What you wear affects how you work, and that goes beyond appearance. A lot of times, a classic t-shirt is the unsung and unseen hero in the ideal work outfit, which is why some people overlook the value of organic cotton t-shirts.
It’s not just about preserving the planet. It’s also about preserving you, your clothes, and your productivity.
Never Let ‘Em See You Sweat… Especially in a Suit
It’s no secret that wearing an undershirt is essential to protect suits, but if you’re throwing on a cheap t-shirt, you might as well wear a plastic bag underneath it all.
Because that’s essentially what cheap clothes are made of.
Sure, synthetic fibers absorb some moisture, but they can also trap moisture... and a little can quickly become a lot!
On the other hand, Cotton absorbs moisture well and also dries quickly, which keeps your skin temperature and moisture comfortable. This is why cotton feels like such a “breathable” fabric. Cotton doesn’t trap heat quite like other fabrics, which makes cotton t-shirts very popular to wear in warm climates and summer months.
Related: Did you know long-sleeve cotton t-shirts can keep you cooler outdoors in the summer?
But it’s good to wear cotton t-shirts even during the winter underneath warm clothing, especially in the office. If you walk into a warmer room or have to give a presentation, having a cotton t-shirt under your clothes can be the difference between breathing easy and bathing in a film of your own sweat.
Whether or not the cotton t-shirt is organic can also make a difference. Inorganic clothing is often grown with pesticides and manufactured with chemicals that can irritate your skin. That’s why it’s best to go with organic cotton t-shirts in order to minimize distractions while maximizing comfort.
Related: How to rock a suit with a v-neck t-shirt.
When Business Casual Becomes Smart Business Casual
It’s important to protect your button-downs too, of course, but when you lose the suit you have to watch out for pit stains. As mentioned, if you’re not wearing an organic cotton t-shirt, your layer of protection might actually be making the problem worse. Also, if your t-shirt is visible, it might as well clearly be a high quality t-shirt, right? It’s a subtle message that says a lot about how you take care of yourself and you believe in the quality of your performance.
A smart pairing of your high quality t-shirt with the right outfit conveys that message even more. Even if it’s just a sliver of shirt beneath the collar, you would want to wear something that matches your button down rather than a stark white that distracts from your overall look.
The classic white t-shirt is traditionally worn under a white button down so the color doesn’t show through your overshirt. Today, it can pair well with light colors especially in warmer temperatures.
Gentlemen, if a stark white t-shirt is peeking out from just under the collar, it might give your outfit some unwanted contrast, so consider a v-neck t-shirt if you’re looking for something that can go with everything.
Working with more colorful t-shirts opens up a lot of possibilities if you’re savvy to experiment. In a work setting however, you might not always want to be too loud with the outfits. Avoid contrast and pair similar colored t-shirts with overshirts--for example a navy blue t-shirt under a navy blue button down.
More Casual and More Productive
When all the options start to feel overwhelming, that’s when you know decision fatigue can become a real roadblock for productivity. If you’re able to dress down at work, you can eliminate a lot of decision fatigue by streamlining your wardrobe with classic t-shirts.
One of the nicest things about a classic t-shirt is its versatility. By itself can pair well with just about everything. Whether you’re wearing khakis to work or a nice pair of jeans, a black, white, or grey organic cotton t-shirt will look good with your outfit. Most other colors pair well with jeans, khakis, and black work pants as well.
Some like the routine of wearing a different color for each day of the week, others prefer to have multiple organic cotton t-shirts of the same color to eliminate even more decisions. Whether you change up the colors or keep everything consistent like Mark Zuckerberg, the more you streamline your wardrobe with basic pieces like plain organic cotton t-shirts, the more fresh you’ll feel physically and mentally to take on the daily challenges that lie ahead.
Prepare For Productivity
The bottom line is, when you’re dressing up you don’t just need a cotton t-shirt that’s going to protect your clothes, something that’s going to protect you and empower you to be your best while looking your best.
Why not pull a Zuck and start with a grey crew neck t-shirt?
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