Men’s Undershirts – Undershirt History & Style – Under Shirts Fabrics Crew Neck V-Neck Tank Top


Men’s Undershirts – History & Style Hi! I’m Antonio Centeno, the founder of Real
Men Real Style. Today I’m going to be talking with you about the undershirt — yes, the
undershirt. I’m going to be giving you the history of the undershirt. I’m going to be
talking about styles of undershirts. I’m going to be talking about the fabrics that undershirts
are made from, okay? All right. If you haven’t already, you should
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this video, I always appreciate it if you like it. Let’s go ahead and get into undershirts, the
lowly undershirt. I am wearing one right now made by my friend, Mike, over at RibbedTee.
It’s a company he started over in Los Angeles. The undershirt is something that many of us
use and many of us don’t even know the history behind it. UNDERSHIRT HISTORY Undershirts, as we see them today, basically
the T-shirt came out of the US Military and it was something that was in the Navy, Coast
Guard, other services, they had it underneath as protection. It provided a bit more warmth
and it was great for absorbing sweat and protecting the more expensive clothing on the outside,
so let’s go farther back in history. Now, there’s not a lot of documentation on
this, I don’t know why, but if you go back to Roman soldiers, if you look at Chinese
soldiers, they wore forms of undershirts. Oftentimes, they were just fabric draped around
the body, but they served as protection and also protecting their expensive garments. A lot of the times, especially if they were
an officer or if they were of a higher rank, it was something that the clothing that they
wore was very expensive — you had less clothing, it was all hand-made, so you wanted to protect
it from your own body because you didn’t want it to appear soiled. It was easier to
change out that undersheet, I guess, than to change and go and wash all your clothing. Let’s move forward 18th, 19th, 20th Century.
All of a sudden, handmade clothing is disappearing. Manufacturers are starting to make clothing
and they are systemizing in a sense what we normally wear. If you wanted to go out and
wear something that’s against society or totally different, you know how hard it is to find
something like that because the clothing manufacturers in many ways dictate what we wear. So in that way, they decided that, “Well,
let’s go with the undershirt.” It serves the purpose, like I mentioned, of protection.
It serves the purpose of helping keep you a bit warmer. “Let’s go ahead” and they decided
that they were going to make it. We saw the union suits. You can do a Google search on
it. A lot of people make fun of it, but it does serve the purpose of keeping us warm
and of protecting the more expensive clothing on the outside of the body. We’ve talked about the history. Let’s talk
about the styles. I’ve got some examples. STYLES • Tank top – I don’t have an example of
this one, the wife-beater. Just do a Google search, tank-top wife-beater. This is the
one without the sleeves. I’m not a big fan of it because I don’t think it serves the
purpose of protecting my clothing. Yes, I do sweat and I want to protect my clothing.
I wear an antiperspirant and that kind of stuff, but I still sweat, so I wear clothing
that protects my nice shirts from sweating in the armpit area. Those types of shirts I don’t think really
do a good job. Some men like them and they like it just basically how you can’t see your
nipples through if you’re wearing a really lightweight shirt, so that’s why perhaps they
wear it. • V-neck – Let’s move on to the next one,
which I’ve got an example. I’m going to give you the V-neck undershirt. You can see this
one has a V-neck. I am wearing a V-neck as well, and the reason I like wearing a V-neck
is because I can leave this shirt undone here. No one is going to see I have an undershirt
on and I’m safe. We’ll get into this in fabrics. This one is
made from 50% cotton, 50% polyester, and be thinking about why I would approve of something
that uses a manmade fiber, but we’ll get into that in a few seconds. • Crew neck – This is where it’s going to
go all the way up to the top. This is probably the most common undershirt on the planet.
This is where the modern-day T-shirt came from. So if you go back and look at some of
the films in the 1950s, the Wild One, these are guys who are wearing their undershirts
in a sense with leather jackets over that. Eventually, they became the T-shirt, which
believe it or not, the T-shirt is a fashion item and has really just become popular in
the 1990s in this part of the 21st Century. I always get those century things mixed up. • Long sleeve – The other style I want to
talk about is the long sleeve. Do I have a long sleeve example? I do, and this is more
closer to what we would see in the union, the union suit, and this is for thermal purposes.
I live here in Wisconsin. It gets cold and I do have some thermal underwear. I’ve also
got a full body suit because it keeps you a little bit warmer, but this is the long
sleeve. Oftentimes, you just see thermal underwear. Go ahead and do a Google search and it’ll
have a picture pop up, I’m sure. • Athletic – Now beyond that, we also have
athletic. Now Under Armour has really done a great job coming in and almost cornering
the market on this, but before Under Armour came out, Patagonia, North Face, a lot of
these backpacking companies, they were actually putting out some great undergarments. They
did a good job of wicking away moisture and protecting you. I remember I picked this one up back in 1997,
I believe, and I still have it. It is made from Capilene, Patagonia. I don’t even know
if they make this stuff anymore, but this was an awesome undershirt. Actually, I use
it just as regular wear when I was down in Ecuador. I went down there with an entomologist,
and you can do a Google search on what that means. We were down at the rainforest and
it was pretty cool. We were actually studying all types of insects in the rainforest. I
have a biology background, by the way. • Compression – We’ve talked about that
compression. I’m not going to get into compression undergarments too much. It’s come out of the
women’s. Spanx was the big company over there, but if you somehow want to shape your body,
go ahead and look into that. I’m not a big advocate of it, but that stuff is out there. • Specialty Undershirts – There are also
specialty undershirts that are made to help wick away moisture to absorb sweat. And if
you sweat a lot, go check out the Undershirt Guy. Just do a Google search, “undershirt
guy”, Tug. He’s put out tons of great information on this. Now, undershirts also come in a variety of
colors. I just showed you a number of whites, but they also come in gray and black. Black,
you want to make sure your shirt’s dark; otherwise, it’s going to show through. Gray is nice.
I like gray because you can get a little bit dirtier and stain it. I think they’re going
to last longer than the whites simply because they’re going to hide stains and it works
perfectly fine under a white shirt. I’ve never had them show through, but then again, I don’t
wear really, really lightweight white shirts. Now let’s get into fabric. FABRIC Cotton is going to be the most common — durable,
proven, good to go. See something that’s 100% cotton, you’re probably safe. Now, there are
different levels of quality of cotton, so that’s why something that’s made from a super
pima cotton is going to possibly be more expensive than just made from a normal cotton coming
out of West Texas. I’m from West Texas, but honestly, we don’t make the highest quality
cotton there. So having said that, I’m sure I insulted some guys at Texas Tech University
because they’re all about their cotton, but in any case guys, face the reality, super
pima cotton and other things like that are where it’s at. Now wools, there’s a company called Icebreaker
that’s really making some great undershirts out of wool. So if you’re into that and you
want something that will really absorb sweat, go check them out. BLENDS Now, I alluded to this and let’s talk quickly
about blends. Now, 20 years ago, undershirts that are made from polyester, I would say
absolutely not, but they may come a long way especially with everything that we’ve seen
in the athletic type of garments. This one, I brought it up earlier, it’s made
by RibbedTee and this one is 50% polyester, 50% cotton, and I love it. What separates
this and why it works is because of the weave, so you can’t see it here, but this is a gauze
weave. I can almost see through this, very, very lightweight. If you’re in a hot area,
you’re in Arizona, you’re down in Florida, this is the undershirt that you’re going to
want to check out if you wear undershirts, okay, guys? The best undershirt, what is the right one?
Well, the right one is the one that serves you for what you need. I own a variety. I
advice you own a variety. I advice buying less, buying higher quality. With that, guys, if you want to learn more
about men’s style, make sure to go check us out over at realmenrealstyle.com. This entire
video right here was in support of my article over at The Art of Manliness. I’m going to
link to that great article right down below, so go check it out. Okay, guys, I’ll see you later. Bye-bye.

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