How is that the T-shirt, that most humble and All-American of garments came to collect so many questions about its wear, care and styling? We're not so sure ourselves, but we do have answers that will help you make the most of this beloved staple.
Just as there isn't one type of T-shirt or one type of body, there isn't one way that all T-shirts should fit. Instead there are a diversity of different cuts, each of which can be styled differently of match individual occasions. Relaxed fit T-shirts are more generous through the body, accentuating that easy, laidback feel that's so essential to the style. Shaped T-shirts will curve slightly at the waist to flatter your silhouette. And T-shirts with a touch of rayon will fit closer to the body, making them easier to layer under sweaters, cardigans and jackets.
It's simple: lay the T-shirt down, front-side first, on a flat surface. Choose a side to start from, and then use one of your hands to grip the end of the sleeve and the other hand to grip the bottom of the same side's hem. Fold both to the center of the garment, making sure to tuck the sleeve over to the side. Repeat the same movement from the other side of the shirt, and then fold the shirt in half-lengthwise. Voila!
T-shirts may be humble, but they deserve the same level of care shown to other garments. To best preserve your T-shirt's shape, wash it on the cold cycle and then air-dry the T-shirt by hanging it or laying it out flat on a drying rack or towel.
T-shirts and polo shirts run in the same circle: each is indicative of classic, laidback American style. The T-shirt's lack of collar makes it more casual, while the polo shit's collar and placket make it a bit more structured. The combination of a polo shirt and a skirt or a polo shirt with chino pants and a blazer are each classic preppy looks that can pass for business casual attire, particularly during spring and summer.
The T-shirt shouldn't be limited to day-off duty only. T-shirts can be most easily dressed up by layering under a blazer. To do so, you'll want to select a T-shirt in a cotton/rayon blend that fits closer to the body. A more restrained color like black, white, grey or navy will be a bit more formal, as will V-necks.
A: There are so many different cuts, fits and necklines available today for T-shirts that it can make the proposition sound a little daunting. The easiest way to consider the question may be to think about what the occasion or outfit's mood is. If it's a very casual occasion or a relaxing day or night, choose a T-shirt that's similarly relaxed in fit. If the occasion or outfit calls for a bit more polish, choose a T-shirt with a more fitted cut.
A: A crew neck is the most classic T-shirt neckline: just like a crew neck sweater, it has a high, circular neckline that flatters the neck and shoulders. A scoop neck has a similar shape to a crew neck, but dips lower to expose more of the neck. A v-neck also dips lower, but does so in a downward pointing "v" shape.
Supima® cotton is the cream of the crop—less than 3% of American cotton is fine enough to be considered Supima®. This soft, smooth cotton has extra-long fibers that will retain their shape better over time. Because Supima® cotton tees are 100% cotton, they won't sit as close to the body as T-shirts that use synthetic fibers in their blend.
A: You can thank rayon for that. Rayon is a synthetic fiber that adds a bit of stretch to a T-shirt, allowing it to have a trimmer fit that sits closer to the body while remaining easy and comfortable.
A straight bottom hem has no side vents and falls straight, while a shaped bottom hem is curved at the waist to provide a more defined shape.