when it comes to their prices – pretty cool! Just like the Lacoste undershirt that we reviewed, this undershirt by Everlane is constructed from 100% Supima cotton. Therefore it will be both incredibly soft and durable that should last you several years.
While the material won’t be form fitting since it doesn’t include any sort of synthetic fibers, it will be both breathable and also should be able to absorb moisture before making its way to your favorite designer dress shirt or polo. The depth of the V-Neck is moderate and therefore should also be a relatively versatile undershirt.
A huge selling point when it comes to this undershirt isn’t only the fabric quality, but also the colors available. Everlane offers this V-Neck undershirt in a total of 9 different colors – therefore you should have no problem mixing and matching to your dress shirt. Oh and did we say that its competitively priced?
Fruit of the Loom Men’s Crew-Neck T-Shirt
Likely many readers first ever T-shirt, Fruit of the Loom has been around for years offering an undershirt for a rock bottom price. Of all the undershirts that we reviewed, Fruit of the Loom without a doubt offers the widest variety of sizes (18 in total) along with a plethora of colors that should work with just about any fabric that you are wearing. Now when compared to other shirts that are reviewed, this particular undershirt tends to be slightly thicker – however you wouldn’t want to wear this as a standalone T-shirt as its aptly titled by the company. A noticeable difference between this shirt when compared to others is the total length. As you can see in the model above, this shirt is cut considerably shorter. However, Fruit of the Loom does offer this shirt in two lengths – so if its worn as an undershirt (which is the only case when you should be wearing this shirt), be sure to select the longer length.
Lastly, this shirt doesn’t rest as closely to the body as some of the higher priced point undershirts. Therefore when wearing it in tandem with your favorite dress shirt, some excessive bagginess may occur.
Kenneth Cole REACTION
Very much like the Calvin Klein crew neck shirt, this undershirt by Kenneth Cole is likely one of the best muted color undershirts that should essentially be invisible underneath your dress shirt. With its relatively middle of the line V-Neck depth, you should find that this undershirt will be suitable for a variety of garments.
Constructed from 100% cotton, this shirt will be both a bit airy given that its a standard T-shirt cut as opposed to a more tailored cut. In addition, these shirts tend to not run true to size. Therefore given its fabric make up of cotton, you will likely notice some shrinkage within the first couple of washes. If you are a man that tends to rest somewhere between sizes, then its likely best to upgrade to the next larger size.
While Kenneth Cole offers this in heather grey (pictured above), you can also find it in both white and black as well. In addition, there is a variety pack available that includes all three colors for maximum versatility.
Lacoste Men’s 3-Pack Essentials Cotton V-Neck T-Shirt
When it comes to quality, Lacoste are in the top tier of men’s fashion, and their undershirts are no exception. Designed from 100% Supima Cotton, which is typically sourced from the top 3% of American cotton crops and is considered to be a longer fiber that is also finer (source).
What does this mean for you?
When you wear an undershirt constructed from Supima Cotton, it will be incredibly softer and generally should last you significantly longer given its durable properties. Therefore when it comes to this Lacoste undershirt, you are not just paying for the label, but also for a finely constructed undershirt. Sizes on this shirt generally run true to size and therefore shouldn’t have much shrinking after the first wash.
Beyond the fabric, this undershirt includes the croc embroider on the lower right side of the undershirt to ensure its authenticity.
In regards to color selection, Lacoste does offer this undershirt in a few options – variety pack of three colors (white, black, and grey), or a three pack of just a single color as well.
Nordstrom Men’s Shop 4-Pack Trim Fit V-Neck T-Shirt
This private label undershirt by Nordstrom’s is a great budget-friendly undershirt that should be able to serve most well. This V-Neck undershirt is constructed from 95% cotton and 5% spandex giving you just enough form fitting properties without compromising on the breathability of the cotton.
This undershirt is an excellent alternative for men who want a undershirt that stays snug to your body without being too terribly constricting. Secondly, the fabric within this undershirt should do a great job at absorbing any sweat or oils that your skin produces throughout the day before ever making it to your outer dress shirt. Also to note, that the fibers of this shirt should maintain their shape after several washings.
Lastly, this shirt is true to size, therefore you shouldn’t notice any pronounced shrinking on the first wash.
Polo Ralph Lauren Classic V-Neck
Beyond the Fruit of the Loom undershirts that we reviewed, Polo Ralph Lauren provides the widest array of colors that you can find for a higher quality undershirt. Therefore no matter what type of dress shirt or sweater you may be wearing, you can definitely find a color that will match your shirt so there won’t be any sort of color bleed that will be noticeable.
While this undershirt is made from 100% cotton, its tailored design will give you more of a form fitting appearance (especially if you have a muscle build) than some of the other 100% cotton shirts that we reviewed that tend to be a bit more airy in the fitting. This tailored design is great for men who desire a undershirt constructed from 100% cotton rather than relying on a synthetic fiber like modal or spandex.
To verify its authenticity, as you can see pictured above, the pony is stitched on to the lower left front of every undershirt. Of course this is a undershirt, therefore will run a bit longer, and is also significantly thinner than a standard T-shirt, therefore you cannot wear it on its own. Lastly, the value for this undershirt is incredibly, especially given that its from a top tier design house. Definitely worth the investment.
SPANX V-Neck Cotton Compression T-Shirt
SPANX is probably most well known for their slimming line of clothing, designed to tuck in unsightly bumps and lumps and overall boosting confidence. These compression t-shirts are designed to do just that, giving you a slimmer, sleeker figure all the while remaining discreet underneath your regular clothes. The shirt is made from cotton and spandex to give that compression feeling, while also being easy to care for and exceptionally comfortable. It also doesn’t add a lot of thickness to your outfit, so you can remain cool even in the hot summer months.
These t-shirts run at 25” long in a size Medium, which of course will change depending on what size you need. This is roughly long enough to cover your hip, ensuring that the shirt doesn’t come up over your stomach while wearing.
Because it is cotton, washing in cold water will help minimize the amount of shrinkage you experience, keeping your undershirt in relatively new condition for longer. The flatlock seams present throughout the shirt help reduce chafing and irritation while wearing, which is good as these undershirts are very form fitting. These t-shirts are rather expensive at almost $60, but perfectly worth it for that compression factor.
Tommy Hilfiger V-Neck
From their denims to boxer briefs and a wide variety of clothing for both men and women, Tommy Hilfiger is a world renown fashion brand that is known for quality. When it comes to their undershirts, they strive to maintain this quality by offering a lightweight undershirt that is constructed from 100% cotton. Unlike a tailored or form fitting look of other undershirts we reviewed, this undershirt will be a much looser of a design.
Now one particular point of interest about this undershirt is the V-Neck. Typically when a designer makes a V-Neck the depth of the V can vary far and wide, however some times they can plunge all the way to the nipple line – this is particularly important if you wear polo’s regularly or simply you are in great shape and want to showcase an extremely well-sculpted chest. On the completely opposite though you have undershirts like this one that have an extremely shallow V-Neck making its use extremely limited – primarily top button undone of a dress shirt.
Beyond the cut, this shirt is sold in white only, and will feature the Hilfiger blaze on the lower left part of the shirt (pictured above).
Tommy John ‘Second Skin’ High V-neck
A good undershirt should stay undetected throughout the day underneath your clothes. The Tommy John undershirt is made of an exceptionally stretchy material to hug your body and remain in place no matter how you move.
This shirt is ideal for wear under dress shirts, as the material is thin and should not cause you to overheat while in the office, but you can also wear it under a t-shirt or by itself if you like.
This undershirt features a high cut V-neck, ideal for people who are uncomfortable with low v-necks, but enjoy the style. It is a short sleeve shirt made from 90% micromodal fabric, with the other 10% being spandex.
The micromodal fabric keeps the shirt soft and supple, as well as giving it a smooth satiny finish that feels good to wear. Spandex helps the fabric stretch and form to your body, as well as tucking in some lumps and bumps, smoothing out your figure.
While this isn’t a compression shirt, it does hug the body quite well, rendering it virtually invisible under shirts. Machine wash this garment in cold water, tumble dry low. This product fits true to size, but if you don’t want it to hug as much, order the next size up.