Under-appreciated Undershirts

I will have been in China for 20 years this week. And yet, I still bump into little cultural differences that take me by surprise.

Case in point: the humble undershirt.


Fairly normal way to dress, right? But I get asked on an almost daily basis during the summer why I would wear two shirts. “Isn’t it hot?”

I never really noticed until now, but wearing an undershirt to absorb a little sweat is not really a thing here. (Big old sweatstains are, however, most definitely a summer thing here!)


John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. stoutsensei Says: August 19, 2020 at 2:32 am

    Congrats on 20 years in China, John! BTW, that how long I lived in Japan. Haha

  2. You also see men rolling their shirt up above their bellies on hot days. I used to see 黑车 drivers do this while sitting outside their cars waiting for a fare. My friend called it a personal 空调. Turn up the AC!

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