Surprisingly, it’s been over a couple of years since we last discussed the puffy nipple topic in an article, as it relates to what undershirt to wear.
My guess is that part of it has to do with the fact that there are quite a few men’s shapewear undershirts available now that guys likely have purchased to address the situation. Though, it’s more likely that we haven’t addressed it more head-on because it’s just plain embarrassing for us guys to talk about it publicly.
I mean what guy wants to say “hey, I have puffy nipples” to anyone else other than maybe a doctor?
Thankfully, this reader did:
Despite being relativity thin and muscular, I suffer from puffy nipples. I have tried layering (cotton undershirt, polo, and wool half-zip for example) but if the last layer I wear is snug my nipples will show through. I have read your articles Compression and Slimming Undershirts: Shapewear for Men & GC2 Compression Tank Top Undershirt Review on the on the topic and even purchased a GC2 compression shirt to help.
While the GC2 shirt did compress my puffy nipples I feel like it was over kill and designed more for individuals with man boobs or for those looking for a slimming shirt.
Do you know of any shirts (short sleeve or tank top) for males that have padding over the breast/nipple area? If not, do you know of any compression shirts that are less tight than something like the GC2?
I’m very desperate to find a solution. Thank you for your help!
Puffy Nipples – Visuals
so i thought of your question a bit more over the last couple of weeks while i was doing different activities and wearing different base layer undershirts.
to answer your first question, there is no padded undershirt that i know of that is designed to conceal puffy nipples. there was only one other padded undershirt that was hand made by a guy named greg cross, but i haven’t heard from him in a long while and assume he his not making those undershirts. also, that undershirt was designed more to make you look bigger and not for concealing.
like you, i too have slightly puffy nipples and will pretty much always wear some form of undershirt to help flatten them so they don’t show through my outer shirts. in fact, it is for that reason that i started wearing undershirts when i was a kid. at the time, i wore the ribbed a-shirts (tank tops) because they were the only undershirts available at the time that would offer some shaping/flattening.
as i got older, i started wearing regular undershirts from hanes and fruit of the loom to protect my outer shirts from underarm stains, but was never satisfied with how they fit. at some point i decided to start looking for undershirt alternatives, bought a bunch of different products, and a little under four years ago, i created this site to help document my findings. so…now that the boring history lesson is over, let’s get to providing you with some answers to your question!
as you saw, back in 2008, i got a very similar question from a reader about masking puffy nipples, and wound up writing an article to help provide him with some recommendations. that article has become one of the most trafficked on my site. when i first wrote the article it had much fewer recommendations than it does today, so i could see why it would be a little tricky to determine what products would be most suitable for your particular situation.
i’ll categorize the potential solutions for you into three different undershirt categories:
- light compression
these are products that have a comfortable stretch to them, fit close the body, and made with stretch materials like ribbed fabric or other fabrics blended with lycra/spandex/elastane (spandex). there are other stretch fibers, but i’ll focus on spandex since it has the lion-share of the market.
the most common blend undershirt is either 95/5 or 90/10. the first number is the primary fabric percentage and the second number is the percentage of spandex in the fabric. one example of this category of undershirts are 95% cotton, 5% spandex undershirts.
there are such a wide variety of these types of undershirts, that it’s hard to recommend something specific. for me, fitted undershirts do a great job in flattening my chest/nipples enough to keep them concealed. i really liked the alfani stretch undershirt, but i recently got word that they were discontinued for a second time.
depending on your level of concealment required, you might find a solution with the hanes comfortflex, jcpenny bvd 95/5, or even the newer apt. 9 from kohls. you could also consider the banana republic pima cotton t-shirt since it will be slightly heavier than an undershirt. i hear a lot positive comments from people about those lightweight t-shirts, but haven’t tried them myself yet.
aka: sports shirts like under armour, adias techfit, nike core fitted deflex or pro core tight, cool clothing usa compression fit, starter compression, or any other similar type of athletic sports top.
most of these are made out of moisture-wicking synthetic fabrics like polyester (any brand of fiber) or nylon. if you’re a heavier sweater, i don’t think this type of undershirt would be a good solution because you’ll likely sweat through them easier, but if you’re not, it’s something to consider.
keep in mind that this category of under shirts will wear and feel more synthetic most of the time, so they won’t have the natural feel of cotton that you get with most undershirts in the fitted category.
i think you could go with pretty much anything here, but if your puffy nipple condition is more prominent, you might want to size down to ensure you get a closer chest fit – just be careful of the armpit size when you size down because you might find them to fit too tight in this area.
this category covers pretty much every undershirt designed to slim or conceal man boobs.
it includes products like the gc2 undershirt you purchased and spans across no less than 30 brands, including the more well known like equmen, spanx for men, ript fusion, underworks, gc2, and the “as seen on tv” insta slim product.
as you found with the gc2, with many of these products you get all around compression and maybe a bit too much for what you actually need. of course some don’t perform all that well in the slimming area, but do provide a good amount of chest flattening. if you dig through some of my reviews, you’ll easily identify these.
out of all these products, underworks is the only one i know of that offers different compression levels. i have one of their light compression undershirts that i wear to gym a lot, and it might just be a good option for you to consider. you may also consider sizing up one in your gc2 to get a slightly looser fit.
i realize there is a lot to digest here, but there are a good number of options for you to consider. i hope the information helps you find an undershirt that meets your needs! if you narrow down your search some and want my opinion on a couple different products, email me back and i’ll be happy to help you further.
it would be great if you could keep me posted on what you wind up buying and what you think of it.
I checked back with Steve to find out what he wound up doing, and got the following reply:
Thank you TUG — Great suggestions. Despite your nice write ups, it was tricky to look at the ‘masking puffy nipples’ article and judge how extreme the compression was. Everytime I saw ‘compression’ I thought of the very heavy compression provided by the GC2 and I didn’t want to take random guesses when I’d have to pay for each attempt.
I think the ‘fitted’ category would best suit my needs assuming there’s enough compression. I will first try the Apt. 9 ripped layering undershirt as I have a Kohls right near me. I’m going to go out right now and grab one.
I will definitely let you know how it goes. Thanks again!!
I’ve been using the Apt. 9 96/4 shirts for about a week now and I bought 3 of them. I am normally a medium size, however, to get the kind of compression I wanted I had to buy a small. A small provided more compression than I thought it would and I am satisfied.
A downside to buying a small — the shirt really hugged my armpits / underarms. In order to reduce the build up of heat and for overall comfort I very carefully cut the sleeves off of one of the shirts as a test. This worked well enough and is much more comfortable than my tank from GC2. Not that the GC2 is a bad undershirt but it didn’t fit my needs. I might try a 90/10 shirt just to get a little bit more compression but overall I’m happy with the Apt. 9 shirt.
Thanks for taking the time to make your site and respond to my e-mail with such a detailed post. I’ve been struggling to find a solution to my problem and you pointed me in the right direction!!
Steve wrote me back and said he wound up cutting the sleeves off of all his Apt 9. shirts, and indicated he was really happy with this “effective and cheap” solution to hiding puffy nipples.
In thinking about what he did to modify his Apt 9. stretch tees, it basically sounds like he created a homemade fitted stretch Muscle Undershirt. While it’s pretty hard to find them, instead of buying a stretch fitted undershirt and cutting off the sleeves, maybe it would be worth trying to find some fitted muscle shirts or tanks.
I know that Target did offer an Evolve-brand ribbed muscle shirt, but I’m not sure if they still do. Whenever I go there, the Evolve selection looks pretty slim.
Spanx also came out with a newer product line called their Cotton Control Collection, which offers less compression than their Compression line, but more control than a typical stretch undershirt. Personally, I love this product and actually wear my Spanx Cotton Control Tank Top a lot. The trouble I have with it, frankly speaking, is that I feel it’s overpriced at $58. I’d love to see something like this priced around $25 – $30.
I just look forward to a day of a non-surgical procedure that eliminates that puffiness. When that’s available, I’ll be first in line.