Few items are more ubiquitous in men’s fashion than the classic white t-shirt. It’s simple, clean, and stylish, and can be dressed up or down. What’s not to love?
But if you’re looking for some new ways to bring this wardrobe staple to life, here are some ideas for how to wear a classic white t-shirt. First, though, let’s look at some history.
The History of the Classic White T-Shirt
The white t-shirt can trace its history back to the mid-1800s when it was first mass-produced as an underwear item for men. Around the beginning of WW1, the white t-shirt was adopted as the US Navy’s main item of uniform. It was lighter than traditional wool jackets and could be used as a towel.
While it grew in popularity as a casual item, its real breakthrough came in the 1950s thanks to cinema. Marlon Brando popularized it in Streetcar Named Desire and James Dean followed suit in Rebel Without a Cause. Other big stars like Clint Eastwood joined the trend, and by the 80s the classic white t-shirt was the fashion staple we know today.
Over its short history, the white t-shirt has undergone various changes in fit. The first versions were loose and baggy before getting tighter and more stretchy in the 50s thanks to advances in weaving technology.
Of course, the 80s saw big baggy t-shirts come back into fashion before the oversized trend of the 90s. Whether it was a hip-hop group or a grunge band, you’d find oversized white t-shirts in almost every subculture.
Nowadays, though, t-shirt designs have shifted more towards a tailored athletic fit for men. The purpose is to cut down on extra material to emphasize the characteristic V-shape many men spend hours in the gym trying to achieve. After all, if you’ve put so much time into your appearance, why would you want to hide it under a baggy oversized t-shirt?
How to Wear a Classic White T-Shirt
The beauty of a white t-shirt is that it’ll go with almost any other item of clothing. Of course, don’t expect to wear it to ultra-formal events, but you can still put together a fairly smart look around a white t-shirt. If you’re wondering how to wear a classic white t-shirt, here are some ideas for inspiration.
- Pair with black joggers or jeans and white sneakers for a clean casual look.
- Want something a bit smarter? Pair with brown Chelsea boots and tan pants for a smarter summer look.
- A white t-shirt with black jeans, smart black shoes and a dinner jacket is ideal for a smart-casual event.
- If you’re feeling risky, indigo-wash jeans, a white t-shirt, denim shirt and black boots can be a bold look.
How to Find the Perfect Classic White T-Shirt
In 2021, the way we as men now dress has overall become much more casual. But being casual doesn't mean that what we wear can't look good, clean, and well-put together. So when it comes to shopping for the perfect Classic White T-Shirt, there's a couple things we look for to fit men's style in 2021:
✔️ Find a shirt that fits and compliments your upper-body features (arms, chest, shoulders). Not too loose, and not too tight.
✔️ A good drape over the body goes a long way. We look for a shirt that doesn't hug the body, but drops off nicely from your chest to the torso with a good flow.
✔️ Soft fabric with full stretch capabilities for flexibility/mobility in movement for a full-day wear
✔️ A crisp-white color dye pigment that doesn't fade and has color retention to last for years
✔️ Clean stitching patterns with a good, classic tailored straight hem design
The classic white t-shirt should be a staple item in every man’s wardrobe. It goes with everything and is easy to dress up or down.
If you’re looking for the perfect white t-shirt, check out our Rule of Threads S/S Straight Hem Crew: White below today. It’s a tailored fit with just the right amount of stretch and looks great in every season.
$24 The S/S Straight-Hem shirt is our classic thread made with confidence. It looks good, fits good, and feels even better. Choose this shirt if you want a classic go-to shirt that can be worn with just about anything and for...Read More
Straight Hem Crew T-Shirt: White
The S/S Straight-Hem shirt is our classic thread made with confidence. It looks good, fits good, and feels even better. Choose this shirt if you want a classic go-to shirt that can be worn with just about anything and for...Read More