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Don’t shirt the issue

Exploring the fit, color, and layering of t-shirts

A t-shirt is one of the most versatile and cheap types of clothing that you can find at any store. Because t-shirts are so common, we usually don’t see the potential in them. In fact, t-shirts can make up a powerful tool in your fashion arsenal when you incorporate them appropriately.

The most important thing to remember when you are buying a t-shirt is that it must fit you well. We tend to buy over-sized t-shirts because they are comfortable, but I want to emphasize to you now that regular and slim fit t-shirts can be comfortable as well, while looking great.

First, you have to check if the t-shirt sits right below your belt-line. If it hangs below your crotch area, then you should probably use it as a pajama shirt. Secondly, you don’t want to show off your belly button by wearing a t-shirt that is too short. Additionally, it shouldn’t have too much fabric around your waist area because it will only make you look sloppy. But, it should never be skin-tight. If you are shopping at a store, you should try the shirt on and do a quick exercise. Maybe perform a simple yoga move to see if you can move your back and arms freely in your garment. Finding the correct fit is very important not only for t-shirts but for clothing in general, so I strongly recommend that you actually go to a store and try them on.

After mastering the fit, you have to master the color as well. As you already know, there are many colors you can choose from for a t-shirt. But, if you are in doubt, buy white, black, navy, and grey ones with no pattern or words on them. If you have these four, you will most likely never need to buy another one. Why avoid patterns and words? These things can decrease versatility. Basically, they become harder to match with other garments due to their complexity. For example, if you are wearing a t-shirt that has a floral pattern in a hot-pink color, you probably won’t look great no matter how expensive that is. So, keeping everything as simple as possible is always a good idea when trying to look clean and smart.

Now, we come to the question: what can we do with a t-shirt? There are multiple ways to integrate it with other garments. For example, you can top it off with a cardigan, denim jacket, or maybe a pea-coat too. You can layer pretty much anything on a t-shirt, so play with that fact wisely. Let’s see how versatile a t-shirt can be. Can a t-shirt be incorporated with a suit too? Yes. A white t-shirt with a navy suit, a grey t-shirt with a black suit, and many other combos look fantastic. For semi-formal events like dinner parties and opera concerts, a suit with a t-shirt is great. Of course, these combos shouldn’t be used for formal occasions like funerals, but you see the point.

Before I leave you at this point, let me share a funny discussion that has been going around on the internet for a while. Is an undershirt a T-shirt? My answer is, NO! You might not be able to differentiate at distance, but when you look closer, you will notice the difference in stitching, especially at the shoulder area. An undershirt usually has stitching that is wide and visible, whereas a t-shirt’s stitching is narrow and hidden. An undershirt must be worn with a shirt, never by itself — that is like wearing underwear alone. If that is what you are aiming for, then do it.