Over the past several months, we have had the chance to review a variety of products that are redefining a wardrobe staple that seems to have gone unchanged in any meaningful way for decades; the undershirt. For many men, especially those who dress up for work, an undershirt is a necessity but also a burden.
Too often, they are spun from heavy cotton, sized like small boxy tents, and bunch up under all but the fullest cut shirts. One reason we are excited about this new crop of brands that are re-thinking the lowly undershirt, is that the changes they bring are making a real difference in the market. These “next generation” base layers are more comfortable and fit much better that what’s on the store shelf, and they actually match the way we live and dress today.
Ribbed Tee is a great example of this updated thinking. Made in the USA, their undershirts and tees combine excellent quality, soft but supportive materials and a solid design that fits comfortably. The 50/50 combed cotton and polyester blend Retro Fit v-neck undershirts we tested are incredibly lightweight, so much so that we could barely feel them. The wide neck opening remains well-hidden when wearing an open neck shirt.
The shirts themselves are cut long and pose little risk of ever coming untucked. They also have a high cut sleeves that stay out of the way when worn under a polo or other short sleeved shirt. The loose jersey knit MicroModal fabric means that the shirt hugs your body without any binding or constraint. It’s a great fit under a slim dress shirt but still feels incredibly comfortable.
We also tried out their classic fit crew neck in heather grey, which was equally comfortable and possessed many of the same material features as the the undershirts: streamlined fit, trim design, featherweight fabric, and a long stay-in-place cut. The mico-ribbing pattern is reminiscent of a classic thermal tee, and provides some visual texture when worn by itself. It’s also an excellent layering piece, especially due to its ability to provide real style without any bulk whatsoever. However, if you plan to wear it as a stand-alone tee, some fair warning – you better be in shape.