What to Wear Under Dress Shirts in 2023: The Ultimate Guide to Undershirts

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what undershirt to wear with dress shirt

1. The Purpose of Wearing an Undershirt with a Dress Shirt

Wearing an undershirt with a dress shirt serves several purposes. Firstly, it provides an additional layer of protection between your body and the dress shirt, helping to absorb sweat and prevent it from staining or showing through the outer layer. This is particularly beneficial during warmer months or in situations where you may be more prone to sweating, such as during physical activity or high-stress situations.

Secondly, an undershirt can provide added comfort and insulation. Depending on the fabric choice, it can help regulate body temperature by keeping you warm in cooler weather or wicking away moisture in hotter climates. This can enhance overall comfort throughout the day, especially if you’re wearing a dress shirt for long periods.

Lastly, wearing an undershirt can help extend the lifespan of your dress shirts. By acting as a barrier between your body and the shirt, it reduces direct contact with oils, lotions, and deodorants that can stain or damage the fabric over time. Undershirts also help minimize friction and rubbing against the skin, preventing premature wear and tear on the dress shirt.

2. How the Choice of Fabric for an Undershirt Affects Comfort with a Dress Shirt

The choice of fabric for an undershirt plays a significant role in determining comfort when worn under a dress shirt. Some popular fabric options for undershirts include cotton, bamboo rayon, modal, and blends of these materials.


  • Cotton is a breathable material that offers good moisture absorption properties.
  • It is soft against the skin and provides excellent comfort throughout the day.
  • Cotton undershirts are widely available and come in various weights, making them suitable for different climates.

Bamboo Rayon:

  • Bamboo rayon is a sustainable and eco-friendly fabric choice.
  • It has natural moisture-wicking properties, keeping you cool and dry.
  • Bamboo rayon undershirts are known for their softness and breathability.


  • Modal is a type of rayon made from beech tree pulp.
  • It is incredibly soft, lightweight, and breathable.
  • Modal undershirts have excellent moisture-wicking capabilities, making them ideal for hot weather or active individuals.

When choosing an undershirt fabric, it’s important to consider your personal preferences, climate, and the level of comfort you desire. Experimenting with different fabrics can help you find the perfect undershirt that enhances your overall dress shirt experience.

3. Recommended Colors and Patterns for Undershirts Worn under Dress Shirts

Choosing the Right Colors

When selecting an undershirt to wear under a dress shirt, it is important to consider the color that will best complement your outfit. Generally, it is recommended to opt for undershirts in neutral colors such as white, gray, or nude. These colors are less likely to show through lighter-colored dress shirts and provide a seamless look. However, if you are wearing a dark-colored dress shirt, you may want to choose an undershirt that matches the color of your skin tone to minimize visibility.

Picking Suitable Patterns

While solid-colored undershirts are versatile and can be paired with any dress shirt, some individuals prefer adding a touch of style by opting for patterned undershirts. Stripes or subtle patterns can add visual interest without being too distracting. It is important to choose patterns that are not too bold or busy as they may show through thin or light-colored dress shirts.


– Consider the color of your dress shirt when choosing an undershirt.
– Stick to neutral colors like white, gray, or nude for a seamless look.
– Match the color of your undershirt with your skin tone when wearing dark-colored dress shirts.
– Opt for subtle patterns if you want to add some style without being too distracting.

4. Top Brands and Types of Undershirts that Work Well with Dress Shirts

Popular Brands

When it comes to finding high-quality undershirts that work well with dress shirts, there are several top brands worth considering. Some popular options include Calvin Klein, Tommy John, Hanes, Fruit of the Loom, and Under Armour. These brands offer a range of styles and materials to suit different preferences and budgets.

Types of Undershirts

There are various types of undershirts available, each with its own unique features. Some common types include crew neck, V-neck, and tank top undershirts. Crew neck undershirts have a round neckline and provide full coverage, making them suitable for wearing under dress shirts with higher collar styles. V-neck undershirts have a V-shaped neckline that remains hidden when wearing a dress shirt with the top button undone. Tank tops are sleeveless and can be worn under dress shirts with more casual or relaxed styles.


– Consider popular brands like Calvin Klein, Tommy John, Hanes, Fruit of the Loom, and Under Armour.
– Explore different types of undershirts such as crew neck, V-neck, and tank tops.
– Choose the type of undershirt based on the collar style and formality of your dress shirt.

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5. Should the Neckline of an Undershirt Be Visible or Hidden when Wearing a Dress Shirt?

Visible or Hidden: The Debate

When it comes to the neckline of an undershirt, there is a debate on whether it should be visible or hidden when wearing a dress shirt. Some argue that the undershirt’s neckline should always be hidden to maintain a clean and professional look. They believe that any visible lines or bulges from the undershirt can distract from the overall appearance of the dress shirt.

On the other hand, there are those who prefer to intentionally show a bit of the undershirt’s neckline for added style and dimension. They believe that a contrasting color or pattern peeking out from under the dress shirt can add visual interest and create a more casual and relaxed look.

Tips for Making the Neckline Visible:

  • Choose an undershirt with a slightly wider neckline than your dress shirt.
  • Opt for an undershirt in a contrasting color to make it stand out.
  • If you’re wearing a tie, make sure the undershirt’s neckline is not higher than the top button of your dress shirt.

Tips for Keeping the Neckline Hidden:

  • Select an undershirt with a lower neckline that sits below your dress shirt’s collar line.
  • Ensure that your undershirt fits snugly against your body to minimize any visible lines or bulges.
  • Avoid wearing ties with wide knots as they may expose more of the undershirt’s neckline.

6. Key Features to Look for in an Undershirt to Prevent It from Showing through a Dress Shirt

Preventing Undershirt Visibility

When wearing a dress shirt, it’s important to choose an undershirt that won’t show through and ruin the overall look. Here are some key features to look for in an undershirt to prevent it from being visible:

1. Thin Fabric:

Opt for undershirts made of thin and lightweight fabrics such as cotton or microfiber. These materials are less likely to create bulk and show through the dress shirt.

2. Neutral Colors:

Choose undershirts in neutral colors like white, gray, or nude that closely match your skin tone or the color of your dress shirt. This helps minimize any contrast and reduces the chance of visibility.

3. Proper Fit:

An ill-fitting undershirt can bunch up or create wrinkles under your dress shirt, making it more likely to be visible. Ensure that the undershirt fits snugly against your body without being too tight.

4. Length:

Select an undershirt that is long enough to stay tucked into your pants throughout the day. This prevents it from riding up and becoming visible when you move or raise your arms.

7. Do You Need to Wear an Undershirt with Every Type of Dress Shirt or Are There Exceptions?

The Importance of Undershirts

While wearing an undershirt is generally recommended for most types of dress shirts, there are a few exceptions where you may choose not to wear one:

No-Show Dress Shirts:

If you have a specially designed “no-show” dress shirt made of a thicker fabric or with built-in sweat-wicking properties, you may not need to wear an undershirt. These shirts are designed to be worn without an undershirt and still provide adequate coverage.

<h4.Extremely Thin Dress Shirts:

Some dress shirts are made from very thin and sheer fabrics that can easily show the outline of an undershirt. In such cases, you may opt to go without an undershirt to prevent any visibility issues.

<h4.Personal Preference:

Ultimately, the decision to wear an undershirt with a dress shirt depends on personal preference. Some individuals may feel more comfortable and confident wearing an undershirt for added layering, while others may prefer the freedom of going without one.

8. Ensuring Your Choice of Undershirt Complements Your Style and Appearance in a Dress Shirt

Matching Your Undershirt to Your Style

Choosing the right undershirt that complements your style and appearance in a dress shirt is essential for achieving a polished look. Here are some guidelines to consider:

<h4.Color Coordination:

Select an undershirt color that matches or closely complements the color of your dress shirt. This creates a seamless and cohesive look without any distracting contrasts.

<h4.Style Considerations:

If you’re wearing a formal or business attire, opt for plain and neutral-colored undershirts that won’t draw attention away from your dress shirt. For casual outfits, you can experiment with patterns or bolder colors to add personality.

<h4.Fabric Choice:

The fabric of your undershirt should be breathable and comfortable for all-day wear. Cotton is a popular choice as it is soft, lightweight, and allows for proper airflow.

<h4.Sleeve Length:

Consider the sleeve length of your undershirt based on the style of your dress shirt. If you’re wearing a short-sleeved dress shirt, opt for an undershirt with shorter sleeves to avoid any visible lines.

9. Guidelines on Sleeve Length for Undershirts When Paired with Different Styles of Dress Shirts

Sleeve Length Recommendations

The sleeve length of your undershirt plays a crucial role in ensuring a neat and seamless appearance when paired with different styles of dress shirts. Here are some guidelines to follow:

Short-Sleeved Dress Shirts:

If you’re wearing a short-sleeved dress shirt, it’s best to choose an undershirt with equally short sleeves. This prevents any visible lines or bulges that may occur if the undershirt sleeves are longer than the dress shirt sleeves.

Long-Sleeved Dress Shirts:

For long-sleeved dress shirts, opt for an undershirt with sleeves that extend slightly beyond the cuffs of your dress shirt. This ensures that no skin is exposed when you move or reach out.

Rolled-Up Sleeves:

If you prefer to roll up the sleeves of your dress shirt, consider wearing an undershirt with shorter sleeves that won’t peek out from under the rolled-up cuffs.

10. Tips on Caring for and Maintaining the Quality of Undershirts Worn under Dress Shirts

Maintaining Your Undershirts

To ensure that your undershirts remain in good condition and maintain their quality even after repeated wear under dress shirts, follow these tips for caring and maintenance:

Washing Instructions:

Read the care label on your undershirts to determine the recommended washing instructions. Generally, it is best to wash them in cold water with a gentle detergent to prevent shrinkage or damage.

Avoid Bleach and Harsh Chemicals:

Avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals when washing your undershirts as they can weaken the fabric and cause discoloration. Opt for mild detergents specifically designed for delicate fabrics.

Proper Drying:

Air-drying is the best option for preserving the quality of your undershirts. If you prefer using a dryer, choose a low heat setting to prevent excessive shrinkage or damage.


Fold your undershirts neatly and store them in a drawer or on a shelf to avoid unnecessary wrinkles or stretching. Avoid hanging them as this can lead to misshaping of the neckline or shoulder areas.

Replace When Necessary:

If you notice any signs of wear and tear such as holes, fraying seams, or stretched-out fabric, it’s time to replace your undershirt. Regularly assess their condition to ensure you always have fresh and presentable options.

In conclusion, choosing the right undershirt to wear with a dress shirt is crucial for achieving a comfortable and polished look. Consider factors such as material, fit, and color to ensure a seamless and stylish combination.

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