The Simple Joys of Wearing a Mack Weldon Undershirt as an Everyday Tee
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Earlier this month, an old college buddy of mine texted our group chat, looking for recommendations on where to buy “a new pair of knickers.” After taking a solemn second to appreciate the ways in which my close friendships have evolved over the years, I directed him towards Mack Weldon’s Silver Trunks. When I tested out 10 different pairs of undies last fall, the Silver Trunks were the no-brainer decision for best overall. Others proved worthy, in their own ways — Smartwool made our favorite briefs for hiking, Calvin Klein is still a great, cost-conscious option — but the Silver Trunks reached immediate “Get these in the laundry so I can wear them again” status.
Since my first, official foray into the cotton-polyester-lycra world of Mack Weldon, I’ve also spent some time in their loungewear (the Ace Sweatpant) and their formal wear (the 37.5 Oxford Button-Up). One truth has become abundantly clear: when you start a company with the intention of making better boxer briefs — and succeed — other articles of clothing are a cinch. Since 2012, Mack Weldon’s been in the business of keeping the body’s hardest-to-please region happy, and everywhere else has fallen in line as a result.
To that end, I’d recommend anything this brand makes, to anybody (not just my school friends). The selection keeps growing, and now includes everything from commuter bags to swimwear. But in my opinion, one of the best pieces Mack Weldon has on offer, beyond its fabled Silver Trunks, is uncommonly versatile undershirts. And in a blatant, “learn the rules to break them” moment earlier in the year, I began wearing Mack Weldon’s premier undershirt, the 18-Hour Jersey Crew Neck, as an “everyday tee.” It’s been a total game changer.
Mack Weldon does makes everyday tees on purpose: they carry the Silver Crew Neck, the Pima Cotton T-Shirt, and the DRYKNIT Crew Neck. Each of these also comes in a V-neck cut, and over a dozen different colors. I have no qualms with those tees; in fact, I’m sure I’d love them. (The Silver Crew Neck, especially, which is made from the same material in Mack Weldon’s boxer briefs — it’s laced with antimicrobial silver threading that keeps the fabric fresh.) But wearing the 18-Hour Jersey Crew Neck out of the house, on its own, is completely my idea, and I’m here to start the revolution before someone else does.
When I first got a two-pack of the 18-Hour last year, I set it aside for the usual undershirt use. I’d sport it under a button-down, or turn to it at the end of the day, as part of an elevated pajama ensemble. But each time I put it on, I got a little more annoyed that I was wearing it for such niche purposes. It was — and is — one of the most stupidly comfortable tees I’ve ever owned. In the words of reviewer Jeffrey H., “LOVE MY MACKS.” I wanted to share that love with the world. So I started plugging the undershirt into my normal T-shirt rotation. It’s been a resounding success. I’m comfortable all the time now, and pleased to report that no one from Mack Weldon has accosted me on the street (yet) to demand I cover up.
What’s so special about it? That comfort is thanks to the brand’s proprietary blend of cotton, modal (a fabric from beech tree pulp, which is often found in bed sheets), and stretch lycra. Mack Weldon lets the weave sit for 18 hours before cutting it (hence the name), which lets the fabric expand and achieve a consistent fit. And that fit is a big reason I’m a big fan of the undershirt. It’s a slimmer fit, with a longer torso, and sleeves that sit higher on the arms. Assuming you’re honest with yourself about your shirt size, it’ll look flattering on all body types. I like the seams throughout, which give it a sense of structure that’s uncommon for most tees — they bisect each sleeve — and the collar, which manages to lie flat, even after you’ve worn and washed it for months on end. Extra points, also, for general breathability, the lack of a tag, and a little note on the hem: “FOR DAILY WEAR.”
If there’s anything working against the idea of an undershirt as an everyday tee, it’s that the color options are inherently muted. Mack Weldon offers the 18-Hour only in white and grey. But for many days out, that’s all you need. A light tee with a pair of dark jeans and canvas sneakers is an undefeated look. And nobody will be able to tell that you’re walking around in undies.
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