Designed and donned in the early 1800s, the T-shirt has come a long way since then. What used to be a buttoned-down undergarment was popularized by the United States Navy which issued one for every sailor to wear beneath his uniform. Since then, the T-shirt evolved into a fashion statement and took on new forms to make it suitable for new occasions. Society’s attitude towards T-shirts has evolved with them--we’ve come to embrace T-shirt styles for men for more than just comfort. Pairing the right T-shirt with the right outfit and occasion can be the difference between sloppy and sexy; careless and casual-chic.
Let’s go over some of the most common T-shirt styles for men, how to pick the best of the bunch, and how to wear them with comfort and style.
Crew Neck or Classic T-Shirt
Also known as Classic T-shirts, the crew neck is the ultimate versatile wardrobe item in a man’s closet. The round circular neck fit of a crew neck T-shirt is designed to rest right over top of your collarbone. They provide excellent flexibility in that they can be worn as undergarments or standalone pieces.
T-shirts worn as undergarments should fit comfortably snug to your body so your other clothes fit to your body rather than your clothes. High quality T-shirts are best suited for this because their fabric is thinner and more breathable. So while the T-shirt clings closer to you, you’re not suffocating in it. In fact, it might not even feel like you’re wearing anything at all!
As a standalone piece, a classic T-shirt will accentuate the natural look and form of your body. A plain black T-shirt tends to make people look thinner, whereas a white T-shirt will tend to make your trunk seem a bit bulkier. Neutral colored T-shirts tend to look great with all skin tones and body types, but when it comes to the workplace or slightly less casual events, darker tends to be a safer option.
Tucking in your T-shirt is a matter of personal preference, and both styles are rocked by men of all ages. If your T-shirt is fitting a bit loose, tucking it in can be the perfect adjustment. On the other hand, if your pants aren’t as loose as your shirt, you might want to leave it untucked to even out your frame.RELATED: CLASSIC T-SHIRTS TO WEAR WITH JEANS
V-necks have a neckline shaped like the letter V that dips down below the collar bone. These T-shirts work well to accentuate your physique, make large shoulders look more proportioned and to let you breathe comfortably.
The V-neck should fit just the same as the classic T-shirt, and it’s important that your V-neck is a high quality T-shirt for the same reasons. However, V-necks may feel like they fit differently because they don’t come up to your neck. That’s why it’s important to pay attention that your V-neck fits to your shoulders. The neckline should never be lower than your armpits.
Many men prefer wearing V-necks as undergarments because they're more hidden than classic T-shirts. Other men love V-necks as standalone pieces because they accentuate their physique so well, or because they look great just as they are! Want to dress up your V-neck? , Check out our guide on how to rock a suit with a V-neck to learn more.
First time considering a V-neck? Not sure about pulling off a V-neck? Try going with a shallower collar.
HENLEY OR Y-NECK
Also known as Y-necks, Henley T-shirts are a blend of crew neck and V-neck designs. These shirts got their name from being the traditional uniforms of rowers from an English town called Henley-on-Thames. Most Y-necks will come with buttons that run down the ‘V’ area of the T-shirt. Henleys usually have around 2-5 buttons, and you can wear them as short or long sleeves for a look that’s both casual and slee
Related: The Evolution of the Classic T-Shirt
Polo T-shirts became famous when golfers started wearing them to give them a more professional look during their games.
Tennis players also enjoy polo shirts because their high quality fabric can absorb sweat while maintaining a sophisticated appearance for the game. The polo is now used universally as a more “formal” T-shirt, and many people like to wear a thin-fabric T-shirt as an undershirt to protect their polo shirt from sweat. The most fashionable way to pull this off is usually to go with matching colors or wear a deep V-neck that won’t be visible.
Scoop necks are similar to crew neck T-shirts, where the round neckline is bigger and hangs slightly below the collarbone. With the scoop neck style, you have to know yourself really well, because wearing the wrong size can lead to fashion disaster. Be sure to try them on first and see if you like it!
Raglan sleeves are essentially the design you see on a baseball player's T-shirt. The sleeves run on a diagonal seam rather than the more traditional vertical straight seam, giving the Raglan T-shirt its distinctive look.
Long before baseball, there was a British Army Officer named Lord Raglan who became the namesake of the shirt. Legend has it that Raglan was having trouble swinging his sword in battle, so he had the sleeves redesigned to give him a greater range of motion, much like what a pitcher needs in baseball. Unfortunately Lord Raglan would end up losing his arm in battle, but at least he got to have a shirt named after him.
Be sure to look out for Raglan styles in sweatshirts, which are great for those early spring baseball practices, lounging around the house, and more!
Sleeveless T-shirts are great for warm weather, the gym, and layering. Also known as tank tops, you’ll probably see them on bodybuilders and athletes looking to show off their arms. Sleeveless T-shirts go well with rugged jeans, cargo shorts or athletic shorts for an athletic and adventurous appearance. But even if you’ve got something to show, it’s usually not a good idea to wear a sleeveless shirt to work or on a date. You can show off more subtly with a black V-neck.
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Long sleeve T-shirts feature sleeves that cover your entire arm. When it gets especially cold, long sleeve T-shirts are great for layering. The breathability of 100% organic cotton helps your body regulate temperatures more comfortably than other fabrics, and that breathability also happens to help keep you cool on a hot day by keeping the sun off your skin. It’s also the perfect thing to wear under your coziest sweaters so they won’t make you itch!
Many T-shirts are designed to accentuate your physique and slim down your appearance. Slim fit T-shirts are designed to do this even more by fitting extremely close to your body. They also have a great practical use in that a slim fit T-shirt is easy to wear as an undershirt and will allow the overshirt to fit well to your body.
Our men’s curved hems T-shirts offer a longer shape, covering the top of your pants but still offering access to your pockets. The curved hem is also known as a scallop hem and is a staple of street fashion. You’ll often see this style of tee worn beneath a sweatshirt, hoodie or even by itself.
Muscle T-shirts take the slim fit T-shirts to the next level. This style is designed to accentuate every part of the torso by hugging closely to the pecs, abs, arms, and shoulders. Gym rats love wearing these when out and about as there’s no better way to show off those massive deltoids. They’re also popular as undergarments, which allow clothes to fit well to your body without trapping too much heat. However, if you want optimal protection and moisture control out of an undergarment, it’s best to wear a high quality T-shirt made with organic cotton.
Longline T-shirts gained popularity from skate brands and slowly made their way into modern streetwear from there. It’s a crew neck T-shirt with a long hemline that stretches slightly above the knees and rests on the lower thighs. For style, longline T-shirts are typically worn with baggy jeans, baseball caps, and sneakers. Wearing a longline T-shirt would probably not be your best look for a date or professional setting, but it can be a comfortable T-shirt to wear around the house.
RELATED: WHY WEAR ORGANIC COTTON T-SHIRTS?
A hooded T-shirt is a must-have for any casual outfit. From workout clothes to pajamas, this versatile piece can do it all! A great way to stay cool on those warm days or keep cozy at night when you're out exploring town - there’s no wrong time of year to wear one of these layering pieces – they even make excellent travel partners.
Graphic T-shirts are a casual style choice available in variety of shapes, sizes, and necklines – they're great for showing off your hobbies and interests. Graphic tees are synonymous with music, movies and TV, often displaying pictures of iconic films or album covers. In fact, the very first graphic T-shirt was featured in The Wizard of Oz.
Pocket T-shirts have been popular since World War II when waistcoats became less fashionable, yet men still enjoyed having a pocket to store pens and other small items. A single pocket is typically located on the left breast of the T-shirt, often in the same color as the rest of the garment, but occasionally in a contrasting shade or pattern.
HOW TO WEAR A T-SHIRT WITH JOGGERS
Looking for an easy weekend look? Pairing a classic T-shirt with quality joggers delivers the ultimate chilled vibe. Joggers have become as much of a wardrobe staple as your jeans or chinos. You can choose your joggers and T-shirt combination in the same color so they look part of a set. Another option is to wear all black to smarten up your ensemble. Add a pair of high-tops and a fitted jacket and you're good to go!
HOW TO LAYER A T-SHIRT WITH A FRENCH TERRY SWEATSHIRT
We all love a classic T-shirt, but when there's a breeze in the air, it's time to layer up! And that's where the French Terry sweatshirt should be your go-to cover-up. Looped on one side, this fabric is perfect for wicking moisture away, making it ideal for keeping cool in the summer. But it's equally great at trapping heat in colder weather.
Pay attention to the fit of both your T-shirt and French Terry sweatshirt. You won’t want to wear a loose T-shirt beneath a tight-fitting sweatshirt, but the opposite would be a great combo.
WHICH MEN'S T-SHIRT STYLES ARE RIGHT FOR YOU?
The best T-shirts are made of 100% organic cotton, which will feel soft and smooth to the touch. When you wear them, the cotton should feel like it “breathes” well. This means if you decide to wear your classic T-shirt as an undergarment, it will do a good job protecting outer layers of clothing from sweat and deodorant. Lower quality crew necks don’t perform as well because of the plastics they’re made from or the chemicals they’re treated with, so it’s best to invest in high quality classic T-shirts.
Not all high quality T-shirts are preshrunk, but ideally, you want to find ones that are preshrunk so that your T-shirt maintains its perfect fit wash after wash.
At The Classic T-Shirt Company, we offer timeless pieces that are high-quality T-shirts, preshrunk, and made of 100% organic cotton. Lightweight, breathable, durable, these T- shirts are our go-to for gifts, whether to yourself or someone you care about. Our classic T-shirts are sure to become your favorite T-shirts!
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