How important are men’s undershirts at work?

LogoDear Ms. Corporate Manners
Can you please talk about how men should wear undershirts under their button up collars, especially when you can see through their shirts? The same guy everyday wears a shirt I can see right through and never wears a undershirt. I mean, he might as well be walking around with no shirt on. It makes me uncomfortable and a little sick at my stomach. We ladies wear our undergarments and so should the men. I am uncomfortable saying something to my manager, and I wonder why she hasn’t done something about it herself, because everyone talks about it. Please tell the men to wear a shirt under their business attire.
Thank you,
Uncomfortable in Nashville

Dear Uncomfortable:
Whether it’s fair or not, we are all judged on what we look like. While there is no requirement to wear an undershirt, it just looks more professional if you do. If you don’t take the time to maintain a professional appearance, you may give the impression of not being able to do the job. Many things contribute to image, but wearing appropriate clothing plays a big part. Both men and women need to err on the side of modesty and a conservative dress code.

So men, wear an undershirt under your dress shirt to control perspiration and avoid see-through shock. White, 100 percent cotton, classically a crewneck, although a V-neck or tank is okay. And we mean a real undershirt, not your souvenir T-shirt from the beach. In a famous scene in “It Happened One Night,” Clark Gable took off his shirt to reveal a bare chest. Undershirt sales plummeted. Nevertheless we still say, undershirts under dress shirts at the office – unless you look like Clark Gable and maybe we’ll make an exception.

If you want more information on professional dress, there’s a great book by Susan Bixler and Nancy Nix-Rice called “The New Professional Image” that you can read. She gives great advice!
Sincerely,
Ms. Corporate Manners

© Penny Aviotti and Ms.Corporate Manners 2003 – 2013.

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