The ABC’s of Tees

Here at WAMSW we are always encouraging  you to put on ties, suspenders, jackets, and all manner of “extra” articles of clothing. But believe us, we understand the urge as the weather gets warmer/ as finals approach / on a quiet weekend to pull on a t-shirt and call it good. And that’s okay. (I may or may not be sitting around my house in a t-shirt and shorts as I attempt to write an essay).


And although they are the ultimate lazy clothing (I refuse to accept sweats as an entity), that doesn’t mean t-shirts need to be shulmpy. As with everything, fit is essential. Baggy shirts are the easiest way to hide your body, and that is not a good thing. I don’t mean hide flaws, I mean hide the fact that you have a body. If you’re a slim guy an overly loose shirt can make you look scrawny. If you’re a bigger guy it can add the appearance of extra weight. Pretty much a baggy shirt does no one any good. Don’t believe me? In Joss Whedon’s Cabin in the Woods, they purposefully dressed Fran Kranz (Marty) in baggy clothes because he was noticeably

“in as good if not better shape than the other male students. In the commentary for the film, the writers joke that he was “ripped like muscular Jesus” and assert that if Marty were shown being that fit it would ruin the character”. (From IMDb trivia page for the film. Do not read this section unless you’ve seen the film).

So now that we’ve fully explored the woes of baggy t-shirts, we have to say that too tight can be just as bad. Unless you have a character-destroying body, a skin-tight tee is just going to reveal any and all flaws. My friend and I were actually distracted by a guy in the pub the other night who had either out-grown his shirt or unfortunately thought it looked good. It didn’t, trust us.

What you do want is a shirt that follows the line of your body, but with some built-in breathing room. Sleeves should end at your mid-to-upper bicep, the elbow or below, or commit to being a long sleeve. If your regular short sleeves are ending near your elbow, you need to rethink your size or style. (The hem hitting your mid-to upper bicep keeps your arms from looking scrawny).

various basic tees

I’m always a fan of plain and neutral when it comes to t-shirts, but an overall pattern, like a stripe, with a pop of bright color can be refreshingly summer-y. Another way to mix up the basic is with a nice baseball tee (those ones with the different colored sleeves). V-necks are never a bad thing, but gage the depth appropriately, very few guys can pull off a super deep-v and even fewer that aren’t musicians (don’t ask why, I can’t explain, but it’s true).

If you’re looking for more examples of how to really wear a t-shirt, check out Adam Levine. His shirts always fit perfectly; he’s a skinny guy and is never overwhelmed. Also, although personally I’m not really a fan of tattoos, his add enough other interest that a plain tee is never boring.


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