I have a hard time wearing t-shirts. I always feel they are for men with slimmer bodies than me. This always makes the summer hard – just throwing something on and looking ok.
Up until about May this year, I only ever wore shirts – plain white, black or plaid. But sometimes these are just a bit too much and I’d rather a t-shirt. So off I would go to the wardrobe and pull out a sports top e.g. football or rugby shirt. On it would go and that would be that. Despite the fact that at most times, a sports shirt isn’t appropriate for a lot of scenarios were you are trying to look smart, I figured this needed to change.
In came a new knowledge or rather understanding of shadows and materials and thus cuts. Now I don’t rate t-shirts high on the expense radar so have been happy to shop at Primark for them when I needed to but I picked one up from Burton a few months ago and things have completely changed. I splashed out a whole £5 for a plain black t-shirt and now have 4. The thing I’ve found is that the right material, cut and colour makes wearing a t-shirt that bit more bearable.
What’s the issue with wearing t-shirts you say?
So for me and some guys I’ve spoken to, it’s a contour thing. One layer, falls on all the wrong areas and the thinner the material the worse and the less structured the garment the worse. Take an ironic tray of muffins, now lay cling film loosely over it – you get all the peaks and troughs separating the muffins. Now imagine laying a sheet of baking paper over it them – largely flat over the whole tray. This is what bigger people have to think about all the time.
Going back to the t-shirts – Primark is cling film and Burtons is baking paper, essentials baking paper. That’s not to knock Primark, but shopping in Primark isn’t the answer to all tasks. When I need new PJ’s – bang on.
So why was Burton better than Primark here. Cotton. While the Primark T-shirt was 40% cotton, the Burton T-shirt was 100% cotton and thicker. Some Polyester is fine but not too much. Some polyester or elastane helps bring the shape back after stretching from use.
The cotton meant that it didn’t stretch so easily, it acted more like baking paper and sat better on the torso. This coupled with the choice of black made it the perfect t-shirt to start wearing t-shirts.
The black absorbs light, meaning there are no shadows. When you wear light fabric, there are shadows where you don’t want them and draws attention to the wrong areas.
With this I checked out the high street to find the best cheap plain t-shirts and here’s a rundown (all large)
Burton – good quality, 100% cotton, will last 6 months before fading – £5
H&M – good quality, similar to Burton, additional colours (I got a Maroon one) be careful as some are more polyester – £5
Zara – far too fitted and not thick enough. Definitely an italian fit for the these but does have some Elastane so will last longer – £12.99
Next – similar to Burton and H&M but more expensive and had a button on the sleeve that I didn’t understand!
Topman – I couldn’t find simple plain t-shirts in store, everything was pattered or printed. The website had one but was more expensive – £7
George Asda – not bad but too tight on the midriff. £5 (2 for £8)
So anyway, I’ve been wearing t-shirts with more confidence this summer. The first time in a long time. Not having to worry about layers, wearing a shirt or taking hoody to cover up. It feels great and refreshing.