What started off as an article primarily to address a readers question about whether or not there was an undershirt that would help flatten his chest area, has expanded quickly into the most comprehensive article about men’s shapewear (compression and slimming undershirts) on the web.
Here’s my theory – compression undershirts have been around for a while, but they have been primarily designed for and marketed to men looking to help mask the effects of gynecomastia (man boobs). I’m just guessing, but at some point last year, some smart marketing person must have had a light bulb go off in their head and decided that these same compression undershirts could be marketed in a new way and could address a new and different market need. I also suspect that some of the companies that are now offering shapewear for men have gone to some extent to enhance the designs of some of the early generation compression undershirts so they look more like undershirts, and have a more masculine, sporty design.
So, with all that said, the article below addresses not only the reader’s original question, it also provides information on various men’s shapewear undershirts.
Here’s the original title of this article:
Ask Tug: Is there an Undershirt or Wifebeater that will hide or mask the effects of Gynecomastia (puffy nipples)?
I’m really glad this reader wrote in to ask his question. It’s an important topic we haven’t discussed here yet and it’s about time we did. Here’s his email:
Hey how are you? I found your blog while looking for a solution to my problem.
It’s not really a problem but it’s something that I deal with everyday. I am looking for an undershirt or a wifebeater preferably that will help me hide/flatten my chest area. I am not overweight or anything like that…I am actually in good shape.
The thing is that to me my chest and nipples look like they are “popping out” more that I would like them to… I am very self conscious and it is something that I get embarrassed about, even though people around me tell me that you can’t really notice it.
Basically what I’ve been doing is putting a wide elastic band around my chest area and then i wear my wifebeater on top. It’s something that I’m getting tired of doing everyday…so I was wondering if you know of any brand of wifebeater that can help me with this problem that I have without having to put something else under it?
I was reading about compression shirts form “under armour”…but i haven’t been able to find one that looks like a tank top from them. They all have long sleeves and are usually dark colors. Plus, I don’t even know if a compression shirt would work for what I need.
Thank you very much, and hopefully you can help me out.
Thank you so much for writing in with your question. This has been a topic that I’ve wanted to write about for some time, but I just haven’t had the time to address it, that is, until now.
The good news is, there are some undershirts that I can refer you to that are specially designed to address your particular need. But, before I tell you about them, I wanted to share some information about the condition you’re experiencing with your nipples so you realize that you’re not alone. In fact, roughly 33%-50% of males (adolescent & adult), including those who are in good shape such as yourself, experience some form of this condition.
The medical name for the condition is gynecomastia (alternate spelling: gynaecomastia). It’s also referred to a man boobs (moobs), puffy nipples, and excessive chest fat. Men experience this condition in varying degrees of severity and it ranges from slightly puffy nipples to a complete feminine appearance.
If you’re still a young male, there is a good possibility that you will grow out of it.
For your reference, here are a few websites that provide some good information about the topic:
- Gynecomastia in Men
- Male Puffy Nipples – Why Do They Happen?
- How To Get Rid Of Man Boobs (Moobs), Eliminate Puffy Nipples, and Burn Chest Fat
If you’re looking to eliminate the condition altogether, remedies range from dieting, taking special supplements, to plastic surgery (liposuction).
To address your original question about whether or not there are tank tops or undershirts available that will help mask your nipple area, I have a few recommendations:
- Fitted/Stretchy tank tops and undershirts – There are a wide range of fitted (form fitting, body conscious) undershirts that are made out stretchy material (lycra, spandex, polyester, dow xla) that will fit you closely and comfortably. Form fitting full undershirts will likely provide more compressing effects since there is more fabric in the chest and arm area than with tanks tops. That said, while I am not able to suggest one that closely resembles a wife beater tank, here are some options for you to look at:
- Men’s Stretch 2xist tank tops at Barenecessities.com
- Men’s Stretch undershirts at Barenecessities.com
- Also try searching for “stretch undershirt” or “stretch t-shirt” at hisroom.com and freshpair.com
- Core Precision Undershirts from Equmen – Not available until January 2009, but these new high performance undershirts look like a new promising alternative that you might consider. I’m probably over simplifying it but they strike me as a cross between Compression athletic shirts and Spanx. They use a HELIX-MAPPING Body Response Technology that looks pretty interesting and is described further on their website. Based on the pictures, it appears they will offer them in tank top, crew neck, and v-neck styles and white, black, grey, and blue colors.
See My Review Here: Undershirt Review: Equmen Core Precision Undershirt
- RIPT FUSION – New men’s shapewear/compression “undershirt on steriods” from Yummie Tummie creator Heather Thomson. Dual fabric technology provides comfort in chest and sweep and provides compression in section midsection. Comes in v-neck and crew neck. Price: $58.
International Customers can purchase RIPT Fusion at RibbedTee.com.
See My Review Here: Undershirt Review: RIPT Fusion Body Sculpting Undershirt
5/03/2010 Update: RIPT Fusion Announces new Body Sculpting Tank Top.
RIPT Tank Top Review: Undershirt Review: Rid Yourself of Rolls and Suck In Your Gut. The RIPT Fusion Body Sculpting Tank Top Is Here
- Sculptees: Sculptwear for Men – Another new find from a reader. This company also offers a variety of compression tops and briefs. The collection includes tank tops and t-shirt compression tees (black and white) as well as a compression waistband and short and long briefs. Tanks cost $58 and Tees cost $78.
See My Review Here: Undershirt Review: Sculptees T-Slim Crew Neck Undershirt
- SPANX for Men Cotton Compression Undershirts, by Sara Blakely – (2/04/10) – Pre-Order SPANX for Men Cotton Compression Undershirts starting today.
See My Review Here: Undershirt Review: SPANX for Men Cotton Compression Undershirt
9/2010 Update: Spanx recently released their Zoned Performance Undershirt Line.
See My Review Here: Spanx for Men Zoned Performance Undershirt Review – My Initial Thoughts
- Bodymax from Marks & Spencer (UK) – (12/30/2009) Due to release in early January 2010, UK retailer Marks & Spencer recently announced that they are launching their own men’s shapewear undershirts under the brand Bodymax. The retailer claims these special slimming undershirts will take up to 1.5″ off your waistline and with prices ranging from $19 – $24 USD (more than 50% less than most other slimming undershirts), M&S could change the face of the men’s shapewear market pretty dramatically.
See My “Initial Thoughts” Review Here: Wanna See The New Bodymax Shapewear Slimming Undershirts for Men? Here Are My Initial Thoughts
4/4/10 Update: Marks & Spencer Announces New Bodymax+ Seamless Shaping Vests. Available Online April 6, 2010!
- Manshape Shapewear Support Underwear – I can’t take any credit for finding this product, but one of the company reps (duffy) stopped by the site and posted a comment down below introducing me (and the rest of the world) to their product line. They offer a Supportank ($31) and a Support Brief ($42.50). From the pictures on their website and on Underworks.com, their Supportank is designed very similar to the RIPT Fusion undershirt, with a cotton top and a 4-way stretch body/bottom. Hmmm, maybe Heather Thomson should talk to Duffy to see about quickly adding a tank to the RIPT Fusion line!
See My Review Here: Undershirt Review: Manshape Support Tank Top
- Go Softwear – This company has offered their Waist Eliminator ($26) for some time, however, they recently released their own version of a Slimming Tank ($30). It has a similar design to the RIPT Fusion undershirt and the Manshape Supportank in that the top part is made from cotton/lycra and the bottom part, which offers compression/slimming effects around the midsection/love handle area, is made from a nylon/lycra blend.
- Undergear Shape Enhancer Underwear Products – A variety of men’s shapewear that includes slimming tanks, slimming partial body suits (briefs and boxer style), padded butt underwear, and padded front boxers. The tanks (Body Shaper Top & Body Trimmer Top) retail for $27.99.
- Firm51 Gynecomastia Power T-Shirts – Got an email from the folks at Firm51 to let me know about their compression t-shirts that look like a regular cotton t-shirt. They offer their shirts in tank top, crew neck, and v-neck and they come in white and black. They also offer a double-layered vest for additional compression. From a quick look at their website, they seem similar in concept and look to the new product from Equmen. Powerful compression panels on the inside give you a flat & masculine chest. Firm51 is UK’s premier online seller of Power T-shirts & vest.
See My Review Here: Undershirt Review: Feeling Flat in My Firm51 Compression Tank Top and Undershirt
- Slix Downsizer – (01/08/2010) – Launched in November 2009 - 50% Polyester / 37% Nylon / 13% Elastane. The Downsizer utilizes seamless construction and a slightly heavier weight than The Influencer to streamline your physique. Features: Seamless construction, Blended mesh knit that breathes and wicks moisture, Moderate compression, Raglan sleeves, Tagless. Colors: White. Price: $39.00
- Ultimate Body Sculptor T-shirt for men from Julie France online – (01/15/2010) Just came across this new men’s body shaper / slimming crew neck undershirt. 84% Polyamide / 14% Spandex / 2% Cotton. Colors: White & Black. Price: $62.00
- CG2 Compression Tank Tops & T-shirts – (3/18/2010) This one has been on my list for some time, but it was categorized together below with Underworks. Recently, a reader wrote in and asked for a recommendation for tank that had compression in the chest, but no so much in the waist area, and said the GC2 was great for nights out on the town! Also, I’ve recently been in touch with the founder and he has a great story! His wife is a fashion designer. He suffers from gynecomastia. They teamed up around 17 years ago and created the shirts for him. After years of wearing them, he and his wife decided to manufacture them and sell them online! They are made in the USA too. Price: Around $22 – $25 per undershirt/tank.
They also have ebay store: GC2 Compression tank tops and t-shirts
See My Review Here: Undershirt Review: Out on the Town in my GC2 Compression Tank Top Undershirts
- Underworks Men’s Shapewear – long time player in the men’s shapewear category. Originally marketed as gynecomastia undershirts and undewear, Underworks has been on my list since I wrote this post. Since that time, they have developed several mainstream products that offer a fantastic overall price to performance ratio. Product is made in the USA too. Prices vary, Average price: $33 – $39 per shirt.
- Underworks Cotton Concealer Tank Top, Muscle Shirt, and V-Neck Crewneck t-shirts
- Underworks Ultimate Chest Binder
- Underworks New Gynecomastia Body Shirt
- 2xist Form Shapewear Briefs Collection – Due out in July 2009 (Launched).
Tug Exclusive! 2(x)ist Creative Director Confirms Mens Shapewear FORM Collection Launch Details
2xist Launches Form Shapewear Line for Men
- Ardyss Abdomen Mens Shirt – Tank Top. Designed to give firm abdominal support and reinforces the lower back. It helps to protect the spine from backaches and muscular fatigue. Sizes: XXS – XXL. I have one and will be doing a review early April 2010 soon. Price: $60
6/04/10 Update: See My Ardyss Abdomen Undershirt Review Here
- Freedom Band™ Underwear from Haband – (3/22/2010) Similar to the support underwear from Manshape and 2(x)ist. Underwear comes with a wide waistband that holds in the love handles. Offered in briefs, boxer briefs, and boxers. Price: $11
- Insta Slim Undershirts, Tank Tops, Slimming Belts slimming / shapewear products – This company offers pretty affordable compression tanks ($29.90) and crew neck undershirts ($39.90) that are available in black and white. If you buy 1, you get the 2nd on FREE! See their website for more information.
5/13/10 Update: Looks like I will be getting samples of this product to review so keep an eye out for a review in the coming weeks.
8/29/10 Update: See My Insta Slim Review Here
- SlimTs Mens Body Shaping Tank top – (3/22/2010) “As Seen on TV”. I heard about this tank from a reader who saw an advertisement on tv so I tracked down where to buy it online. Not really sure what to make of this slimming tank, but the marketing claims that it offers the same slimming benefits as other men’s shapewear/slimming undershirts listed here. The tank is designed with ab panels, assumably so it gives you the appearance of having a “six pack”. Price: $19.95 (add a 3-pack for an additional $29.95 plus S&H) Would be interested to hear from someone who ordered this product.
5/13/10 Update: I got in contact with the folks at SlimTs and I might be able to get my hands on a sample sometime soon! When I get word, I’ll update the information here.
8/11/10 Update: I got my hands on a SlimT tank and provided some initial thoughts and wrote a mini SlimT product review in the comments section of this post.
- Leonisa Mens Shaper / Compression Shaper (6/28/2010) – Just came across this product. Designed like a zip-up tank top. Has criss-cross support on the back of the garment likely designed to pull back the shoulders. Comes in a nude color. Price: $59.99.
- Ript Skinz (8/18/2010) – Just got some info on this new unique men’s shapewear product line slated to release in Spring 2011. This garment line combines compression/slimming with cosmetic skincare infused hi-tech fabric. The combination will firm, flatten, and tone the wearer over time.
- The Original Slim T for Men – (11/05/2010) Not to be confused with #18 above, the Original Slim T for Men is a slimming v-neck tank top that has been around for several years (although I just found out about it!). Styles: V-Neck tank top (white, but black coming soon), Short Sleeve version coming in early December 2010. Price: $34.99.
- Asda (Walmart UK subsidiary) Shape Enhancer T-shirt (12/23/10) – New to the mix. UK supermarket chain started selling this slimming undershirt sometime in 2010. Just came across an article that compared Asda to many other leading slimming undershirts and Asda was rated the best. Price: £7, $10.78 USD
- Moda Cocoon (12/23/10) – Reader sent in information about this product he saw at a mall. Man’s Control T-Shirt. Reduces waist and abdomen. Side zipper for greater comfort. They also have a Men’s Thermal T-shirt that not only shapes the physique, it’s thermal zone (latex “Rubberflex”) is suppose to shape and reduce the abdomen. Here’s their 2010 Catalog. Price: $70 (approximate). Also available on MakeMeHeel.com here.
- Figleaves Slimming/Shaping Undershirts & Tanks (3/23/11) – Online store offering a large selection of men’s and women’s undergarments, swimwear, shapewear, etc. Servicing 100 countries including the U.S., but based in UK. Figleaves has just released their own private label compression/slimming/shaping undershirt lines. Ultimate Seamless Rib Range & Shaping Control Range. Price Range: $33 – $45 per (discounts for 2-packs).
- Power Body Sculpting Undershirts & Tanks (6/2011) – New affordable line of cotton/spandex compression undershirts for the cost conscious. Company behind the Power Body brand is Delta Galil, a global manufacturer and marketer of private label apparel products for men, women and children. Pricing ranges from $19.99 on JCPenney.com to $25 on Freshpair.com. Colors: White & Black. Styles: Crew Neck & Tank Top
8/31/11 Update: Read my Power Body Undershirt Review here.
- CK Core Sculpt Performance T’s (6/24/11) – Range includes crew neck, v-neck, and tank top. Prices range from $55 – $58,
- One Flat Jack (8/12/11) – Reader just wrote in and mentioned he saw this new compression undershirt brand online at Macys.com. Line comes in crew neck, v-neck, tank top, and a waist cincher. Prices range from $35 (cincher) – $58 (undershirts).
- papi Six Pack Collection (3/2013) – Cotton/Spandex (83/17) compression undershirts ($48) and tank tops ($44). Latest sale price $36/$33 undershirts/tanks.
- GyneSlim (3/2013) – Ran across this chest compressing undershirt recently. Website has as a bit of a “As Seen on TV” feel, but the product claims to focus the compression in the chest area. I’m going to try and reach out to the business and see if they can provide any more details. Price: $29.95 plus shipping and handling. They also have discounted 3-packs and 5-packs.
- Compression athletic shirts – These types of shirts are more widely recognized for their use in sports, Under Armour being the most widely known and are typically made out of blends like polyester and spandex. Depending on the shirt, you may feel a little warmer when wearing one of these, but there are short sleeve versions available and they do a good job of compressing your entire torso area. Here are a couple of options:
- CoolClothing USA Short Sleeve Compression Shirt
- Short Sleeve Compression Shirts at hisroom.com
- Other Men’s Shapewear Products – Manufacturers include Marena, Bella-Jane, Squeem, Yerone, and Chaleco. Many of the products on this site are compression garments that help guys recover from plastic surgery, but there are a handful of compression tank tops, muscle shirts, and crew neck tops to choose from that can be used for every day wear.
- Other Links:
- Merena Group Website – Men’s Briefs, Body Suits & Vests
I hope the information helps you find something that works for your particular needs. If you decide to try any of the above products and find that it works for you, please be sure to write back in and let me know so I can share it with my readers.
Thanks again for writing in!
Sites That Link to this Post
- Posture Under Shirt | Undershirt Guy Blog | June 12, 2011
- Undershirts: A Quick Look Back At 2010 and Predictions for 2011 | Undershirt Guy Blog | April 26, 2011
- Slimming Undershirts: The Sausage Effect | Undershirt Guy Blog | January 4, 2011
- Ask Tug: Slimming Underwear Options | Undershirt Guy Blog | December 10, 2010
- Ever See An Invisible Undershirt? | Undershirt Guy Blog | November 19, 2010
- Rid Yourself of Rolls and Suck In Your Gut. The RIPT Fusion Body Sculpting Tank Top Is Here. | The Undershirt Guy Blog | June 19, 2010
- Undershirt Review: Out on the Town in my GC2 Compression Undershirts | The Undershirt Guy Blog | May 20, 2010