Seemingly simple and underestimated from menswear, the t-shirt is a simple yet killer garment. Worn all year-long, the “tee” is THE foundation to every man’s wardrobe.
In order to build up his looks, a man can’t avoid the shirt. Principally rocked in casual wear, the t-shirt is often subject to a lack of attention from the crowd.
Mastering the shirt should be a must for every man. In that mindset, The Soul’s Garment is here to help, offering you a simple guide to get the hang of the famous tee.
First and foremost, a t-shirt belongs to the casual attire. It is the most basic piece of your closet and the most essential one too. Like I always say, the most important part of casual-wear is how it fits.
How should it fit?
Shoulder: the sewing should be located where the shoulder starts to drop (tip: it’s right where the bone on your shoulder ends) (see picture below)
Sleeve: the sleeve should end around the middle of your biceps. Trick: if your sleeves are too long/ you want extra bicep exposure, roll up the sleeves once or twice to adjust the length.
(like this, for example)
On this one, you can see the seam on the shoulder located right where the shoulder starts to drop and the sleeves reach the middle of the bicep.
Hem: for a normal shirt, the hem should end around the middle of your butt. Too short would show your underwear (not everyone wants to see it, to be honest) and too long would make you look disproportionate. Tip: if the hem is too long but everything else is good, try to tuck your shirt in to manage your proportions.
For elongated shirts: the hem is purposefully longer than usual, which makes them perfect for layering. Personally, I prefer the ones that are longer in front and behind and that get shorter on the sides. It helps showing your true proportions.
(A little bit like that)
However, avoid hems that are too long. It will mess up with your proportions and you will look like you have short legs.
Neck area: for the neck area, you have mostly two types: the crew neck (round) and the v-neck (inverted triangle). My favorite is the crew one because of the gentle shape and the way it hugs my neck area (see black shirt picture)
Beware: no matter which neck you choose, especially when you start with fashion, don’t start off with deep necks (showing man cleavage). The deep ones are items you should show comfort while wearing it. Not everyone can rock them especially when they start with fashion.
Overall: a shirt that fits should be close to your skin. It has to hug your body nicely, without being too tight. For someone who doesn’t know what a fitted is, it should feel slightly tight, without being uncomfortable nor limiting your movements.
When shopping for shirts, in order to have a nice versatile collection, here are the pieces you should look for:
- Plain shirts: neutrals (such as the one in Simple Yet Trendy), black, white, grey and navy. Those are the basic colors that will both work as a shirt under a flannel/denim shirt/jacket AND as a stand alone piece for daily casual looks.
(A great example of using a black shirt under a flannel)
- Graphic Tees: a few band tees to rock your favorite music brands (pretty popular these days) or logo shirts. These will help you communicate your passions through your clothing and can easily be a conversation starter with strangers.
Like this Nirvana band t-shirt.
- Patterns: polka dots and stripes would be the go-to to test the water before going too bold. Patterns are amazing in order to show off some personality and add variety to your closet!
(Striped t-shirt as a layering base)
There are plenty of new cuts available for shirts nowadays, such as the elongated t-shirt, the dropped-shoulders, etc. It is your decision to choose which style you want to go for. The most important part for you to understand is that you simply need to feel comfortable in your own skin.
Quick guide for quality check
Here are a few things you should look at to determine whether the shirt you want to buy is a quality garment:
- Fabric: natural fabrics such as the cotton are preferred. The perfect option would be to have more than 60% of natural fabric and 40% or less of synthetic fabric (polyester or spandex for example).
- Material: the thicker, the better. Try to take the shirt you like and put it in front of a light. The less you can see the light through it, the better it is (to not mistake with a light shirt for summer, made out of linen for example).
- Sewing: check the sewing around the shoulders and the sleeves. The more loops you have per centimeter, the stronger the sewing. Also, look for strayed strings: they are most of the time a sign of poor craftsmanship.
The more loops you have per centimeter, the stronger the sewing (in average, 4 or more loops means quality). On the next picture, you can see what a strayed string looks like (if you see one on your garment, cut it as soon as possible)
- Patterns: analyze the uniformity of the pattern. For example, the patterns should align around the seams. This shows how much work the company put in the making of the shirt.
You now have the basic and elementary information that you need on the man’s t-shirt in order to buy your essentials, quality t-shirts and how to wear them.
Finally, the t-shirt is a lethal weapon that can make serious impacts on your everyday wear. Master it and you will look good effortless in any casual event.
Thank you for reading.
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Ryoma Martin, from The Soul’s Garment
At your service
*Featured Image: Photo by Parker Burchfield on Unsplash
Nirvana shirt: Photo by Carlos Quevedo on Unsplash
Denim shirt and stripes: Photo by Mohammad Faruque on Unsplash
Elongated shirt example:Photo by Jeff Sheldon on Unsplash
Red flannel shirt: Photo by JULIAN ALEXANDER on Unsplash