What do they have in common besides their fame and good looks?
A quick Google search shows just how well they all pull off their t-shirt styles.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a big fan of suits and dress shirts…
…but I also love a nice t-shirt when the situation is right.
With the warmer months kicking in, you might be asking yourself how you can wear t-shirts and still look attractive, instead of sloppy or underdressed.
It boils down to small key details. Now let me share with you 7 fantastic tips to look great in a t-shirt.
T-Shirt Tip #1 – Focus On The Occasion
The first rule of wearing a t-shirt is knowing where and when it’s appropriate to do so.
The reality is, many functions you attend call for the good old suit and tie, or at least a long-sleeved shirt with a collar. T-shirts are an option if and only if the event is casual.
Don’t try to challenge the dress code and wear a t-shirt to the office or a friend’s wedding unless you’re specifically required to. It doesn’t matter how good you look or how confident you feel in it. T-shirts have their own time and place, just like flip-flops or denim jackets. Always respect the occasion if you want others to respect you.
T-Shirt Tip #2 – Understand Your Body Type
Not everyone has guns like Chris Hemsworth or a chest like Dwayne Johnson. Those guys can rock t-shirts.
So are mere mortals like us simply unable to look good in them? Of course not. But you do have to know your own body type to gauge your chances of looking good in a tee. The harsh reality is that it doesn’t flatter all body shapes and sizes.
If you’re a stout or relatively large man, you’re probably aware of the extra weight in your midsection, which t-shirts don’t hide very well. If you’re on the skinny side, a t-shirt might accentuate the leanness of your arms and upper torso. This is why we say that men who regularly hit the gym have “earned” their ability to look awesome in t-shirts.
But even without a muscular physique, a tee can do a phenomenal job of making the body you have look good. Pay attention to tips 3 and 4.
T-Shirt Tip #3 – Nail The Fit
You can compare wearing well-fitted t-shirts to baking cookies. It doesn’t matter how pretty the cookies are. Without the right amount of sugar, they always end up tasting either too sweet or too bitter.
A good T-shirt fit requires two things:
- It must conform to your body shape.
- It mustn’t cause discomfort or restrict freedom of movement.
Why should you care that much about the fit? Because fit is a core component of style. Clothes that correctly fit showcase your masculinity and attractiveness better than clothes that don’t. It’s that simple.
Spend time finding a t-shirt brand that works for your body type. Use the following guidelines as a checklist when trying out any new tee:
- Does the t-shirt fit you closely without tightness around your chest and waist?
- Do the shoulder points match the ends of your shoulders? The shirt may be too loose if shoulder points are droopy, or too tight if they’re hiked up higher.
- Do the sleeves cover about 1/3 of your biceps? If the sleeves cover more than half of your biceps or touch your elbows, they’re too long.
- Do the sleeves lightly hug your biceps? Sleeves that are too tight can cut off circulation to your arms.
- Does the t-shirt subtly follow the curve of your torso? It shouldn’t reveal the outline of your stomach too much.
- Does the t-shirt go a few inches below your belt line, slightly covering your waistband? Ideally, it should be long enough for you to raise your arms without exposing your midsection. Do NOT wear one that goes all the way to your crotch area.
T-Shirt Tip #4 – Choose The Right Style
You know the rule less is more? Well, it doesn’t always apply to clothing. “More” is sometimes a necessity for your t-shirt, even if it’s just a couple extra inches of fabric on the neckline.
That leads to the choice between V-neck and crew neck t-shirts. V-necks are definitely better for men who are fit, as the V-shaped cut emphasizes the chest area. They add more height and balance out details like a short neck or a narrow face.
Crew necks are a better option for men who have a thinner frame. Since they don’t expose your neck as much, they draw less attention to your upper torso, which is good if you haven’t been to the gym in awhile.
Which style should you choose? It’s your call. Just remember not to expose your chest too much. Stay away from the scoop neck, boat neck, or deep V designs. As for t-shirts with pockets, I’d suggest wearing them only if you’re aiming to build up your chest.
T-Shirt Tip #5 – Choose A Good Fabric
A shirt’s fabric is always a key factor in determining its quality. If you’d like to look amazing in a t-shirt, its material has to be awesome. Two t-shirts may be identical in design and color, but the one with better fabric will outperform the other by a wide margin.
As with all clothing items you shop for, always read the label on a t-shirt, not just to check the price, but also for info on what it’s made of. Tees are usually 100% cotton or a cotton-poly blend, but there are other special fabrics which might serve you even better. Check out a few of these:
- Bamboo: A soft and breathable fabric that gives the shirt a nice luster; primarily used for high-end clothes.
- Merino: A high-quality, fine-weave wool often used for more expensive men’s shirts; a 100% merino t-shirt can stay odor-free for a full week without being washed.
- Jersey: A flexible, comfortable material made from a blend of cotton and synthetic fabric.
- Pima: The highest grade of cotton; resists pilling or fading and also becomes softer after each wear.
- Linen blends: Linen is considered the world’s strongest natural fiber; linen blends often look smoother and silkier than pure cotton. Caution: linen wrinkles easily.
- Stretch fabrics: Lycra, Spandex or Elastane; popular for workout apparel, these fabrics provide a lot of resistance after multiple washes. They also maintain the garment’s shape and make the shirt more comfortable to wear.
Note: Don’t get a t-shirt with a fabric that’s really thin/lightweight. The problem is it might actually be an undershirt instead of a legitimate t-shirt. I also suggest not wearing synthetic performance fabrics except when you’re running or exercising. Those fabrics tend to have a distinct sheen that makes them look slightly off, even in casual settings.
T-Shirt Tip #6 – Pick A Color That Suits You
Men normally can’t go wrong with dark, neutral colors. These tones will complement the widest range of complexions. Narrow down your options to the list of colors below when in doubt.
- Black: Black has a way of matching up well with the majority of clothing combinations. Just be aware that black t-shirts may fade more quickly.
- Gray: Gray (especially heather gray) gives you the freedom to go brighter or darker in terms of the whole outfit. It also enhances your physique if you’re well-built.
- Navy: Navy blue is preferable to black during the daytime. This color also works for monochrome looks when you pair the t-shirt with dark jeans.
- White: Plain white t-shirts are best worn if they’re V-necks since typical undershirts come in the form of white crew necks.
While all of the above are good color choices, it’s still okay to experiment with brighter colors. As long as you’ve checked that it looks flattering on you, and you feel confident in it, alternative colors are fine.
Note: Don’t even THINK about wearing graphic tees. They’ve become rather tiresome lately, and they don’t send positive signals about your maturity or sense of style. Keep t-shirts plain as much as possible.
T-Shirt Tip #7 – Try Different Outfit Ideas
Finally, refer to different visual guides for how to wear a t-shirt. Do you need something for your park strolls during the summer? Or something a little edgier to better highlight your masculinity? Check out the following outfit suggestions:
1. The Casual Summer Style (a comfortable look that seems like an “upgrade” from sportswear and sneakers)
- Heather gray t-shirt
- Navy flat-front shorts
- Boat shoes (with no-show socks)
- A casual watch
- Wayfarer sunglasses
2. The Rugged Classic (a combination that helps you look like a real badass)
- White t-shirt (ideally a V-neck)
- Dark wash denim jeans
- Rugged leather boots
- A chronograph watch
- Aviator sunglasses
- Leather jacket (optional)
3. Sleek And Casual (perfect for men who want to look sharp for a casual night out)
- Black V-neck t-shirt
- Charcoal gray wool trousers
- Brogue dress shoes
- A minimalist watch
- A sports jacket (if you’re stout or thin) to build up the upper torso
Pro Tip: Can You Tuck In T-Shirts?
This is an age-old question, and there’s no official answer for it. My advice is to leave a t-shirt untucked unless you’re layering another item over it, for example a sports jacket or a casual button-down. In a way, it does help to tuck it in because most sports jackets are already quite bulky with the details of the pleats, ticket pockets, arm patches, etc. Keep in mind that tucking in the t-shirt helps reduce the look’s messiness.
If there is one lesson I hope to leave you with, it’s that t-shirts can be INCREDIBLY stylish if you know how to wear them. Provided that the situation is casual, a well-fitted, carefully selected t-shirt can make you the best-dressed guy in the room, even better than others who’ve put on multiple layers. Never think that anything besides a fancy suit and tie is cheap or unattractive. That’s a total lie.