Generally a man has more t-shirts than any other room in his wardrobe. Once asked, this starting point says a lot about its importance and justifies the fact that the t-shirt is often the most represented in men's shops. The choice is as large as its high rotation in our cabinets. Indeed, the t-shirt is consumed without hunger, in abundance and as we tend to wear it out quickly, it is a piece that is renewed more regularly than any other garment. We had never discussed it before in our pages, it is now done: how to choose a t-shirt?
The perfect t-shirt
It falls perfectly. The stitching on her sleeves reaches right to the top of her shoulder. Its slim fit emphasizes the pectoral muscles, but it is not tight. It is long enough to cover the belt without hiding the buttocks. It is simple and can be combined with different outfits while having some pretty details that distinguish it from the others. This t-shirt, the portrait of which we have depicted here, is the ideal t-shirt. Actually, the reality is quite different, because first of all there are many ways to carry it, but above all because a large part of the sentimentality often comes into play on this subject, leaving reason aside when choosing a new one, or when separating from an old one. As such, there is not one ideal t-shirt but several.
Round neck or V-neck?
Beyond the preferences in terms of aesthetics and comfort, the type of collar of a t-shirt is chosen above all according to its morphology, especially in relation to the circumference of its neck. Thus, if you have a rather short neck, a V-neck will allow you to visually lengthen it. If you have a beautiful torso, the V-neck will also enhance it. The same goes for the round, indented collar. However, make sure that the collar is not oversized: a collar that is too tight will give the impression that you are stuck, a collar that is too wide will make you look like a reality TV dredger. When in doubt, know that it is difficult to make mistakes with a round neck t-shirt, it is a basic!
As with any garment, many elements are to be taken into account in the price of a t-shirt, sometimes leading to abusive drifts. Due to its simple construction and the offer available on the market, how can it be justified that such a quality t-shirt is sometimes offered for more than 50€? This obviously raises broader questions. Nevertheless, as is often the case with raw materials, the place of manufacture and brand image play a major role. Without wanting to start with an article of an economic nature, it is advisable here to briefly discuss a summary of the materials used in t-shirts on the market, because beyond the way a part is made, the fabric used will guarantee a certain quality standard.
Despite all the elements involved in the manufacturing process and justifying its final price, we believe that offering a t-shirt beyond the symbolic price of 50€ is exaggerated. In our opinion, a range between 30€ and 50€ can largely help to find a quality model. This does not mean that beyond that a t-shirt is not qualitative but only that it is too expensive compared to the intensive use that men make of it, or that the difference in quality is not significant enough for such a price.
With the exception of creative madness, there are generally only four materials that make up the t-shirts we wear: cotton, polyester, silk and viscose. Most of the time, a t-shirt is made of 100% cotton and what makes the difference from one model to another is the quality of the cotton used. There are also models on the market that include a small percentage of polyester, a material that gives a different feel to the final fabric and improves shelf life. Finally, silk is sometimes used, but given the high cost of this material, it is often replaced by its synthetic counterpart: viscose.
Cotton, the most widely used natural material in the world, is a vegetable fibre extracted from cotton flower. Moderately hot, resistant, easy to maintain and soft, there are various qualities, the most prestigious coming from Zimbabwe. However, the one that guarantees the highest quality standard that is frequently found is called Pima or Egyptian cotton. It comes from gossypium barbadense, a tree that originally grew in South America and produces cotton with long, soft and strong fibres.
Type of weaving originating from the island of Jersey. If initially it was made only with wool, the use of cotton has now spread to create light and soft fabrics. It can be found on t-shirt models for the hot season.
The most widely produced synthetic textile fibre in the world, polyester is a material with attributes of strength and flexibility. In particular, it has the advantage of not shrinking and serves as an excellent insulator against the cold. Polyester is generally used in the composition of clothing in addition to other materials in order to give its qualities to the resulting parts. It is preferable that its percentage remains a minority.
Animal fibre produced by the silkworm. Soft to the touch and the eye, its qualities make it one of the most prestigious fabrics once it is spun. Its elasticity, strength, finesse, lightness and flexibility make it possible to create luxurious clothing. It is often found in women's t-shirts, but it is not uncommon to see it in the men's section.
Synthetic material also called artificial silk because it is as fine, soft, shiny and solid as silk. It has excellent moisture absorption properties which makes it a popular material for linings, but also to give the t-shirts a silky look without the price taking off too much.
The plain t-shirt
Undeniably, it is one of the must-have items in your wardrobe. We will choose it in a beautiful material, such as a cotton jersey that will be soft and pleasant to wear, in a sober color (white or grey for example) and we will be demanding on the cut (a badly cut t-shirt is reserved for hanging out at home on Sundays only!). Those who want to add a touch of originality can choose it with a chest pocket or in a more fanciful fabric (mottled, spotted). But on this point, everything is only a matter of personal taste.
How to wear it?
If we can be sure of one thing, it is that it is impossible to make more casual than a plain t-shirt. Nevertheless, it turns out to be an extremely versatile part due to its simplicity. Understand: you can wear it in all styles and in most informal looks: with jeans and a pair of sneakers, with a suit and always sneakers, we're not going to do them all, the list would be too long;)
The graphic t-shirt
A graphic t-shirt, as its name suggests, has a print. It is sometimes (too) big, sometimes minimalist. In fact, it will be necessary to remain on guard by choosing it, because many creators have crossed the unacceptable line of gloss, wallpaper, excessive, for their t-shirts. Stop! Stop! We will therefore opt for a sober graphic design, not flashy, which will be worn during the day as well as in the evening, but above all, a graphic style in accordance with its outfit. For example, you should avoid wearing a t-shirt bearing the image of your favourite rock band under a blazer, of course. In addition, cheap graphic t-shirts, whose poor quality printing will tarnish and deteriorate very quickly, should also be banned. On this subject, there are several types of printing on the market:
is a technique consisting in sewing a pattern on fabric with thread. It thus offers a solid and durable relief result. It can be done manually or by machine and using several sewing techniques.
allows you to print an image or logo on a felt surface (like on old football jerseys) using a press. It is an extremely washable process but remains limited in terms of shape.
thanks to its stencil system, a resistant ink can be applied directly to the fabric. It is the oldest and most widely used textile printing method nowadays.
allows you to place a print on a textile via a sheet system. Basically, you print a pattern, an image on a sheet of paper and press it on a t-shirt. It is the most economical of all processes, but also the least qualitative.
How to wear it?
Unlike a plain model, the graphic t-shirt does not allow such chic combinations but lends itself more to casual, rock, or even street outfits. In recent years, the trend has been more centered around the message t-shirt, which over time has become more absurd than the other. Clearly, we've seen too much, but don't worry, the fashion effect is gradually fading back to more graphic considerations. Historically, brands have used draftsmen or graphic designers to design the images they will apply to their t-shirts, which has sometimes led to abuses (overloaded models). Today, we are returning to something more minimalist and very little detailed design, meaning that these t-shirts open up possibilities for wider wear (and even in professional environments that do not require formal dress). Finally, note that the t-shirt bearing the image of a rock band, although less frequent, remains a safe option in this regard.
The all-over t-shirt
In recent years, a new graphic t-shirt style called all-over has emerged. While often the graphics are applied to the torso, these models are printed on the entire fabric. If at first they were only found in the form of patterned t-shirts (the oldest all-over print must certainly be the marinière with its horizontal stripes), brands now offer highly visual t-shirts with all kinds of photos and images. If we can consider that one is more flashy than the other, we can nevertheless classify these t-shirts in the same category: those that we see from afar.
How to wear it?
Due to its very colourful, graphic or geometric character, the all-over t-shirt is not usually worn with very eccentric outfits (at least, we can try if we want, but the result will be to be seen exclusively with 3D glasses). Indeed, whether you choose the image of a heavenly beach, space, or a classic sailor, it is better to play the card of sobriety and accompany it with plain pieces so that first of all the whole is not too busy, but also to highlight your pretty t-shirt.
Recognize a quality t-shirt
In addition to the characteristics inherent in the cut or shape of a t-shirt, which are only subjective, there are some crucial points to note before and after purchasing a new model to determine its quality level. The first thing to do is of course to touch it. Is its fabric thin or thick? Soft or rough? How is the design inserted on the t-shirt? Are the seams straight and do not warp the fabric? Where is it made? With which fabric? All these questions should of course be examined on a case-by-case basis in order to give precise answers. This market is extremely dense, so it is with experience that we learn to make less mistakes about the supposed quality of a particular model and that we build a hard core of recurring brands. However, here are some general points about the quality signs of a t-shirt:
- A thin fabric will be lighter, so it is ideal for the hot season, but will be more fragile.
- However, the thickness will not necessarily guarantee a better life span depending on the finish of the t-shirt.
- Screen printing often gives a more natural look to a graphic t-shirt and gives it a longer life span
- All t-shirts deform as they are worn, especially the seams that give the impression of "spinning", but the effect will be less on quality models and you will not be able to see this until after purchase.
- A t-shirt, especially if it is light-coloured, can be maintained. Thus, to prevent traces from appearing under the arms, many solutions exist. For example, soak your shirt in a mixture of baking soda and white vinegar for 30 minutes before washing.
- You are never safe from a sudden crush, but most of the time, it is better to close your eyes on a t-shirt that exceeds the symbolic 50€ bar because the quality surplus is not justified enough in this price range (or wait until it is sold off)