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Do Men Still Wear Undershirts Under Dress Shirts?

You can’t see undershirts under most men’s dress shirts, even when a button or two is undone, so you may wonder whether men still wear undershirts under collar dress shirts. Men sometimes wear an undershirt and sometimes don’t. Whether you should wear one depends on the weather, the button down shirt, and your personal preferences. 

Benefits of Wearing an Undershirt

The benefits of wearing an undershirt haven’t changed much through the years. However, undershirts have gotten better at doing what they're made for.

  • Protect your dress shirts. Undershirts provide a layer of protection between your skin and your button-down collar shirts. Less friction keeps the fabric smoother for longer. Dirt and oils from your skin won’t rub off on your dress shirt, which keeps it from becoming discolored. 
  • Keep sweat from showing. Undershirts can catch sweat and help it evaporate before it soaks into your dress shirt and leaves ugly stains. 
  • Create a smoother profile. Undershirts help your dress shirt to lay more smoothly against your skin, which creates a sleeker, more flattering profile.
  • Hide nipples. If you are wearing a white shirt, the contrast between your nipples and skin may be visible, which isn’t considered to be work-appropriate. Undershirts solve this problem seen a lot on light-colored solid dress shirts.  

Reasons Not to Wear an Undershirt

Despite all of the great benefits of undershirts, there are some reasons not to wear them. Dress shirts have progressed a lot, and they can do some of the work that undershirts used to do. Here are some reasons that you may not want to wear an undershirt:

  • They can be hotter. Even if an undershirt has cooling technology and is sweat-wicking, it is still another layer of clothing, which can make a difference in a very hot climate. Choosing a great men’s dress shirt with moisture-wicking technology can be a good alternative to wearing an undershirt. 
  • It’s something else to wear. Sometimes, all you need to do to get ready in the morning is pull a shirt and pants on and head out the door. An undershirt is one more thing to wear, keep tucked in, and otherwise deal with. 

How You Wear Your Undershirt Matters

Small differences in how you wear your undershirt can make a huge difference in how it looks. You may be surprised by how many more men wear an undershirt than you realize. When the undershirt is worn correctly, you won't even know that it's there. 

How you wear your undershirt determines whether the effect is sloppy or neat. Done properly, wearing an undershirt makes your dress shirt lay more smoothly and keeps it nicer for longer. When worn improperly, an undershirt can make you look like you're not sure how to dress. 

Choose the Right Neckline for How You Wear Your Dress Shirt

If you want to be able to unbutton a couple of buttons on your dress shirt and loosen your tie throughout the day, make sure to choose a V-neck undershirt that won’t be visible. If you always wear your tie close at your neck, you can wear a crew-neck undershirt to protect the shirt better. 

Match Your Undershirt to Your Skin Tone

Your goal is to make your undershirt invisible. If your undershirt contrasts with your skin tone, that contrast may be visible through your shirt, especially if you wear a light-colored shirt. Choose an undershirt that is as close to your skin tone as possible, especially if you’ll be wearing solid light-colored dress shirts that avoid popular patterns like plaid, herringbone, gingham, or windowpane. 

A Slim Fit
An undershirt should fit you snugly. Many men choose undershirts that fit them more like T-shirts, but this is a mistake. Any extra fabric will bunch, especially around your waist, making your dress shirt look messy and bulky. Pick a slim-fit undershirt with a sleek profile that won’t show. 


A little bit of stretch in your undershirt makes it much more comfortable to wear a shirt that needs to fit as tightly as an undershirt should. This is especially important if you have bigger arms. The sleeves will feel uncomfortably tight otherwise. 

Stay Tucked and Anti-Ride

If your undershirt becomes untucked, your dress shirt likely will become untucked as well. Undershirts that stay tucked in well keep your dress shirt tucked in better and keep you from having to retuck as often throughout the day. Sleeves that ride up are uncomfortable and also create an awkward line under your dress shirt sleeves. 

Sweat-Wicking and Cooling Technology

One of the most important roles of an undershirt is to keep you and your dress shirt dry. You want a best seller undershirt with excellent sweat-wicking qualities to keep you comfortable and dry and avoid ugly sweat stains when you aren't wearing a blazer. Additional technology for cooling is an added benefit.

Can You Wear T-Shirts as Undershirts?

If you already have a closet full of solid T-shirts that are fairly close to your skin tone, you may wonder whether you can just save yourself some money and effort and wear a T-shirt under your dress shirt. After all, you can’t see the undershirt anyway, so why does it matter? T-shirts are very different from undershirts for a number of reasons:

  • Fit. T-shirts generally have longer sleeves and a looser fit than undershirts. This means that they tend to bunch more under your dress shirt. 
  • Profile. T-shirts often have big, chunkier seams. These seams make them durable for hard work and play, but it also creates a visible bulge under your dress shirt that can create wrinkles, unless you have non-iron or wrinkle free cotton dress shirts instead of materials like twill, poplin, dobby, or supima cotton. 
  • Fabric. Short sleeve shirts are generally heavier and warmer than undershirts, which makes them less comfortable under your dress shirts. 

Choose a Great Undershirt When You Need One

You may not always choose to wear an undershirt, but when you do, you want an undershirt that fits you great and comes at a reasonable price. Twillory makes menswear undershirts that are cool, soft, comfortable, and look awesome under your dress shirts no matter if you're going business casual with a casual shirt like short sleeve dress shirt or super formal with a tuxedo shirt with a point collar and french cuffs. 


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