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From its U.S. Navy pedigree to its starring role in A Streetcar Named Desire, the classic white t-shirt has had a truly incredible ride. Though it began as a humble undershirt, fashion and film have turned this everyday staple into one of the most versatile garments in a gentleman’s wardrobe. To help you make the most of your solid white tee (both crew and v-neck), here are five different ways you can rock it year-round.
The time-honored original. While you may not be a sea dog on shore leave, there’s no reason you can’t look the part. Just pair a crisp white tee with some classic khakis, and half-tuck the shirt as an ode to the ‘50s. If you’re truly committed, roll up the sleeves and finish the kit with a set of Air Force aviators.
For a look that’s trim and tidy—but not overly formal—you can’t go wrong with a t-shirt and blazer. A white tee keeps the colors subdued, and underscores your blazer of choice, be it brown suede or navy blue. Since this lineup is fairly simple, toss in a pocket square or beaded bracelet for a bit of variety.
On most Saturday mornings, we’re two degrees away from leaving the house in sweatpants. Luckily, a white tee can help you retain your human appearance with minimal added effort. This style is all about the path of least resistance: Jeans and a tee can go with almost any cardigan, so pick your favorite and hit the road. If you’re channeling Jason Sudeikis, add some Ray Bans and a wool ball cap.
Yes sir, a white tee sure can clean up nice. For an offbeat take on your standard suit, skip the tie and button-down, and go with a slim-fitting undershirt instead. It may not make the grade at your cousin’s black tie wedding, but you’ll be able to rock your suit in a wide range of settings without drawing undue attention (“wow, why are you so dressed up?”).
Believe it or not, spring is right around the corner, and nothing says “fresh and clean” like a crisp white tee. Sure, we love your vintage “Snickers” shirt as much as you do, but the simplicity of a white tee lets you add some layers without complicating the look. Shorts, flannel, and brightly colored accessories all make fine companions.