Today, whilst wearing my 3.1 Philip Lim button down (label drop #1) and a pair of blue A.P.C. corduroys (label drop #2) I felt something that didn’t make me feel so dapper. It wasn’t gas. It wasn’t a wedgie. It wasn’t the effects of too much Activia. It was my undershirt. My white V-neck tee that I always rely on kept on bunching up underneath my finely tailored shirt. I was developing a sartorial not-so-fresh feeling and I wished that I wore my Second Skin by Tommy John.


No, Second Skin isn’t some sort of sci-fi uniform nor is it a latex bodysuit that you find at a “specialty store.” It is the “Ultimate Undershirt” – and I could vouch for that.

“They are not Spanx for men!” laughs founder Tom Patterson. I met with him for coffee last month when he introduced his Second Skin Collection to San Francisco via Neiman Marcus in Union Square.

Patterson says he thinks an undershirt makes all the difference and based on talks he had with his buddies, finding a nice-fitting undershirt that wasn’t boxy nor too tight was difficult. That said, he said he “became a designer by accident.”

It makes sense. Men wear undershirts everyday, but undershirts are an afterthought. Guys tend to buy the six-to-a-pack tees and after a month of wear and tear, they are, in a word, disposable.

Even so, white V-neck tees are one of the most versatile pieces a man could have in his wardrobe. You can dress it up, down, sideways and if you have some great “hevage” it can show that off too.

Packaged in a Tiffany-esque and chocolate colored box, Tommy John (named after the founder from South Dakota, of course) the collection of underwear and shirts have Tailored Stretch Technology created from a blend of Micro Modal and Lycra. It contours to your body rather than clinging to it. Patterson insists that when wearing his product people will ask to pet you all day long. Depending on the person doing petting, I wouldn’t mind.

Here’s the scientific breakdown:


After chatting with Patterson about his product, I was only partially sold. Even though I do feel the bunching up of my undershirts more often than not, I didn’t want to stray away from the familiar. I tend to be a stubborn guy when it comes to my failsafe wardrobe pieces.

Being an open-minded guy, I gave a Tommy John shirt a test drive. As soon as I put it on, the shirt conformed to my body. To be honest, when I took the shirt out of the box, I thought I would look like a “Single Ladies” background dancer. Even though I do know the dance from Beyonce’s video, I cannot rock that look and this shirt was nothing like that. It was as if it knew my body and clung to all the right parts – and even though Patterson insists they are not man Spanx, I think it actually made me look more fit and buff – like the dude on the box. Then again, that might’ve been all in my head.

As for the bunching of the shirt – there was none. In fact, as soon as I put it on, it felt like it evaporated. The hem of the shirt hugs below your waist and doesn’t move. It was magical.

The material was soft. Very soft. Very, very soft. It was like the sartorial equivalent to caramel except it wasn’t sticky. If I could eat the fabric; I would because it is that delicious. And yes, the whole day I was wearing my Second Skin, I felt like taking off my overshirt and letting people feel the silky smoothness of my undershirt – but I didn’t because that is just creepy.

Nonetheless, it looks like I found my new brand of undershirt that requires no disposal.

To purchase some of this magical underwear visit

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