If you know what you’re doing, you’ve spent your entire summer wearing a classic white t-shirt under everything and with everything. It’s classic, usually pretty flattering, always stylish, and always modern all at the same time. What doesn’t a white t-shirt go with? You would be pretty hard pressed to put together an outfit that was ruined by the garment. But I’m with Yang-Yi Goh of GQ, you wear a white t-shirt to look good, but you slip into a black t-shirt when you want to feel good.
A plain black t-shirt always makes you look like you’re ready to take yourself seriously, no matter what look it is you’re trying to pull off. Trying to look kind of sexy for a night out? Black tee. Trying to dress up and dress down at the same time by pairing a sports jacket with a t-shirt? Black tee. Trying to keep a casual cool with the lady friend for a night in? Black tee. Put on a few more pounds you don’t want anyone else to notice? Black tee. Lost a few pounds and you want people to notice? You get the idea.
Of course, you’ll still have to carefully pick the best fitting t-shirt for you, one can’t simply pop into any store and snag a black t-shirt off the rack and call it a day. All shirts are not created equally, and all bodies are not shaped the same way. Some tees hug the neck, while others hang a little loose. Some sleeves hug the bicep, while another might drape all the way to the elbow. First ask yourself, what feels best? What suits my budget? What will look coolest with the rest of my wardrobe? I’ve got all your bases covered below.
If you don’t already know, now you don’t have an excuse. Uniqlo makes the highest quality, yet most ridiculously affordable t-shirts you can find. These individually packed, curiously vacuum sealed, beauties boast a quality that is leagues above average department store stuff, and they come in just about every color you can think of. But you know which color you ought to be stocking up on, right? These tend to be extremely flattering and will hang on you just right, so I recommend them for when you’re going with the black t-shirt only.
Gap has made the most basic of basic clothing since you and I were in the crib, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s boring, they just do basics really well. The classic black gap t-shirt is a staple to any man’s wardrobe as they tend to be designed for gentlemen with broad shoulders. Go with the crew-neck for these, in fact, go with the crew-neck for pretty much any of these recommendations. Roughly 20% of all humans can pull off the v-neck shirt casually without looking like a total dill pickle, so unless you modestly fall into that category, avoid at all costs.
These shirts have a nifty little chest pocket and are cut classically, as the name suggests. This means it’s got a little bit of a boxy cut, which sounds sort of unflattering but that wouldn’t be a fair assumption. These shirts are designed to make anyone look good, partly because these feature one of my favorite t-shirt qualities: bicep sleeves. This is the t-shirt you’ve seen the young men wearing in all those classic movies, smoking and giving those around them steely glares, wearing ridiculously well-fitting jeans and t-shirts. This was the shirt. Only, you’re going to buy it in black, like we discussed.
Did I mention Uniqlo Has The Best Shirts?
I did, didn’t I? Well, I’m reinforcing the point, you should really stock up on basics from Uniqlo, particularly their packaged t-shirts. Get a bunch of white, and get even more black ones. You really can’t beat the quality for the price, and they make it their mission to make sure they look like these tees were cut just for you. Get some khakis and tuck them in. Wear a leather jacket, a sports jacket, or zero jacket over one of these guys and you’re fresher than whatever you kids consider fresh.