Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Best Undershirts are Gray

When dealing with undershirts, it is important to understand how the shirt going over the undershirt is being worn. For most men there are three options, with a tie, one button undone and two buttons undone. To best accommodate each style of shirt there are a few different style of dress shirts. To start off lets look at the most common solution, and the one I prefer.

Gray V-Neck Undershirt -

This is the most versatile undershirt in your closet and will work for most guys with most outfits. A gray undershirt is superior to a white undershirt since it will not show through from under a white dress shirt. The gray undershirt provides no visible undershirt lines (the male version of pantie lines). Since gray will not show through any light colored shirt, it makes it the most versatile color in the wardrobe. As a V-neck, the shirt allows for the top button to be undone without showing a t-shirt underneath. If the shirt has a deep enough V-neck, two buttons can be undone with a shirt being seen.

When I want a more casual look I appreciate the layered look of showing a gray v-neck shirt from under a button-down shirt. If the button-down shirt has two or three buttons undone and the gray shirt underneath, the look can be quite cool, it is a very sprezzatura and nonchalant look. 

For those that do not like to have a shirt showing underneath, ever, the best option is a deep V-neck undershirt.  Depending on the amount of buttons that you typically have unbuttoned, the best option I have found is the Alternative Apparel V-neck shirts. The Eco Boss V-neck is a deeper than normal V-neck and comes in two great heather gray colors.  It is also extremely comfortable cotton and is nice enough to be worn all by itself as a shirt.  The Alternative Apparel Eco Boss runs for about $28 direct or for only $15 thru Urban Outfitters.

For the people that demand an even deeper V-neck shirt I recommend the Alternative Apparel deep V-neck burnout shirt. It comes in a few extra washed colors and fabrics. It is a very soft cotton fabric and runs for about $30-$40, and featured below.

Lastly, for those that don't care about the depth of the V-neck and do not want to pay so much for an undershirt, Gap is a great option. The Gap sells two heather gray shirts for under $20, these shirts are quite comfortable and fit well. I also recommend the Uniqlo undershirt. It runs for about $10 per shirt and has fuller body than the Gap shirt.

Depending on your preference, think about gray... it makes for a great versatile alternative to white.

1 comment:

  1. After searching online about the best type of a shirt to wear under a dress shirt, I happened to come across this site and post in particular.

    I just wanted to say that your post helped me A GREAT DEAL! I buy all of my dress shirts from Charles Tyrwhitt. I go with the Black Label in their line because the colar design and fit is more suitable for an "open collar" look. However, I find that some of the materials of the shirts allow for a white v–neck to show through as your post points out. In addition, MOST v–neck shirts I've tried (Hanes, Fruit of the Loom, Banana Republic, Gap, etc.) simply aren't deep enough even for just one button undone on the dress shirt. Out of all of them, Fruit of the Loom was the deepest, but they don't make their v–necks in a gray of any shade! Again, the light/heather gray color is important so that it doesn't show through the the material of your dress shirt.

    Your recommendation for the Alternative Apparel shirt was interesting. But, I was skeptical. I ordered two to try out and when they arrived, I washed and dried them. PERFECTION!!!!!!!!!

    I am the type who feels "naked" without having an undershirt on under my dress shirts. For years, I would simply wear a regular white t–shirt under my dress shirts with an open collar and that was the way it was. I have since embraced this open collar sans–undershirt look and honestly, couldn't have done it without the heather gray Alternative Apparel v–neck as you referenced above.

    Without this post and your attention to detail, I would still be searching for the perfect v–neck to go under my Charles Tyrwhitt Black Label dress shirts.

    With my thanks,