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How To Wear An Undershirt With A White Dress Shirt

December 22, 2022
How To Wear An Undershirt With A White Dress Shirt

If you’re hoping to get as much value as possible out of your clothes, then it’s important you get the basics right. So, can you wear an undershirt with a white dress shirt? 

It’s possible to wear an undershirt with a white dress shirt. However, try to ensure that it blends well with your skin tone without looking too obvious under the dress shirt. You should also make sure that it’s not long-sleeved and that the undershirt has a low neckline. 

That’s the short answer, but there’s plenty more to it than that. 

Let’s explore this concept further below. 

5 Tips For Wearing An Undershirt With A White Dress Shirt

If you’re keen on wearing rocking an undershirt underneath your white dress shirt, there are a few things you need to consider. 

Let’s get into those now. 

Image From Deposit Photos

1. Make Sure It’s The Right Color

The cardinal sin of wearing an undershirt with a white shirt is choosing a clashing color. In this case, it’s vital that you stick to inconspicuous colors that won’t attract any unwanted attention. 

Colors like black, pink, green, and blue are absolute no-goes here. Should you decide to wear one of these, then the color of your undershirt will seep through your main dress shirt, and your whole outfit will look ridiculous and thrown together. 

Instead, opt for more subtle colors like light brown, beige, tan, and light grey as these will blend into your dress shirt and skin resulting in a much more subtle look. 

Color choices can make or break your ability to pull off your undershirt so make sure you dedicate the most time to figuring this out.  

2. Don’t Use A T-Shirt Or Tank Top

Using a t-shirt for an undershirt may sound tempting as we all have them laying around. However, this decision can, and will, backfire as the sleeves will show through and the material is far too thick to blend into your white dress shirt.

One of the biggest mistakes people make in this arena is to mistake a white t-shirt as an undershirt. 

Not only is the material completely inappropriate, but the neckline is often high, meaning you’ll be unable to remove your tie and unbutton your shirt a little without it showing through. 

If you wish to rock the perfect undershirt, then ditch the t-shirt and opt for a legitimate undershirt. 

You may also be tempted to wear a tank top. However, this is a huge mistake as the prominent lines on the shoulders will inevitably show through the thin facade of your white dress shirt. 

Furthermore, the lack of sleeves means that any perspiration will seep through completely undetected. 

We all have t-shirts and tank tops lying around. This, however, does not mean you should wear them as an undershirt as they’re highly unsuitable – especially if they have designs, text, or logos on them. 

3. No Long Sleeves 

The golden rule for donning an additional layer under a white dress shirt is to have no long sleeves. 

Not only will long sleeves make you more likely to be hot and uncomfortable, but they’ll also stick out like a sore thumb and make it alarmingly obvious you’re wearing an additional layer under your dress shirt as the sleeves can protrude from beneath those of your dress shirt. 

Whilst wearing an undershirt with a white shirt isn’t a bad thing on its own, it’s best if it blends into your outfit as smoothly as possible. Wearing long-sleeves will not help you achieve this and will only make you uncomfortable. 

Instead, find an undershirt with sleeves long enough to cover your armpits but short enough to provide a good level of flexibility. 

4. Go With A Low Neck Line

Should you choose to unbutton your dress shirt a little, the last thing you want is to have your undershirt peaking out from underneath. 

Therefore, it’s essential that you choose an undershirt with a neckline lower than that of your white dress shirt. This will ensure your undershirt remains hidden and that only you know about it. 

On the other hand, if you’re wearing an undershirt to hide tattoos or excessive chest hair, then a higher neckline will be appropriate in this instance. However, in most cases, lower necklines are the best option.

Low necklines will also provide better airflow to your torso, meaning you’ll be cooler if your event is taking place in warm weather or inside a cramped, hot building. 

Buy A High-Quality Dress Shirt

A general rule of thumb is that the cheaper your dress shirt, the more transparent it will be. This means that no matter how much time and consideration you put into your undershirt, it will inevitably show through your dress shirt. 

The only way to compensate for this is to push the proverbial boat out and spend a little bit more on your dress shirt. The better-quality material provides the opaqueness you need for your white undershirt to remain hidden. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s get into some frequently asked questions on this subject to clear up any remaining concerns you may have. 

Can You Wear A Grey Undershirt With A White Dress Shirt?

It is possible to wear a grey undershirt with a white dress shirt, but you’ll to make sure it’s the right shade of grey. 

If you’re of a lighter skin tone, a light grey shirt will look somewhat subtle under your white dress shirt. However, dark greys should be avoided as these will clash with your dress shirt.

Can You Wear A Black Undershirt With A White Dress Shirt

You cannot wear a black undershirt with a white dress shirt. The massive difference in color will be immediately apparent and your entire outfit will look messy and uncoordinated. 

It is, under any circumstances, appropriate to wear a white dress shirt with a black undershirt underneath. If there’s any color to be avoided, it’s black. 

What Kind Of Fabric Should My Undershirt Be?

Cotton-wool undershirts are the best fabrics to use as they’re absorbent, durable, and allow for plenty of movement.

Undershirts are worn under dress shirts to absorb sweat and provide warmth, and it’s their job to do this whilst keeping your outfit looking sharp without reducing flexibility.

Therefore, going with a 100% cotton shirt is a great option. They’re strong, durable, and will absorb any perspiration you create. 

Higher-quality cottons like Pima or Egyptian are both comfortable to wear and silky smooth. Another benefit is that it’s less likely to be visible through your dress shirt due to the more delicate material. 

Just like anything else, you get what you pay for in the world of undershirts. If you can, try to spend a little bit more and opt for an undershirt that delivers on its requirements. 

How Should My Undershirt Fit Under A Dress Shirt?

Undershirts should be neither too tight nor too loose under a white dress shirt. They should provide adequate coverage of the armpits and be long enough to be tucked in. 

Your undershirt should receive as much care and consideration as the rest of your outfit. Therefore, it’s vital that you choose an undershirt that fits well and leaves you feeling comfortable whilst still looking good. 

The best undershirts fit well but leave a little leeway for flexibility. They also need to be light enough to not leave marks or lines peering through your shirt – which is extremely important considering you’re wearing a white dress shirt. 

Your undershirt also needs to be both long enough to completely cover your abdomen and to be tucked in effectively. This will ensure the undershirt blends into your outfit well and it’s as natural-looking as possible. 

It’s also important that your undershirt isn’t too tight-fitting as this will cause you severe discomfort and will limit your range of movement. Aim for the sweet spot between something that’s not too loose and not too tight and constricting and you’ll be golden. 

Do I Have To Wear An Undershirt With A White Dress Shirt?

You are under absolutely no obligation to wear an undershirt with your white dress shirt. In fact, you won’t need to wear one in the majority of circumstances. Only in extreme weather conditions, or personal preference is an undershirt necessary. 

If you’re seriously worried about your undershirt being visible, or if you have no suitable candidates to wear, then ditch the idea completely and make sure you’re wearing plenty of antiperspirant to keep your armpits dry. 


So there you have it. It is indeed possible to wear a white undershirt with a white dress shirt, but you’ll have to stick with a few golden rules to pull it off as best as you possibly can. 

Avoid logos, tank tops, and cheap materials, and you’ll be able to wear an undershirt without anybody noticing.