STYLE. GROOMING. INSPIRATION. ADVICE.
By Matt Glazebrook, 3 July 2016
A good T-shirt is the most essential of summer essentials. But what cut of tee deserves its place on your shoulders for SS16? We've been scouring the world of catwalks, street style and – of course – well-dressed famous dudes to identify the key styles and sharpest ways to rock them. Here's our countdown of five celebrities who bring strong T-shirt game and the particular shapes they favour.
We're not going to say James Dean is single-handedly responsible for the existence of the crisp white crew-neck tee as a basic component in every well-dressed man's wardrobe... But he certainly didn't hinder the humble undershirt's ascent to casualwear staple. Needless to say, the classic crew-neck hasn't changed much since Dean's day – close-fitting, clean-lined and basically bulletproof.
This boxy, skater-style tee emerged from the world of sidewalk surfing back in the 90s, but its embrace by the fashion set – the type of dude who wouldn't set foot on a rolling plank of wood for fear of scuffing his Chelsea boots – is a more recent phenomenon. A$AP Rocky is a strong advocate for the sartorialist/skater intersection, rocking his baggy tee with ripped jeans, Vans Authentics and a Polaroid camera for maximum retro cool.
It's hard to overstate the influence of Kanye West on the rebirth of the longline tee over the past couple of years. Once found only in the back of your drawer labeled '90s hip-hop styles' (we've all got one), in Yeezy's hands (with a little help from his fashion godfather Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy) the oversized T-shirt has been refreshed and elevated to a fashion-meets-streetwear essential. The secret is playing with proportions – skinny jeans (or sometimes leather trousers, if you're Kanye), a big, draped T-shirt on top and a slim, cropped jacket (bomber or denim) on top of that. It's the stuff that silhouette-based dreams are made of.
Meet longline's brash, noisy younger brother, for which the chief celeb-style ambassador has been – appropriately enough – semi-reformed pop enfant terrible Justin Bieber. To ape Bieb's style, rock your thigh-grazing tee with basketball shorts and monochrome streetwear or smarten it up with a blazer and cheeky grin.
You don't have to be stacked to wear a muscle tee, but it pays to have good arms (you'll be exposing a lot of them). Some of the best arms in the business (along with the best hair, face and wardrobe) belong to David Beckham, so it's no surprise the former England captain favours this super close-fitting style. If your good arms happen to be covered from knuckle to armpit in ink, you'll want to keep the T-shirt simple in a crisp white for contrast.