How to Pick the Perfect T-Shirt (Turn the Ordinary into Extraordinary)

In General by Emi Ladrillono

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How to Pick the Perfect T-Shirt
(Turn the Ordinary into Extraordinary)

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I’ve always thought of the T-shirt as the Alpha and Omega of the fashion alphabet.”-Giorgio Armani

There is nothing sexier than a man who looks good in a T-Shirt.

There is a certain elegance that resonates in the simplicity of the garment.

The embodiment of comfort engineered into style, T-Shirts are the ultimate garment of choice for just about any occasion (minus black-tie).

That, and the fact that you can wear them with just about anything and look good (given the right fit).

Understand the mechanics of how a T-Shirt should fit you, and turn simplicity into wonderment.

T- Shirts have come a long way since their inception (which actually wasn’t all that long ago).
Here is a quick rundown on the of the history of T-Shirt.

  • 1868 - Birth of the Union Suit

    • Patterned similarly to the underwear worn by Victorian Women.
    • Incredibly useful at keeping workers warm, not so much at keeping them cool.
    • Many workers would cut them in half → enter Long Johns.

  • 1900’s (Turn of the Century) -
    Long Johns → Buttonless Pullovers

    • From Long Johns, people started experimenting with fabrics leading to the invention of the buttonless pullovers made of cotton or wool.
    • These garments were held in similar regard to underwear.

  • 1904 - Birth of the Bachelor Undershirt

    • The Cooper Underwear Company started marketing “Bachelor Undershirts”.
    • A single piece of fabric without buttons.
    • More durable, low-maintenance.

  • 1905 - Cotton Undershirt becomes a
    Staple in the Navy

    • The US Navy incorporated cotton undershirts into their Uniform Regulations.

  • 1920 - Birth of the colloquial T-Shirt

    • Author F. Scott Fitzgerald coined the term T-Shirt in his book “This Side of Paradise”.

  • 1932 - Birth of the Crew Neck

    • Jockey International develops the Crew Neck T-Shirt for the University of Southern California’s Football Team.

  • 1950’s - Rise of the T-Shirt in the Golden Era

    • Actors like Marlon Brando, James Dean, and Elvis Presley from the Golden Era of Cinema popularized wearing T-Shirts.
    • Sporty clothing trend produced a variety of decorative and colorful T-Shirt designs.

  • 1960’s - Rise of the Tie-Dyed Shirts

  • 1970’s - Graphic Tees became the thing

The rest as they say:

is history.

Looking good in a T-Shirt doesn’t necessarily require you to have the upper body of a Pagan deity (or any other unnaturally ripped being for that matter).

The one thing that makes mortal men truly beautiful is variety
(among other things 😉).

  • Know your physique
  • Which parts of your body want to play up (or down play)

…and let your T-shirt do that for you.

Here are some general guidelines to help you nail that fit and accentuate your form in all its glory.

Keep the shape slim, not boxy.

Anything too baggy or too tight is a no-go.

You’ll either look like you’re wearing a sack, or you’re popping out of your clothes (neither of which is flattering).

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    If you hit the gym regularly and have a pretty fit torso

    You can go with tighter fitting tees.

    Keep in mind that if you work out a lot, chances are your T-Shirts are going to be clinging to your chest just about as tight as a wrestling singlet.

    This can make your chest look bigger than it already it is!

    In the interest of not looking like a walking slice of beef-cake, choose T-Shirts that lightly hug your chest.

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    If you’re on the slimmer side

    You may want to go with slimmer fitting tees that drape perfectly over your frame.

    Remember: slimmer fitting, not T-Shirts that are cling-wrap tight (because these will emphasize your slender frame)!

    Note: The idea of buying bigger T-Shirts to make yourself look bigger is utter nonsense —that’s just not how it works my brother.

    Unless you’re going for the ragamuffin man look, stick with slim fitting tees. They’ll fit you snuggly, and make you look good (you’ll thank us later 😉).

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    If you’re a bigger fella

    You’re going to want a T-Shirt with more room.

    There is a common misconception among guys with more to love that buying clothes a number of sizes up can hide their physique.


    Not only will this draw more attention to your frame, it can misconstrue the overall look you were going for.

    Find tees that drape over your body comfortably, and give you free range of motion.

    Go for T-Shirts which don’t hug you too tight, and which don’t have too much fabric (or folds of cloth) hanging off your body.

Bottom Line:

The garment should fit like a glove –a lightly hugging glove, which emphasizes your torso in all the right places.

Crew Neck

The default neckline of T-shirts derives its name from its origin in the US Navy in the early 19th century.

It is characteristically round, and should fit snugly around your neck.

Crew Necks create the illusion of a broader neckline and squarer shoulders, making it ideal for slender guys.

V Neck

If you’re sick of wearing Crew Necks, spice things up with a V Neck!

This type of neckline elongates the neck, adds bulk to the shoulders, as well as a bit of height —perfect for shorter or stockier guys.

A word of caution: The V in a V neck will draw attention to your abdomen,
so if that’s not an area you want people looking at, well… you get the gist.

There are three variables that collectively influence the appearance of your sleeves (and therefore, your arm):

Shoulder Width, Length, and Tightness.

If even one of these components is off, you’ll know.

You’ll feel it, see it, and constructive criticism from others will most definitely let you know.

Ideally, the length of your T-Shirt should be

  • a couple of inches below the belt line.
  • just above the crotch area.

You’ll want to keep your shirts at this length because:

  • It keeps your stomach, back, and butt crack hidden. (Let’s keep it PG people!)
  • It allows you to tuck your shirt in if/when necessary.

This article was brought to you by

FREY is men’s fashion brand made up of environmentally conscious idealists who specialize in making clothing care products aimed at:

Preserving your clothing.

Preserving the environment

Feel free to check out the entire clothing care line here.
Save your clothing, save the Earth, and smell good while doing it.

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