The T shirt is one of the most versatile and multi-purpose pieces of clothing you can ever have in your wardrobe. Yet, most people are not taking full advantage of that fact. Men are especially guilty of underutilizing the T shirt.
We tend to assume that the T shirt is for casual days spent at home or on the beach or other relaxed settings. If you want to look good, the assumption goes, put away the T shirt and go for something more formal.
It’s time to put that myth to rest. If you follow these styling tips, you can rock a T shirt with class, professionalism, and general awesomeness.
Women seem to have a natural sense of how to coordinate colors whereas men will often walk out of the house in the most horribly matched clothes imaginable. Expert color coordination is both an art and a science.
For the beginner, try to avoid tones that are too matching. You don’t want to pair a black T shirt with black pants. This is not a hard and fast rule as you will notice from seeing successful outfits that break this rule. However, pulling that matching look off requires a more refined eye for color.
So avoid this for the moment and focus on matching light toned T shirts (think white, light grey, and so on) with dark denim or khakis. By the same logic, dark toned T shirts (black, dark brown, Navy blue, etc.) should be paired with light denim or khakis.
Basically, you want to go for color contrasts and, if you want to stay on the safe side, stick with neutral tones. Neutral tones tend to look classier than bright colors anyway.
If you’ve got a casual Friday at work, that doesn’t mean you should come in jeans and a tattered T shirt. You still want to look clean and professional. So skip the jeans and go for a light pant like light tan khakis.
Pair it with a clean, ironed navy blue T shirt and a dark brown loafer. Now you’ve got a casual, comfortable look that still gives you an air of professionalism.
T shirts with designs or print on them live by their own rules. You read above that light toned shirts should be paired with darker toned pants. Well, this is not always true with graphic T shirts.
Even if the T shirt itself is white, it’s the print on it that you want to pay attention to when coordinating colors. What is the dominant color of the design? If it’s black or any other dark tone, follow the rule for dark toned T shirts. That is, pair it with a lighter pant.
Whether you are in professional or casual company, you never ever want to tuck your T shirt into your pants. This just looks awkward. Just do not ever do it.
To be honest, men do not have as much flexibility with styling the T shirt as women do. While a woman can pair a T shirt with a menswear jacket and look amazing and professional, a man will not have the same success.
You need to be more selective with your layers. The suit jacket and T shirt combo can look unfinished on a man in many cases. If you are going to do it, go for less contrasting tones. For example, put a charcoal grey T shirt underneath a black sports jacket.
Wear black slacks (not jeans) and black shoes with that combo. Do not put tennis shoes with it. You probably want to stick with darker tones when doing this sort of combo as a general rule. Lighter tones might give the look too much of a casual feel.