Introducing: The PS Undershirt

Wednesday, March 1st 2023
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For the past five years or so, I’ve been wearing Hamilton & Hare’s tubular T-shirts under things. 

They’re what I wear underneath knitwear, what I wear under a shirt, even what I sleep in. They’re the best fine-cotton tee I’ve ever worn, partly due to the raw material, but also the seamless construction with its sportswear-like panels. 

I have a couple that have been worn over a hundred times, and they’ve aged well: not lost their shape, not lost softness or handle. 

However, there were a couple of things I always wanted to improve. The first was that to get the right fit in the body, I had to take a size Small, which was a rather close fit around the shoulders. 

The second was the neckline, which is a little low, particularly at the back. I couldn’t get that nice line of white showing above knitwear, and I didn’t find the profile at the back flattering. 

It didn’t occur to me to try and change these things, however, until I saw how popular the PS Tapered T-shirts were last year. They’ve sold through again and again - so I thought it would be nice to try and produce a perfect version of the other model of tee I wear. 

This is the new collaboration that was flagged up in our round-up of of Spring/Summer products a few weeks ago: the PS Undershirt

I’m pleased with how well it fits in with everything else. The T-shirt is something I’ve worn and mentioned on PS for years, and it's what I’d wear under the Cashmere Rugby or Dartmoor (if I wanted the neckline to show) plus the only thing fine enough to wear under the upcoming Finest Crewneck

However, I should make it clear that this T-shirt can be worn on its own as well, if you want to. It doesn’t look strange or transparent - simply like a lightweight tee. I tend to prefer heavier, Japanese-style T-shirts when I’m wearing one on its own, but I know some readers (particularly in hot countries) will be different.

This also means, importantly, that if you’re wearing it under a sweater, there’s nothing preventing you taking that sweater off (unlike a vest or Henley-style undershirt). 

So what makes this such a good undershirt? 

First is the fine, open-weave cotton of the body. This is highly breathable, and its lightness is a big part of the reason I can wear it and completely forget I have it on. 

The material fits closely to start with, but then grows, adapting to your body. This type of stretch is something you find in a lot of good undershirts - such as the Lee Kung Man undershirts from Bryceland’s for example, the only one I’ve found as comfortable.

That stretch was part of the reason I wanted to change the sizing compared to the H&H version. I found a Medium became too big in the body for me, so I had to size down to a Small, but with a 39-inch chest and 34-inch waist, I’m not really a small. 

So on our version, I took the body fit of the Small and paired it with the shoulders of the Medium. This feels more like a regular fit to me now - certainly, the kind of fit readers will be used to from PS shirts and knitwear. 

The Undershirt then has panels of a pique mesh cotton running up the side body, which add breathability and remove the side seams. It’s an interesting addition, as this construction technique is really only used elsewhere on sportswear - with football tops for example. 

The panels are very subtle - as you can see in the image above. You’d barely notice them if they weren’t pointed out, which again is why it doesn’t look odd if you wear it on its own. 

The bottom of the T-shirt is finished with a ribbed hem. This gives it some grip, but there’s no gathering or elasticity - it sits flush with the body. I’ve had tees in the past that had this, from Iron Heart for example, but the ribbing was tighter and it kind of crimped the hem, which didn’t look great. 

Hamilton & Hare also put the care instructions on the inside of that hem, reducing the number of labels needed inside.

The neckline has been changed to be closer to that of our Tapered Tee. 

I know a lot of readers will be familiar with that fit now, but if anyone isn’t you can see it on the original article here, as well of course in the images today. It’s relatively high, in the back and front, but without being tight. I have a pretty big head (60cm) and it goes over easily.

In terms of sleepwear, I’ve never really liked pyjamas - I find they pull as soon as move or turn, and ride up. I have some nice ones from Anderson & Sheppard, but I put them on in the morning, for the hour and a half between getting up and my first opportunity to have a shower. 

I sleep in underwear, with perhaps a merino T-shirt (old Private White ones) in the Winter but Hamilton & Hare ones the rest of the time. Everyone is different of course, but if anyone wears a T-shirt at night, they might find this the most comfortable version. And in fact if they wear nothing on top they might even like it too, as they’re unlikely to even notice it. 

I really hope you like the shirt, and it becomes as much a go-to for you as it is for me. 

I do like the look of a T-shirt under a shirt these days (above, as discussed previously) and this is the only one that I find works well. It's almost as long as the shirt itself, fits snug to the body but grows where it needs it, and doesn't ride up out of the trousers as a result.

And when I put on a sweater the rest of the time - any sweater, but particularly something slimmer like a Colhay’s or finer like a Smedley - this is always what I wear. 

The Undershirt is available on the PS Shop now, price £55 (including VAT).

Product details:

  • 100% fine cotton
  • Tubular knit, with no body seams
  • Flat, forward seams on the shoulders 
  • Mesh pique panels in the side body
  • Ribbed hem

Fit details:

  • Body fits slightly slim, but grows as you wear it, adapting to size
  • As a result, can fit up to two inches larger in width than shown in the chart below; will feel snug when first worn
  • Simon wears a Medium and has a 39-inch chest, a 34-inch waist
  • In the images, it has been worn it all day and loosened to size
  • Long in the body, designed to be tucked in and stay that way

 

Small Medium Large Extra large
Chest width 47cm 50 53 56
Hem width 45.5 48.5 51.5 54.5
Back length 68 70 72 74
Neck width 18 19 20 21
Bicep width 18 19 20 21

Navy knit shown: Fender II from SNS Herning at John Simons. Tailoring outfit: PS chambray shirt and Sartoria Ciardi jacket, in detail here.

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Tom Green

Hi Simon
The link to buy is giving me a 404 notice?
Best
Tom

Noel

Interesting product. I love the PS t-shirts (and similar heavy Japanese t-shirts), however they’re too warm for summer and/or for wearing under heavy knitwear (like the PS Rugby). I’ve mainly been wearing sunspel t-shirt when I wanted a light t-shirt.

I’m not a fan of the T-shirt under shirt look (occasionally I wear a v-neck undershirt for warmth, so it doesn’t show) but I definitely wear light t-shirts under knitwear. It’s important that the knit can be removed so this is another design detail that I like.

Noel

I hope so, we shall soon find out! (Just ordered one).

Joel

Hi Simon,

Do you know when the tapered T-shirt will be restocked? It’s lovely. I get cold easily so I use it as an undershirt too.

Joel

I’d definitely be interested in a pre-order system if you decide to open one up.

Nicolas Strömbäck

Hi Simon,
Looking at the measurements they seem like small garments. I am a 44-45 inch chest but same height as you (6 ft.). Even the XL will be too small it seems, and far to long in the body adding 4 cm from a Medium, which seems like a reasonable length.

Gary Mitchell

44 is a big chest for a 6 footer? You need more gym time Simon 🙂 I’m 5’10” with a 46 inch chest and 34″waist…. But I guess the world caters for the normal people and not the supermen and those that can lift heavy things.

Nicolas Strömbäck

Actually, having compared it now the the Sunspel sizes, of which I have bought XL, the length of these ones are shorter, so that should be fine.

Gary Mitchell

I have not looked at the sizing here but I wear same H&H t-shirt on which these are based. I’m a 46 chest and I wear both Large and X-large. Both work well although I think I prefer the Large. If you wonder why I have both sizes, I ordered one of each when I first ordered just to get size correct before ordering a few. Simon is correct at all points about these shirts and I would recommend them also.

Gary Mitchell

Maybe also add, as a wearer of these, they do stretch quite a bit for wear yet unlike other t-shirts I have never felt them restrictive or tight even when at full stretch. Stretching say, a Real McCoys or one of your tapered shirts is completely different in feel.

Nicolas Strömbäck

Thanks Gary!

Joe

Hi Simon,

Just sent a note to the PS support email – I seem to be having problems processing payment with paypal…?

Joe.

Joe

Simon – its gone through now so no problems.
Thanks as ever..!!

Richard

Hi Simon,
I’m a 41in chest, 33in waist. Do I go for M or L? I know they stretch slightly so thinking perhaps M….

Richard

I don’t have anything that similar, Simon. Certainly ones that don’t have any stretch in them. Looking at the photos of you in your M, the fit looks comfortable. I guess, what I’m asking is, if your chest were just very slightly bigger, do you think the M would still work for you or would you envisage going up a size. Sorry to be a pain but would rather get right first time!

Richard

Great. Ordering now. Thank you

Richard

Just received today, Simon and the M fit is spot on. (41 in chest, 33in waist) For a simple, no fuss tee, I must say the quality is off the scale. It’s almost a travesty to wear as it’s intended (as an undershirt) It’s too bloody nice to keep covered up! – The perfect summer tee as well as the most luxurious undershirt. A grey or black/charcoal next please…

Sam

Simon, will these be available in the H&H store or online through PS only?

Robin

Really good new product .
I find undershirts / t-shirts / vests a must in the winter .

I noticed in the comments a number of questions about size . I think answering the following might help …… given say a 40.5 inch chest how much bigger should the undershirt chest be ? Given ,for example , a 38 stomach waist how much wider should the undershirt waist be ?

Given most men no nothing about their own size ( deep sigh !!) I think this kind of guidance will at least act as a guide and reassure men.

P.S.
It’s the sort of thing I would buy 2 or 3 of . Might I suggest a multiple buy discount … maybe in future .

Con

Great to see this.
On my quest to improve my wardrobe I’ve found that as the price/quality increases that it is often the fabric that improves yet features that improve the wearing of the garment are often left out e.g., the mesh panels you have added to this t-shirt are often missing from very expensive and the highest quality cotton sweatshirts available. Not just the panels, but other features such as movement gussets under the arms (workwear shirts really could do with these, maybe even formal shirts), and so on. This applies to other types of clothes too, not just casual/workwear type stuff.
This is probably why I am drawn to Japanese brands as they often get this right.
Interestingtly, in the past I have bought some merino hiking/cycling tops from Aldi, very low price/not top-quality fabric, but include such features that are absent from premium brands. One top has a mesh panel that runs from a little below the under-arm all the way up to the wrist, narrowing as it goes to account for the arm shape. A great feature for using when active as it allows the (skin hugging) garment to act as it should and not ride up or have it tugging as you move around. And off course the mesh allows airflow under the arms – this is very noticeable and helps prevent overheating, the merino fabric of course helps aswell.

Con

Sorry, meant to add the higher neck is a welcome sight, the open weave fabric, the body design – with a narrow waist and broad chest I often find mediums too small and large sizes too big. It can be quite frustrating trying to find a top that simply fits.
I have some heavier weight Japanese t-shirts. One is a short sleeve that I find can be too hot to wear, even in London, and on days cool enough to wear it, I’d prefer it had long sleeves.
For another day, I’d love to see a discussion/article on design/features/fabrics/weaves and why they are chosen or not by brands when designing a garment. For bespoke shirts and suiting it’s possible to make requests, but for casual wear the options are sparse.
Very reasonably priced also, great addition to your offering, Simon. It’s great to see the thought that has gone in to designing this.

Aaron

Looks great. Really glad to see the pique panels still present.
I would love to see a heather grey version.

Fernando

Its a cool product but I don’t understand it very well. Why do you prefer to wear this under a sweater instead of a PS tapered tee?
I didn’t understand in which cases is this product better than a good t-shirt. Could you explain?
Also I’m not sure a lightweight short sleeve t-shirt wears cooler than a heavy one. I’ve worn heavy cotton short sleeve t-shirt in 40+ ºC just fine.

Fernando

Thanks understood. Just curious, why do you wear an undershirt beneath the shirt? I heard you somewhere in the past you didn’t use to wear them. I find them slightly impractical. Maybe they prolong the life of the armpits but they are another thing you need to laundry…

Fernando

Great! thanks

Gabriele

Hi Simon, this looks really nice! Can you comment on how the material compares with Sunspel’s superfine cotton? Thanks.

Noel

Have you ever considered bamboo for these sort of garments Simon? I have an old bamboo t-shirt that I got as present and it feels like it’s better at wicking moisture away than cotton.

Peter Hall

Bamboo is great for ventilation and wicking moisture away-much better than cotton-I wear it all year round under my work wear. Also I find it keeps you warmer,so it’s deal for technical clothing and keeps you odour free.

Good quality bamboo underwear is expensive -I wear Undiemeister and their tees cost more than the PS ones. It is mixed with man made fibre to prevent shrinkage.

ANON

Hello, Simon. Any idea as to when a restock of the undershirts can be expected? I just saw the post on IG and missed my size (M).

Juan

Hi Simon, which model JLC is that?

Freddie

Nice addition to the PS range. Should we think of these as the same fit as the Tapered Tee? i.e. take the same size as in that?

OP

Lovely, and right on time too! I’ve been looking for a new undershirt since the last weekend when I was unhappy with the lines of the undershirt visible under a John Smedley turtleneck. Simon, will this be fine enough, or am I in the wrong to expect any undershirt to be invisible under so fine a knitwear as Smedley?

Burt

In the nineties one often saw white T-shirts under shirts. It became a trend. Then the T-shirts would turn yellow with wear. The picture above still reminds me of those yellowish collars of the time, which was no appetizing look 🙂
But as a T-shirt: yes. I like the fact that it is 100% cotton and that it has no seams, also I find the mesh pannels a good thing.

ANDREW ECKHARDT

Simon, would you please expand on this thought? I’m always turning my undershirts yellow, and would love to avoid doing so.

ANDREW ECKHARDT

Thanks for the thoughts! Yes, always pop them in the wash after a single wear. My problem is mostly the underarm stains, good call about the aluminum deodorant. That’s another can of worms, but I keep coming back to aluminum for its antiperspirant properties. However, I do still yellow the rest of the shirt in general (happens to my sheets and towels as well). With a white collared shirt, I always spot treat the cuffs and collar before the wash, but my undershirts always seem to turn ivory.

Nick

Simon,

Do you have a preference for undershirt colors? Any plans for colors such as grey, navy or black as well?

TCN

I would like to see some quality gray V neck undershirts produced. Gray is less visible than white under a white shirt, and the V neck makes the undershirt invisible for those of us who prefer not to look like a 1980’s American fraternity member.

Malcolm

Any thoughts on a white v-neck (a deep v)? Sometimes I want it showing, sometimes not, depending on what I’m wearing

PB

Hi Simon – the navy knit looks great. I am always a little uncertain about zipped knitwear – love the collar/neckline but the zip v-shape rarely measures up to a classic deep v-neck sweater. This one however looks very sharp. How do you like it and would you recommend it? Thanks!

PB

Thanks Simon. Did you get an S or an M? I am also an M on PS items but from the measurements on the site it looks like this one may need sizing down.

SAO

Also wanted to say how good the SNS quarter zip looks here with the white t-shirt/undershirt. It’s the high and generous collar that makes it – a rare combination in my view. SNS Herning do this very well and it makes for striking knitwear. Nice deep navy, too. I have a full zip version of one of their pieces and it’s that zipped roll to the collar away from the face that creates a nice frame. I think yours looks really great. Thoughtful addition to the roster with the undershirt, by the way. I have always liked the white t shirt under hefty shirt look. But it has to be white. No other colour works (at least as I see it).

Creon

Any update on the SNS Herning knit? They have a sale currently going on and I’ve noticed the half zip worn by you here is still available. I’d generally agree with your point on half zips rarely looking good, but I do like this one on you. Does yours get worn at all?

JSB

Hi Simon,
I can see this undershirt being a useful addition to the wardrobe, but on a personal level I’ve always found a full sleeve t-shirt to be more comfortable under knitwear, especially some scratchy knits. I realise this may be less useful if a person wants to remove their sweater and therefore loose the versatility of a half-sleeve t-shirt but personally, in sweater weather of the UK, I rarely find that I remove my knitwear anyway.
It’s good to see that the PS undershirt is in 100% cotton. My size of medium sold out quickly. But I must confess I did delay due to previous concerns of H+H underwear which were a Lyocell mix. They were just awful, losing shape and stitching coming undone on several pairs, including replacement ones. H+H’s customer service was excellent I should hasten to add.

Noel

I have a few tubular thermals from Real Mccoy’s that I tend to use with Shetland knits if I don’t want to wear a shirt. They look fine on their own so no issue with removing the knit. For all other types of knitwear (lambswool, merino, cashmere) short sleeves are fine.

JSB

Thanks for the suggestion on Real McCoy’s thermals. They look nice but for me appear a little heavy as an undergarment. Always nice to know what others are using as an alterative. I tend to prefer the Sunspel Riviera, which isn’t too thick.

I do appreciate your point on short sleeves with lambswool, merino and cashmere but I guess its a preference thing too.

I should have mentioned that there is another point that is important for me personally as well. My arms are slightly longer than most for height, not very much longer but by about 2-3cm. This means that most knitwear on me can seem a little short in sleeve and with a short sleeve t-shirt, most knitwear sleeves ride up, exposing my wrist bone. With a full sleeve t-shirt, I find this is somewhat negated by having that long t-sleeve there to hold the knitwear sleeve in place. Hopefully, that explanation makes sense. Not a perfect scenario, but one I can live with.

Fatih

Lovely new addition to the shop Simon. Just ordered 2.
I wouldn’t mind a heather grey one in the future. Woudl make a great and well suited style in the summer with jeans and color 8 loafers for instance!

Michael

any chance to have the same with a lower or v-neck for those who would enjoy this superb product but don’t (yet?) like the white line for example under knitwear?

Diogenes of Savile Row

What’s the difference between a well-aged T-shirt and one that has been worn out?

Diogenes of Savile Row

The t-shirt you offer, is it made of long-staple cotton?
Thanks

n. David

Hi Simon.

These look fantastic. A lightweight T-Shirt that can be tucked into a pair of trousers is certainly a useful and versatile item. Unfortunately, it seems that I missed the boat on this one (L & XL sizes are already sold out at time of writing). I might just sign up for the waiting list for these.

On a side note, I too would be interested to see these available in other colours. the current form of the shirt has garnered my interest, but a black version would demand my attention.

Additionally, I would like to pass on my complements and thoughts to all involved regarding the three PS products that I’ve acquired in the last few years. In particular, the Bridge Coat (which has seen me warmly through winter) and the Motor Trench in olive (which has yet to be tested by a rainstorm, but has kept out the wind and cold marvellously, and contended with the rigours of international travel better than any other item that I own).

The only thing that I would offer any constructive criticism on is the Wax Walker. In the time I’ve had it, it has repelled the wind and rain well, however, the corduroy on the cuffs has a habit of soaking up water. I’ve often found if I get caught in a downpour, the coat itself will dry within an hour or so of being hung up, but the cuffs will still be soaked for hours. I also find The Walker to be excessively warm. Unlike the Barbour jacket that it replaced, it has no ventilation in the arms, so even without the liner, I tend to find sweat dripping down my arms one the temperature gets above 15 degrees. These points aside, it has served me well in cooler weather, and I expect that it will continue to do so for many years to come.

Triple monks

Simon this shirt looks very impressive. Could you please do a “how great things age” post on this at some point? Would be interesting to see how it holds up over time.

Pyc

I don’t see the attraction of having one’s underwear peeping out between one’s clothes. Better to keep it discreet and wear a cotton singlet.

Joseph

It’s amazing that an item so simple, even utilitarian, can be elevated to something that’s clearly on a different level. Actually, now that I think about it, a lot of PS projects have that in common. Cheers on this new product, I can already tell it’ll be a smash hit.
Side note: just a bit puzzled about why a henley wouldn’t work that well on its own. Is it because of some relatively stronger association with undergarments?

Joseph

Thanks. Interesting point on scooped necklines. I happen to wear them under some light kendogi-style jackets I have, as well as on their own when it’s particularly balmy. I suppose the scoop’s angle has something to do with it – the ones on my t-shirts are more horizontal, wider than lower.
I admit it’s a peculiar style point. Something I picked up years ago from a Korean vigilante drama, of all things. Then again, my Asian features probably do their part to make it work. Not sure if other Asian readers have given it this much thought!

Jack

Hi Simon, would you say the undershirt has a higher neckline than Sunspel Riveria t-shirt?

Many thanks,
Jack

Jack

That’s great. Thanks, Simon.

Jack

I received the t-shirt today and the neckline is amazing! It is almost like a mock neck sweater. I think this would solve my long-neck issue and finally let me wear a crewneck sweater without a shirt or polo.

Fatih

I received my T-shirts yesterday. So lovely! They scream qualilty and style without actually screaming. You know what I mean,

Andy

I see this is sold out, do you know when you’ll get a restock?

Andy

Hi Simon, when are you expecting this to be restocked in in the webstore?
Thanks

Lindsay McKee

I’d love to go for the P.S.Undershirt but unfortunately I’m a 50” chest size. Like you said, an undershirt can be worn in bed, which I do and they are great.
Can you recommend a supplier of larger sized undershirts?
Another point. Can they be substituted for a standard vest?
I recently bought a John Smedley c-Dorset polo in a cream colour but if a vest is worn underneath, it will show through the thin fabric of the polo shirt.
Would an undershirt with a crew neck be a better substitute?
I might even replace my Jockey vests as they wear out for some decent undershirts, if that makes sense.

Peter Hall

Lindsay.

Land’s End have a silk ,long-sleeved undershirt .I wear it for skiing hiking iand winter hikes.Its also useful as a spring base layer ,but ,be aware that it wicks sweat easily so not best under a thicker cotton.

Alex

Hi Simon,
I’m aware of a restock for this soon, and I just wanted to ask the following. My intended use for these will really be exactly as described (indeed, when I read the page it was incredibly relateable): as a sole layer for sleeping in, a sole layer for lounging in summer and a layer under a shawl for the winter, with the occasional use under a crewneck. For that reason, I’d plan on getting quite a few (and they’d be a daily driver, laundered weekly). That said, I’ve seen you recommend sunspel undershirts / t-shirts in other posts, and I know you mentioned having longevity issues with Hamilton & Hare underwear, preferring sunspel instead. Would I be right in thinking that you have no similar qualms for these undershirts, presumably it’s something you’d have considered when making the product? Or are these still quite delicate longevity wise, and should I look into sunspel?

Calvin

Simon do you recommend to buy an undershirt that matches measurements of a well fitting shirt without it needing to stretch or with, let’s say, an 1″ of stretch.

Asking because some well fitting t shirts of mine are 22″ across the chest. However, those shirts are made from a less stretchy cotton, perhaps densely woven, as opposed to a very stretchy cotton. For example, i recently tried on an saman amal polo that was only 21″ across the chest but arguably fit equal or even better than my 22″ t shirts because of its stretch and drape.

Lastly, when do you expect these to be restocked?

Calvin

Gotcha! Appreciate the feedback. Looking forward to these

Ben R

Was finally able to get my hands on the Undershirt with the restock. I have been wearing them lately. Nice job. If you are taking recommendations for future products, a similar vest, or A-shirt, would be nice to have on offer.

CK

Hey Simon,

Just wanted to check when we might expect a restock on these? Wouldn’t mind another couple.

Also, curious, is this now your go to for wearing under anything? Even as casual as say a loop wheel sweatshirt and denim/chinos?

I’ve still been defaulting to the Sunspel Riviera for under sweatshirts, however soon I think all my T-shirt needs will be covered by PS… between the tapered tee for stand alone wear, and these for under anything else – I don’t think I could find a better neckline or t-shirt for wearing under things out there if I tried. these really are fantastic.

.

Can this undershirt be available in XS (i.e. 44 cm chest width)?

Prateek

Hi Simon,
As Hamilton & Hare has now closed down (sadly), I take it there won’t be any more restocks? If so, do you recommend any alternatives?
Thank you.

Prateek

Brilliant! Thanks! Do you recommend a snug fit around the chest as it will grow as I wear it?

Lindsay McKee

Interesting
I am saying to myself, “Go on ,try one”, when you next release them.
It will probably be in your largest size when they come out. I’m 50-51” chest!

Andrew

Hi Simon, do you know the actual eta of the taper tee? I’d like to get this along with the just restocked undershirt (both in XL) but don’t want to pay shipping to USA twice on a tee, but also don’t want to risk the xl undershirt selling out in the meantime… grateful.

Anonymous

In the photo of you standing outside the former H&H shop, what are the trousers that you are wearing with the undershirt….that combination works well?