Selecting the Correct Undershirt

I don’t want to seem like a know it all but there are a few things that, once you learn them, just make sense. Today, I’m going to share one of those things with you, as well as provide reasoning behind why it makes sense.

First of all, let’s go over the practical purposes for wearing an undershirt. Undershirts:

  • provide a layer of cloth to soak up our sweat.
  • keep parts of our anatomy from being seen through thin shirts.
  • provide a level of protection for shirts against natural oils that our bodies secrete.
  • streamline our bodies, providing a slender and more toned look.

When wearing a collared shirt that is buttoned to the top button, you should have on a crew neck tee shirt underneath. A crew neck is better than a v-neck because, if the undershirt is white, its v-shape can be seen against your skin through a light colored dress shirt.

However, if you unbutton the top button of the shirt, a v-neck undershirt should be worn. I, personally, prefer a black v-neck with my white shirts because it provides a more seamless look but, white or black, as long as it’s cut low enough that it’s not seen (but not so low that it looks extra v-like), you’re good to go.

A-shirts are great undershirts for graphic tees or, if you must, v-neck sweaters. That’s about it. They provide little coverage and don’t prevent underarm sweat from staining shirts. Additionally, when worn under white/light dress shirts, they are unsightly, providing a U shape that can be seen through the shirt. All in all, they are the least functional undershirt.

Now, if you’ve been doing this wrong for years, it’s alright. For about two thirds of my life, I had it wrong too (like in the throwback cover photo for this post). The beautiful thing about tomorrow is that it’s a new day and, going forward, you can do better.

 

Make professional development a priority.

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UnderFit: Because All Undershirts Aren’t Created Equal

If you know me, whether personally or virtually, you know that I am a stickler for details. That being said, I am a major proponent of having everything on fitted so that it makes your entire outfit look seamless. When I say everything, I mean everything. The same way that women choose undergarments that will allow them to flaunt their best features, we men should do the same. Now I’m not saying go out and buy thongs because that’s just not the move to make. But underwear should work well with your suits/jeans/sweats.

Now, underwear aren’t just the boxers, briefs, or boxer briefs that you choose to wear. They are also the shirts that you put on underneath your polos and button downs. When it comes to undershirts, I will not lie, I do have quite a few generic brands you can find at any supercenter store because those are the ones I grew up wearing. But I also grew up wearing traditional fit dress shirts that looked like they were cut in the mid-1700s. Now that I have all of my shirts tailored at best or, at worst, buy them already cut into a trimmer fit, I knew I needed to go with a different brand of undershirt. I am currently in the process of transitioning all of my undershirts to the UnderFit brand. UnderFit has been my undershirt of choice for the past year and I can honestly say I never have enough. The fact that it has a tailored fit makes it feel as if I’ve got a layer between my skin and my dress shirt but not one that will take away from the well-tailored look that I’m going for. It is light enough to wear through the summer but still protective enough to keep the winter wind from hitting my bare skin between the buttons. One more thing: Guys, you know when you stretch your arms and your undershirt comes untucked but your shirt stays tucked in and it feels extremely uncomfortable but you’re not in a position to re-tuck your shirt in? You won’t have that problem with UnderFit shirts. There are three extra inches at the waist of the shirt so that it stays tucked in throughout the day. Awesome right? Right. I’m getting married later this year and my groomsmen and I will definitely be buying UnderFit shirts for the wedding simply because I want all of us to look our absolute best on that day.

Being a stylist at Nordstrom in the men’s clothing and furnishings department, I see an array of undershirts and have tried on most brands that Nordstrom carries. Without directly naming any brands, I will say that UnderFit is still by far the best that I’ve ever put on. It is made of ProModal and Spandex, which is a costly combination but you can feel the difference. I strongly recommend you all try it. Ladies, if you’re looking for a great gift for the significant other, try getting him an undershirt that will add to his confidence when he walks into a room. Try them out and let me know what you think. We’re at the age where we really need to invest in our wardrobes as opposed to buying new 5 packs of cheap cotton shirts every 6 months.

To learn more about UnderFit and purchase a few, visit UnderFitShirts.com. The site is great and they have an awesome blog. I guarantee you’ll love it and, in the unlikely event that you don’t, you can return them with ease. But definitely try them out. You won’t be disappointed.

Five Essential Items for Every Man’s Closet

When it comes to your clothes, it’s worth investing time and money in key pieces that will last a lifetime.

by Yale Breslin

ONCE UPON A TIME, men’s fashion was simple. A few pairs of jeans, a few good suits and you were set—not just for a season but for years. Talk about the good old days. Today, popping into the shop, or even browsing online (the preferred choice of the shopping cognoscenti), is no small task.

The meteoric expansion of men’s fashion over the past decade has brought a bounty of benefits—men are finally dressing their age and body type, understanding what shapes and silhouettes work best for them, and realizing that less is more—but it has also created one big dilemma: a paralyzing amount of choice. Each season, an ever-growing number of menswear designers add to the list of wardrobe “necessities.” After all, who doesn’t need a gold lamé tracksuit, a scarf the size of a picnic blanket or a hat that looks like something Smokey Bear would wear—and that only one of the world’s biggest rap stars could actually pull off?

This fall, it’s time to get back to basics, sticking to what you know best and are most comfortable in: the classics. Whether you follow every trend with the consuming passion of a teenage crush or still bum around in the same Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirt you wore at uni, when it comes to your wardrobe, it’s worth investing both time and money into a few key items that will, with proper care, last a lifetime.

THE CAMEL COAT

A common thread that wove its way through the men’s fall collections was the camel coat. Little wonder. This longtime closet staple is about as easy as they come. Sharp and simple, it looks good on just about everyone, from Prince Charles to Kanye West.

If you don’t already have a vintage coat you can resurrect or are simply looking for a quick way to update your look, you’re in luck. This season, almost every menswear designer out there put their own unique spin on this most classic of coats.

Marc Jacobs ’s classical interpretation comes in ultra-soft baby alpaca and wool (£1,310; marcjacobs.com ), while Marni’s slightly furrier version seems to reference “Where the Wild Things Are” (£1,170; +44 (0)245 9520). Perfect for the urban jungle. Ralph Lauren styled his like a trench, with a tonal belt (£1,195; ralphlauren.com ), while AMI’s Alexandre Mattiussi created a modern classic with his double-breasted version (€580; mrporter.com ) and Burberry updated its Chesterfield in a luxurious double cashmere blend (€3,095; burberry.com), for an easy transitional piece that will take you from the nip of autumn through the chill of winter.

THE CLASSIC BLAZER

The blazer isn’t just the most classic item a guy can own, it’s the most necessary. Season after season, it dominates the runways—not to mention the boardrooms. But it can also be the piece that’s least likely to succeed in your closet. One of the most common mistakes men make is wearing a blazer that doesn’t fit. You know the ones: The shoulders are too bold, the sleeves too short and the hemline goes way further than it ever should.

This fall, the blazer is shrinking and it’s time to get on board. Emporio Armani gives you exactly what you want—a black cashmere jacket that masters fit, proportion and comfort (€1,500; armani.com ). Playing with subtle texture, Fendi’s navy flecked-wool version is a keeper (€875; farfetch.com ), while Jil Sander shakes things up with a midnight-blue version in textured brocade (£1,050; jilsander.com ). But Scott Sternberg ’s cult label, Band of Outsiders, trumps them all with a youthful tuxedo blazer with sharp lapels ($2,200; bandofoutsiders.com ). Dress it up with a fitted chambray shirt and your favorite tie, or dress it down with your favorite jeans and Chelsea boots. You’ll look debonair regardless of your direction.

THE BLACK JEANS

It’s not the easiest thing, finding the perfect pair of slim-cut black jeans. Fit, as we all know by now, is key. Add to that the challenge of buying denim that can make the transition from day to night, while still maintaining that masculine feel, and it may feel hopeless.

But this season, designers have eliminated the excess—so say goodbye to zippers, extra pockets, patches, fades, rips and tears. Jeans are being streamlined, tailored to the idea of “what a guy really wants.”

Who did it best? Levi’s is a tried-and-true brand whose authenticity still reigns supreme in the denim marketplace. Try the 510 skinny fit (€99; levi.com ). For a more rock ’n’ roll edge, you won’t find a better way to channel Jagger than to put on a pair of Saint Laurent’s Hem jeans (€290; ysl.com ). J.Crew, meanwhile, under the design direction of Frank Muytjens, can be relied on for a solid pair that won’t break the bank (€113; jcrew.com ).

There’s also a new kid on the block that looks likely to dominate the denim space, and that’s Frame Denim. The London-based brand, which has already managed to get the girls’ attention with its hip-hugging styles, is tackling the guys’ market with its L’Homme Noir Slim-Fit, recently unveiled on Mr Porter (€228; mrporter.com ). Long and lean but with room to move—it’s as if they read your mind.

THE PERFECT TEE

White or gray. When it comes to a solid crew-neck T-shirt, these are the colors that should dominate your drawer. The classic, clean silhouettes seen in other sectors of fall fashion should also be applied to this wardrobe staple.

Yet for such a simple item, many get it wrong. The hemline should sit just below your waist, the shape should err on the fitted side and the sleeves should fall somewhere between the middle of your shoulder and the elbow. Easy in definition, difficult in practice.

Fruit of the Loom is a guaranteed success—who doesn’t love a three-pack (£11 for a three-pack; outdoorlook.co.uk )? The award for the most bang for your buck goes to Gap, whose white and gray essential tees stand the test of time without fading (€10; gap.eu ).

If you’re looking to go more upscale, T by Alexander Wang has a version in solid heather gray (€105; mrporter.com ), while ATM Anthony Thomas Melillo ’s sophisticated T-shirts are worth everyone’s investment (€63; eastdane.com ).

Roll the sleeves up slightly if you’re feeling playful. If James Dean did it, so can you. Just be sure to keep it subtle.

THE DRESS SHOES

When it comes to footwear this fall, be bold and buckle up! The most advanced of all dress shoes, the monk strap, is making a comeback. Gone are the days of pairing your “fancy” monk straps with a suit. Instead, treat them like the rest of your kicks—wear them every day. Try Bottega Veneta’s double-strap boot (€850; bottegaveneta.com ), or Dolce & Gabbana’s single-strap version with bold silver hardware (€475; dolcegabbana.com ). For the fashion-forward, Saint Laurent’s Hedi Slimane blurred the line between a creeper (another runway favorite) and a monk strap—creating a covetable mashup (from €695; ysl.com ). Or play it safe with Saint Laurent’s simple Université 30 (€595; ysl.com )

THE GUIDE // Three Style Icons

You’ve got role models to help guide you in life and business—why not in style? Start your sartorial lessons on the silver screen, where the likes of Eddie Redmayne, James Dean and Ryan Gosling provide fashion choices to match their acting skills and good looks. They’ve each taken risks, but always erring on the side of a classic sensibility.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

UnderFit > Undershirt

I was recently introduced to a brand of shirts that I can without a doubt say is ahead of the curve when it comes to men’s professional dress.  If you read my post on selecting the proper undershirt a few months back, you know I’m a stickler for details.  To me, more important than my comfort is the fact that I’m not breaking any major rules.  But it’s definitely great when you can have on the right tee shirt while still being completely comfortable in it.  That’s where UnderFit comes in.  The design of an Stay Tucked In: No more constantly ducking into the bathroom all day to re-tuck.UnderFit tee shirt is what truly sets it apart from any general brand you might find in an average store.  The shirt is wide and at the shoulder and chest as most shirts are but, instead of remaining that way throughout as most undershirts do, the shirt narrows as it approaches your waist, providing a slimmer fit that will allow your dress shirt or polo to truly shine as opposed to having unnecessary buldges.  Another feature I was impressed with was the three additional inches of material at the waist that allow me to stretch, move around, and engage in all the basic physical activity of a business day without having my shirt come untucked.  Gentlemen, if there is one thing we know, it is that an untucked undershirt underneath a suit can be a nusicance that we often have to endure throughout business meetings.  When I’m wearing an UnderFit shirt, that is one less thing I have to worry about while giving a presentation or facilitating a workshop.

I will not say that UnderFit shirts are cheap.  But believe me, the older you get, and as you begin seeing your wardrobe as an investment as opposed to a financial burden, you will begin putting your money toward more quality pieces. Not only are UnderFit shirts comfortable and soft, they are durable. I’ve worn and washed mine regularly and see no indications of wear and tear nor of shrinkage.

All in all, I would not dare put this undershirt in the same category as a Hanes or a Fruit of the Loom. It is not an alternate; It is an upgrade. A necessary one for every man who takes pride in his professional image. For more information on UnderFit’s products and pricing, visit www.underfitshirts.com.