Buying a man's undershirt is not as simple as going into a department store and picking up a plain white T-shirt. There are many styles to choose from. There are different blends of fabric. Length sometimes plays a role in the selection. Choosing an undershirt is a personal decision; what qualifies as the best undershirt is a subjective choice.
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Fit and Function
The desirable fit of an undershirt will vary depending on what it will be worn beneath. In most cases you won't want the undershirt to be noticeable, unless you're wearing it underneath a v-neck sweater. In this instance men commonly wear a fashionable crew neck undershirt. Generally, an undershirt acts as a protective layer between the skin and the outer shirt. It keeps sweat and deodorant stains off of the outer shirt. Boxy, loosefitting undershirts shouldn't be worn beneath a close-fitted dress shirt. The sleeves shouldn't be too long or wide. One of the greatest advances in the undershirt trade is the tagless undershirt. Brand labels are screen printed directly onto the shirt. This is popular because many men found the standard clothes tags to be itchy.
Undershirts are most commonly available in 100% cotton. Also popular is the 95/5 blend, which is 95% cotton and 5% spandex. The spandex gives the shirt a little bit of stretchiness. Wearing a 95/5 blend allows you to wear a snug shirt that won't feel constrictive with an undershirt underneath. There are also a couple of blends available that claim to offer "wicking" capabilities. Wicking is the movement of moisture from its source. Wearing an undershirt with wicking capabilities should keep sweat from sticking close to the body. Some of these shirts are made with cotton. Polyester is a synthetic fibre with natural wicking capabilities.
Price reflects quality in the world of undershirts, and prices vary widely. On average you can expect to pay £5 to £6 for a decent quality undershirt. Shirts priced below the average will reflect a below average quality. Common complaints with poor quality undershirts are a collar that wrinkles. Better quality shirts will have a reinforced collar. Poor quality undershirts tend to shrink and become too short to enable proper tucking into the trousers. There are also more expensive "high-tech" undershirts with treated or blended cotton.
Undershirts generally come in packs of three, five, six or ten. If you're trying out a new fit, brand, size or style, purchasing a package of ten shirts isn't recommended. When you find a specific undershirt that works perfectly for your needs, buying in bulk is a great idea. Bulk packaging often offers a discount per piece.
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