Undershirts are not something I have made a habit of wearing or writing about. Largely because undershirts have not had a place in my wardrobe, they have not been discussed on The Fine Young Gentleman. In fact, I’ve actively avoided discussing them. But I figure after six years of writing this site, some things can change. Sometimes change is a good thing, sometimes. That said, in this post we will be discussing how to wear an undershirt as well as review undershirts from NVSBL.
NVSBL is a brand that specializes in men’s undershirts. The brand hails from Australia and has its product made in China. I have been happily wearing around a few of their undershirts for the past number of months in order to wear test them for this review. Before we discuss NVSBL’s shirts, let’s talk more generally about wearing undershirts.
Historically, undershirts and undergarments were worn to provide a buffer layer between the wearers skin and outer garment. This was done for the purpose of protecting the skin from abrasive or scratchy fabrics and to limit the amount of laundering that was needed for the nicer outer garments. Although those reasons are still potential justifications for wearing undershirts, there are many others which may include comfort, body odor, perspiration, personal preference and oily skin. At the end of the day, whether or not you wear an undershirt is a personal preference.
If you do choose to wear an undershirt, as with all things, it is important to do it well. Having a good undershirt can really help with that.
The most common mistake I see regarding undershirts is when guys wear their dress shirt open with a crewneck undershirt; leaving a patch of undershirt showing. It is a horrible look. In the photo above I am wearing my shirt collar open with a v-neck undershirt from NVSBL, you cannot see the undershirt, thankfully.
There are two other important things to keep in mind when wearing an undershirt. First, that the shirt should be tight and form fitting. Second, that it not be white; a tone closer to actual skin tone is ideal so that the shirt blends in with the skin. Contrast between these two things cause an undershirt to be visible. Both qualities are present in the NVSBL shirt pictured above are a few of the reasons why I think it is a quality undershirt. Its worth noting that they have shades of shirts for darker skinned men as well.
The quality of make and fabric of the NVSBL shirt is commendable. The ribbing around the collar is simple and does not create an outline on the dress shirt when worn, as you will see in the below photo. The Modal and Spandex blend fabric makes for a nice feel when worn, it is smooth and soft.
The fit of NVSBL’s shirt is spot on. As previously noted, they are tight fitting; which you want for an undershirt. The armholes are cut tight so there is no excess fabric hanging beneath the opening and the sleeves are cut tight and high so the shirt does not show through the sleeves of a dress shirt or jacket. The shirts also run a little long, which help keep them tucked in throughout the day.
After six years, I think it is appropriate that we finally touch on the subject of undershirts a little more in depth. Obviously, there are a number of purveyors of undershirts, many that cost less than NVSBL’s, which at $26 are not cheap. But frankly, I have not seen or been referred to a lesser priced and better option. Wearing undershirts incorrectly can totally ruin an otherwise great ensemble and at $26 the shirt is still much less expensive than your dress shirt, shoes and suit; so relatively speaking, perhaps the shirts are not that expensive. I’ve been quite happy with the NVSBL shirts that I have been wearing and if I were a habitual undershirt wearer they would get a lot more use. So for those of you that are, these shirts are definitely worthy of a try. If you have any experience with NVSBL shirts or thoughts about undershirts in general, please feel free to hit the comments. Thank you for reading.
Note: This post was made possible by NVSBL. As always, the utmost care was taken to provide readers with an unbiased and informative stance on the brand and products at hand.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts – which I can totally relate to.
The best quality/best looking undershirts to me are the German “Schiesser” shirts.
Have a look and a try, it will be worth it.
Hi, I had been wearing undershirts for more than a decade and I find it a great practice due to the weather in sunny Singapore. It also helps when I am traveling, so I do not have to bring so many shirts as most of them remain clean while I launder the undershirts. I had a batch of apollo t shirts from Ministry of Supply and they are fantastic but again the price is not very wallet friendly.
Justin, would you please elaborate a bit on why you don’t typically wear an undershirt?
Of course, I have never worn them because I do not like the extra layer of shirting and I have not needed them for practical reasons either (odor, perspiration etc). So between those two things, I have always shied away from them myself, that said, if I had more practical reasons to wear them, there is a good chance I would be.
So…. you don’t wear undershirts, but since an undershirt company has offered to pay you, you’re suddenly an Undershirt Authority who (just by coincidence!, and without testing any other variety of undershirt) came to the conclusion that your sponsor’s product is the best undershirt, period. Interesting.
If you think it’s a good idea to wear a dingy looking, skin-tight undershirt made of a rayon-spandex blend (a fabric that is stained by deodorant, absorbs and emits the mildest hint of body odor, and can’t be bleached) that costs $27 a pop, then please do exactly that. Why not add a line to your rules of men’s fashion, explaining that rayon-spandex blends are “badass,” and that visible nipples when wearing a dress-shirt is the hallmark of a well-dressed man?
Your first bit of comments I understand, given I have not spoken of undershirts before and do not wear them regularly. That said, that does not mean that I have not tried numerous undershirts before (I have, perhaps I should’ve discussed that more), researched the topic and gathered thoughts from others on the topic. Although your points on nipples showing under the dress shirt are incorrect, and if anything, an undershirt would help prevent such a thing…
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I would also say that a white t-shirt (V-neck of course) is most appropriate under a white dress. It makes it pop even the more!