Sweet & Sour: Tees MeBy Catherine Addo • Sep 28th, 2009 • Category: Obsessions of the Week, Style
When it comes to fashion, we here at The Supermelon love our little extras. You know what we mean—the quirky zipper, the hidden pocket, and all of those other unexpected little gems that give a piece of clothing its character. While accoutrements like these will always capture our eyes and hearts, every so often we find ourselves slipping back to simpler times, embracing more straightforward pieces as if they were wearable comfort food. Our latest foray into simplicity has led us to one of the most basic and perhaps most underrated garments: the T-shirt.
Why It’s Sweet: After who knows how many seasons of wrapping ourselves in bandage dresses, sucking it in for high-waisted skirts and shorts, and corseting ourselves into vests and blazers, the comfort of your basic tee has never been more alluring. Typically made of cotton or jersey, the T-shirt is soft and comfy whether fits snugly or hangs loose. Because of its forgiving fabric, tees are generally flattering on everyone at most any age, making the piece an easy, no-regrets buy and a no-brainer in the fashion realm. The T-shirt has also made great gains in terms of versatility; now more than ever, it’s seen as chic to pair a simple tee with tailored trousers or a sleek skirt. The contrast makes the outfit interesting, wearable, and a virtually seamless transition from day to night.
Why It’s Sour: Finding ways to keep your tee fashionable can certainly be tricky. After all, you want to look classic and carefree, not as if you just threw on the last thing in your closet because it’s laundry day. At times we can’t help but worry that the T-shirt is not strong enough to portray our fashion sensibility and personal style on its own, compelling us to overcompensate for its simplicity with over-the-top accessories, shoes, and outerwear—a little counterproductive, considering the point of this garment is to keep things simple. We also often feel forced to counteract the play-clothes vibe of our simpler tees by going to great lengths to ensure that the rest of our look is grown-up, again negating the easy feel of this look.
Our conclusion: We love our edgier outfits, but try as we might, we can’t fully resist the call of the tee. Judging by how many options are out there these days, our pro-tee sentiment seems to be the consensus. Grab a hold of this trend by stocking up on classic T-shirts with original attitudes. You’d be surprised how much personality an intense graphic or eye-catching pattern can lend to one of these guys. Interesting cuts work the same way—a detail like an exaggerated scoop neck or elongated sleeve will not detract from the subtlety of the look, but will lend it some flair. If you’re still skeptical that the whole jeans-and-T-shirt thing can be as fashionable as any other ensemble, ditch the denim. Try your tee over sleeker pieces like liquid leggings or tailored black pants, and add an open vest or pair of suspenders for extra quirkiness. Layer tees, hang them over one shoulder, cut the sleeves off, and generally play around until you find a look that manages to be both classic and fresh, playful and chic. It’s all just a matter of refining your fashion sensibili-T.
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A graphic tee CAN look lazy, but just as you say, even minimal effort can up the style quotient. I love pairing mine with pencil skirts and denim jackets, clonky boots and giant scarves. The graphic needn’t be front and center, after all.
September 29th, 2009 at 7:44 am
i agree with sal, the graphic need not be the focal point. the possibilities are endless. one could try piling on accessories to avoid looking too laid back or wear a cute or funky hairstyle to make it look less boring.
November 5th, 2009 at 1:12 am
i agree with both you girls ! i love your style tips , i come to the supermelon all the time before hitting the town for ideas on how to spice up my outfits . i recently joined this new site called beyond the rack . they’re so great !! they sell designer brands for up to 70% off . i got an invitation code the last time i purchased basic cotton tee’s and j brand jeans ! i think you’ll like it http://www.beyondtherack.com/member/invite/M589LW3
February 11th, 2010 at 10:50 am
I agree about Beyond the Rack - I scored two Esprit shirts there today for $40, including shipping. A few months ago I got a Pucci purse for 66% off retail. I also got a Fendi purse as well. There are many other sample sale websites out there too — if you click over to my blog you can see a list of them on the right side of your screen with invite links all there. I also really like Hautelook, Ideeli, RueLaLa, and Gilt, all listed there. I am all for shopping on the cheap!
February 12th, 2010 at 12:59 pm