Who says you can’t score major style cred wearing basics?
Open the wardrobe of any guy right now. I bet the one thing you’ll find without fail is—T-shirts. A true ‘staple’ in men’s fashion—it would be rather difficult to find a man who doesn’t own this piece of clothing. The basic tee wasn’t always a definite style essential like it is considered to be, today! White crew-neck tees have been around for eons! It was once a Second World War uniform regulation. The humble tee started life as an undergarment way back in the medieval period before eventually becoming a part of the British naval uniform! At the turn of the 20th-century, brands started manufacturing T-shirts in bulk—and this garment since then, has slowly and steadily climbed up the styling charts!
WHAT’S A CREW-NECK TEE?
I’m pretty sure you know this one and worn it multiple times too! A crew-neck T-shirt is the one with the round collars. It’s probably one of the pieces of clothing in menswear that sells like hot cakes across the globe—and the one that most men out there are used to wearing. A reminder: Don’t confuse this menswear staple with an undershirt! Crew-neck tees are used for layering while an undershirt or banian/vest is one your wear under-your-shirt (duh), to absorb sweat come summer!
YOU NEED TO OWN ONE (OR MORE)!
Crew-neck tees can be used as the foundation to build a look. Today, men can wear jeans to the office or pajamas to brunch without a care in the world! Men’s fashion is currently enjoying it’s smart-casual-heavy phase. This means, items that were once considered casual are now considered smart when styled right! That’s why T-shirts in general are relevant now!
Crew-necks can fabulously form the base of any look that requires layering—shirts, bombers, leather jackets, suits, sweaters and cardigans! Most guys tend to play safe by sticking to basic colours like white, black and blue—but these days, these plain tees are available in a variety of exciting colours. It’s versatility outlasts trends: A crew-neck tee can be worn on any occasion—it will take you from the gym to office and from the poolside to bed in style!
STYLE THEM RIGHT
First, let’s talk about the fit. If you have a bod like Aquaman (or like Jason Momoa, the actor who plays the titular role in the film)—choose tighter fits in light-weight cotton that show off your muscles. Make sure it’s not super-clingy so that you don’t look like someone who can’t stop looking at himself! Baggy fits are good for thinner or for slightly heavier guys. As a rule of thumb—choose a fit that emphasises your best physical attributes—without drawing attention to the areas that are a work-in-progress, such as your mid-section!
Let’s look at ways to wear a crew neck tee….
▶ With Denims
A crew-neck tee and jeans pairing is all about looking effortlessly put together. As seen on actor Vicky Kaushal, who’s the king of laid-back cool! This fail-proof outfit can be dressed up with accessories. Throw on a non-flashy neckpiece or a pair of wayfarers or aviators and low-top sneakers and you’re set! Wear this on your Starbucks coffee run, on a movie date or for a weekend house party with your best mates!
▶ With Shorts
Summer is almost here. As the temperatures rise, it’s best to keep things minimal. Take cues from actor Varun Dhawan, and go for a monochrome look in all white complete with chunky sneakers. You can even choose striped or printed crew-necks too. Just keep the shorts in solid colours in that case. Swap the casual shorts with a pair of well-fitted chinos and team it with a navy or bottle green crew-neck tee and tuck it in. Finish off with a summer hat, loafers/boat shoes and sunglasses—for a beach vacay look. Tuck the tee in for weekend brunch meetings!
▶ With Jackets
Like I had mentioned before, a basic crew-neck is perfect for using it as a base. Layer it with a denim jacket like actor Siddharth Malhotra; a zipped, printed hoodie like Ranveer Singh or with a bomber like Ayushmann Khurrana! You can even wear them with linen jackets, blazers and so on. You can team these with cropped trousers, denims and chinos.
▶ With a Suit
Who says you can wear a suit only with a buttoned-down or formal shirt? You can even wear a crew-neck T-shirt under the blazer and do a full tuck! Stick to one in a block shade that chimes with your suit. Take style inspo from actors Shahid Kapoor (who’s done it with a textured crew neck and a contemporary, fun suit) and Siddhanth Chaturvedi (who’s gone the white-tee-and-bold-dual-toned suit way). Wear loafers or Oxford shoes to complete the look. Actor Ishaan Khatter shows you how to wear one with cropped, striped trousers.
Now that you know how to maximise the use of your basic tees, there’s just one more thing. All of the above men have: Super-toned abs—but for guys carrying a little extra weight around their midsection—tucking in the tee/ a full tuck can be a scary prospect. If you want to get the same vibe, tuck it in a bit on the sides, let the belt buck shine, and let the rest hang. It’s a great tip to fake a smaller waist, if you’ve too busy to hit the gym!