Understanding undershirts: Avoiding the white triangle
Almost every day, I observe the white triangle. You have seen it too, possibly in the mirror. My mission today is to convince you to ditch that triangle and upgrade the area framing your face. I am speaking about wearing a white crew neck undershirt with a polo shirt or dress shirt (without tie). For years, I sported it. In fact, I used to create this tacky presentation frequently never knowing how much it distracted from my face and shirt.
Imagine your underwear showing above your pants a couple inches.
Why wear an undershirt? Primarily, an undershirt takes the brunt of wear and tear – greater than of all your other clothes. It absorbs sweat providing a barrier between the smelly stain-producing body oils and your quality shirts. So, if your closet suffers from a lack of undershirts, make plans to buy some and start wearing them. Your shirts will live longer.
Let’s talk about a few different types of undershirts:
V-Neck – An essential part of a man’s wardrobe. It does what an undershirt should do, but remains hidden beneath that polo and dress shirt without distracting from the face. It protects your shirt from sweat. It also works well behind a v-neck sweater.
Crew neck – Not for use with polo shirts, dress shirts or v-neck sweaters. Crew neck undershirts work well beneath crew neck sweaters and buttoned up shirts with a tie. In general, undershirts should not be seen. However, I do recommend showing a crew neck with color beneath a shirt with 3-4 buttons undone. It’s intentional and accents a casual look.
Tank – I recommend avoiding these. They fail to provide the basic function of an undershirt – to protect the dress shirt. They leave your shirts exposed to the armpits eventually streaking your shirt’s underarms in a tacky way.
When standing in front of the display featuring multiple brands of undershirts, try to remember a few important points. First, buy long shirts that will stay tucked in throughout the day. Shorter versions tend to create a roll pushing your shirt outward as they untuck. It’s annoying and distracts from the smooth body lines you should have at your sides. Secondly, pay attention to the sleeves. Keep them short and well fitting. You should not be able to fit your leg through it and it should not extend out from beneath your polo shirt. Lastly, get the right size. By now, you have to realize how much I emphasize fit. If you have a small frame, don’t wear a medium or a large.
Last word: Repeat after me, “No more white triangle.”
© Copyright 2013 Fashion for the average man.