The Fashionista's Guide to the T-Shirt. Yes, the T-Shirt.
Confession: I never thought I'd see the day when I wrote an article with such a title. I have a natural aversion to wardrobe basics and comfortable fashion, which I really need to get over, I suppose. I vividly recall a conversation that I had with my professor in college, a brilliant French woman, who was completely disgusted by sweatpants - both the word AND the item of clothing itself. She dubbed them as completely American, and pointed out that such a casual item would have no place in the closet of a French woman. She suggested that comfort had no place in fashion, at least not in her mind. A couch, she said, was comfortable. Shoes and clothing? Not so much.
That really stuck with me.
I'll admit that I don't completely buy it, but I understand her point. It's hard to feel confident and sexy when you look like MC Hammer from the waist down. Hey Dr. B? You'll be proud to know that I don't own any sweatpants. At all. I do own 2 sweatshirts, and I pull them out when I'm sick or when everything else is dirty. (Confession number two: I'm not very domestic, so laundry is not my strong suit. My theory is wear it and then buy more. My wallet hates this concept, however, so I find myself being forced to wash things. Quelle horreur.) Today I started thinking about t-shirts, and put out a query on Twitter: Can t-shirts be stylish? The response? 100% yes.
So, I started looking around. I'm not sure if I'm dismayed or delighted that there are actually some super-cute, rather stylish options out there. Plus, there is something to be said for stocking up on well-made wardrobe basics. Right? Right.
So, here we go - some recommendations on how to rock a t-shirt. Be still my heart.
1. Let the t-shirt be the most casual part of your look. A fitted white t-shirt under a boyfriend blazer, paired with a chunky necklace, skinny jeans, and some studded ankle boots is hot. A t-shirt with gym shorts, yoga pants, or flip flops? Not hot.
2. Buy the women's, FITTED, version. If the t-shirt says unisex in the tag, run away. Run far, far away. I don't care how much you like it. Don't buy it. If you can't find it in a fitted version that is specifically cut for women, consider it a sign and put your credit card back in your wallet.
3. Go vintage, with a little tweaking. Pull out your old, soft t-shirts and cut them up a bit. If you are handy with a sewing machine, cut them on the sides and then sew them in to be a bit more fitted. A little Rocker Chic goes a long way.
4. Rock a t-shirt with flair. Going for a graphic tee? Go for something that inspires you, or with a brand or company that you love. I'm especially partial to the shirts from Fleurty Girl because they are feminine and appeal to me as a New Orleans native. Oh, and they're just plain cute. (I especially love the logo tee!)
5. Invest. Invest. Invest. I know, this seems to be my mantra as of late, but it's true. If we're talking basic (as in not graphic) t-shirts, I think it's wise to invest in something that will last. Why wear $300 sunglasses with a $6 t-shirt? NYC-based stylist Matt Shea recommends t-shirts from James Perse, and says that they are "always casual, yet chic".
Voilà! There you have it, ways to make a t-shirt cool. Confession #3? I suppose t-shirts aren't that bad after all. Of course, never forget: everything in moderation.