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A-shirt undershirt
Example of t-shirt undershirt, usually not worn as outwear

An undershirt is an article of underwear worn underneath a dress shirt intended to protect it from body sweat and odors. It can have short sleeves or be sleeveless. The term most commonly refers to upper-body wear worn by males.

It also makes dress shirts less transparent. It can also be worn during winter months as an extra layer of warmth.


Factory mass-produced undershirts became common in the West in the early 20th century, with innovations turning the union suit into two pieces, for upper and lower body.

Types of undershirts

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