When I’m wearing a dress shirt, what is the best kind of shirt to wear underneath? I usually just wear one of my white T-shirts but I’m starting to think that’s not the best choice.


Good for you! I’m glad you’re second-guessing your current undershirt selection. The white T-shirt seems to be the default choice for most men, and that’s unfortunate, because it also happens to be the poorest choice. White is visible under light-colored dress shirts (see below), and that crew neck collar peeking out from underneath is NOT a good look.

image courtesy of http://www.veritasimage.com/

white undershirt + light-colored dress shirt = no no

I usually go undershirt-free, since that double layer feels so restrictive to me. Then again, I’m not overly sweaty like some dudes I know. Undershirts provide these sweaty males an extra layer of protection. If you must wear an undershirt under that button-up, choose a lightweight, form-fitting, heather gray v-neck.

Why gray, instead of say, white?
Well… this is why:

Looks like a man bra

Heather gray (basically a light gray) blends better with your skin tone and is virtually invisible underneath. Have you ever noticed how that white undershirt shows through a white or light-colored dress shirt? Won’t happen with a gray undershirt.

Why lightweight?
Avoid the excess bulk that comes with heavier shirts and stick with a lightweight v-neck. It’s easier to bear and looks more natural underneath your button-up as it keeps the drape natural.

Why form-fitting?
I’m not suggesting anything super snug, but a more fitted version aids in the invisibility of the undershirt. Also it won’t bunch or create extra bulk when tucking in your shirt.

A great second alternative is a heather gray A-shirt. Both options fit the bill, so it really just depends on the wearer’s preference.

Gray A-shirt from Gap; Jaspe Jersey V-neck from J.Crew

In conclusion, throw one of these gray numbers on the next time you get dressed. Like I always point out, the little details in a man’s wardrobe can make the biggest difference.

By the way, in an upcoming article written for Primer Magazine, I discuss several other no no’s men often commit. The article is coming soon! In case you missed the previous articles, check them out by clicking here.