Question on Undershirt Style. Fitted, Close Fit, Rib, Slim – What does it all mean?

November 21, 2008 | By | 6 Replies More

Here’s a question about styles of undershirts from a forum member on men.style.com:

Hi. I’m confused with the word of fit/close fit, rib, and slim and such as Nike brand they have Dri-Fit or Pro line…I want to know what is the different. Can someone explain it? What is rib cotton shirt? Are they any diff with usual/normal undershirt? Any idea?

Hi Style25,

Hopefully, I can clear things up for you.

The terms fit, close fit, and slim fit all refer to undershirts that fit closer to your body than typical box-cut undershirts like Hanes or Fruit of the Loom. Typically fitted undershirts are made out of stretchy material like ribbed cotton (the fabric tank top “wife-beaters” are made out of) or other materials like lycra/spandex/Elastane, Dow XLA lastol, bamboo, or nylon. These types of undershirts fit you closely and comfortably.

A regular box-cut undershirt is usually not form fitting close to your body. Basically, they generally fit you more loosely. You will have much more room in the chest and waist area between your body and the shirt.

A Rib cotton undershirt is different from a standard cotton undershirt in that, the fabric in a rib (or ribbed) cotton undershirt is typically much more stretchy than non-rib cotton undershirts.

Here’s a quick comparison:

Hanes (Not Ribbed, Not Fitted)
http://www.hanes.com/Hanes/Products/Men-Hanes/Men_ShopByCategory-Hanes/Men_Tshirts-Hanes/Men_Tshirts_Underwear-Hanes/9881.aspx [www.hanes.com]

Hanes Tank Top (Ribbed, Fitted)
http://www.hanes.com/Hanes/Products/Men-Hanes/Men_ShopByCategory-Hanes/Men_Tshirts-Hanes/Men_Tshirts_TaglessTShirts-Hanes/H7996.aspx [www.hanes.com]

Hanro (Ribbed, Fitted)
http://www.freshpair.com/Hanro-Cotton-Ribbed-T-Shirt-3828.html [www.freshpair.com]

RibbedTee (Ribbed, Fitted & Not Fitted available)
http://www.ribbedtee.com/ [www.ribbedtee.com]

Nike Dri-Fit or Pro line shirts are not typical undershirts. They usually worn as standard athletic outerwear shirts and are made from a large composition of polyester, making them a bit stretchy and also “moisture wicking”. You can find lots of information about undershirts on my blog (link below).

If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me.

Tug

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Category: Ask Tug

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Tug is the world's undershirt expert. Looking for undershirt or men's shapewear information? You'll find it here on my site - guaranteed! You can also find me on

Comments (6)

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  1. sarah says:

    Hi I need help with a Christmas gift. My brother asked for undershirts but wants something kinda specific and as a girl, I don’t know where to turn. He wants a shirt that has a small neck/head opening so it sits more snug against him and doesnt look bulky since he will use them for layering. It also must come in a navy color. HELP!!!

  2. Eric says:

    I like the look of the Tommy John’s but they are pricey at $36. How would you compare them to the Alfani’s which seem like a much better deal at two for $20. I’m 5’10, 186, have an athletic build, 33/4″ waist, 44″ chest.

    • hey eric! it’s kind of hard to compare the tj undershirts to the alfanis because they are fairly different undershirts. at a macro-level, they are both fitted, stretch undershirts that are longer in length.

      tj is a little narrower, longer, and tapers from the chest to bottom around 1″. also, if i recall correctly, the tj v-neck is considerably deeper than the alfani.

      where the undershirts differ the most is the fabric. alfani is 95/5 (cotton/spandex) and tj is a micromodal/spandex blend, so it’s softer and a little lighter than the alfani.

      the fit of the alfani stretch is really nice and the price is great! that’s why it’s made my top 5 list. but, as i mentioned above, it’s a little hard to compare the two. the overall fit will be similar, but you can feel the difference when wearing them.

      if you’re looking for something similar to tj, the ck micromodal undershirt is nearly identical in all aspects, but it’s less expensive ($32). the great news is that you can find them on sale from time to time for around $23 or sometimes less.

      hope that helps!

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