Friday, May 31, 2013

Fashion Faux Pas - Crew Neck Tees and Unbuttoned Collars

Today's weather gave me the perfect setting in which to give you this next morsel of sartorial delight. It is hot and humid here in Chicago, and due to our outstanding charity participation, our office is running casual Friday all week. Therefore, for once, I decided to ditch the tie entirely and went with a button-up shirt and jeans. And yes, I left the top button undone.

The Right Way
Now here's the test: Can you see a triangle of white tee-shirt sticking up from under my collar, like a thong riding up the butt of that girl in the trailer park? Ok, that might be a little harsh, but the analogy remains: treat your undershirts like underwear, they are there to do a job, NOT to be seen. It just looks....well maybe not quite trashy, but definitely unrefined and definitely not classy when they are visible over your shirt. The remedy, as usual, is easy, and I recommend this one at all times, but especially if you are planning on rocking your top button undone at any point in the day: wear v-neck undershirts. Just look at the difference below. With the crew neck white Tee, not only are you showing your undergarments, you can ruin a smooth look with a crumpled or worn collar, and at the very least you're throwing in your white shirt as yet another element to coordinate within your outfit.

The Wrong Way
Keep it simple, show a little of your tan (just please don't unbutton down to your navel) and maintain the sharpness and overall integrity of your look.

Also, just like underwear, most of your decision-making when it comes to undershirts should be based on functionality. An undershirt and a Tee-shirt are two different things, and should be treated as such. Undershirts, or the good ones at least, are longer, in order to remain tucked, and hug your body in order to refrain from contributing to any of that dreaded billowing of the shirt at the waist. They are also often thinner material, and sometimes are moisture-wicking or have some other sort of textile technology to make you more comfortable. And, like I said, always go for a decently deep V-neck that won't show when you pop the button open in the hot temps.

In a pinch, a Tee will work if you're keeping your button done, but you're just limiting yourself by wearing one. A v-neck Tee instead of a v-neck undershirt is even a bit closer, but still avoid it if possible. It kind of kills the purpose of a well fitted shirt if your bottom layer is all bunched up and billowed on its own. You want your shirt to drape over your body (and your undershirt) like there is no undershirt at all, and that's exactly what good undershirts are made to do.

The good news is there are plenty of great options out there. My personal favorite are V-neck undershirts by Tommy John. I can't remember the exact price, but I believe I got a 2-pack of these from Nordstrom Rack for about $20. I wear them every week, and need to buy more so I don't have to run laundry so often.

They are thin enough to not add too much insulation, hefty enough to absorb my sweat and dirt (lovely, I know). They are also slim fitting enough for a scrawny guy like myself but with enough stretch to not be constrictive. You can buy them direct using the link above, but I got mine at a good discount from Nordstrom Rack, so keep your eyes open.

No comments:

Post a Comment