It is one of the hottest debates in the world of men’s fashion. It has been discussed by men (and women) around the globe. It has started countless bar fights. Some even contest that the Invasion of Crimea is direct result of this debate. Needless to say, it is a serious topic. It is…the debate on undershirts.
To wear an undershirt or not to wear one (under a button up), that is the question. And quite the question it is. Personally, I cannot say that I have concise answer to the question. Even my personal opinions vary, based on a lot of factors. So, the easiest way to break it down is by scenario.
- You’re wearing a button up with a tie or bow tie. In this case, the undershirt is completely up to you. No one is going to be able to see it, so it’s not a big deal. Personally, I always wear one if I have a tie on, because I am on the sweatier side. I would rather not have visible sweat stains than look like I recently took a dip in the pool. On the other hand, if you don’t sweat, good luck. Also, if you have a white dress shirt, don’t get an undershirt. I don’t want to see the undershirt through the shirt.
- You’re wearing a button up; the shirt is buttoned up to the top button, but there is no tie. Just don’t. Ever. Thank you.
- You’re wearing a button up without a tie (and it is unbuttoned). No undershirt, please. Seeing the undershirt underneath the unbuttoned collar is undeniably dorky. At the same time, if you feel that you need to wear one, make sure it is a V-neck undershirt. This will greatly limit the chances of exposure.
- You’re wearing a short-sleeve button up of any type. I am vehemently opposed to such shirts, but if you feel that it is necessary, spare the undershirt. You do not want your undershirt sleeves hanging below your shirt sleeves, or you will look very odd.
These are my personal undershirt rules. Take them as they are, but I think they work well as general guidelines. In essence, just make sure the undershirt is not showing, because that will make you look both dorky and unprofessional.
(photo courtesy of Scott Snyder)