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These Are The 5 T-shirts Every Man Should Have In His Closet

Enhance your casual apparel by mixing things up with these tees
by Shayne Exito | Apr 10, 2017
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The t-shirt is the most basic yet most essential piece of every man’s wardrobe. 

An utterly versatile garment, the t-shirt can be worn for almost any occasion. Granted you know how to style it properly, you can wear a t-shirt anywhere.

Because the standard tee often acts as the foundation a complete get-up builds itself on, many men buy them in bulk, often of the same brand and color, and usually wear them out and don’t bother replacing them until they’re little more than holes held together by thread. But while there’s nothing wrong with having a never-ending supply of t-shirts, you shouldn’t limit yourself to the basic tee. There are actually quite a number of different kinds out there—they’re still t-shirts in the most definitive sense but they boast subtle changes that, when worn right, can make a world of a difference when it comes to your look.

To help you get acquainted with these variations, we decided to round up our favorite styles that we believe should get their own spaces in your closet. 

The Henley

This T-shirt alternative not only exudes a retro vibe, but it will also show off those guns you've been working so hard for in the gym.

What is it?
A henley is a simple collarless shirt with a button fly in the front, usually with 3-5 buttons, and typically made from lightweight fabrics in solid colors. There are two kinds of henleys: the short-sleeved henley, and the long-sleeved henley.

How do you wear it?
First of all, make sure the henley you choose isn’t baggy, but instead hugs your form in all the right palces. This shirt layers very well, so you want something that can fit comfortably under your jacket or sweater. 

The short-sleeved henley is a good stand-in for the basic tee, so you can wear it as is with your jeans and boots. If you want to dress it up though (or dress down your business wear), you can pair it with a blazer or sports jacket and unfasten the buttons until you have a V-neck. Whether you tuck it into your pants depends on how casual you want to look.

T-shirt with Chest Pocket

This is a small change, for sure, but it’s one that can really upgrade your tee. Do it right, and you look cool; do it wrong, and you look kinda dweeby.

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What is it?
This one is pretty self-explanatory: a standard t-shirt (crew-neck and v-neck typically) with a thin single chest pocket.

How do you wear it?
You can pair this top with everything you normally wear with your T-shirt. However, when picking your shirt, we suggest you avoid overly-preppy designs. Instead, choose something graphic to make a statement. 

Pro-tip: Don’t actually put anything inside the pocket unless you want an odd bump on your chest. Let’s give this one up as a matter of style over function.

Raglan Sleeves

Otherwise known as the baseball tee, shirts with raglan sleeves automatically evoke a sporty aesthetic. Because of this, it’s best to keep this variation on the casual side.

What is it?
Raglan sleeves are a type of shirt sleeves where the seam extends from the underarm all the way to the neckline; the most popular styles have the sleeves in a different color to the rest of the shirt.

How do you wear it?
Since it’s so closely associated with sportwear, we don’t advise you breaking this one out for formal occasions. Rather, pair this t-shirt with straight-cut darkwash jeans and your favorite pair of kicks, preferably something light-colored to continue the study in contrasts of your look. 

Patterned T-shirt

This style goes beyond the graphic tee or the statement shirt. If nothing else, you’ll certainly be having a lot of fun with this one.

What is it?
Simply put, it’s a t-shirt entirely constructed from fabric with bold patterns and prints.

How do you wear it?
Because of the busy design, be cautious of mixing prints, if not avoid doing so completely. A patterned t-shirt looks best against solid colors, since it then becomes the quirky center-piece of your look. You can dress it up with either a well-fitted blazer in a complementary color, or ditching the layers and pairing it with tailored chino shorts and loafers or boat shoes.

The Longline Tee

If you're looking to dress a bit rebelliously, then a long tee is something you should definitely have in your wardrobe. The cut won't work for everyone, but if you can pull it off, then it's certainly an ace up your sleeve in the style game.

What is it?
The long tee is exactly what it sounds like: a t-shirt that’s cut longer so that the hemline reaches well past your hips.

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How do you wear it?
When it comes to oversized clothing, always keep balance in mind when creating your outfit. Since long tees are usually baggier, emphasize the cut by pairing it with slim-fit or skinny black jeans. You can then either tuck them into black boots to create a flattering long-legged silhouette, or break the line completely and show off your ankles with low-cut shoes. If you want to layer, avoid garments that are just as long; instead, pick something of shorter length to offset your tee.

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