Men's Underwear Basics: Underwear, Undershirts

Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by HistoricDetroit, Dec 8, 2005.

  1. Rachael

    Rachael A-List Customer

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    I was under the impression that the 'tank top' came into fashion in the late '40s when soldiers came home from the war with them, thus the name. I do know that as recently as 1994, this was a standard issue undergarment in the USMC.

    As to their usefulness, we today have adopted the habit of wearing only the outer layer of clothing, where previous generations would have multiple layers. And the extra layer does not necessarily add warmth, provided that it is cotton. As many have already said, the wicking nature of the fabric actually keeps one cooler. People in the desert do not walk around naked, they wear two or three layers of lightweight natural fibers. Just last weekend I spent several comfortable afternoons wearing 3-5 layers in the lovely Independence Day sun. And a corset, which may soon come back in fashion for men...

    Regarding men's white shirts and opacity, many fine cottons and linens are nearly sheer. This allows circulation but also can provide a peek at one's chest hair, thus the need for an undergarment.
     
  2. Shaul-Ike Cohen

    Shaul-Ike Cohen One Too Many

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    In fact, those annoying yellow stains aren't sweat. The bad news is that they look repellent to most anyway and ugly to the rest, and that you don't get them out even in normal dry cleaning, let alone through bleaching at home. This is less about the mode of application, it's a typical thing of antiperspirants, as opposed to deodorants, as a result of some aluminium compound, if I remember correctly.
     
  3. Maguire

    Maguire Practically Family

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    I never use sprays, and i've tried just about every kind of deodorant imagineable. I find i have an allergic reaction to the only type of Deodorant that actually stopped that from happening. And let me get this straight, anti perspirants work better or worse at avoiding these stains?
     
  4. Shaul-Ike Cohen

    Shaul-Ike Cohen One Too Many

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    Worse, the antiperspirant agent is what causes it.

    So, if you have a "classic" deodorant, which mainly puts a layer of perfume on your sweat and might work against bacteria through alcohol, the stains you might get are mostly from the sweat itself and what the bacteria make of it. An antiperspirant tries to stop the sweating in the first place, and some actaully are very efficient in that, but they contain a compound (usually aluminium zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly) that tends to leave those yellow stains when it does get in contact with sweat after all.

    The advisable thing to do seems to be: if you have a problem with sweat odour even though you take a shower every day, adding a deodorant (perfume) to it won't help much. To avoid the stains from antiperspirants, wait until it's dried before you dress the vest. Change your vest daily even if it still looks fresh.
     
  5. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    That's my thing. I've long used an anti-perspirant instad of a deodorant, and always wait for it to dry in before I put a layer on over it - never had a problem. The only shirts that really got a stain (and then not much of a one) were darker coloured shirts I'd had for years on end....

    I also change both shirt and undershirt daily, which I think helps - not so much soiling on it getting engrained (I've heard of folks getting 2 or three days out of a shirt - yuck!).
     
  6. I only once had trouble with sweat stains on shirts. I went to the wardrobe and every white shirt in there had bright orange armpit stains. (???) Very weird one-off occurrence. Never saw it before or since.

    I believe i used Shout pre-wash cleaner and all the stains came out during a regular laundering.

    I never wear undershirts and use a regular deodorant rather than an anti-perspirant. I hate the idea of screwing with my physiology to such an extent simply so other people won't be bothered by a slight smell. I actually like the smell of my own sweat. Not that i sweat very much. I can see why you would want to reduce sweating if you sweated lots and the sweat smelled bad.

    bk
     
  7. SGT Rocket

    SGT Rocket Practically Family

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    I've heard that the yellow stains on your shirt are the result of your deodorant working in conjunction with your sweat. If you change your deodorant, then you may lose your yellow stains.

    I can imagine the wife beater being worn under clothes in the south in the hot summer months-- before deodorant was big. It's much cooler than a T-shirt and has the benefit of not having your dress shirt stick to the leather/vinyl in your car (before air conditioning).

    I know when I lived in Texas, and my AC was out on the car, I really needed a wife beater so that my shirt would not get stuck to my body. Noting like going to work with the back of your shirt wet and sticking to your back. Yuck!!!!
     
  8. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    Are there health issues with anti-p's?

    I was looking at some oragnic thingummy in Spitalfields market the other week, supposed to be a total repalcement for anti-perpriant, all natural, and claimed that some folks might even find it so effective it only needed used infrequently.... sounded too good to be true to me, but i'm open to something more natural if it comes along.
     
  9. Smithy

    Smithy I'll Lock Up

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    There's been a bit of an hoofluff about the ones that have aluminium in them Edward. Some say that it's not terribly good for you.
     
  10. No real health issues that i know of (except the potential or aluminium poisoning which i reckon is probably overblown).

    But the idea of blocking a natural process of the body - i.e. sweating - fills me with worry. Are the pores going to get clogged and result in spots? Where is the stuff going that was supposed to come out of the armpits? Surely you're just going to sweat more in other places (let's say the crotch) and the smell will be the same or worse in the end? And if you block all sweating - one of the body's major heat-regulation mechanisms - what will be the result on the rest of your physiological processes? We are very finely tuned machines, and can take very little above 37 C core temperature before we die.

    For these reasons and more, i shy away from screwing with my physiology whenever i can help it.

    bk
     
  11. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    Good point.... I've not given that much thought to this side of it, but having no problems in that area maybe I'm just lucky that the anti-p I habitually use works in line with my body chemistry somehow? I might well check out the 'natural' options instead. It makes sense not to inhibit natural processes where possible. The one big problem I used to have with simple deodorants was that I could never find one that actually was up to the job, and in any case those aimed at men (Lynx in particular, as I recall) I found aq considerably more unpleasant smell than the sweat would be for the most part!

    Of course, it's not (generally) the sweating that is the problem, as I understand it - the commonly considered to be unpleasant smell of armpit sweat is actually caused by sweat being held in by clothes rather than allowed to escape, right? Which may be an argument in favour of the A shirt design, as it helps to keep as few layers of clothing between the pits and the outside world as possible?
     
  12. Maguire

    Maguire Practically Family

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    Yes i admit its probably my fault there- oftentimes i'm in a rush and i just grab the shirt and put it on very soon after putting on the deodorant. i suppose i have to be more strict about this. that and switch to deodorant. And yes, this problem occurs despite showering everyday (if not more).
     
  13. chuckknight

    chuckknight New in Town

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    14
    Location:
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    I use something called "Crystal deodorant" or "rock deodorant." You can buy it at almost any health food store, and even some WalMarts. It's expensive but cheap...$6-10 per container, but a container lasts for 1 to 2 years. Yes, I'm serious. It's a natural crystal, containing no aluminum, which works to prevent the bacteria from producing that sweat smell.

    By the way, sweat does not smell, and is clear...it's the bacterial byproducts that are the problem. This stuff attacks the bacteria, specifically.

    [​IMG]

    It took me a few weeks to get used to -- used to use an antiperspirant, and this is only a deodorant, so I wasn't used to being "moist". It also doesn't feel like there's anything left, once applied...instead of that "smearing Crisco under my arms" feeling you get with a deodorant stick.

    After the first few weeks, I adjusted to it, and while I do sweat, I sweat more evenly, and much less overall. Apparently blocking the sweat glands under the arms MAKES it come out somewhere else...my chest and back were never merely wet...they were always drenched! And, yes, everything I owned was stained with "sweat."

    No more stains on anything I own.

    Anyway, the natural stuff works great, is completely unscented (I hate perfumes) so your underarms won't be fighting your fragrance of choice, and it works out to be incredibly cheap.

    Try a rock.

    Chuck
     
  14. Maguire

    Maguire Practically Family

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    I used it and had an allergic reaction :(. It worked wonders until then though.
     
  15. Mike in Seattle

    Mike in Seattle My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Oxyclean MIGHT remove them since it goes after "organic" stains. Just a thought... I've had things that the dry cleaners using all of their chemical magic couldn't remove and a few hours in Oxyclean and the problem's gone.
     
  16. Tomasso

    Tomasso Incurably Addicted

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    Location:
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    BINGO!!!.

    Though it does sound incongruous, I've found that wearing an undershirt keeps me cooler in the Summer. I became a believer many years ago when spending a lot of time in Houston,TX. I was struggling to stay dry in their brutal Summers when a native clued me into the practice.
     
  17. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    Location:
    London, UK
    Thanks, Chuck - that's something very much like what I saw in the organic place I mentioned. Good to know it works, I'll give that a go soon as.
     
  18. shortbow

    shortbow Practically Family

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    Location:
    british columbia
    Well, I've tried it over the last two days, and although it is counter-intuitive for moi, it works. Even went out for a mow this morning, and wore a flannel shirt over the A shirt to add fuel to the fire, and I was definitely cooler and less sticky than with shirt alone.;) Thanks for the tips. Wish somebody had told me this about a zillion years ago. Chalk up one more for the old way of doing things.
     
  19. Shaul-Ike Cohen

    Shaul-Ike Cohen One Too Many

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    I don't understand this principle thing - we're manipulating our physiology all the time, be it by washing, shaving or by what we eat, let alone drink and smoke, even legally. The producers of anti-perspirants claim that the overall process of sweating isn't influenced, as most of the body merrily goes on sweating. (I should be careful with the Auric brand maybe.)

    Also, you'd probably have to use a lot of a very effective antiperspirant on shaved skin in order to block all the glands of an area, not apply a casual pfft-pfft on your half-wet unshaved skin when you come out of the shower, as most people do (in non-paedophile Europe).


    This is an entirely different issue, and as you indicate, you might be more conceding about messing with your physiology if you or your immediate environment wouldn't like the scent.

    But even if it's not about the smell - most people probably don't much smell as long as the sweat is fresh - I can understand that people don't want watery stains under their arms. "Boss, that's fresh sweat, really," doesn't help in all companies.
     
  20. Matt Deckard

    Matt Deckard Man of Action

    I've recently moved from Boxer briefs to trunks and find the legs ride up less than the boxer shorts since the legs are shorter.

    I think I need to lose a bit more weight before I switch to boxers... I just don't like material bunching around while I'm walking or dancing.
     

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