After 16 hours of research evaluating 125 products, we picked Emporio Armani Men's Crew-Neck Lift T-Shirt as our top choice.
Undershirts may not be seen, but they're no less important than your regular gym or work shirt. The best undershirts for men can improve your appearance, reduce sweat stains on your nice shirts, and keep you cool and comfortable.
The right undershirt is worth its weight in gold!
So what is "the right undershirt"? How can you know what shirt goes best under your sports coat and collar shirt or gym clothes?
That's where we come in…
We've done the research to bring you the best undershirts for men. These shirts are ideal for every situation: training, lounging, working, hanging out with friends, even partying. Our research has led us to the best undershirts for your needs.
From uber-comfortable to highly practical, we've found what you need.
Lowest price around, available everywhere, practical, adaptable, stays tucked in all day long, good length, soft fabric, flat collar, no-bulge sleeves, and VERY comfortable.
Tends to sag or stretch with use.
If you want an inexpensive set of undershirts, you won't find anything cheaper than Fruit of the Loom. The brand is available at just about every Walmart, Target, and department store in the country, so you'll never have to look hard to find a replacement when your undershirts stretch or sag (which they inevitably will after a few months). They're comfortable and easy-wearing, with a lightweight cotton blend that feels great on your skin.
The cut is pretty generic, and it's not the most stylish shirt. However, with the no-bulge sleeves and flat collar, it's a good shirt to wear under your business clothing. Best of all, it stays tucked in all day long, no matter how much you move around.
At $14 for a pack of six, this is the best-priced undershirt on the market. The fabric does lack durability, though, so you'll need to replace them on a semi-regular basis.
Durable material, thick cotton, safe for machine-washing, suitable for exterior wear, comfortable, good weight, stays tucked in all day, no-bulge sleeves, flat collar, and soft fabric.
Simple and not the most stylish cut.
If you need an undershirt for use around the house, while out fishing, or even at the office, this is the shirt for you. The 100% cotton shirt is beautifully thick and sturdy, and it feels more like you're wearing an outershirt than undershirt. It's a bit heavier than you'd expect, but that makes it a suitable shirt to wear when you want a plain white tee to compliment your style. However, you'll find that it's a work-horse shirt that can be adapted to most uses and activities.
The fit is slimmer, but not so tight heavier men won't be comfortable. The shirt doesn't stretch or sag, and it can put up with most daily activities. There's even odor-suppressing technology incorporated into the shirt to prevent body odor or sweat from stinking.
At $18 for a 6-pack, this is a very well-priced set of undershirts. They're durable and long-lasting, and you'll find they're adaptable to just about anything you throw at them.
Soft and sleek, low neck, great for wearing under dress shirts, made with Peruvian Pima cotton, slimming, good fit, stylish cut, can be worn tucked or untucked, contains recycled and organic materials, and features a ribbed neckband.
Expensive, and not suitable as an outershirt.
If you're looking for an undershirt that's made for maximum comfort, you'll love this Boss shirt. It's made with 50% polyester, 12% Rayon, and 38% organic Peruvian Pima cotton. The cotton is organic and the other materials are recycled, making it a fairly eco-friendly T-shirt.
The mix of polyester and rayon makes it a lightweight shirt with just the right amount of stretch to be comfortable. The material is super-soft to the touch. It will feel like you're wearing a cloud as you slip this bad boy over your head.
The cut is slimming and form-fitting, but it's not tight or too snug. There's no bunching in the armpits, and the slim collar is easily hidden under any polo, formal shirt, or even T-shirts. The longer waistline is intended to be worn both tucked and untucked. Sadly, it's not quite thick enough to be worn as an outershirt, but it's the most comfortable undershirt you'll find.
Sadly, this is one of the priciest shirts on our list—just under $30 for a single undershirt. It's a shirt to have for special occasions when you want to feel sexy, but it's definitely not a budget-friendly option.
Use coupon: FAVE during checkout
These are the most comfortable undershirts you will ever find. These undershirts are luxuriously soft and lightweight, yet extraordinarily resilient to keep up with whatever the day brings. Knit in exclusively for us in Europe with the downright brilliant Micro Modal® Air fabric, it is actually thinner and even softer than silk. And it is a first in a men’s undershirt. Despite it’s remarkable soft feel, our V Neck Undershirt stretches and recovers as it hugs your body in a level of comfort you’ve never experienced. Until now. Use coupon code: FAVE for 20% off
Reduces chest sagging, slimming for chest and stomach, fits under any T-shirt or collar shirt, soft, breathable, lightweight, mixture of nylon and spandex, extra firm, encourages better posture, provides back support, and features great elasticity.
Sizes run large, and the thick seams are visible through the shirt.
The tightness of the shirt can help to encourage better posture and offer some back support. You'll find it's nicely elastic and easy to pull on and off without struggling (a problem with some compression garments). The sizes do run a bit larger than expected, so shop accordingly.
You'll love the lightweight, breathable material. It can help to keep you cool at the gym and wick away moisture, and it won't shrink in the wash. The nylon and spandex mixture makes it a long-lasting shirt that will keep up with your daily activities.
If you're self-conscious about your appearance, this is the undershirt for you. It's designed to compress and lift your chest, hiding any "man boobs" (extra chest fat). However, it also pulls tight around your stomach, streamlining any additional fat around your belly or love handles. It's not the most comfortable shirt (it's always tight against your body), but it ensures that you look your best in your T-shirts, dress shirts, or gym clothes.
At $29 per shirt, this is definitely one of the pricier undershirts on our list. However, for guys who want to hide their man boobs or a bit of extra gut fat, it's an amazing item to have for special occasions!
Underarm pads to protect from sweat, 90% cotton and 10% polyester, durable, comfortable, lightweight shirt, tagless collar, made in the U.S.A., crewneck, versatile cut, and adapts to slim and heavier body shapes.
A little too lightweight, can be easily damaged by bleach, and pricey!
There is A LOT to love about this undershirt! First off, it comes with a sweat-resistant fabric that will prevent heavy sweat from soaking through to your outerwear. The absorbent pads built into the underarm will prevent pit stains and sweat circles. If you're a heavy sweater, this is an excellent shirt to purchase. The 90% cotton/10% polyester blend makes this a silky-feeling shirt that has enough stretch to last for years.
The shirt CANNOT be bleached (even the white), but you'll find it gets pretty clean with just a basic machine wash. The tagless collar, flat-fitting crewneck, and loose sleeves make it a great choice to wear under most business outfits.
The material is nicely soft and lightweight (some say TOO lightweight), and you'll find the cut is good for most body types. The sizes run a bit large, making them ideal for heavy sweaters with a bit of extra around the midsection.
Classic design, soft and stretchy, moisture-wicking fabric, good selection of colors, keeps away bad smells, V-neck design, inexpensive, and refreshing.
Not suitable for outerwear, and not the most long-lasting shirt.
Use coupon: TJFAV
Super soft, 100% cotton, comfortable, machine wash safe, durable fabric, slim fit, crew neckline, lightweight, available in black and white, decent price, can be worn as an exterior shirt, good cut, stylish, and breathable material.
Not suitable for men who sweat a lot or for active use. Additionally, it may shrink in the wash.
For those who want a quality, good-looking undershirt (that can double as exterior shirt), you'll love this Emporio Armani offering. Few shirts are as soft or comfortable as this 100% cotton undershirt. It's great for pajamas, relaxing around the house, or wearing under a suit and tie to feel a bit less stuffy.
The material is a tad on the thin side, so it's not the best at absorbing moisture/sweat. You will want to keep it for lounging around the house or for use at work, never for the gym. However, if you're going to a relaxed environment, it can be a good option to wear if you think you'll take off your sweater or collar shirt. The Armani logo on the chest and neck makes it a highly stylish option.
Some users have complained that the shirt shrinks in the wash, so consider buying a size larger than normal. Thanks to the slim fit and the slimming color (black), it's a great undershirt for heavier men. It also comes in plain white for business/formal use. It has the classic crew neck, but the neckline isn't so tight as to make the shirt feel restricting. It can be worn under any dress shirt or sweater, and it's a beautifully lightweight fabric that will be slimming and comfortable.
At $40 for a 3-pack, this is slightly on the pricier side of things. However, given the quality and elegance of the Armani brand, it's definitely a price worth paying. You'll find these undershirts are as stylish and long-lasting as you could ask for. A VERY recommended purchase!
Undershirts (and all undergarments) were created for one specific purpose: to protect the outer layers of clothing from touching the body. They were intended to absorb sweat so that it wouldn't soak into the costly outer shirts, vests, and jackets. Due to the fact that bathing wasn't common practice until the 18th century, it's understandable why people wanted to protect their outer clothing!
The cost of a cotton undershirt was significantly lower than that of a fancy silk shirt or vest. Undershirts were easily changed and washed, while the outer layers of clothing remained unsoiled and free of sweat and body odor. Thus, the undershirt was born!
Nowadays, undershirts serve three purposes:
Bonus: Some undershirts are designed to be slimming, to compress extra body fat similar to the way Spanx do.
Not everyone needs an undershirt. Some men are just fine wearing their regular clothing without the need for a base layer. However, an undershirt can come in handy if you are:
A heavy sweater. For guys who sweat a lot, an undershirt is a must-have! Think of the undershirt as a layer of cloth intended to absorb the sweat, preventing it from soaking through your outer layer of clothing. If you perspire freely, you need an undershirt to keep your regular shirt or jacket from getting soaked with sweat.
Wearing stiff formal shirts. If you've ever worn a stiff formal shirt, the sort used for black tie events, you'll know how uncomfortable they can be. The starch that keeps them stiff can cause friction with your skin, leading to chafed nipples and irritated skin. An undershirt beneath your stiff formal shirt will keep you comfortable all night long.
A hairy man. If you have a lot of thick chest hair, it may poke against the fabric of your shirt. This may be fine for lounging around your house, but not if you're out in public or trying to look professional. A nice undershirt will press your body hair flat against your skin, reducing its visibility. For guys with a lot of chest hair, undershirts are a must-have!
In cold environments. When in cold environments, you want to dress in multiple thin layers rather than a single thick layer. Multiple thin layers will be more effective at trapping body heat close to your skin, keeping you far warmer than you'd be in one thick overcoat or jacket. Always start off your winter outfit with a thin undershirt, followed by a thicker outershirt, a sweater, and (if it's very cold) a coat or jacket to finish it off. You'll be far warmer this way!
Wearing deodorant. You may be thinking, "But everyone wears deodorant!" Or, at least I HOPE they do. Well, think about the type of deodorant you wear. Some types of deodorants are prone to leaving yellow pit stains on your shirt when you sweat heavily. Even non-marking deodorants may cause pit stains, which can ruin a shirt. Better make it a cheap cotton undershirt than a fancy dress shirt, right? If you wear a lot of deodorants, you're better off using an undershirt to prevent damage to your outer shirts.
Cotton is the most commonly used fabric for undershirts, as it's lightweight, absorbent, and inexpensive. It also offers good breathability, and it's wonderfully soft and comfy.
Synthetic fabrics like nylon, Polyester, and Lycra all offer their own unique benefits: elasticity, breathability, moisture-wicking, quick-drying, and softness. However, they may cause skin irritation, and don't have the natural feel of cotton.
Then there are the blends: shirts made using both cotton and synthetic materials. These shirts are intended to combine the best of both worlds, offering comfort, reduced weight and thickness, moisture-wicking, and elasticity. They are pricier, but they are an excellent choice to consider if you wear undershirts regularly.
The modern undershirt comes in all shapes, styles, and uses. Below is a list of the most common types of undershirts you'll find on the market:
Cotton Tank Tops – Also known as an A-neck, a tank top is a scoop-necked, sleeveless undershirt that is beautifully lightweight. It's an underlayer that will be slim and easy to hide beneath any shirt style, especially short-sleeved and low-necked shirts. They're ideal for guys who sweat heavily on the chest and back but won't protect against armpit sweat and deodorant stains. This is the cheapest type of undershirt around!
Crew Neck T-Shirt – This is the most commonly used type of undershirt. The crew neck has a high neckline, which can be visible beneath button-fronted shirts. However, if you're wearing a necktie or bowtie, the collar of your undershirt will be invisible. Crew neck T-shirts are a classic style that offers excellent sweat protection on the armpits as well as the torso.
V-Neck T-Shirt – If you're planning to wear a button-up shirt with the top button or two undone, you'll need a V-neck undershirt. The low V-neck collar leaves the top of your chest exposed, but provides excellent sweat protection for your chest, back, and armpits.
Knitted T-Shirt – A knitted undershirt can come in both V-neck and crew neck design, but it's made of a thicker, heavier-knit material than your average cotton undershirt. Knitted undershirts are usually worn as a base layer in cold environments, as they are highly effective at trapping body heat. Be warned: they're thicker than your regular undershirt, so they're not to be worn beneath formal outfits. Keep them for winter or winter sports use.
Long-Sleeved Shirt – A long-sleeved undershirt is also a winter garment, one that is the perfect layer beneath T-shirts, long-sleeved outershirts, coats, and jackets. They can be worn in layered outfits (think Sheldon Cooper's outfits from The Big Bang Theory), or they are ideal to wear beneath a light sweater when the weather is cool but not cold.
Slim-Fit Shirt – This isn't the same as a slimming shirt (see below). It doesn't actually compress anything, but it's a T-shirt cut in a style that clings to the torso. Most undershirts have a looser fit around the torso, but slim-fit T-shirts are designed to reduce bulk when wearing multiple layers. They can be a cotton undershirt, athletic undershirt, or any of the other types listed here—the only difference is the slimming cut of the torso.
Sweatproof – Hard to believe it, but such a thing does exist! Sweatproof undershirts prevent sweat from soaking through to the outer layers, protecting them from getting soaked. They're usually made of synthetic materials that offer thermoregulation.
Moisture-Wicking – These undershirts are intended to wear beneath athletic apparel, and they are made with a material that wicks (absorbs or draws away) moisture away from the body. They're particularly popular among runners, as they help to reduce the friction/irritation that results from dried sweat forming salt crystals on the skin. The shirts will not absorb the moisture—instead, they transfer it away from the skin and outward to be absorbed into the outer shirt or to be dried by the heat/air.
Cooling – Cooling shirts are not very common, and they tend to be fairly pricey. They're made of materials that pull sweat away from the body, where it dries quickly once exposed to the air, heat, and light.
One shirt, the Omni-Freeze ZERO by Columbia Sportswear, is made with fabric embedded with 0.15-inch hydrophilic polymer rings. The rings expand when they absorb sweat, which requires them to absorb heat away from the body. One test discovered that the shirt kept its wearer 10 degrees cooler than any other material.
Slimming – Also known as "compression undershirts", these garments are made to compress the body and hide excess body fat. They don't offer medical-grade compression (unnecessary for the torso), but they are like Spanx for men: they keep any hint of love handles, excess belly fat, and drooping man boobs a secret!
Quick-Drying – Quick-drying undershirts are usually intended for athletic use, as they absorb the moisture and pull it away from the body, where it is exposed to the air, heat, and light. The material is lightweight, synthetic, and intended to dry very quickly.
Here are a few rules for wearing undershirts: