7 Best Undershirts for Dress Shirts | Layering Business Professional Attire

7 Best Undershirts for Dress Shirts | Layering Business Professional Attire

Written by Jennifer Cheng

When it comes to dressing sharp, every detail counts. One often overlooked but essential item in a well-dressed man's wardrobe is the undershirt. It may not be the most visible part of your outfit, but the right undershirt can make a significant difference in your overall look and comfort. In this article, we'll explore the world of undershirts and help you find the best undershirt for dress shirts.

Introduction

Undershirts serve several purposes. They can provide an additional layer of insulation during colder months, absorb sweat, protect your dress shirt from sweat stains, and give your dress shirt a smoother appearance. Let's delve into the essential factors to consider when choosing the perfect undershirt for you.

The Importance of Having The Best Undershirts for Dress Shirts

Undershirts can help maintain the cleanliness and longevity of your dress shirts and button down shirts. They act as a barrier between your skin and the shirt, preventing sweat and body oils from staining the fabric. Without an undershirt, your dress shirt may require more frequent washing and may show wear and tear sooner.

Similarly, undershirts can add an extra layer of warmth to your dress shirts for colder winter months.

white undershirt in colder months

Choosing the Right Fabric

The choice of fabric is crucial. Cotton is a popular option for its breathability and comfort, but microfiber and modal undershirts offer moisture-wicking properties. Consider the climate and your personal preferences when choosing the fabric.

Fit and Sizing

The fit of your undershirt matters. It should be snug but not tight, with enough length to stay tucked in. Avoid excess fabric that can create bulk under your dress shirt.

Neckline Styles

There are various neckline styles, including crew neck and V-neck. The choice depends on your personal style and the depth of your dress shirt's opening. In many cases, a v-neck style has the advantage, since you have the flexibility to wear your dress shirt unbuttoned as well. With a crew neck, you will see the neckline of the undershirt if the dress is unbuttoned, which can be unprofessional.

Sleeve Length

Some prefer sleeveless undershirts, while others opt for short sleeves or long sleeves. The sleeve length should complement the type of dress shirt you're wearing. For the most part, short sleeve undershirts are likely more comfortable. You would also retain the ability to roll up your dress shirt sleeves if the weather gets too hot. 

Color Options

While white is the most popular color choice for undershirts, you can also explore other colors that match your skin tone or dress shirt. White will work universally, but if you have a darker skin tone or are wearing a dark dress shirt, a black undershirt could make sense. Traditionally, undershirts are worn mostly with white dress shirts.

white undershirt under a white dress shirt

Moisture Wicking

Moisture-wicking undershirts are excellent for keeping you dry and comfortable, especially in hot weather.

Breathability

Breathable materials like supima cotton and bamboo can help prevent overheating, ensuring you stay cool and comfortable throughout the day.

Durability

A durable undershirt can withstand frequent washing without losing its shape or color. Look for high-quality materials and construction. Here's a guide on how to wash dress shirts and removing that ring around the collar.

Price Considerations

Undershirts come in various price ranges. Consider your budget and the quality you desire. Sometimes, investing in a premium undershirt pays off in the long run.

Our Top 7 Picks: Best Undershirts for Dress Shirts

  1. Men's White T-Shirt Crew Neck | Nimble Basics

Nimble Basic is a well-known brand for affordable, quality undershirts. This Men's White T-Shirt Crew Neck is made from highly breathable 100% cotton that's perfect to wear underneath any clothing in summer or winter weather. It also fits great and has a stylish look, so you can wear it on its own if desired. When wearing underneath dress shirts, a white crew neck is typically worn with white dress shirts.

The White Tee shirt is 100% cotton with a slim fit for men. The crew neck comes in different colors to choose from, so if you’re looking for a non-white option, you can easily find one that matches your outfit of choice. The brand has been around for many years and is highly flexible when it comes to returns or exchanges.

Pros

  • Reasonably priced
  • Machine washable for easy upkeep
  • It comes in a variety of colors

Cons

  • Does not come in bulk pack

2. 

Fruit of the Loom Men's Stay Tucked Crew T-Shirt


    The assorted color pack of Fruit of the Loom Men's Stay Tucked Crew T-Shirt comes with three all-cotton undershirts in black, white, and grey. They're made from 100% cotton fabric, so they're comfortable to wear even during the hottest summer days or coldest winter nights.

    The t-shirts are designed for men of all sizes, but you can also get them for women if desired. The neckline comes in a crew style, but you can easily fold it down to look like a V-neck. This is an affordable way to stay cool all year long without having to break the bank. You can use non-chlorine bleach if you have to, but don't use bleach too often since it might damage the color.

    The pull-on closure on this shirt makes it easy to put on and take off, and the brand offers a wide variety of colors and styles if you like to change your undershirt now and then. The soft lay flat collar won't rub or irritate either.

    Pros

    • Ready for machine washing and drying after purchase
    • It can be worn as a regular t-shirt or undershirt depending on preference
    • The crew neck is perfect for wearing with regular shirts
    • It's soft on the skin without being too thin or flimsy

    Cons

    • May shrink after being washed several times in hot water.
    1. Men's Black T-Shirt Crew Neck 

    Depending on the color of dress shirt you’re wearing, a black undershirt could make sense. This Men's Black T-Shirt Crew Neck from Nimble Basics is 100% breathable cotton to provide a comfortable fit for men of all sizes. The material is excellent for any season, and if you want to keep it tucked in securely all day long, go with this deep crew-neck style, so your undershirt doesn't peek out from your dress shirt or jacket. Keep in mind, white dress shirts or lighter colored dress shirts do not go well with a black or dark colored undershirt. You will be able to see the undershirt and come off very unprofessional.

    The t-shirt comes in black, white, or grey to choose from, and they're made for men of all sizes. It's an affordable shirt that's machine washable for easy upkeep or if you want to change colors now and then.

    Even though the black is great for wearing with dress shirts, it can also be worn on its own for a more casual look. This shirt fits great and has plenty of stretches if you're into that sort of thing, but it won't shrink after being washed several times in hot water either.

    Pros

    • Reasonably priced
    • Machine washable and dryer friendly
    • Soft and comfortable to wear all day long or for a special occasion
    • It's machine washable and dryer warm for easy upkeep or if you want to change colors now and then.

    Cons

    • The pack only comes with one shirt.
    1. Gildan Men's Crew T-Shirts, Multipack


    With Gildan Men's Crew T-Shirts, Multipack, you'll receive a pack of four t-shirts that have been made from 100% cotton for comfort and flexibility. They also come in different colors, so it's easy to find one that matches the rest of your outfit with ease. If you work in a more traditional work setting, these are perfect to wear under white dress shirts as a go-to crew neck undershirt.

    The shirt is a classic crew neck style to keep it tucked in all day long without worrying about it coming out. The neckline is also high enough to look good with a tie-on underneath, so it doubles as an undershirt if needed.

    The t-shirts come in several assorted colors to choose from, so you can easily find one that will match up with what you're wearing on the outside. It's made of 100% cotton that's machine washable to keep the shirt accessible to take care of.

    Pros

    • It comes in a pack of four shirts for convenience.
    • The fabric is 100% breathable cotton to provide a comfortable fit for men of all sizes. It's also soft and flexible so that you won't have any issues wearing it.
    • The neckline has been designed to look good with a tie underneath.
    • It's machine washable and dryer warm for easy upkeep or if you want to change colors now and then.

    Cons

    • Shirts may be too small for some men.
    1. Men's White T-Shirt V-Neck 

     

    Nimble’s White V-Neck is an excellent option to wear under dress shirts. Being a V-Neck, it gives the individual the option of styling with an unbuttoned dress shirt with the top few buttons unbuttoned, without showing the undershirt. The comfortable pull-over closure makes the shirt easy to take on and off, and it's made from 100% soft-touch cotton, so it feels amazing against the skin.

    The V neck isn't too deep, so it doesn't look odd with a dress shirt or suit and tie combination underneath. It comes in several colors to choose from, including white, grey, and black, so you can get the right match for what you're wearing on the outside.

    It's an affordable shirt that fits wonderfully and is machine washable or dryer friendly, so it's easy to take care of when needed. It also has a classic fit design with ample stretch if you want to show off some skin. The soft-touch undershirt has a classic fit that lays flat, so it doesn't bunch up inside your dress shirt.

    If you want a classic undershirt to keep comfortable all day long, this V neck undershirt from Nimble is a top contender.

    Pros

    • The cotton is a 100% soft touch for comfort against the skin.
    • It's machine washable or dryer friendly, so it's easy to take care of when needed.
    • It has a classic fit with ample stretch if you want to show off some skin.

    Cons

    • The sizing runs a little small.
    1. Hanes Men's 6-Pack Tagless Cotton Tank Undershirt – Multiple Colors


    Try Hanes Men's 6-Pack Tagless Cotton Tank Undershirt – Multiple Colors to have a few shirts on hand to wear all the time. These comfortable tank undershirts are made from 75% Cotton, 25% Polyester, so they feel great against your skin.

    These premium Hanes undershirts come in packs of six for convenience and can be worn under dress shirts to keep you looking neat all day long. It's easy to find the right color since it comes in white, black, and grey.

    It's a classic fit design that fits well with a dress shirt or without one, depending on your preference. The imported tee shirt is tagless, so you won't have any irritating tags rubbing your neck or upper back.

    The soft cotton gives you the flexibility of machine washing and drying for convenience, so it's easy to keep clean without hassle.

     Pros

    • It comes in packs of six, so they're not only more affordable but also easier to keep on hand.
    • It's made from soft cotton that's nice on the skin.
    • The fabric is breathable with a tagless design for comfort.
    • It has a classic fit, so it looks odd under dress shirts.

    Cons 

    • The sizing may run small; go up one size if you're unsure of your measurements.
    1. Kingsted Men’s T-Shirts Pack


    Wearing a Kingsted Men's T-Shirt can be the most comfortable and easy option for men. Kingston Men's T-Shirts Pack is made from 100% breathable cotton to keep you feeling comfortable all day long. The soft-touch fabric is machine washable, so it's easy to take care of when needed, and it also has a crew neck that looks great under a dress shirt or without one.

    The classic fit design makes the undershirt lay flat against the skin, so it's comfortable to wear with or without another shirt. You can choose from the different colors, including black, grey, and white, so you can find the right match for what you're wearing on the outside.

    The soft cotton is breathable and has a classic fit design with ample stretch if you want to show off some skin. This soft-touch undershirt is made from 100% breathable cotton to keep you feeling comfortable all day long.

    The crew neck looks great under a dress shirt or having a sweater over one, and the classic fit design makes the t-shirt lay flat against the skin for comfort with or without another sweater.

    Pros

    • It has a classic fit design with ample stretch if you want to show off some skin.
    • The soft cotton is breathable, making it great for comfortable all-day-long wear.
    • It's made from 100% breathable cotton, so it feels lovely against the skin.
    • There are different colors to choose from

    Cons

    It's not form-fitting, so it may be baggy or sag in some cases.

    How to Care for Your Undershirt

    To make your undershirt last, follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer. Typically, it's best to wash them in cold water to avoid shrinkage and avoid using harsh detergents or bleach.

    Dos and Don'ts for Wearing Undershirts:

    Wearing an undershirt beneath your dress shirt can help preserve your dress shirts and reduce wear and tear. Here are some key dos and don'ts to maintain the integrity and appearance of your undershirt and dress shirt:

    Dos:

    1. Choose the Right Fit: Opt for an undershirt that fits well and is comfortable. It should hug your body without being too tight or visible through the dress shirt.

    2. Select Neutral Colors: Stick to neutral undershirt colors like white, gray, or nude. These won’t show through your dress shirt, maintaining a professional and polished look.

    3. Prevent Collar Show: If wearing a tie, opt for a V-neck undershirt to keep it hidden beneath the dress shirt’s collar. It ensures a clean and professional appearance.

    4. Maintain Cleanliness: Regularly launder your undershirts to avoid sweat stains and odors that can transfer onto your dress shirt.

    Don'ts:

    1. Avoid Over-Bulky Undershirts: Choose thin, lightweight fabrics to avoid adding bulk, which can distort the look of your dress shirt.

    2. Say No to Loud Logos: Avoid undershirts with prominent logos or designs, as they can be visible through the dress shirt, distracting from the professional appearance.

    3. Mismatched Sleeves: Ensure the sleeves of your undershirt do not peek out from the sleeves of the dress shirt. This can disrupt the overall neatness of your outfit.

    4. Neglect Undershirt Condition: Replace old or worn-out undershirts to maintain their effectiveness and prevent them from impacting the quality of your dress shirts.

    By adhering to these dos and don'ts, you can ensure a seamless and professional look, preserving the integrity of both your undershirt and dress shirt.

    Conclusion

    Choosing the best undershirt for dress shirts is a personal decision based on your comfort and style preferences. Consider the factors discussed in this article to make an informed choice and enhance your overall dressing experience.

    FAQs

    Do I really need to wear an undershirt with my dress shirt?

    While it's not mandatory, an undershirt can help maintain the cleanliness and longevity of your dress shirts.

    What's the best fabric for an undershirt?

    Cotton, microfiber, and modal are popular choices, each with its unique qualities.

    Are moisture-wicking undershirts worth it?

    If you sweat often or live in a hot climate, moisture-wicking undershirts can be a game-changer.

    How many undershirts should I own?

    Having a few undershirts in rotation can help extend their lifespan. You should have at least as many undershirts as you do dress shirts. Being the first layer, undershirts will absorb the most sweat and dirt.

    Can I wear an undershirt with a short-sleeved dress shirt?

    Yes, you can wear an undershirt with a short-sleeved dress shirt for added comfort and sweat protection, but make sure the undershirt does not extend beyond your dress shirt, you don't want the undershirt to be visible. Wearing a V Neck can work better since unbuttoned dress shirts are common with short sleeves.

    In this comprehensive guide, we've covered everything you need to know about choosing the best undershirt for your dress shirts. Make an informed choice and take your style to the next level.

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