Men’s Guide to Choosing an Undershirt for Dress Shirts

Sweatproof Formal Wear

Wearing an undershirt is a good way to keep formal clothing and business attire looking its best. It helps to protect your clothing from sweat, body odor, and body oils. Don’t let stains and scents ruin your look.

As well, undershirts are important in maintaining a professional appearance. Light materials and light-colored dress shirts can become see-through in some lighting. Wearing an undershirt helps to avoid embarrassment, while still looking professional and stylish.

A good undershirt is a key tool in every man’s fashion toolkit. We take a look at how to choose the right one for your look and body.

Choosing Your Undershirt Shirt


There are three basic types of shirts people use under their dress shirts; t-shirts, sleeveless/tank tops, and undershirts. Of these, only undershirts are truly appropriate for this purpose.

T-shirts are often mistakenly treated as being the same as an undershirt. However, tees are not designed to be worn under dress clothes. As a result, they have extra sleeve bulk and a fit that makes them more visible under your dress shirt. Bunched up sections and clearly visible shirt line under a shirt are common signs that someone is using a t-shirt as an undershirt.


A tank top or sleeveless shirt presents the inverse problem. Instead of having too much fabric, it provides too little coverage. With armpits left open, they are unable to prevent stains from sweat and body oils.

An undershirt is specifically designed to reduce visibility maximize effectiveness. It can provide all the sweat and stain control you need, while its specialized fit keeps it discreet.

Another important consideration is to pay attention to shirt length and collar type. It’s a bad look to have the outside edges of your undershirt poking out from under your dress shirt. If you wear your dress shirt untucked, for instance, make sure your undershirt does not extend below it. If you like to leave a few buttons undone at the top of your shirt, consider a v-neck undershirt.


Undershirt Color

The color of your undershirt is best dictated by the color and weight of your dress shirt. In some instances, such as with white dress shirts, skin tone can also play a factor.

Under Light-Colored Dress Shirts

A common mistake when wearing a dress shirt with light colors is to wear a white undershirt. The problem is that white reflects light. So a white undershirt doesn’t blend in under light colors or lightweight materials. instead, it is extra visible and can downgrade your whole look. 

A better choice for dress shirts with light colors is to choose a light grey undershirt. This color is less visible and blends more naturally.

Dark Dress Shirts

Dark dress shirts, especially with medium or heavier materials, are much more forgiving. As such, white undershirts are usually fine to wear underneath darker colors. Most undershirts will not be visible, so long as they are fully covered, so the color is less of a concern in this instance.

White Dress Shirts

On the other end of the spectrum, we have white dress shirts. White shirts are the easiest to see through. That makes undershirts all the more important, but it’s also harder to select the right color. 

Usually, the best bet is to pick an undershirt that somewhat matches your skin tone. Neutral skin tones may find tan colors to be most effective, while darker skin tones may use darker and/or deeper colors. For skin that is especially pale, a white undershirt is sometimes the best option.


Finally, choosing the best men’s undershirt means getting the right materials to stay comfortable and professional.

Moisture-Wicking Fabric

For a sweat-proof undershirt look for moisture-wicking fabrics. These help to absorb and disperse sweat before they can soak through to your dress shirts leaving stains, and unpleasant body odors.

Whether you are on a date or in the middle of an important sales pitch, the last thing on your mind should be worrying about whether or not you have pit stains showing. Sweat-wicking undershirts help to keep you looking great while feeling confident and comfortable.


Breathable materials can further help reduce sweating. Increasing airflow helps to cool your body, so you sweat less. This is especially valuable in warm seasons and climates, to keep you comfortable while wearing multiple layers.


Finally, your undershirt material must be comfortable. It’s up against your body all day. So you want a material that feels good against your skin. To help improve this, most moisture-wicking undershirts use breathable materials all over, but keep the sweat-wicking sections to targeted areas. This maintains efficacy while maximizing comfort.

Shop Sweat Proof Men’s Undershirts

Neat Apparel uses advanced fabric technology to keep our undershirts comfortable, professional, and sweat-free.

Shop the best men’s undershirts and sweat-proof t-shirts today!