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T-Shirts Can Make or Break Your Cool

Think you can’t make a simple t-shirt a crucial part of your wardrobe, and one that you turn to again and again, time after time? Think again. There are lots of easy ways you can make a plain or graphic tee the perfect addition to your outfit, just by picking the right tee for you and the appropriate complementary clothing items. Here’s how to make yours work, while showing off your individual style and fashion sense.

  • Lose the Formal Layers

There has been a very unfortunate trend, in which men have decided that it’s suddenly okay to wear a graphic t-shirt underneath a sports coat. They, for some reason, think that this makes them “edgy” or “cool.” It sadly does not and comes off as a little out of tune with the fashion world. If you’re wearing a sports coat or a more formal coat of any kind, make sure you have at least a casual button-down underneath it.

2. Go With a Classic Layering Look

One way that you can layer with your tee, is by adopting the classic look started up by everyone’s favorite sexy male, James Dean. Pair your tee with a leather jacket or a blouson. Don’t know what a blouson is? It’s just a shortish, waist-length jacket that’s a little loose around the sides, and fitted where it ends.

3.. Choose The Right Fit

If you’re ditching layers and just wearing the t-shirt itself, you’re going to want to be sure that overall, it’s a great fit. This means that you don’t want it to be so baggy that it makes you look slovenly and unkempt, and you don’t want it to be so tight that it either bulges around your muscles or shows off every crease in your soft tummy.

don't tuck t shirts in

So, how do you decide which t-shirt fit is right for you? Well, it all depends on which part of your body you think is best to show off. Is it your arms? Your shoulders or chest? Your abs? For great arms, get a t-shirt with slightly short sleeves. For showing off your shoulders, go with a slim fit. For your abs, go with a tapered cut. If you’re thinking that none of those are your best feature, just go with a classic cut that’s in a normal size (again, not too big, not too small).

4. A Vision in White

If you decide to go with the classic white t-shirt, make sure that you do it the right way. A white t-shirt only looks good with a super-casual outfit and a super-classic look. Pair it with a denim jacket or a nice pair of jeans.

5. Graphic Tees

You may be more attracted to graphic tees, and that’s totally fine, but some are better than others. If you want to remain stylish, take a page from your favorite celebs and go with a vintage graphic tee. You also want to make sure that you don’t go with a graphic tee that’s overly obnoxious or that boasts a kind of humor that’s…well, a little lowbrow. Remember to always stay classy. Along those lines, don’t go with something that’s risqué or overtly crude. You want it to be something you could wear around your sister and not feel weird about it.

6. Pick the Right Neckline

A little different than fit, the neckline also serves a big role in making the viewer’s eyes go wherever it wants them to. The two most popular types of t-shirt necklines are the crew and the v-neck. The crew collar is better for guys that are on the skinny or tall side, as it can make your shoulders look a little bigger than they actually are. In addition, it can balance out a long neck or face. The v-neck tee, however, is better for guys who are on the short side, as it adds some length to combat any boxiness, and also makes you look less round and/or wide, if that’s a problem for you. There is, though, a thin line between what size man can wear a v-neck — too large a tummy and it just points straight down at it. There are a few other necklines out there, but they’re not recommended. The scoop or boat neck often aren’t an attractive look.

7. Don’t Tuck

look cool in t shirt

If you’re used to wearing dress shirts for work, all day, every day, you may be inclined to tuck. This is not something you should be doing with a t-shirt. Most men just simply can’t pull it off without looking like, well, a total nerd.

8. Choose the Right Material

As t-shirts are meant to be seen in a casual fashion, and add a layer of accessibility and comfort to your clothing, go for a fabric that matches this idea. Most men prefer cotton, and go 100% if you can. If not, you can at least choose a high percentage of cotton. Pima or Supima cotton are well known for being soft and absorbent while holding up to many uses over the course of time.

9. Lose the Sleeveless Tees

Never, ever, under any circumstances wear a sleeveless tee, no matter if you're working in the yard, or even just wearing it under your normal clothing. You are not a model on a runway, and you can not pull off a sleeveless tee. You will most likely look flat-out sloppy like you’re from the Jersey Shore or like exactly the nickname these kinds of shirts receive — wife beaters. Just avoid them altogether.

10. Do Keep a Variety of T-Shirts For Undershirts, At Least

If you’re wearing an undershirt (which you should, not only because it’s neat for appearances, but also because it helps increase the longevity of your outerwear), choose a plain, white or black t-shirt every single time. Don’t use these t-shirts as part of your regular wear, and vice versa.