Undetectable undergarments. These are definitely becoming a thing, lately. Tommy John is doing it with their Second Skin and Cool Cotton lines, RibbedTee is doing it with their CoolWear and MicroModal shirts, and let’s not forget high-tech clothing pioneer Ministry of Supply with their Core Alpha and Atmos base layers. Thin is in. Light is the new black. That’s why the focus of today’s need to know is on Shirtless.
Shirtless (undershirtless.com) is new to the American market and fixing to make an impact with an initial line of undershirts designed to be imperceptible as a base layer. These shirts are made from sustainably grown American Pima cotton in a Zero Liquid Discharge manufacturing facility and, according to Shirtless, are “approximately half the weight of a typical undershirt.” According to my super-accurate German-made digital scale, a size large Shirtless Crew Neck weighs in at just 94 grams (3.3oz), which is a little less than half the weight of your average undershirt.
How do they do this? Easy. Less material. By using high-quality long-staple Pima cotton, which is as tough as it is soft, Shirtless is able produce a light and airy jersey material that should hold up to the rigors of undershirt duty. To cut weight further, they have omitted the customary ribbed trim at the neck and arm openings, made the crew neck opening a bit wider and deeper, and have cut down on seaming by incorporating raglan sleeves. In the case of Shirtless, less may be more.
That said, from an American standpoint, the whole less-is-more-thing can be a tough sell. We’ve had an abundance of everything for the last 70 years, so paying the same or more for less is incongruous to the American way of thinking. Regardless of how things have been, though, the fact is things are changing. The ever rising population requires more and more resources, and one way to address this is by using less of them. This is what Shirtless is doing.
Only time will tell if this approach will work here in the States. The market seems to hungry for snug-fitting, minimalist undergarments, so their timing couldn’t be better. Stay tuned for the upcoming review of the Shirtless Crew Neck undershirt. For more information, click here.