On the right guy, you know that business attire can be very sexy. Slacks that gently grip the butt. Slim fit button down shirt. Even a tie and tailored jacket when needed. But do you know what is not sexy? When that button down shirt is 70% covered with sweat stains.
Why, Australians, why do you not wear undershirts? Not one of you do. And in summertime here, it never ceases to amaze me just how many men walk around Sydney – both on the street and even in my office – with sweat stains on their shirts. In the elevator in the morning, I follow men in who have giant sweat stains from their collar all the way down their back to where their shirt meets their pants. It is not sexy.
Sweat stains on an exercise shirt can be sexy. Soccer players – running around the field – getting all sweaty in their jerseys or polos or whatever they are wearing. Yummy. Runners – in their tank tops or singlets or whatever you want to call it – their arms glistening with sweat as the subtle stains on their torso coverings slowly grow as they run meter by meter through the botanical gardens. You look hot, Mr. Runner, let me blow on you to cool you down a little. And you, man in the business shirt, that expensive shirt with the giant sweat patch on the back, oh baby… oh wait, no. That’s not sexy. Not at all.
American men know that a sweaty work shirt is a turn-off. Canadian men know that a sweaty work shirt is a mood killer. European men know that a sweaty work shirt is a boner shrinker. Why then, why have you Aussie men not received the memo about sweaty work shirts? When I first moved here I would wear an undershirt to work every day so that nobody would see any potential sweat stains that came through, and because I wouldn’t need to wash and iron my work shirts as often. I could get two uses out of them, especially in winter, and sometimes even in summer. But then I noticed that not another soul in the office was wearing an undershirt. And I stopped wearing them so I could fit in like an asshole. And now I have to plan my attire around the weather report. Tuesday is going to be hot – can’t wear gray or green! Must stick with that striped shirt or solid black.
But, still, sometimes I will put on an undershirt, especially on those really hot days. And when I do, without fail, several people will ask me, “Are you wearing a t-shirt under your shirt?” or “Aren’t you hot with that extra shirt on?” And my answer, is “Yes, I am wearing an undershirt, and yes I am hot with it on, but you know what, I’d be hot without it on. In fact, I’d be scorching even if I was completely naked right now, because you know what? IT’S 115 FUCKING DEGREES IN THIS CITY AND ONE LITTLE LAYER OF COTTON ISN’T GOING TO MAKE A DAMN BIT OF DIFFERENCE WHEN IT COMES TO MY FUCKING BODY TEMPERATURE.”
Here, let me take my undershirt off. It’s still 115 degrees outside, but now that I’ve removed my white Hanes t-shirt, my body temperature has cooled dramatically and I think I might need a jacket now! Amazing!
Or not. Ok, so I’ll agree that the one little layer of cotton may increase my body temperature by a degree or two, maybe. But is there really a difference between 113 and 115 degrees? I’m going to be uncomfortable no matter what I’m wearing, but at least with an undershirt, a lot of the sweat that flows like Niagara from my body will be soaked up by my trusted cotton friend and will not make its way to visibility on the outside world. Yay!
So, Aussies, I highly recommend you embrace the undershirt, or at least stop asking me all those questions when I wear one. And if you choose not to embrace the undershirt, well, you can sit there with the giant sweat stain which has engulfed your entire back and most of your front – so badly that your wet shirt is now clinging to your skin. And your only hope will be for that stain to quickly continue growing down the length of your sleeves thus rendering your shirt 100% wet for a full covering – so that it no longer looks like a sweat stain but instead just a darker shirt.
Just don’t give anyone a hug. Eeeek.