Andrew Ross Sorkin and Esquire Agree: $40 Is Not Too Much for One Undershirt

Andrew Ross Sorkin and Esquire have come to an agreement: the Too Big to Fail author and sassy bro bible both believe in the figure-flattering, nipple-chafing protection of one $40 white undershirt and aren't afraid to tell you so.

This article is from the archive of our partner .

Andrew Ross Sorkin and Esquire have come to an agreement: the Too Big to Fail author and sassy bro mag both believe in the figure-flattering, nipple-chafing protection of one $40 white undershirt — and aren't afraid to tell you so.

Dealbook founder Sorkin endorses the Tommy John "second skin" crew V-neck in an upcoming issue for The New York Time's T Magazine (online today), while Esquire fashion editor Wendell Brown "extolled" (his words, not ours) the crewneck version shirt this past August, remarking that it's a bargain compared to a $90 T-shirt the magazine endorsed earlier.

Forty dollars can buy plenty of things other than one undershirt, and is a lot of money when you compare that price to other undershirts on the market. To wit, you can buy a 3-pack of Calvin Klein undershirts for much less. During the payroll tax cut stalemate in December 2011, the White House crowd-sourced what $40 meant to the average American and found some heart-breaking stories about how it can pay for mortgages, new shoes, or five hours of work for some people. And in this time of a tale of two New Yorks, with the gap between rich and poor higher than ever, it should almost come as no surprise that there are men like Sorkin (who probably make good money) spending plenty of cash to make sure you can't see that they're wearing a T-shirt and magazines like Brown's to tell those men who make good money where to buy them.

So what makes the Tommy John worth it? Sorkin explains that it has to do with the shirt not being constricting like a girdle. It's so good it makes him write all hot and bothered:

First, it is remarkably soft, a little silky. Like a cashmere sweater. It is thin. Really thin. It’s not sheer, but it could be. When you’re wearing it, you almost forget it’s on.

It’s stretchy, but not like compression shorts or a girdle. It’s made out of a combination of cotton or micromodal and spandex, depending on which model you buy.

Brown has a similar shill. This shirt, he says, hugs your body's curves like a Ferrari :

They've honed in on the cut, which is extremely slim but not quite a compression fit, so it hugs your body without strangling you. Also, the shirt is made of a super-lightweight blend of cotton and spandex (read: won't pill), so it moves with you throughout the day, stays tucked in, doesn't ride up, and, most importantly, doesn't fight your dress shirt and create those weird beneath-the-surface folds you can see in almost any office building in America. 

As you can tell from these testimonies, no longer are men content with a T-shirt that prevents perspiration from hitting and ruining the dress shirt, or a loose shirt that simply provides protection from nipple fissures. Men want and can have a T-shirt that has it all. "Men, I’ve discovered, care more about their undergarments than you might think and seem more brand-loyal than their label-promiscuous female counterparts.," Sorkin writes (The Times Style section and its many stories about male underwear might be actual proof of this).

The undergarment stakes are only getting higher. Sara Blakely, the billionaire creator of Spanx (a kind of sausage casing-like underwear that hug women's shapes) is trying to broaden her customer base and is dipping her toe in the male undergarment market.

"Given my interest in undershirts, naturally I have been testing hers. At $58, they’re pricey, but if you haven’t been to the gym in a while and have a little extra to hide, this shirt will do the trick," burgeoning undergarment connoisseur Sorkin writes.

Photo via: Tommy John

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.