The Ideal Undershirt Sleeve Length

The undershirt sleeve is something not many people think about.  Most people buy the basic undershirt and the sleeve is what it is.  The sleeve length can have a big impact on comfort and style though.  We will go more in depth on aspects of sleeve length that should be considered when purchasing an undershirt.  Issues arise when the sleeve is too long and also too short. 

The Long Sleeve

Many people like the longer sleeve length for their undershirt because it doesn't bunch.  It stays on your arm nicely.  When it's under a traditional long sleeve button down shirt that's not a problem.  It stays hidden.

The problem is when the undershirts are worn under a short sleeved shirt.  These longer undershirt sleeves that extend past the tricep and sometimes to the elbow can cause issues.  A couple of famous football coaches proudly rock this look.  


This is what happens when you're not taking into account the sleeve length when it compares to the shirt you wear on top of it.  It can happen very easily.  You aren't going through your closet measuring the sleeves of your short sleeved shirts and deciding which ones you can wear with the undershirt.  Guys can maybe get away with this look when they're at a football game or working out, but it's not a look you want when you're out.  

I've had it happen multiple times when I'm out at night at a nice place and notice my undershirt creeping out from under my polo shirt.  It happened on my more stylish fitted polos.  It bothered me the rest of the night.  I want people to notice the nice clothes I have on.  Not my undershirt flowing off my arm.  This can happen to anyone.  Here is a guy in a bar with a nice shirt on.  And a long sleeved undershirt.  Not ideal. 

The look is very sloppy and make it seem like you're not paying attention to the details.  The struggle is you often need an undershirt when you have a polo on.  If you don't have one on you might sweat through the outer shirt.  That was my problem.  You'd rather deal with the undershirt than deal with the sweat.  

The Right Sleeve Length

My preference is to have one undershirt that can be worn for all occasions.  I don't want to deal with having multiple undershirts.  One for work to be worn under long sleeved undershirts and one for the weekend for short sleeved shirts.  Some guys really want the longer sleeve undershirt for work to avoid bunch.  Guys with bigger arms and bigger chests have the biggest issue with bunching sleeves.  

The ideal sleeve length for me is right above the tricep.  It's short enough not to be seen under a polo.  It's long enough that it shouldn't bunch.  See the picture below.  

This length allows you to wear the undershirt in any situation.  The undershirt in this picture is also fitted to your arm because the fabric includes spandex.  The fitted undershirt makes it much easier to wear fitted undershirts. You won't see the bagginess of the undershirt, which can hurt your style.  Below is the look you can get if you have the right length sleeve that's also fitted. 

The right sized sleeve makes the undershirt appear invisible.  It lets your style stand out and not your undershirt.  Next time when you're in the market for an undershirt make sure you take a look at the sleeves.  It's an often forgotten feature, but one you want to pay attention to.  

You can purchase the undershirt shown above at