Tee shirts are a must-have. They’re simple and bold, and they’ve seen some serious evolution over the years. Originally an undergarment, more than a century ago, the tee shirt saw new life as a fashion piece in the 1950s, bookending something of a masculine spectrum, with Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire at one end and James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause at the other. Since then, the mighty yet humble tee shirt has become an essential for every man’s wardrobe. In fact, in the introduction for Alice Harris’s book The White T, Giorgio Armani stated, “I've always thought of the T-shirt as the Alpha and Omega of the fashion alphabet.”
So, no matter what type of man you are, tees should be in your closet. Yet, each style of tee brings something different to the table. Let’s go through the five tees that you should have ready to go.
The Crew Neck Tee
The crew neck tee is the most common type of tee and nearly every man owns at least one. It’s classic! Able to be worn for working, socializing, lounging, and even sleeping, the crew neck is always at your service — whether as a standalone item or a solid basis for layering. What matters most is that your crew neck tee fits well and comfortably around your neck. Although a sharp piece for any and all body types, the crew neck tee proves most suitable for men with long/oval faces and/or sloped shoulders, as it breaks the slimness and creates the illusion of a rounder face and fuller shoulders.
The V-Neck Tee
Best worn to social events, the v-neck tee adds a subtle edge to your ensemble. If you want to accentuate your neck area with a touch of masculinity, then a v-neck is your top choice. Avoid deep Vs at all costs, though. When the neckline proves too deep, a v-cut is no longer flattering. A little chest show-off can be voguish, but the ideal depth should not venture past the top of your armpits. Your v-neck going too far takes your whole outfit too far. If you’re looking to add inches to your look, however, a v-neck tee is all you need, since it creates an illusion of height by way of a seemingly elongated neck. If your face is on the rounder side, a v-neck tee can create a slimming effect for your overall look.
The Pocket Tee
A pocket tee brings that little something extra to your outfit, so it often suits those times you’re making cherished memories with friends and family. How does it deliver, you ask? Well, for starters, it pops more visually, thus offering additional styling options. While a pocket tee goes with any ensemble, an especially slick look is pairing it with selvedge jeans and/or an unstructured blazer. Secondly, it has a pocket for quickly stashing tiny gems — a lucky coin, a phone number, etc. A pocket tee is there to help you look good and/or stash goods.
You may not know its name — you may actually know it as the y-neck — but everyone knows its class-act look. The henley is a collarless tee with two to five buttons running down the upper chest area. There’s the short-sleeved henley and the long-sleeved henley; the latter is more common and more formal. As a middle ground between a tee and a button-up, the henley is a solid weekend staple. It flatters your shoulders and arms as well as your chest. Plus, it’s a quick way to join the handsome likes of Zac Efron, Chris Hemsworth, and Channing Tatum, all of whom are on the henley bandwagon.
The White Tee
No wardrobe is complete without the white tee, and your personal preference leaves the style up to you. Every man needs a pack, a pile, or a plethora of white tees. Worn effortlessly by celebrities like David Beckham, Johnny Depp, and Adam Levine, a white tee is the epitome of looking cool without trying — as long as it’s high quality and not an undershirt, of course. A white tee is versatile enough to be stylishly worn with any overshirt or jacket, and it pairs well with jeans, khakis, shorts, parachute pants, you name it. Basically, a white tee shirt is like a secret weapon everyone knows about.
Looking sharp comes from having good style and feeling great about what you wear. In fashion, less is more and a tee shirt speaks volumes. Whether you choose to wear a crew neck tee, a v-neck tee, a pocket tee, or a henley tee, be on the lookout for a killer fit to find your way to effortless style without ever sacrificing comfort.
— Elsie Obat