EVERY THINKING MAN owns a classic White-T. It has always been the one mainstay item in my wardrobe and I have worn one forever. Fashions come and go, but the humble white crew-neck T-shirt will never run its course.
It is a timeless piece of simplicity that symbolises the working class – it has an essential role in a man’s life. From sports stars to celebrities, everyone championed the white T-shirt, and its staying power is second to none. The reason why: it goes with absolutely anything. Anything.
My body metric – along with the golden ratio – is a comfortably fitting white T-shirt (same brand for 30 years), and this has been my simple go-to staple for most of my life – with just the occasional digression. The goal of a great white-T is that you put it on, and then you forget about it; it’s the ability to wear it without thought.
The key is to pay attention to the fit and style, so it becomes a versatile, classic clothing piece that feels great and looks sharp.
People who know me say that seeing me wearing a white-T is synonymous with my name; it’s my second skin. I love the aesthetic simplicity of a well-fitted white-T and how it dictates my mood, influences my posture, mannerisms, and bodily movement. And how its outward appearance delivers a message without words, communicating an image of clarity, positivity and confidence.
But finding a basic white T-shirt that fits perfectly is no easy task and for me – being a creature of habit and very particular about T’s – they need to hold their shape after washing and not get sloppy after wearing all day.
So, does the perfect white T-shirt exist? The truth is, not all white T-shirts are created equal, so you need to know what to look for when buying one. And, when you do find your perfect white ‘T’, stock up on them.
Size/Tightness. Any T-shirt should be neither too tight nor too baggy. If you’re in decent shape, you can wear it tighter over looser.
Shoulder seams. The seams where the sleeves attach to the body should ideally align with where your shoulder ends.
Sleeves. The T’s sleeves should hit about halfway up your upper arm. Sleeves that extend a little farther down make you look skinny rather than showing off your biceps.
Length. The bottom hem should rest around the hip area and ideally extend a couple of inches below it.
Shape. Avoid baggy T’s that wear like a sack. It should be cut so that it follows the shape of your body a little.
Finally, the humble tee is the most dominant piece of clothing in everyone’s wardrobe. If someone tells you that they don’t own at least one T-shirt, they are probably lying to you. And when it comes to tees, there is none more perfectly distilled than the plain white T-shirt. Every colour evokes an emotional response. Yet, no hue demonstrates the multi-faceted nature of colour psychology better than the enigmatic white. It can look crisp and effortlessly pulled together while still oozing style, and this is why it’s called a wardrobe essential.