Undershirts are not something I have made a habit of wearing or writing about. Largely because undershirts have not had a place in my wardrobe, they have not been discussed on The Fine Young Gentleman. In fact, I’ve actively avoided discussing them. But I figure after six years of writing this site, some things can change. Sometimes change is a good thing, sometimes. That said, in this post we will be discussing how to wear an undershirt as well as review undershirts from NVSBL.
NVSBL is a brand that specializes in men’s undershirts. The brand hails from Australia and has its product made in China. I have been happily wearing around a few of their undershirts for the past number of months in order to wear test them for this review. Before we discuss NVSBL’s shirts, let’s talk more generally about wearing undershirts.
Historically, undershirts and undergarments were worn to provide a buffer layer between the wearers skin and outer garment. This was done for the purpose of protecting the skin from abrasive or scratchy fabrics and to limit the amount of laundering that was needed for the nicer outer garments. Although those reasons are still potential justifications for wearing undershirts, there are many others which may include comfort, body odor, perspiration, personal preference and oily skin. At the end of the day, whether or not you wear an undershirt is a personal preference.
If you do choose to wear an undershirt, as with all things, it is important to do it well. Having a good undershirt can really help with that.
The most common mistake I see regarding undershirts is when guys wear their dress shirt open with a crewneck undershirt; leaving a patch of undershirt showing. It is a horrible look. In the photo above I am wearing my shirt collar open with a v-neck undershirt from NVSBL, you cannot see the undershirt, thankfully.
There are two other important things to keep in mind when wearing an undershirt. First, that the shirt should be tight and form fitting. Second, that it not be white; a tone closer to actual skin tone is ideal so that the shirt blends in with the skin. Contrast between these two things cause an undershirt to be visible. Both qualities are present in the NVSBL shirt pictured above are a few of the reasons why I think it is a quality undershirt. Its worth noting that they have shades of shirts for darker skinned men as well.
The quality of make and fabric of the NVSBL shirt is commendable. The ribbing around the collar is simple and does not create an outline on the dress shirt when worn, as you will see in the below photo. The Modal and Spandex blend fabric makes for a nice feel when worn, it is smooth and soft.
The fit of NVSBL’s shirt is spot on. As previously noted, they are tight fitting; which you want for an undershirt. The armholes are cut tight so there is no excess fabric hanging beneath the opening and the sleeves are cut tight and high so the shirt does not show through the sleeves of a dress shirt or jacket. The shirts also run a little long, which help keep them tucked in throughout the day.
After six years, I think it is appropriate that we finally touch on the subject of undershirts a little more in depth. Obviously, there are a number of purveyors of undershirts, many that cost less than NVSBL’s, which at $26 are not cheap. But frankly, I have not seen or been referred to a lesser priced and better option. Wearing undershirts incorrectly can totally ruin an otherwise great ensemble and at $26 the shirt is still much less expensive than your dress shirt, shoes and suit; so relatively speaking, perhaps the shirts are not that expensive. I’ve been quite happy with the NVSBL shirts that I have been wearing and if I were a habitual undershirt wearer they would get a lot more use. So for those of you that are, these shirts are definitely worthy of a try. If you have any experience with NVSBL shirts or thoughts about undershirts in general, please feel free to hit the comments. Thank you for reading.