How to Make a T-shirt Stand Out


banana cream t-shirt

johnny depp in a white t-shirt

There’s 2 kinds of men in this world: those who like to wear t-shirts and those who prefer t-shirts. Right now I’m in the first category but things are about to change for me.

After discovering the dress shirt as the Rosetta Stone of dressing well, I started to look into other options for what to wear during summer. And the only option that sounded reasonable to me (besides tank tops) was the t-shirt.

T-shirt are on the casual side of the spectrum as opposed to shirts. There are lots of times when you can wear them but, as opposed to shirts, there are many times when you can’t.

Going out to bars, clubs, walks on the beach, walks in the park or downtown, seeing a movie and anything that says “this is fun”, all of these are good times to wear a t-shirt.

Compared to a shirt, a t-shirt can be pretty boring so you need to upgrade the rest of your outfit as well.

Critical advice #1: do NOT wear t-shirts with funny messages or logos

The messages that most t-shirts have are really awful. They send a message but it’s always the wrong one.

Wearing a t-shirt with your favorite team might sound like it’s showing one of your hobbies but that’s not really what we’re after here. A man should send messages about his core qualities and beliefs, not his hobbies. These messages are far more powerful and they spark better and stronger reactions in other people than the boring outfits that most guys are wearing.

So pick your t-shirt carefully. A t-shirt in a solid color should always be your first option. Your second option, unless you have a noticeable belly, should be a striped t-shirt.

The stripes will give you an opportunity to color match them with the rest of the outfit. We’ll talk about that in a bit.

Critical advice #2: don’t be afraid of color

T-shirts are worn by virtually every guy out there so you need to find ways to stand out, in the absence of shirts. The easiest way is to get a colored t-shirt.

Red, green, yellow, light-blue, these are all fantastic colors that you can try out. Black and white are also good but in these cases you should compensate the lack of color somehow (I’ll show you how in a few moments).

A critical thing to remember when choosing your t-shirt’s color is that this garment will frame your face. What this means is that the color can make your face stand out (ideally) or, on the contrary, it can make your facial characteristics fade away.

Choosing the color is crucial and the rules of thumb are easy:

if you have a light skin complexion go for darker or medium colors.

if you have a dark skin complexion, stick with light or medium colors.

If you want to play it safe, colors such as medium blue, medium green, medium brown are a safe bet. But don’t shy away form standing out.

If you have darker skin, a yellow or a baby blue blue t-shirt will work wonders. And if you have lighter skin, dark brown, dark green or burgundy will make you look awesome.

Critical advice #3: coordinate

All right, we talked about colored t-shirts but the color means nothing if it’s not coordinated with the rest of the outfit.

When wearing t-shirts, the best item of clothing you can pair them with are chinos. Sure, jeans work too but too many guys wear the jeans + t-shirt combination.

For example, a nice pair of green chinos will look amazing with a banana cream t-shirt such as this one from T-Shirts.com:

banana cream t-shirt

A pair of blue chinos will work well with a white t-shirt with red and blue horizontal stripes.

Finally, a pair of khakis will pair up nicely with a dark-brown t-shirt.

If you’re aiming for a more complex outfit (and you should, that’s all I’ve been writing about all these years), you should seriously think about matching the t-shirt with some other item in your outfit.

You can match it with your belt, you can match it with your socks. Just try to get the colors to match as closely as possible. If they’re not exactly the same shade, don’t worry: casual style allows this imperfect match.

Don’t forget a nice pair of sneakers or moccasins. And if it’s spring or autumn, think about layering your t-shirt with either a sports jacket or a waistcoat.

Critical advice #4: accessorize

Ahh, accessories. this is where you can really go crazy. if you haven’t seen Johnny Depp outfits yet, I highly recommend that you take a look.

There’s so much to learn from this guy just by watching… and most of his outfits involve t-shirts.

Anyway, here’s a quick list of accessories that work great with t-shirts:

– leather, metal and colored bracelets
– pendants
– hats
– sunglasses
– bandanas
– and watches

So remember: choose a solid color or a striped t-shirt, add some color, coordinate with the rest of the outfit, then accessorize. You WILL look HOT.

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5 Comments

  1. Michael
    July 30, 2012

    My issue is that I sweat a lot in hot climates just walking around so I have to wear black or white t-shirts, otherwise the sweat will show on the back of the shirt, like this:

    August 6, 2012

    Love the blog – really great practical advice!

    Why are we so afraid of colour?

    Whilst I completely agree with what you say about using clothes to communicate one’s core qualities and beliefs, I can’t *always* agree with no funny messages or logos. It does depend on the individual.

  2. Michael
    August 11, 2012

    @Michael

    Any thoughts?

  3. August 12, 2012

    Michael :

    My issue is that I sweat a lot in hot climates just walking around so I have to wear black or white t-shirts, otherwise the sweat will show on the back of the shirt, like this:

    Michael,

    Seems to me like you have a sweating problem. I wrote an article with a few tips on this here but, if this is more serious, maybe you should check with your doctor to get to the bottom of this.

  4. Jim Janeczko
    September 26, 2012

    very good article. i like your blog post.thnks for the post.

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