The humble t-shirt- the most versatile workhorse in your wardrobe. But finding a tee that fits just so is a task nothing short of Herculean. Faced with rails, shelves and product pages heaving with a mind-bending array of fits, fabrics and finishes, it is alarming how fast something that should be straightforward turns into a full-blown identity crisis. After all, one man’s perfect t-shirt is another man’s practically unwearable.
Crew Neck It:
Obviously there’s more to t-shirts than the classic crew neck. But nine times out of ten a time-honoured crew neck trumps the neck-elongating, cleavage-baring weirdness of a V-neck. Generally, a well-fitting crew neck frames most necks, chests and sets of shoulders far better than a V-, scoop or boat neck.
Your perfect t-shirt should highlight the parts of your upper body you’re happy with, without drawing attention to the parts that are still very much a work in progress. Your tee should strike a balance between fitted and skin-tight, sitting as close to your body as possible without stretching. The length of your tee shouldn’t sit any higher than the top of your hips, nor finish below them, and sleeves should hit around the halfway point on your upper arm, neither billowing nor bracing. Shoulder seams (i.e. the point where the sleeves of your tee meet its body) should ideally align with the point where the curve of your shoulder ends.
Poly-cotton or fully synthetic materials work well to wick away moisture and retain their shape, thus earning their place in your workout wardrobe, but 100% cotton tees invariably look and feel better for anything that’s not exercise. While it is true that you will want a certain degree of thickness to wear your tee as easily with tailoring as a pair of jeans, too-thick tees often don’t drape as well as their welterweight brothers.
Having a range of staple colours will ensure that you can wear your t-shirts with as much of your wardrobe as possible. White is iconic. The white t-shirt works with all skin tones and sits well against pretty much every other colour you will want to wear it with. Grey comes a close second, gelling well with most other hues and capable of bridging the smart-casual gap. Not, for most, as versatile as white or grey, a classic black tee still deserves a slot in your rotation, perfect for head-to-toe monochrome getups. Finally, navy brings some colour to the table without sacrificing styling potential.