Choices. We Americans have a lot of them. Sometimes we have too many choices; so many that we throw up our hands in frustration because it is too difficult to choose. Take something as simple as an undershirt. Men who still wear undershirts have to choose between crew cut tees, V-neck tees, and tank tops.
Does it really matter? Do men really care? It depends on who you ask. It also depends on the purpose for wearing the shirt. Believe it or not, there are quite a few choices in that regard as well. It can all be confusingly overwhelming if you spend too much time thinking about it.
The Crew Cut
According to the folks at Oakland-based Nerd Kung Fu, the crew cut tee is what most of us would consider a standard T-shirt. It has a rounded collar and short sleeves. Crew cut T-shirts are designed to be form fitting to some degree. They can be worn underneath a collared shirt or on top as a standalone garment.
The V-neck T-shirt is similar to the crew cut except that the color is not rounded. Instead, the collar is designed in the shape of a ‘V’ with the point facing downward. What is the purpose of the V-neck? To give men an undershirt option that cannot be seen even with an open collar. Keep this in mind; it will be important in just a minute.
The Tank Top
The tank top is a sleeveless T-shirt that hangs on the shoulders via two straps. Tank top collars tend to be rounded, but not as tight and close to the neck. Moreover, collars tend to hang lower on the chest. Like the other two types of shirts, tank tops can be worn underneath or as outer garments.
To See or Not to See
Now that you know about the different kinds of undershirts for men, it’s time to talk choices. This is where the differences in opinion come into play. There are some fashion-conscious men who insist that an undershirt should never be viewable underneath a collared shirt. This presents a couple of problems.
First of all, anyone prone to wearing a collared shirt with the collar open should forget about crew cut T-shirts. Why? Because the crew cut collar can still be seen. That leaves only the V-neck and tank top options. The former is preferred because it still has sleeves and a form-fitting shape.
The other problem such thinking creates is that some T-shirts can be seen underneath even when open collars are not an issue. Tank tops are a good example. Tank tops tend to be a bit thicker, making it easier to see their creases and seems underneath a collared shirt. Wearing a tank top undershirt without a jacket over the top is considered a no-no.
When Sweat is an Issue
Another consideration for fashion conscious men is perspiration. Let’s face it, some men sweat more than others. Let’s also face the fact that excess perspiration is one of the primary motivations for wearing an undershirt. You don’t really want to go without if you are a heavy sweater. Otherwise your collared shirt gets unsightly pretty quickly.
Tank tops are no good for sweaters. Crew cuts and V-necks are both good choices, but the crew cut wins overall because of its greater coverage.
What do you think? Do you have a preferred style of undershirt? Perhaps you are the kind of guy who doesn’t really care. Whatever works for you is fine with the rest of us.