This topic tends to get people heated. There’s definitely a wide range of opinions, and what’s right for you will depend on a few different factors.
So, can you wear an undershirt with a polo?
Most people choose not to wear an undershirt with a polo because it can make it look bulkier and feel too warm. A V-neck undershirt could be worn under a polo if there are concerns about sweat stains, especially if the polo is of high quality and expensive.
That’s the short answer, but as you’d expect – there’s more to it.
After going through 5 factors you should consider before making your decision, I’ll go through what type of undershirt you should wear under a polo if you do want to do it.
Let’s get to it.
How To Decide Whether To Wear An Undershirt With A Polo
Consider all of these factors before coming to your decision. There’s a good chance that a couple of them may swing it one way or the other for you.
1. Preference For The Look
There’s a good chance that you just prefer the look of one over the other.
Some people simply think that an undershirt under a polo looks awkward.
You’re wearing two short-sleeved shirts at once. While there aren’t any style “rules” forbidding this, it’s just not a look or feel that appeals to everyone.
You may even just feel that it makes the polo look bulkier, preventing it from wrapping around your body shape naturally. Again, this may not appeal to you.
On the other hand, there are also a surprising number of people that just don’t like the look of a polo shirt without an undershirt.
While this is the minority, it’s a significant minority.
At the end of the day, if you simply prefer one look over the other, this should be your strongest influence when making your decision.
While most people tend not to wear an undershirt with a polo, if you prefer the way it looks with one, go for it.
It’s really not that much of a faux pas.
This is another big reason why some choose to wear an undershirt under their polo.
Some people just sweat more than others.
Unfortunately, this can lead to clothes being stained and ultimately not lasting quite as long.
Wearing an undershirt would be the simplest solution to the problem, giving you a protective layer in between the polo and your body.
If you’re concerned about this, strongly consider wearing an undershirt.
3. Polo Quality
The nicer the polo, the more care you’ll want to give it.
An expensive, high-quality polo shirt is probably not one you’ll want to stain, no matter how little or how much you sweat.
While it isn’t essential, you might be more inclined to wear an undershirt if the polo is on the pricier side.
You’d want it to last for the long haul.
Another reason you may want to take extra care of the polo shirt may be that it’s a company polo.
Once again, it’ll probably be one that you’ll want to protect.
This one’s tricky, because it could influence you either way. However, it’s important to consider.
It’s hard to deny that wearing an undershirt under a polo in warmer climates could get pretty uncomfortable.
This in itself would lead to plenty of people choosing not to wear an undershirt under their polo.
However, those in warmer climates are generally more likely to sweat more and therefore stain their polo shirts.
There’s a good chance the temperature is pretty warm in the first place, considering you’re choosing to wear a polo shirt.
But if you happen to live in a very warm climate, consider which one is more important to you.
In other words, decide whether you’re more concerned about sweat stains or feeling uncomfortable in the heat. Both would be reasonable.
It shouldn’t dictate how you should dress, but it’s hard to deny that some people are just more self-conscious about their body shape than others.
The trouble with relatively close-fitting upper bodywear like polo shirts is that they can be unflattering at times.
It can really cling to your body, especially when you start to sweat more. As a result, it can exaggerate your body shape in areas you may not want it to.
The same goes for chest hair sticking through your polo shirt if you happened to be self-conscious about this too.
Wearing an undershirt would be a way to prevent the polo shirt from clinging to the body so closely.
This won’t be relevant to everyone, but if you find that this is an issue when wearing a polo shirt, consider an undershirt.
V-Neck Or Crew Neck Undershirt With A Polo?
V-neck undershirts are generally better than crew neck undershirts when wearing a polo because they won’t be as visible.
If you’ve considered the factors listed above and decided that you do want to wear an undershirt, you’ll want to try and make it as invisible as possible.
While V-neck undershirts may not be entirely invisible under that polo shirt, they’ll be a lot less visible than a crew neck undershirt.
The beauty of it is that they’ll still give you the benefits of wearing a polo shirt – protection against sweat and potentially a more flattering silhouette.
But they won’t be as visible as a crew neck undershirt – these can look awkward when worn under the short-sleeved polo.
The deeper the V-neck undershirt, the less likely it is to show under your polo.
What Material Undershirt To Wear With A Polo?
While they aren’t always easy to find, undershirts made from silkier fabrics like polyester/nylon microfiber, silk, or even modal, often look better under a polo shirt than cotton ones do.
Don’t overthink this, as it isn’t essential by any means. You could wear a cotton undershirt under a polo and look fine.
But you may find that the polo shirt clings to a cotton undershirt, making it appear less natural and bulkier once you wear it.
This would be the case even with a V-neck undershirt, as it has nothing to do with the neckline.
It’s something to consider if you find that a cotton undershirt just isn’t looking quite right under your polo.
What Color Undershirt To Wear With A Polo?
In general, you’ll want to match the color of your undershirt to your polo as closely as possible. This is to keep the undershirt subtle and hidden behind the polo.
Here’s an example.
When wearing a white polo shirt, go for a white undershirt. They’re easy to find and won’t be anywhere near as noticeable as a blue or black undershirt would be.
Even a V-neck black undershirt could show through the fabric of the white polo itself.
When wearing a dark polo shirt, you have a bit more choice.
At the end of the day, a white V-neck undershirt shouldn’t be visible under a black polo shirt, as long as the V-neck is deep enough to not be visible.
But if you’re struggling to find a V-neck undershirt that’s completely invisible under your dark polo shirt, you’ll want to be more careful with it.
In these cases, try to match the color of your undershirt to your polo as closely as possible.
Can You Wear An Undershirt With A Golf Polo?
Golf shirts can be worn with undershirts, especially when there are concerns about sweat stains ruining the fabric. Golf shirts are usually made from a thinner knit with moisture-wicking properties and are often more comfortable to wear with undershirts than regular polo shirts.
When deciding whether or not you want to wear an undershirt with your golf shirt, you’ll want to consider the same factors as you would when wearing a regular polo.
Consider whether you like the look or not. In addition, consider how much you sweat, the climate, and the quality of your golf shirt.
What If The Undershirt Sleeves Stick Out Under The Polo?
If the undershirt sleeves stick out from under the polo, you could consider trimming or sewing the undershirt yourself. It won’t be visible, so the result doesn’t need to be perfect.
Alternatively, a tailor could hem the sleeves for you. This may be unnecessary, however, as it’s just an undershirt.
You could also consider going for a sleeveless undershirt. This won’t be ideal, as it won’t exactly protect you against sweat stains – you’d be losing out on one of the main benefits of wearing an undershirt with your polo in the first place.
But it’s an option.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few FAQs to finish up.
Should You Wear A Polo With A White Undershirt?
When wearing a polo shirt, it’s true that a white undershirt can help to absorb sweat and prevent stains. It can look fine when wearing white or light-colored polo shirts, but avoid white undershirts when wearing dark-colored polo shirts given the amount of contrast.
For example, a white undershirt peeking out from underneath a black polo is likely to look awkward and obvious.
Try to choose an undershirt in a color that’s as similar as possible to the color of the polo shirt to prevent this effect.
An alternative (and in many ways better) option would be to find a skin-toned undershirt so people won’t even realize you’re wearing one under the polo.
Should You Wear An Undershirt With A White Polo
When wearing a white polo, go for a white or skin-toned undershirt to make it less obvious that you’re wearing one.
At the end of the day, a polo does usually look better and less bulky when you’re not wearing an undershirt. However, if you do choose to wear a white polo, try to pick an undershirt that doesn’t look immediately obvious.
Do You Wear An Undershirt With A Long Sleeve Polo?
A long sleeve polo can look OK with an undershirt, but as with short-sleeve polos, try to choose one in a color that’s as similar as possible to the polo to make it appear less obvious.
Given the long sleeves, undershirts can look less obvious than they would under short-sleeve polos. It would usually look similar to what you’d expect when wearing an undershirt under a button-up.
However, it’s still common for undershirts to show under the polo placket and collar, especially when it’s unbuttoned.
So, as always, try to choose an undershirt that doesn’t clash or contrast the color of the polo shirt too much.
Can You Wear A Tank Top Under A Polo Shirt?
Tank tops look great under polo shirts and have the benefit of not looking obvious given the low-cut and rounded necklines. The only disadvantage they have over undershirts is that they don’t protect against sweat stains under the arms.
If you aren’t concerned about this, tank tops would always be preferable to a T-shirt-style undershirt when wearing a polo.
There you have it.
As you can see, the decision of whether or not you should wear an undershirt under your polo depends on various factors – the main one being personal preference.
Hopefully, this article has made it a whole lot easier for you to decide.
Ready Sleek founder. Obsessed with casual style and the minimalist approach to building a highly functional wardrobe. Also a fan of classic, vintage hairstyles.