When it comes to t-shirts and style, opinions often fall into two camps.
There are those men, the vast majority of them, who see tees as a wardrobe staple that is appropriate for nearly every occasion and can be worn with little to no thought.
Then there are the traditionalists, small in number, but vocal, who feel t-shirts are utterly juvenile and sloppy-looking, and should never be worn outside a gym or away from the beach.
I’d like to suggest a middle path: t-shirts as a classic, versatile piece of clothing appropriate to wear on some occasions, but not others. Allow me also to suggest that even if t-shirts constitute a simple staple of one’s wardrobe, there are ways to wear them better, and worse.
Below we have mentioned the most popular necklines that have given the t-shirt a modern twist without compromising on its aesthetics.
Raglan full-sleeves T-Shirts
which are available in three quarter and full- length sleeves, take inspiration from the baseball uniforms in the cut and design aspect. In this type of t-shirt, the sleeves are attached to the shirt on a diagonal seam rather than the generic straight-up-and-down seam which is more common.
3/4 sleeves T-Shirts
The most traditional type of sleeves yet the most flattering on men is the half sleeves T-Shirts. The best way to wear it is to ensure that the sleeve hits the midpoint of your upper arm and hugs the biceps snugly.
This type of sleeves covers the entire upper arm ending below the elbow and reaching varying lengths on the forearm.
These types of sleeves need no introduction as they are one of the staple t-shirts worn by most men. Long sleeves were always associated with shirts but made the crossover to t-shirts, and the resulting look is nothing shy of a fashion favorite.
Plain t-shirt styles
is the staple of a man’s wardrobe. They are called classic for a reason after all. There is nothing more charming than a man donning a white tee that fits perfectly.
The casual and laid back look of t-shirts have long been experimented with to give us looks like semi-casual and sporty and everything in between. The cool thing about t-shirts is that it can be modified in a million ways to create umpteen styles and yet it will retain its essence as a longest-standing garment of choice for men.
Polo t-shirt collar styles
Polo t-shirts are made famous by golfers and the collared variety adorned with buttons adds a sense of formality to the look. Men with a lean frame can take the most advantage of this t-shirt type.
The V Neck style
This type of t-shirt forms a V shape at the neck. Guys with round faces and broad shoulders can take advantage of this neckline as it flatters their body type giving them a slimmer look. It can be paired with an unbuttoned shirt wherein the V neckline doesn’t show from underneath the shirt.
Sleeveless t-shirt style
Also known as the tank top, the sleeveless t-shirt has a deeper neck and the straps vary in width from being very thin to almost covering the shoulders. It is perfect for the heavily muscular body as you can show off your toned upper torso with panache.
Slim fit t-shirt styles
A slim fit tee is also known as a body fit tee because it hugs the shape of your body rather than hanging over it lifelessly. It acts as the perfect undershirt and can be paired with a shirt, jacket or a pullover.
Muscle fit style t-shirt
Men with broad shoulders and muscular body types can make the most out of these body-hugging muscle fit tees. Gym lovers can flaunt their best assets while donning the muscle tee. Pair it with white chinos, and you are all set.
Printed t-shirt styles
From trending slogans to customized prints, wear your heart on your sleeves, er, shirt by adding spunk to your monotone outfit. Pair it with blue jeans and smart sneakers to balance out the overall look.
Baggy style t-shirt
These have made a comeback from the ’90s and finds a place in an evolved fashionable man’s wardrobe along with the slim fits. But be cautious that a baggy fit does not necessarily mean oversized but rather something wider and loose in the sleeves area.
THE WEARING GUIDE
1. Get The FIT Right
Women agree that men are more attractive in a fitted white T-shirt. The shape of your top accentuates the typically masculine silhouette of broad shoulders and narrow waist.
So, no matter how you’re built, a t-shirt can make you look more masculine. However, there is a caveat – it has to fit perfectly and highlight the best attributes of your body without looking like a skin-tight workout top.
Here are some rules for the perfect fitting t-shirt:
- Shoulders – The seams of the t-shirt should sit perfectly on the edge of your shoulders.
- Sleeves – fitted around the arms and not extending to your elbow. If you have big arms, look for slightly shorter sleeves or give the sleeves a couple of folds to show off your guns.
- Length – Your top should be long enough for it to be tucked into your trousers, but not so long that it bunches at the waist. Ensure that it extends past your hip bone and covers the waistband of your pants. We’ll discuss tucking rules later in this article.
- Stomach – Your top should conform slightly to the curve of your body. If it is too loose, you won’t see the shape of your body and if it is too tight, every detail of your stomach will be visible. A tapered cut that doesn’t drape your waistline is most flattering.
- Neck – When you raise your arms, there shouldn’t be a big gap around the neck. It should also not be so tight that you can’t move around easily.
A well-fitting shirt is never restrictive and should allow for comfortable movement. Skintight tops should only be worn for sport.
2. Choose The Right COLOR
You should own at least a few of the basics – white, black, gray and navy.
- White – Complements all skin tones. The classic white t-shirt should be part of your wardrobe. Remember to always wash your white clothes together. Don’t mix with other colors.
- Gray – A mixture of different shades – gray virtually enhances your body shape. Watch out for sweat marks that are easily visible in dark colors.
- Black – Another versatile color option, black pairs well with most outfit combinations. However, the color tends to fade quickly and can be a little severe during the day.
- Navy – A better choice than black that is more suitable during the day and great for creating tonal looks when combined with jeans.
- Other Colors – A t-shirt is probably the easiest way to experiment with colors. Greens, reds, purples, and blues are great for creating a pop of color under a cardigan or worn on their own. Make sure the color of the t-shirt doesn’t clash with your skin tone.
3. Select The Right FABRIC
Quality is not related to the weight of the top. In fact, with t-shirts, lighter materials tend to cost more.
100% cotton is the preferable choice, especially Egyptian or Pima cotton. They are made from long-staple fibers that last longer, look thinner and feel lighter.
Cotton blends are also good options. A moderate amount of elastane (stretch fibers) helps to maintain the shape of your top, whereas cotton-polyester blends come in at a lower price point and offer easy maintenance because they are creaseless.
The label on the t-shirt gives you an idea of the composition of the fabric used to make the t-shirt. The most common options are:
- Combed Cotton: A strong, soft and smooth fabric that has been brushed fine to straighten the fibers and remove short strands.
- Organic Cotton: More expensive than treated cotton, this soft material is derived from cotton grown with minimal pesticides and fertilizers and pesticides.
- Pima: This is the highest grade cotton with extra long fibers. Resists pilling, stretching, fading, and gets softer with each wear. Supima is the trademarked name for American-grown Pima cotton.
- Bamboo: T-shirts made from bamboo have a soft sheen and are incredibly soft. They are breathable and slightly on the expensive side.
- Merino: Probably the most expensive top you will own, a 100% Merion wool T-shirt can be worn wear for an entire week before it starts to smell. The perfect choice for travel.
- Jersey: Typically made from cotton or a synthetic blend, this stretchy knit fabric is very flexible and comfortable.
- Polyester: Light and quick-drying, but not breathable. Polyester maintains its shape well and resists wrinkles and shrinking.
- Rayon: Also called viscose, rayon is a man-made fiber made out of the wood pulp. It feels smooth to the touch and wrinkles easily.
4. How To Wear Your T-Shirt In STYLE
The first thing to pay attention to is the collar. You need to match your collars when layering. If you’re wearing a jacket with a collar, your t-shirt needs to feature the same shape.
Should you wear a crew or v-neck?
Crew necks are suitable for men with a small chest or sloped shoulders. They help in creating an illusion of broader shoulders, giving your body more proportion.
V-necks are perfect for shorter gents because they create an illusion of length and height, elongating the neck. They provide balance to men with long necks and narrow faces.
What about a deep V-neck, a scoop neck or a boat neck? My advice is to steer clear of these styles. They tend to be fashion trends that can only be worn tastefully by a select group of men.
Should you tuck in your t-shirt?
In general, no. If you are wearing it as part of a uniform, then tuck it into your trousers.
However, depending on the culture you are surrounded by and the shape of the t-shirt and the rest of your outfit, it is possible to rock a tucked-in tee. The tucked-in-t-shirt style works best with a short-sleeve polo shirt and tailored trousers.
How should you style your outfit with a t-shirt?
Follow the example of classic style icons (James Dean, Marlon Brando) – pair a classic white t-shirt with jeans and a pair of boots. This is the most understated and effortless look for a man. Or, layer a shirt by wearing a jacket, cardigan or checked shirt, along with dark denim and stylish loafers or monk straps.