Review: RibbedTee RetroFit and MicroRib undershirts

It's mid-summer, it's pretty hot outside, and many guys ditch the undershirts during these months to keep a bit cooler. After all, why on earth would you want to wear another layer? Well, I'm pleased to say that I've experienced almost no underarm sweat stains with the undershirts I received courtesy of Mikel Schwarz of RibbedTee.

Their most recent product, the RetroFit (har har), is meant to replicate the popular Towncraft 50/50 poly/cotton undershirts sold a few decades ago. Half polyester sounds like suicide if you're a clothing enthusiast like me, but the knit is designed in a way to let air flow while still soaking up most of your perspiration. I was surprised at how light and comfortable it really was. The only changes made to the original design were slightly slimmer sleeves and a longer length (27" on a Medium). It stays tucked surprisingly well, probably because of the natural stretch the fabric has. Since it is designed from a vintage pattern, the sleeves are a good inch or two shorter than you'll find on most modern undershirts. The v-neck version is a bit deeper than modern ones as well, but not as crazy deep as you'd see on the average American Apparel hipster. This might be because there were fewer buttons on shirts back then and thus a deeper gap produced when unbuttoning the collar. While the length is perfect to tuck in or leave untucked, I wouldn't recommend wearing it alone -- the fabric is quite transparent. It makes me wish they'd create a version in regular 100% cotton jersey. Mikel did inform me that they were considering making the same pattern in their MicroRib fabric, however.

Speaking of which, the MicroRib is a pretty fantastic undershirt in itself. While it costs a decent bit more than their other undershirt lines, it is worth it. The fabric, owing to the modal content, is quite absorbent. There was barely a sweat stain showing, even when I wore a fitted blue pinpoint. (And we all know how terrible blue shirts are about sweat stains.) The fabric is buttery soft and hardly noticeable under a shirt. The fit is slimmer than the RetroFit, pretty much body-hugging close. It is also a few good inches longer, so there's no need to tuck it into your boxers. Unfortunately the sleeves do tend to lose their shape after a bit of wear but go back down once washed and dried. I've heard of this problem on their namesake line of undershirts as well. Not a big deal, really. Mikel commented once that they could avoid it by using some lycra, but refused to since he believes it is actually detrimental to the life of the undershirt. Only thing I would improve upon is adding taping to the neck and shoulder seams for durability and comfort.

All in all, these are the best undershirts I own. I'm getting more for sure.

Price: $27.90 (RetroFit, pkg. of 2), $29.00 (MicroRib, pkg. of 1)

DISCLAIMER: Nouveau Vintage received material compensation for this review. However, every effort has been made to remain objective. 


  1. Why do American men feel they have to wear undershirts under not only dress shirts sans necktie but also under polo shirts and even under T shirts? I used to travel internationally often and could recognize American men by the undershirt ... and the shorts with a polo shirt tucked in with the silver-tipped belt.

  2. Guarding against sweat is a good reason, though I wear v-necks under an open neck shirt. Polos and t-shirts... not so much.

  3. Only American men sweat? Nah, its just some odd American male habit, one that non-American women the world over don't find sexy at all.

  4. I'm not even going to bother with a rebuttal, since that's what you want. I'll only say that it seems like you've got an itch to scratch. At every turn you've insulted American men and American style in your comments. What is your point besides trying feel superior to everyone?


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