The Unicorn of Menswear Basics
January 18, 2019 7:37 AM   Subscribe

I'm in search of the perfect undershirt for my husband. He hates undershirts. Details within.

Hubby doesn't wear undershirts because he's never found one that fit well. He has a long torso, narrow shoulders, a wee bit of a belly and normally wears a large. But large undershirts are usually too baggy in the neck/shoulders, while medium are too tight/short for his torso.

The perfect undershirt would:
-Have a close fit at the neck
-Neck fit will stay tight after washing
-Narrow shoulder fit so the seam at his shoulders and not down his arm
-Be extra-long so he can tuck it
-Be fitted, but not tight, across his belly
-Preferably come in white, blue, and black

I would prefer to be able to buy this online, but in person is acceptable assuming there's a storefront in the general Philly area.
posted by DoubleLune to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I am the bearer of a moderately different body shape from your husband, but I have a set of Underfit white undershirts that I use and have been very happy with. The fabric is stretchy rather than thicker cotton, so the shirts don't create bunching problems at the waist but are long enough to stay tucked. They sell several different necks. As the shirts age, I turn them into gym shirts/running shirts, since they don't inhibit movement.

Also, my undershirts were made in the US, if labor standards are your jam.

For what it's worth, I'm long torsoed too (but with broad shoulders and an even distribution of mass in upper and lower torso). Good luck!
posted by migrantology at 7:51 AM on January 18

I have several pairs of the UNIQLO Supima cotton crew neck undershirts in medium, and they are definitely longer in the torso than any of the other T-shirts or undershirts I own -- they come down past the front pockets of my jeans. Very soft and stretchy fabric that conforms to my larger-than-desired belly without the slightest feeling of tightness. Looks like they're available in white, gray, and black (for some reason the same style/color appears multiple times across 4 different product codes -- a given size/color is listed as sold out for some product codes but not others, so try checking them all).
posted by Dixon Ticonderoga at 8:57 AM on January 18 [3 favorites]

Maybe try Calvin Klein trim fit? The shoulders should be narrower, and they're stretchy so the belly thing might work out.

I got some Calvin Klein undershirts years ago based on a MeFi recommendation, and keep buying them because they totally worked out. Haven't noticed the neck or shoulders stretching out at all. They do get replaced every few years or so, but that's because they are worn very, very frequently.
posted by amtho at 9:16 AM on January 18

similar body type and t-shirt preferences here. non-cotton tees with a more fitted cut in large will deliver much of the goods. I've had good luck with LA Apparel (the successor to American Apparel) with their poly and tri-blend tees.
posted by zippy at 9:52 AM on January 18

I'm not sure you meant it this way, but what I see in this question is YOU deciding he should wear undershirts.

Does he want to wear undershirts? Because if he says he hates them, and finds them uncomfortable, he might not be inviting you to find one he won't hate. He might be telling you he doesn't want to wear one.
posted by uberchet at 10:25 AM on January 18

Does he want to wear undershirts?

Yes. This came up today because his shirt was chafing against his skin.
posted by DoubleLune at 10:28 AM on January 18

In that case also consider Nordstrom's house brand.

I don't usually wear one, but I did a bunch of business in the midwest in the winter at one point and was looking for layer options before I went all-Ex Officio, all the time. They're nice and soft and long enough for long-torso people like me.

However, I'm pretty broad-shouldered, so ...
posted by uberchet at 10:43 AM on January 18

My husband is 5'11" /~175-180lbs (medium build) and Amazon Essentials Men's Undershirts in a medium are the bee's knees because they're a good three inches longer than his Hanes undershirts (usually he gets a large in these) and stay tucked well. They're definitely on the thin side as far as fabric goes but they wash up to a nice softness after a wear or two.
posted by julie_of_the_jungle at 10:47 AM on January 18

I normally do not wear or like undershirts. I normally do not wear or like synthetic fibers.
BUT THIS ALL CHANGED when I discovered these babies. They are seriously soft, lightweight, and comfortable. They *never* smell of b.o., even after a long workday.
posted by Dr. Wu at 1:21 PM on January 18

Dr. Wu, those look perfect. The one shirt he's used as an undershirt is very similar (it's soft, supple, and marketed as a workout tee). Why change a good thing?
posted by DoubleLune at 1:58 PM on January 18

Uniqlo Airism undershirts are the best.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 5:31 PM on January 18 [1 favorite]

I've tried airism. I'm pretty narrow; I don't think I have a long torso, being built pretty close to the ground, but they're very long on me compared to a T shirt and I'd think they'd suit a taller person just fine.

They're close fitting, very thin, and made of some soft silky artificial fibre (rayon/bamboo, perhaps?) that doesn't rub me or grip whatever's on top, so I use them under shirts in colder weather.

They're not expensive, so if there's a Uniqlo in the vicinity I would probably buy one for the experiment.
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 11:26 PM on January 18

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