Undershirt Review: SPANX for Men Cotton Compression Undershirt

February 4, 2010 | By | 66 Replies More


It all started back at the end of 2008 when the men’s shapewear market got world-wide visibility after a UK reporter described a new high-tech men’s slimming undershirt as the “new SPANX for Men”. Although the product was not actually made by Sara Blakely’s SPANX, Inc., the new company releasing that product clearly benefited from the powerful and ubiquitous SPANX brand awareness that Sara and her team have been painstakingly building for the last 12+ years.

As the news broke, rumors of a SPANX-brand line of men’s slimming undershirts leaked out, so I decided to reach out to see if anyone from Sara’s organization would care to comment. In late December of 08′ I did a little research, found a couple of contact names and sent them the following email:


I write a fairly popular blog covering nearly every facet of men’s undershirts (undershirtguy.com).

Over the last month, there’s been a huge amount of buzz about [other men’s slimming undershirt name removed], which is being touted by the media on the web as the new “Spanx for Men”.  In the last month alone, my site has gotten over 10,000 visitors looking for information on their product.

I have been reading several articles that speculate that Spanx will be coming out with your own line of men’s compression undergarments. Wondering if you’d be in a position to verify whether or not it’s true and if so, could you provide additional details about your plans that I can share with my readers.  I’d also be interested in reviewing the product in advance of its official market release, if possible.

Thanks for your time!

Although I was disappointed, I received no response. I touched base with them again in late January 09′, in March 09′, and then again in July 09′. It wasn’t until late July when I received the first response!

Hi Tug,

Thanks for checking back in.  SPANX for men is still very much in the works, but I still don’t have much info. to share at this point.  Please know that as soon as I do, I will give you a buzz and share it with you.

Congrats on the success of the site!

I’ll be in touch, M

After a few more email exchanges, they were kind enough to let me break the exciting news to the world.

Now, a little over a year and 250k visitors later, I am happily sitting here in front of my computer and lucky enough to be among the one of first people in the world to be wearing the new, just officially released, SPANX for Men Cotton Compression Undershirts as I write this review! I truly am a patient man :)

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get to reviewing the wonderful new SPANX for Men Cotton Compression Undershirts (S4MCCU or S4M)!!!

Product Information

Here’s the line up of the SPANX Men’s Collection of products:

  • Spanx for Men Cotton Compression Crew Neck. Suggested Retail: $58 USD. Colors: White, Black
    >Product Code 8-43953-06191-5. RN 112121. SPX-607.
  • Spanx for Men Cotton Compression V-Neck. Suggested Retail: $58 USD. Colors: White, Black
    >Product Code 8-43953-06171-7. RN 112121. SPX-610.
  • Spanx for Men Cotton Compression Tank. Suggested Retail: $55 USD. Colors: White, Black
    >Product Code 8-43953-06161-8. RN 112121. SPX-611.

Fit – As with other men’s slimming / shapewear undershirts, the SPANX for Men CCU take a little effort to get into, but if they weren’t, they probably wouldn’t offer enough slimming/shaping benefits. The good news with these undershirts is that they are not too difficult to get on or off by yourself where you wouldn’t want to go through the effort on a daily basis. When I first took the v-neck undershirt out of its packaging and put it on, I immediately recognized that these undershirts were going to be very different from other men’s slimming undershirts. First of all, since the entire undershirt is made from the same material, consisting mostly of cotton with just enough spandex, it stretches to conform to your upper body area (shoulders, arms/sleeves, back) without being too tight to be uncomfortable or limiting your movement in any way. Second, if you look at the pictures above, or at the measurement table below, you’ll notice that the bottom width is a whopping 4″ narrower than the underarm-to-underarm chest measurements (which I have not seen before)! This design approach allows the wearer to have a more comfortable fit in the upper torso area, but still get a very good amount of slimming/shaping effects around the midsection and hip area – it’s a very good combination. Also, while the overall length measurements seem a bit on the short side, since the fabric stretches both horizontally and vertically, I was able to pull the bottom of the undershirt down beyond my greater trochanter area, which is where I think all undershirt bottoms should be cut to (look for an upcoming article about that too!). Another great attribute about the fabric content is that it not only allows you to pull it down far enough to stay tucked, the fabric kind of sticks to your hips and doesn’t roll up like other compression undershirts. One final thought, when I first put on the v-neck and crew neck, I did notice a little bit of “push down” effect on my shoulders where it felt like my shoulders were being pulled downward a bit. However, that only lasted a short while and I was fully comfortable wearing the undershirt all day long.

Crew Neck notes – same fit as the v-neck. Collar has about average “drop” (not too low, not too high).

Tank Top notes – same general fit mid section. good fit in the torso area. looks really nice on too (i’m kinda digging the tank top)

Here are the fabric blend and measurements of the 3 undershirts (laying flat):

SPANX for Men (Medium) Crew & V-Neck Tank Top
Fabric Contents 81% Cotton / 19% Spandex/Elastane
overall length 26″ 25″
width (underarm to underarm) 18″ 17.25″
width (bottom) 14″ 13.75″
shoulder strap length 5″ 1.75″
sleeve length 8.5″ NA
Notes 4.5″ front drop on v-neck
3″ front drop on crew

Feel – I can sum up the feel characteristic in one word – Amazing. There are so many wonderful things to say about the way this fabric feels, I’m not exactly sure where to start. Since the SPANX 4 Men Cotton Compression undershirts are made mostly from cotton, you know they’ll be soft. I did notice that these undershirts are made in Egypt and from my past experiences, I’ve found egyptian cotton to be a lot softer than cotton made in many other foreign countries. The combination of cotton and spandex really feels nice on the skin and the folks at SPANX have made a good decision on the weight of the fabric as well. It’s thick enough to give you the function, but equally as breathable so the wearer won’t get overheated wearing it all day long. The fabric blend feels very similar to the Echelon from Jockey, which is still one of my favorite undershirts to date. I comfortably wore the v-neck and crew neck all day long over a two day period.

Function – I’ll talk about two aspects in the function department since I think they’re important to address.

  1. How does S4M CCU function as a regular undershirt alternative?
  2. How does it function compared to how it’s marketed?

One thing that sets this slimming undershirts apart from others in its category is that it looks more like a traditional undershirt than any of the other men’s shapewear undershirts I’ve tried so far. There are no distinctive markings or construction approaches (mixture of fabrics, stitching techniques, or fabric patterns) that make this undershirt look any different than any other standard undershirt. From a few feet away, this slimming undershirt pretty much looks like any other standard undershirt. That’s a really nice feature from my point of view. Also, the fact that this undershirt is made mostly from egyptian cotton, you get the absorption characteristics that are critical in keeping a guys outerwear clean and dry. Many other compression undershirts are made from synthetic fabrics which by design, are more geared to transfer moisture to the outside where it could be more prone to come in contact with the person’s outer wear. That’s not to say that it’s better than those others, it’s just an attribute to consider when you’re making a buying decision.

As for how the SPANX for Men Cotton Compression undershirt compares to how it’s marketed, there are seven bullet points on the attractive retail packaging. 1) firms chest, 2) narrows waistline, 3) flattens stomach, 4) improves posture, 5) supports lower back, 6) eliminates bulk under clothes, 7) breathable compression cotton.  I would say, for me, these undershirts really performed well in the firming and flattening categories. I fully enjoyed how the undershirt flattened my chest and smoothed my stomach. Although I did not notice any measurable difference in my waistline, I did notice a visual streamlining as the shirt did a good job in pulling in my love handles so they didn’t stick out as much as they do when not wearing an undershirt. I really didn’t see and improved posture or lower back support, but honestly, I’m not buying one of these slimming undershirts for those reasons, so I’m not disappointed. Of course, it does well in areas #6 & #7, but that’s already expected.

Affordability – At $55 for the Tank Top and $58 for the v-neck and crew neck, they are priced well below Equmen and Sculptees, but priced comparably to RIPT Fusion (although RIPT doesn’t offer a tank). For every day wear, I really do still think that paying that much for a single undershirt is a little unrealistic, but that being said, if you’re looking for an undershirt that will smooth/slim/flatten you and actually look like a regular undershirt, I don’t think you’ll ever be sorry you dropped that kind of cash on a SPANX for Men Cotton Compression Undershirt.

Summing it all up – I think the best way to sum up this review is to share a blurb from an email I sent the folks at SPANX a couple of weeks ago after wearing the undershirt for  a short while:

I would say that if I were looking to wear a slimming undershirt for a “night out on the town”, I would probably reach for my spanx CC undershirt first over some other of the slimming undershirts because it looks more like a regular undershirt. also, not taking anything away from the v-neck or crew, even though I don’t wear them very often, I really like the spanx compression tank and I think that will be a big hit with guys! love the packaging too – that will definitely stand out in the retail stores!

2/11/2010 Update – Ok, for fun I took some pictures of myself wearing the white v-neck spanx for men. Hopefully this will help show how the undershirts fit a “regular” guy.

You can click on the photos to enlarge them.

2/18/10 Update – Here’s video I found on bossip.com of Sara Blakely pimping out the new s4m product and having it modeled by Jamal Anderson (former NFL player). Man, does Jamal have some big guns.

03/13/2010 – Update – Spanx for Men’s News Segment from 3/12.


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Category: Mens Shapewear, Undershirt Reviews

About the Author ()

Tug is the world's undershirt expert. He is also one of the most knowledgeable individuals on sweat management solutions, men's shapewear, grooming, and new fabric technologies. Got a question? Visit Tug's contact page and hit him up.

Comments (66)

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  1. john donald


    Which undershirts are you currently recommending as most successfully enhancing a sculpted result — especially in regards to chest and tummy?

    • heya john, good to hear from you buddy and thanks for stopping by my site!

      my recommendations are usually based on a bit more information, but i will tell you that the products that seem to be talked about the most on my site are:
      1. equmen / spanx for men zoned performance — chest compression and midsection shaping performance is good. these have more of an athletic design, but can be worn as daily-wear if you prefer this type of cut. with equmen, you get a very subtle posture correction. price: $$$$
      2. spanx for men cotton compression / cotton control – cotton/spandex blend, daily-wear design. good shape/smoothing. much easier to get on/off than #1, and look a lot more like regular undershirts. price: $$$
      3. underworks – has four different compression levels. very good quality construction, made in the usa. i have a few different versions of the underworks items, and am very pleased with their performance to value. price: $$ – $$$

      there are many other slimming tanks & shaping undershirts on the market that you can take a look at as well.

      there is one brand that i’ll be trying out soon that has a good line-up of shapers priced from $30 – $60. it’s called leonisa. they’ve been around for a while, but originally focused more on women’s shapers. over the last several years they’ve built their line of men’s shapers. they have some extra firm control tanks that look pretty interesting.

  2. seriouslythanks


    My husband got his first S4M tank yesterday. He has an ostomy and always felt like it was poking out. The moment he put it on I knew he felt good and confidant. I don’t notice the ostomy anymore and he’s been able to wear the undershirt all day without feeling too sweaty or “tight”. He wears a size 42-44 shorts and got an XL tank. This will be the first of many S4M I think! :)

  3. Robert


    Does anyone know where I can buy a 95% cotton 5% spandex tee shirt.

    I purchased two Alfani Stretch t’s and they are by far the best undershirts I have ever purchased. Macy’s is no longer stocking the product I must have got the last package.

    Appreciate any HELP!


  4. David


    Hi, I have a question. I don’t normally wear an undershirt because an undershirt and a regular shirt on top heats me up, especially in the summer time. Will that be a problem if I wear these? I’m interested in the tank top. Also, I wear tshirts most of the time. Will the tank show through and be visible at all? Thanks.

    • hey david, thanks for your question!

      coincidentally i just wore my spanx for men tank top on friday night it was very comfortable overall. i’ve worn my spanx undershirt at different times throughout the summer, and i haven’t felt any more warm wearing it, than i do wearing other undershirts. in fact, i think the spanx for men undershirt wears a little cooler than many other undershirts. that said, wearing an undershirt will make you slightly warmer than if you don’t wear one, but you shouldn’t feel too warm unless you generally run really warm without one.

      a tank can show through a t-shirt if: 1) the tee shirt is light-colored, or 2) the t-shirt is tighter fitting. if neither of those apply, a tank top shouldn’t be that visible. i wear tanks under t-shirts pretty regularly during the summer and i haven’t noticed them showing through – but i wear darker, looser t-shirts.

      hope that info helps!

  5. Jerry


    WAY…too expensive. For 1 week of underwear it is over $350!! You buy a good suit for $300 to $6oo. Underwear will not kid anyone when you are fat. I work out, exercise and stay fit. I like the idea of the briefs, just way too costly. We are paying for her research and start up business. If the cost was $10 to $15 per (what they are really worth) i would try and if I liked i woud buy 10 briefs.

  6. Riscy


    Hi Tug. Thanks for the great information!

    One question I have is about chafing. I normally wear a small Calvin Klien undershirt and the seams under the arms can sometimes make me raw. I bought an Under Armour undershirt (mediun) and the seams under the arms and down the sides are so pronounced and rough that they literally feel like they are cutting me. I can turn it inside-out and it feels great, but looks stupid where it shows above the collar and makes lumps under my shirt.
    Anyway, what’s your feeling on the smoothness of the S4M seams, internally? Any suggestions for a form fitting undershirt (hate bulk!) with extremely smooth internal seams?

    Thanks a million!!

    • hey riscy, thanks for the question and sorry it’s taken a while to get back to you! it’s a little weird that the inner seams on your ck and ua are causing you so many chafing issues.

      i’ve personally experienced that before with some of the undershirts i’ve tested here for the site, but i haven’t had it happen in a while. i’d be interested to see close up photos of the inner seams on the shirts you say chafe you and compare them to some of the undershirts i have. who knows – maybe we’ll find something interesting that we can share with the world.

      as for spanx for men, i haven’t had any issues with their seams, but i wouldn’t go so far to say they are undetectable or wouldn’t cause you any chafing. even though i haven’t experienced it, it’s possible you might experience something different.

      on the form fitting undershirt side, are you looking for slimming like spanx for men, or just form fitting?

      • riscy


        I will try to get some photos uploaded of the seams on the UA shirt. They are more like piping than seams, IMHO :)

        For some reason, I just seem to be very sensitive when it comes to the rubbing/chafing thing. Obviously, I in the minority, or else they wouldn’t keep selling stuff with seams/tags like this. I use the UA boxer-briefs and the seams in those are much more smooth. But even the underarm seams in standard cotton undershirts have caused me problems.

        I have lost a lot of weight. I still have the “last 10” to go, but for now, I need a little extra control, if you know what I mean. I’m wearing size 29 pants, but there is still a “muffin top” issue. So I’m not exactly looking for a “miracle reshaping”, but just something to smooth a bit. I like the feel of the UA undershirt I bought, just not the “rope” of material running down the insides.

        Given their liberal return policy, I went ahead and ordered a Spanx undershirt. Should be here Monday – I’ll follow up once I have more data.

        Thanks again for your information and support!

  7. addam133


    Do you have any pics posted of you shirtless and then with a compression shirt on, for comparison? I’m always cautious of pictures showing models wearing compression shirts because they usually have close to zero body fat and obscene muscles. I would love to finally find a place that showed real before and after pics. Oh and I love the website!

    • hey addam – sorry bud, no pictures of me without a shirt – i wouldn’t do that to the general public *wink*, but a brave soul named cal provided his own spanx for men review and included before and after pictures (in/out of the shirt). check it out.

      oh, and thanks for the compliment on my website. i’m here to help!

  8. badw0lf


    I have suffered with a lifelong weight problem which I am on the road to conquering. But in the meantime, I was delighted to learn of the Spanx mens range, because I wear tight vests to try and and firm and hide what I have so I can walk with a little confidence.

    I got a couple of vests and I have to say I am suitably unimpressed. I think they got the design the wrong way around. They firm the torso area quite nicely, but there is absolutely no firming effect of the chest. I have a lot of flab around my chest which is humiliating, and these tops do nothing to firm it up, they are just too loose!

    Now from experience of talking to women and gay men, firm round bellys are quite sexy and cute, so you don’t need the tightness there, but I’ve never in my life spoken to someone who found man boobs attractive and thats where their vests let them down.

    I got a L and an XL, the large was too small and impossible to put on and take off (eventually it just ripped in half!) but it had a better effect than the XL. They need to be tight at the top to hold in the “moobs” and loose at the bottom so you can get the damned things on and off without dislocating a shoulder!

    And they are a total rip off, esp in the UK where all they did was take the US price and stick a “£” in front of it!

    If you don’t look like the impossibly fit model on their website, these tops are a waste of time. They should have used a model who is of the shape their customers are likely to be. Ridiculous!

    • hey badw0lf, for what it’s worth, the spanx 4 men really isn’t designed as a high-compression top.

      if you’re looking for something that has more chest compression, and since you are in the uk, you ought to look at the compression tops from http://firm51.co.uk/. they offer the underworks compression line and from my experience, the compression is really quite good.

      check out the following article if you want to see more compression and slimming undershirts options.

      thanks for stopping by and sharing your comments. keep me posted in your search!

  9. hey jr! they do every once and a while. just stay tuned here (the site) because anytime i hear of a good undershirt sale, i always post information about it!

  10. JR


    Do any of the S4M shirts ever go on sale?

  11. johnnyV


    I currently wear some UnderArmor knock-offs from Walmart, I believe they are Starter brand name. I want to try the Spanx cotton undershirts but before I blow 58 bucks on a shirt from on online retailer I was wondering how the sizing may be different. I am 5’9 250 and wear XXL size in the Starter shirts.

    Should I go for the XXL in the Spanx as well?



    • hey john, thanks for sharing that information about “starter” brand athletic shirts from walmart. from my personal experience, the shirts from under armour aren’t designed for slimming, but they are lightweight, high performance, tight-fitting, and moisture wicking shirts.

      as for sizing on spanx for men, i have found them to be true-to-size in that i wear the same size s4m that i do in regular undershirts. if you’re still not certain, i’d recommend heading over to a local retailer that carries them and try one on first. when i was doing a little recon not too long ago, i stopped by neiman marcus and i was able to try on one right at the store. you can find a list of spanx for men retail locations here.

      good luck and keep us posted!

  12. Jahai


    I picked up a S4M v-neck from Nordstrom. The sales guy told me he was wearing one and recommended that I go a size smaller than I would regularly buy. So, I got a medium. After struggling to get it on, I must say that I am looling pretty good. I have a problem with love handles and the shirt totallt compresses them. I am wearing a close fitting sweater right now and it looks like I’ve been working out much harder and more faithfully than I actually do. I am definitely going to pick up a couple more!

    • thanks for report jahai! i wear a medium s4m and have been little afraid to size down one for fear i might not be able to get it on (or off for that matter). maybe i’ll take my chances some day.

      appreciate the feedback!

  13. Con


    Just curious….I am thinking of buying one of the zoned compression shirts for my husband as he has a large abdominal hernia caused by surgery. Do you think this will be beneficial? He currently wears an abdominal binder on a daily basis but says they are very uncomfortable. Is this shirt supportive enough in the abdominal area for this in your opinion?

    • hey connie! thanks for stopping by and posting your question. honestly, no, i don’t think the spanx zoned performance undershirt would have enough support to be medically beneficial for your husband’s abdominal hernia. to be quite honest, i’d be a little reticent to recommend any specific slimming undershirt as a potential replacement for an abdominal binder, but i would recommend that you take a look at the products from underworks and even send them a question asking them what product they think would be best. they have a good variety of compression products, and since they also sell “binders”, they might be able to offer up some ideas on alternative products.

      you might also want to take a look at ardyss abdomen shirt. it looks weird, but it has very good ab/midsection support.

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