If you’re anything like us, you made the freezer aisle at Sainsbury’s your second home during last week’s UK-wide heatwave. And you probably also spent much of the week lamenting the lack of quality T-shirts in your summer arsenal, having sweated through your entire stock by Thursday.
So, perhaps you’d like to take a moment to familiarise yourself with our round-up of the tees no stylish man should be without this season, from breathable options for blokes conscious of sweating their bits off to punchy patterned numbers for the braver, more intrepid dressers among you.
Here’s to a long, hot summer.
1. The Linen T-shirt
You don’t have to own a yacht to pull off linen – though, of course, it wouldn’t do any harm. The key is not to get too bogged down by the fact that affluent dads wear trousers made of the stuff to kick back on deck in, and instead focus on the fact that T-shirts crafted from linen (or cotton-linen blends) will keep you looking and feeling cool throughout summer.
Lightweight, breathable and quick-drying, linen is a lifesaver for men prone to overheating and sweating excessively in the heat. Trouble is – sourcing a quality linen T-shirt can sometimes be a bit tricky.
Levi’s, The Kooples, H&M, Mango and Topman offer strong options, all of which can be styled up relatively easily, seeing as they typically come in low-key, neutral shades.
Our advice would be to opt for a style in white, stone, or beige to maximise versatility – these colours can be slotted beneath lightweight blazers in navy, grey or khaki if you’re in need of a sharp warm-weather look, and the mix of textures will help lend a reassuringly expensive feel to proceedings.
Likewise, they can just as easily be worn on their own with jeans/chinos at the weekend, or a pair of charcoal tailored shorts for an on-point holiday outfit that shows you’ve put more a little more thought into your look than the rest of your mates.
Linen T-Shirts Lookbook
- Zara Linen T-shirt
- He By Mango Chest-pocket Linen T-shirt
- Zara Linen T-shirt
- Allsaints Faxley Crew Tshirt
- Topman Grey Linen Slim Fit T-shirt
- The Kooples Crocodile-printed Leather Pocket Linen T-shirt
- Alexander Wang Melange Linen T-shirt
- Theory Koree Melange Linen-jersey T-shirt
- Sandro Slubbed Linen-jersey T-shirt
2. The Longline T-Shirt
There are few better feelings than blowing your hard-earned cash on fresh threads come payday – especially if it means you get to dip your toe into a new trend at the same time. You might have noticed that hemlines on T-shirts have started dropping to near dress-length lows, while slightly oversized ‘skater’ fits have replaced the humble crew neck among the style savvy. Welcome to the longline trend, gentlemen, where exploded proportions are the order of the day.
The longline trend (though burgeoning for a while) started to really gather pace at the beginning of 2014, when designers like Craig Green and Jonathan Saunders began experimenting with sportier, street-inspired tees in thigh-skimming lengths. Since then, the high street has followed suit (in no small part spurred on by hip-hop’s finest), and now Topman, River Island, ASOS, H&M and co. are home to some of the best drop-waisted tees on the market.
However, if you’re gunning to up your style credentials, look to niche streetwear brands, which offer options printed with slick graphics or made from sporty fabrics such as neoprene and mesh. Think Antioch, Criminal Damage, Hype, Blood Brother and Sik Silk, amongst others.
For the best effect, team yours with slim- or skinny-fit trousers and jeans to capitalise on the slimmer, elongated silhouette it creates, or throw it on under a cropped T-shirt or bomber jacket in a contrasting colour for a fresh riff on lightweight layering.
Longline T-Shirts Lookbook
- Longline T Shirt With Scooped Back Hem
- Selected Long Line Burnout T-shirt
- Religion Longline T-shirt
- Asos Super Longline T-shirt With Distressed Appearance And Relaxed Skater Fit
- Topman Black Slim Longline Fit T-shirt
- Siksilk Longline T-shirt In Floral Print
- H&m Long T-shirt
- Rick Owens Oversized Jersey T-shirt
- Hype Titanium Longline T Shirt
3. The Short-Sleeved Henley T-shirt
You probably already own a collarless granddad shirt or a long-sleeved Henley top, which is fair enough, but their short-sleeved brethren are a damn sight more summer-appropriate. Stock your wardrobe with this style and nail your casualwear game in an instant.
Granted, the only men who can really get away with wearing a Henley in white or cream are those with a gym membership (and pecs to prove they use it), but there are plenty of black and navy versions for those of us carrying a little extra poundage, which look equally flattering when styled correctly.
Try wearing yours with slim-fit denim and desert boots for an effortless off-duty look that oozes masculinity, or with flat-fronted smart trousers (hems rolled up) and a lightweight blazer for a more upscale feel.
James Perse and Billy Reid produce some of the best Henleys on the market, but you can find some decent, lower-priced options at American Apparel and Marks & Spencer, too, if the thought of splurging on a shirt that will almost certainly make a date want to rip it off leaves you oddly cold.
Short-Sleeved Henley Lookbook
- American Apparel Tri-blend Short Sleeve Henley Tee
- J. Crew Slim Broken-in Short-sleeve Henley
- He By Mango Slub-cotton Henley T-shirt
- Next Fine Stripe Granded Tees
- M&s Collection New Pure Cotton Stay Soft Henley Neck T-shirt
- He By Mango Pique Henley T-shirt
- James Perse Marled Cotton-jersey Henley T-shirt
- Billy Reid Micro-stripe Cotton-blend Jersey Henley T-shirt
- Gap Soft-wash Pocket Henley
4. The Classic White Crew Neck T-shirt
From James Dean to David Beckham, Marlon Brando to Ryan Gosling, the ubiquitous white crew neck has long prevailed as the go-to T-shirt for men of style.
Nowadays, however, there are so many more ways to wear it than just slinging it on with your favourite pair of selvedge jeans and a leather biker jacket (though that definitely still works). One of this season’s strongest trends is the all-white, minimalist look, and piling on a fresh out the pack crew neck with some carefully selected white jeans is a killer way to wear this timeless style in 2015.
Alternatively, temperature permitting, layer a lightweight bomber or blazer over your pristine tee for a go-to smart-casual ensemble that strikes the perfect balance between classic and contemporary.
Unless you play fast and loose with your cash or you have a dry cleaner on speed dial, there’s probably no point in investing in the likes of Emporio Armani or Jil Sander for your whites – though these brands do make some of the finest styles about. Instead, head to Marks & Spencer for a range of basic tees in excellent fits. Not only are they affordable, they also boast the brand’s innovative StayNEW technology, which helps material retain its shape and brilliant whiteness, so you stay looking fresh all summer long.
At the other end of the scale, labels such as Sunspel and James Perse have redefined the premium white T-shirt, producing it in luxurious, supersoft pima and sea island cottons that are worthy of their higher price tag.
White Crew Neck T-shirts Lookbook
- Gap Essential Crewneck T-shirt
- M&s Collection Online Only Pure Cotton Stay Soft T-shirt With Staynew
- Next Crew Neck T-shirt
- American Apparel Fine Jersey Short Sleeve T-shirt
- Asos Slim Fit T-shirt With Crew Neck
- Uniqlo Men Supima Cotton Crew Neck Short Sleeve T-shirt
- John Lewis Organic Cotton Crew Neck T-shirt White
- James Perse Crew Neck Cotton-jersey T-shirt
- Sunspel Sea Island Cotton T-shirt
5. The Printed T-shirt
World-renowned Parisian label Givenchy has carved itself a niche in recent seasons as a purveyor of powerful printed T-shirts. And spring/summer 2015 is no different.
But if, like us, you’re not the kind of man who can afford to blow the average week’s wages on a tee, then there are plenty of other digital prints on offer. Hype, Blend, Franklin & Marshall, Asphalt and Stussy are just a few of the streetwear labels producing high quality, soft cotton jersey tees in summer-appropriate motifs each season, at much more affordable price points.
Although at first glance a printed T-shirt might seem like a headache to integrate into your existing casual wardrobe, doing so is actually surprisingly easy. Keep it cool by teaming with a pair of denim shorts or distressed jeans for a Cali slacker vibe, or smarten it up for the city by layering it under a dark, neutral blazer.
When it comes to picking a design, all-over is the way to go this season – florals, geometrics, Aztec, digital camo and micro prints are all on-trend for SS15, and each will help you stand apart from those guys who can’t bring themselves to leave the safety of Breton stripes.
Printed T-Shirts Lookbook
- Zara Geometric Military T-shirt
- Farah T-shirt With All Over Print
- Topman Selected Homme Black Floral Print T-shirt
- River Island Dark Orange Floral Print T-shirt
- Christopher Raeburn Slim-fit Shark-print Cotton-jersey T-shirt
- Reiss Port Printed T-shirt Blue
- New Look White Aztec Print Roll Sleeve T-shirt
- Next Red Aztec Print T-shirt
- Mcq Alexander Mcqueen Floral-print Cotton-jersey T-shirt
More than any other casual wardrobe mainstay, tees teeter on the edge between classically casual and careless. Stick to these five styles to make sure your T-shirt game is on-point this season.
Which of these styles will you be reaching for?