A complete guide to the best men’s T-shirts and how to style them

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The humble T-shirt is a piece that is often taken for granted. But not here! We’re giving it a fashion focus with eight hot tees to own right now.
‘Wardrobe staple’… You’ve probably heard this term bandied about to the point that it’s lost all meaning. However, the humble T-shirt is one such item that truly deserves ‘staple’ status. Here’s how to style it for a variety of effortlessly cool looks.
Written by Jocelyn Stiebel

Far from boring or basic, the T-shirt has so much potential. But, as with most things in life, failure to cover a few important bases will give you a less-than-stellar result. Take these guidelines into consideration before making your selection:

Consider your arms. The sleeves of a good tee should sit at the halfway point of your upper arm, exposing your triceps and biceps, and should sit as close to your skin as possible without stretching.
• Consider your shoulders and pecs. A tee should be slim-fitting around this area, just skimming the skin for good circulation. Note: by slim-fit we definitely don’t mean tight-fit; there’s a difference. The seams of the shirt should align with the point where the curve of your shoulder ends.
• Consider your waist/abs region. With the exception of oversized styles, your tee shouldn’t drape/hang awkwardly around this section. If it does, then the fit doesn’t suit your shape. On the opposite end of the scale, your T-shirt should never morph into a crop top every time you lift your arms above your head.

That aside, we can move on to the fun part – choosing the right style T-shirt and making the look your own.

Style #1 The longer length or longline 

This is similar to the boxy tee, but what the boxy tee has in width, this tee has in length. Rather than sitting at your hips like a regular tee, the longline tee drapes below, at various lengths. If you’re new to the longline game, tread carefully – there’s a fine line between a longline tee and what looks like a dress. And while this tee definitely adds some swag to your look, it’s neither smart nor neat enough for work. As for the best way to style it, we recommend going monochrome. Wear a lightweight jacket in a similar hue, and keep your bottoms skinny/straight-cut, and free of distressed and acid-wash marks.

JX high-low longer length T-shirt 109.95JX chinos 399.95 SHOP NOWVans set of 3 socks 299.95Steve Madden sneakers 799

Style #2 The vertical stripe

Whether you’re going for the banker stripe, the pinstripe or the football stripe, it’s important for every man to know just how to style his stripes. This slimming style is easy to dress up or down, making it an infinitely versatile addition to your wardrobe. Pop it underneath a fitted suit for a special occasion like a wedding, or with just a suit jacket for a smart night out on the town. Alternatively, pair it with classic blue straight-cut jeans and sneakers for a relaxed look that ticks all the boxes. As for choosing the right kind of vertical stripe, it all comes down to the width of the stripe. If you’re keen to lengthen your torso then avoid lines that are too fine or faint. The same goes for chunky pyjama-type stripes … stay away.

JX vertical stripe T-shirt 199.95 SHOP NOWJX stripe shorts 299.95; knitted beanie 99.95 SHOP NOWGeorgio Armani round-frame sunglasses 4190Vans socks (set of 3) 299.95Vans sneakers 700 SHOP NOW; accessories stylist’s own

Style #3 The ringer tee

Is it just us, or was season three of Stranger Things a catalyst for the recent rise of the ringer tee? Regardless, it’s a welcome and nostalgic return, and we’re here for it. The throwback style has a distinct athletic appeal, transforming a basic light-wash denim look into an outfit that’s somewhat considered. Not only does it bring that sporty element, the style also has a distinctly vintage feel, offering many styling options! Along with light-wash denim, the ringer tee could be worn with black smart-casual trousers that end just above the ankle. Try tucking it in or letting it hang out to see which suits your body shape best. Complete the look with high-top sneakers and a pair of white socks that peep out the top and you’re good to go.

JX contrast binding T-shirt 129.95JX denims 599.95Ray-Ban tinted lens sunglasses 2190Vans Old-Skool sneakers 899 SHOP NOW

Style #4 The boxy tee

The boxy tee might bring back some horrid memories from 2007, or somewhere thereabout, but fear not! Today’s versions are super slick, and align more with the coolness of the skater crowd than the ill-fitting gown-like version of our recent past. Make sure you choose a good fabric like a weighty cotton for a flattering fit that’s edgy rather than sloppy. And be sure to pair it with a fitted bottom, like dark-wash denims or chinos. As for an extra layer during this season of awkward transitional weather – a denim jacket is your safest and best bet.

JX box-fit T-shirt 109.95JX navy floral shorts 359.95; canvas backpack 299.95Vans SK8-Hi sneakers 899 SHOP NOW; hat & accessories stylist’s own

Style #5 The scoop neck tee

To be honest, the scoop neck is one of the trickier versions to style, but we’re here to help. The wider the scoop, the easier it is to pull off – especially if you’re small-chested and have sloped shoulders. The wide scoop will draw the look out, creating the illusion of wider shoulders. The best thing about scoop necks is that they’re super easy to layer on those chilly spring evenings – get yourself a thin scarf and a lightweight utility jacket, and wear it with dark blue or black straight-cut denim jeans for the best effect. And shoes, you ask? A classic white trainer will give you a sporty silhouette that contrasts nicely with the grunge-inspired scoop tee. Boots will also work well, depending on the occasion.

D66 checked blazer 1399.95JX shaped scooped T-shirt 109.95JX light-wash distressed denims 599.95 SHOP NOWSteve Madden sneakers 1399

Style #6 The printed tee

The printed T-shirt can be overwhelming – especially if you’re a guy who usually opts for navy, black or white options. But try to step outside your comfort zone because printed tees are having a major moment right now, from tie-dye to geometric patterns and everything in between. Busy prints are actually easier to style than it may seem; simply wear it beneath a smart Oxford-like button-up shirt or a bomber jacket, and opt for smart, tapered trousers – the print will add some much-needed character to a rather plain outfit, take our word for it.

JX sublimation print T-shirt 199.95 SHOP NOWD66 grey checked suit pants 499.95Vans logo cap 449.95Vans gum-sole sneaker 649.95; accessories stylist’s own

Style #7 The all-over logo

The fact that the all-over logo tee is trending at the moment is proof that high street has a major influence on high-end, legacy brands. Think Balenciaga and Off-White – both have pieces in their collections that are stamped all over with their respective labels. We say, style your all-over logo tee the same way you would the printed tee (above). That is, let the T-shirt do all the talking and keep the rest of the outfit fairly minimal. We also like the idea of pairing this tee with a completely sports-inspired look.

Stone Harbour all-over printed T-shirt 179.95Stone Harbour denim shorts 399.95; watch 249.99Reebok sneakers 899.95; Persol sunglasses stylist's own

Style #8 The logo tee

It seems '90s inspiration is sticking around in the fashion world, and T-shirts are no exception. Emblems, logos or slogans – whatever you choose to call them – say so much by saying so little. Keep the rest of your outfit minimal for serious style points. The great thing about opting for a logo tee is that there are no rules about what logo you should be sporting – it could be a random ironic word, a brand, a university name, a symbol, a sports team or a clothing label. The choice (and there are so many) is yours. Logo tees look great underneath blazers and bombers, tucked into a pair of joggers or loose-fitting chinos rolled up at the bottom, with a pair of white sneakers. It’s as easy as that.

Stone Harbour denim jacket 699.95 SHOP NOWStone Harbour embroidered logo T-shirt 149.95 SHOP NOWStone Harbour palm tree printed chino shorts 399.95Stone Harbour sneakers 399.95 SHOP NOW; glasses stylist's own

Fashion editor: Brittany Penebre. Photography: Paulo/Hero Creative. Junior fashion editor: Rushana Burton. Grooming: Cheryl Parker/SNCM. Models: Brandon/My Friend Ned & Roger/The Circle.


All items subject to availability. Prices may change.

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