Help with easily see through white button down shirts...what to wear under?

Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by JLStorm, Feb 6, 2010.

  1. JLStorm

    JLStorm Practically Family

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    610
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I know, this sounds like a stupid question, but its driving me nuts. I have several white striped button down shirts and I wear them with a blazer, no tie, collar unbuttoned. The problem is that you can easily see the skin tone through these shirts. If I wear a sleeveless undershirt, you can easily see the shape of the undershirt under the dress shirt, and where the shirt stops and the skin starts. If I wear a typical short sleeve undershirt, it just adds too much bulk, especially in the summer. Ive tried to find a sheer lycra type shirt, but I want a v neck and I just havent found anything locally.

    With a white button down shirt, is it typical to wear a ribbed sleeveless shirt "wife beater" even if the undershirt can be seen beneath the shirt, or is that not proper? It really bothers me, as I feel that people would be very conscious of this when looking at me.
     
  2. I've worn an atheletic undershirt with sheerer dress shirts many times over the years, and have never felt self-conscious about it. I believe that we often are more critical of how we look, compared to how other people actually view us.
     
  3. QMcK

    QMcK Familiar Face

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand.
    Don't you use the word "singlet" in the USA. It sounds so much better than a "wifebeater".
     
  4. JLStorm

    JLStorm Practically Family

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    610
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I was trying to think of a better word, but nothing was coming to mind. Ive never heard it referred to as a singlet and tank top wasnt specific enough.

    Anyway, the problem with them is the neck line is far below the collar and easily seen underneath the button down shirt and I may be completely over self conscious about it, but I just worry people will think its in poor taste. I wasnt sure what was socially acceptable for professional dress.
     
  5. I've never heard it referred to as "singlet" either. A-shirt or atheletic t-shirt are the common names used by manufacturers.
     
  6. hutch

    hutch Familiar Face

    Messages:
    54
    Location:
    California Bay Area
    I haven't tried it myself but I saw on a TV show that a heather gray undershirt blends better than a white undershirt when wearing a lighter fabric white dress shirt.
     
  7. QMcK

    QMcK Familiar Face

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand.
    Well, you're allowed to use our word if you want: I meant to put a question mark at the end of the first sentence. :eusa_doh: But I suppose people around you won't know what you're talking about. :)

    Athletic t-shirt sounds ok.

    I was wondering about this when I put on one of my Grandfather's thin dress shirts with a singlet underneath.

    A grey a-shirt/singlet may go some way to solving the problem.

    ----------------

    What about "undershirt"? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vest
     
  8. JLStorm

    JLStorm Practically Family

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    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    the problem Im having isnt that the white doesnt blend, its that the difference between my skin tone and the white shirt is very noticeable. Im fairly pale, but obviously much different shade of color than a white shirt. So you can see the lines of the shirt, not because the shirt doesnt blend well with the button down shirt, but because my skin makes the lines of the undershirt stand out.
     
  9. Lokar

    Lokar A-List Customer

    Messages:
    383
    Location:
    Nowhere
    I used to have this problem, you couldn't just see my skin tone but every single mark on my body. I bought some vests (US undershirt), but they were too loose on the neck, and I had the problems you've had - you could see a visible line around the outer shirt collar where there was no undershirt.

    In the end, I bought a huge pack of cheap 100% cotton white t-shirts, with a very small crew-neck. The neck hole is a little smaller than my collar size, so the collar covers the undershirt. Works wonderfully. I'd still like to find some white shirts that are thick enough to be worn alone (for when the weather is unbearably hot), but this also has the advantage of absorbing sweat into the t-shirt, rather than the proper shirt...

    Basically, buy t-shirts rather than undershirts, with as small a neck as possible. I usually wear a European large with t-shirts, etc., but I bought these in a medium - I like the closer fit, as I don't want any excess fabric bunching up (as that shows through to the top shirt, and looks like I don't have my shirts ironed).
     
  10. JLStorm

    JLStorm Practically Family

    Messages:
    610
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I actually have the opposite problem. I need a V neck or scoop neck since the collar is unbuttoned, I dont want the undershirt clearly visible. Its easy enough to find a v neck t shirt, and that would do the trip, except for the fact that they constantly come untucked or just messed up. The athletic tank tops do not ride up at all, but the scoop neck they have makes it very apparent that they are on since you can see skin underneath the white shirts above the low scoop neckline of the shirt.
     
  11. Lokar

    Lokar A-List Customer

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    Ah, I never have my collar unbuttoned. As for t-shirts riding up, I don't experience that but I have higher waisted trousers, so perhaps that's why.
     
  12. JLStorm

    JLStorm Practically Family

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    610
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    That may be it. I have long legs and a short torso, so I avoid higher waste pants, otherwise I look a bit funny.
     
  13. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    19,923
    Location:
    London, UK
    In terms of a short sleeve vest adding 'bulk' uder the shirt... a lot has to do with the sizing. You should be wearing an undershirt (or, as we call it here in the UK, a vest) really pretty tight. Form fitting. It's not going to be on display the way a T shirt worn alone would be, you can go neater without it looking odd.
     
  14. Nick D

    Nick D Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,166
    Location:
    Upper Michigan
    What about a string vest?
     
  15. bbshriver

    bbshriver One of the Regulars

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Lexington, NC
    Couple of tips for you here.

    I *NEVER* wear a button up shirt without something underneath, personally I can get a bit "sweaty" and like having the extra layer to keep it off my outer shirt.

    That in mind, I think A-shirts/wifebeaters/whatever look dumb, as you mention you can always see them.

    I wear t-shirts at least 1 size smaller than what I would wear for "just" a t-shirt. For instance if I'm going very casual and wearing jeans n t-shirt I'll wear an XL t-shirt, but as an "undershirt" I'll wear L or M. Find a size that fits you snugly, but large enough it doesn't restrict movement.

    For the collar. I dislike V-necks partially because I was blessed with a lot of body-hair so I go for crew-necks. To avoid the obvious "white undershirt" look, try finding a variety of colors that complement the other clothes you're wearing. For instance if you're wearing navy trousers with your white shirt, get a navy undershirt. Sure the color will show through your white shirt some, but it gives kind of a neat look. More thoughtful than generic white t-shirt.

    If you have the $$ for it, you may find an athletic shirt like UnderArmour to be just the thing for hot weather. I have one underarmor "heat gear" t-shirt that I wore for racing school in Arizona in August... We were not running A/C in our cars and it was over 100(F). While I won't say I was "cool" I wasn't overheating even in my full racing suit in an enclosed car.

    Regarding t-shirts riding up, I have found one sure-fire solution to this.... tuck your t-shirt into your underwear. I used to have problems with this all the time, and I read that suggestion somewhere and it has not been a problem since. Sure it feels a little odd at first, and makes you feel about 60 years older (I'm 24) but it works!

    Also, some companies make t-shirts with extra long tails to help with this problem. I have some 5.11 brand ones that work pretty well
    http://www.511tactical.com/browse/H...e-T/D/30100/P/1:100:50000:50200:50209/I/40050
     
  16. KenDale

    KenDale New in Town

    Messages:
    26
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Prefer A-Shirt

    I wear A-shirts and never feel self-conscious about it. Typically, my dress shirt is white or light blue and the undershirt is clearly visible. No one has ever made a negative comment and I have been wearing them with my dress shirts and ties for many years.
     
  17. Mav

    Mav A-List Customer

    Messages:
    413
    Location:
    California
    "Singlet" sounds too English.:D

    This "see- through" quality is the downside to white dress shirts, and even a fairly heavy oxford cloth still shows tattoos. I just wear a....<ahem>..."singlet," which doesn't completely eliminate the problem, but it helps. Pretty much whatever you wear under a white shirt is going to show.
    Leave your jacket on.
     
  18. Richard Warren

    Richard Warren Practically Family

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    667
    Location:
    Bay City
    Ii just let the hair cover up the skin tones.
     
  19. Talbot

    Talbot One Too Many

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    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    We used to call singlets 'white garbo's' or 'blue garbo's', because that what the garbo's (trashmen) wore.

    T
     
  20. Subvet642

    Subvet642 A-List Customer

    I believe they're called "A" shirts.
     

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