What are the benfits of an extra long T-shirt or undershirt is a question we often get in our store. For some men, the undershirt is a thing worn by others that they don’t need. But for many guys, the undershirt is a secret weapon. It is that extra bit of clothing that saves their look and helps them feel comfortable. It can also add a layer for warmth when the weather turns cool. But why would you need an extra long undershirt?
The history of Undershirt basics
No-one really knows who came up with the idea of an undershirt but it was the forerunner and creator of the T-shirt. We know the Romans wore a type of undershirt, a light and thin tunic under their armour. Knights also wore something similar while off riding their horse and chasing maidens.
Long John undershirt
The modern version of the undershirt started out with the odd piece of clothing known as the ‘long johns’. There were all in one suits worn underneath clothing with a flat at the rear for essential purposes. They were also known as union suits and came along in the clothing reforms of the 19th century. Scientific knowledge began to be aimed at the clothing industry and cheap but effective underwear was born.
This booming knowledge led to the understanding that the undershirt was easier to wear than the union suit but still did the most important part of the job. The undershirt absorbed sweat and prevented it from staining the clothes above. By the early 20th century, the US Navy were issuing these garments to their men and manual workers picked up on the idea. When working in the heat of the ships or in hot locations, men would often be seen in just their undershirts.
The modern undershirt
Fast forward to modern times and the purpose of the undershirt has changed little. It is still worn by some men in manual professions but has become more closely associated with formal wear. For the man who wear a suit and smart shirt all day, the undershirt has a number of functions.
The first of these is the same as always – absorb the sweat. This also protects the fine nature of the shirt material and stops unsightly stains. The undershirt adds a layer to protect against the cold. They even act as a backup to the shirt when the material is a bit sheer.
Why do I need an extra long undershirt?
But why would you need an extra long undershirt? Surely, the fit of this undergarment doesn’t matter? The reality is that a poor fitting undershirt can completely spoil your look in many ways. But the main reason for the extra long undershirt is so that it stays put when you move around. We all chuckle about ‘builders bum’ and other such names for peeking areas of flesh due to poorly fitting clothes. But the principle applies to undershirts even if your shirt is long enough – it can ride up and show a gap between where it is and where it isn’t. This gap is noticeable through all but the very densest shirt and looks almost as bad as a shirt riding up.
So to ensure that no matter what you do, your undershirt stays put, opt for an extra long length. Try your existing undershirt out without a shirt on – does it pass the stay-put test?