Is there anything more versatile than a T-shirt?
Jeans, maybe. But, like shopping for denim, finding a tee that fits just so is a task nothing short of Herculean. Faced with rails, shelves and product pages heaving with a mind-bending array of fits, fabrics and finishes, it’s alarming how fast something that should be straightforward turns into a full-blown identity crisis. After all, one man’s perfect T-shirt is another man’s practically unwearable.
Well we think we may have found the answer! The chaps at MrShaw75 have just made life easier for you gents!
Look through any man’s wardrobe. No matter his style or size, all men have one thing in common. They all wear T-shirts. But is a T-shirt really just a T-shirt? Not every plain, white tee is exactly the same, and while seemingly every brand offers one, how do you really know which to buy? It’s easy to choose the perfect T-shirt, once you know the basics of this basic.
Not only are we fans of MrShaw75 because there are local lads (it just makes us a little biased) they have a cracking range of tees, suitable for any occasion, and made to perfection.
“But, how do I know what’s right for me” we hear you holla…well alongside MrShaw75, we’ve compiled some fail-safe tips for finding your glove fit – from the length that keeps your midriff under wraps to the colours that complement the rest of your rotation.
(Crew) Neck It
Obviously there’s more to T-shirts than the classic crew neck. But we’d wager that nine times out of ten a time-honoured crew neck trumps the neck-elongating, cleavage-baring weirdness of a V-neck. Unless of course your name’s Danny and you split your time between supersets, spray tans and taking excessively hash-tagged selfies. In which case, we’re sorry, but you’re too far gone.
A well-fitting crew neck frames most necks, chests and sets of shoulders far better than a V-, scoop or boat neck; there are, of course, exceptions to every rule but that is most definitely the rule.
A Fighting Fit
Born as an undershirt with the sole purpose of soaking up sweat, the T-shirt has come a long way from its humble origins. The way it should ideally fit, though, remains much the same.
The fit of a T-shirt is really important when picking the perfect one. And trust us, fits vary. Currently an over-sized block is on-trend for the season but ultimately I would choose something you are comfortable in. A T-shirt that sits nicely against your torso is a staple for your wardrobe.
So what exactly does “sits nicely” look like?
In theory, a T-shirt should highlight the part(s) of your upper body you’re happy with, without drawing attention to the part(s) that are still very much a work in progress. Which means:
- Your tee should strike a balance between fitted and skin-tight; err too baggy and you’re doing yourself no favours-slash-maybe wearing a nightgown? Steer too tight, though, and you’re – depending on your build – either a) a dead ringer for someone who’s just walked off a porn set, or b) The Simpsons’ Comic Book Guy. Not ideal. There’s no hard and fast rule apart from that the perfect-fitting tee sits as close to your body as possible without stretching.
- The length of your tee shouldn’t sit any higher than the top of your hips, nor finish below them; this will ensure you can raise your hand without turning your tee into a crop top.
- Sleeves (whether rolled or regular) should hit around the halfway point on your upper arm, neither billowing nor bracing. Unless you’ve got exceptionally long arms, in which case you can get away with sleeves that fall about an inch further.
- Shoulder seams (i.e. the point where the sleeves of your tee meet its body) should ideally align with the point where the curve of your shoulder ends.
Now you know how the ideal tee fits, it’s worth talking the stuff it should be made of too:
In the search for the perfect T-shirt, the first point of consideration should be the fabric, as this is fundamentally the building blocks of the garment.
Poly-cotton or fully synthetic materials work well to wick away moisture and retain their shape, thus earning their place in your workout wardrobe, but 100 per cent cotton tees invariably look and feel better for anything that’s not exercise.
Men go wrong, mistaking a tee’s thickness for its quality. The opposite is, in fact, true, with the highest quality cottons – mercerised, combed, ring-spun, pima, supima and Egyptian, for example – being lighter, thinner, durable and more lustrous.
While it’s true that you’ll want a certain degree of thickness to wear your tee as easily with tailoring as a pair of jeans (lighter, sheerer styles serve you best at the beach rather than the bar), too-thick tees often don’t drape as well as their welterweight brothers.
In summary, swerve synthetics in favour of superior quality cottons, making sure your tee’s fabric is light enough to sit well and feel comfortable, without coming up Ricky Martin levels of sheer.
Key to upholding your T-shirt’s status as the workhorse of your wardrobe is buying one in the right colour. And by ‘right’, we mean versatile, enabling you to wear your tee with as much as your wardrobe as possible.
White is iconic. Worn by the likes of James Dean and Marlon Brando – the men who first gave the tee the unfussy appeal it retains today – the white T-shirt works with all skin tones and sits well against pretty much every other colour you’ll want to wear it with.
Grey, especially grey marl, comes a close second, gelling well with most other hues and capable of bridging the smart-casual gap.
It’s not, however, one for the prolifically sweaty, as its colour draws a lot of attention to moisture stains. You’ve been warned.
Not, for most, as versatile as white or grey, a classic black tee still deserves a slot in your rotation – whether for finely tuning your rock-infused ensembles or giving things a slight Beatnik bent. Also a staple for head-to-toe monochrome getups.
Finally, bring some colour to the table without sacrificing styling potential. Particularly good for teaming with tailoring or an all-blue tonal approach to your off-duty wear.
Everything else is fair game for experimentation, but know that bright yellow and lilac probably won’t cut it as the cornerstone of your wardrobe. That said, if you’re going to dip your toe in the technicolour, a tee is a much more sensible access path than a pair of trousers or a suit.
So we’ve already told you that MrShaw75 is a local brand and if you head over to their website, you’ll see that their entire range is influenced by the city in which they work and play: Derby. With this in mind, the prints on the tees can be explained below.
We spoke to Director and designer Karl Shaw, and he told us: “The clothing brand has evolved from a philosophy. I describe it as Influence and Pride; Influence others, and Pride in what you do. Heritage and respect are important factors too. Old fashioned values in a modern, diverse world, hence the name ‘Mr Shaw’ rather than just ’Shaw’ – a kind of gentlemanly touch.”
“The ’S’ Icon has been carefully considered, and is a combination of Form and Function.
The form is obviously from the ’Shaw’ name but the design has more meaning and depth than just a memorable shape.
“It is designed to appeal to all ages, so youth, middle and old age are represented by the 3 lines that form the letter shape.”
One of our favourite tee’s is the Derby County FC Retro tee (sorry, not sorry if you’re a Notts Forest fan reading this). The cleverly designed images reference retro DCFC Legends, the stadium C-Stand, The BBG and The Pride.
So I guess, all we’re saying is, when it comes to prints on your tee, make it personal, be proud and show what you believe in. It’s far more hard hitting!
Has this guide tied up all your tee-related concerns? Or is there still ground to be covered? This brand is top dog, when it comes to what you’re looking for tees. What’s even better is, Mr Shaw75 currently have 40% off selected lines until the end of January 2017 – if that’s not worth checking out, we don’t know what is!
Shop MrShaw75 here.