We’re going super basic in this edition of the FHM Terno Guide, focusing on the basic-est of basic man wear: the t-shirt!
But first, let’s define some terms. A “tee” (or t-shirt) is your short sleeve round or V-neck everyday friend. A “shirt” is actually shorthand for button-down shirt, which we commonly–and mistakenly–refer to as “polo.” The real “polo” though, is the preppy boy collared shirt. We aren’t making this up–Google image search “men’s polo” and “men’s shirt” if you don’t believe us.
The tee is among the most underrated items of the man-drobe, and as such, is often the victim of misuse that results to fashion disasters. Just because it looks so simple doesn't mean it goes well with freakin' everything!
Read on to see what we mean!
PLAIN ALL-WHITE SHIRT
Image via Blueinc.co.uk
Note that not all plain white tees are made equal. Pay special attention to the thickness of your shirt–don’t be that guy in a borderline sheer top with his man nips on display.
Image via Amazon.com
The good: A trim pair of jeans gives the classic rockstar vibe. The shirt needs to be a great fit on you, but it doesn’t have to be super bicep-(and man fats)-hugging or anything similar, that’s where your well-fitting bottoms come along to clean up the look.
Image via Rustyzipper.com
The bad: Slacks. You undoubtedly look like an off-duty worker/waiter and will give off distinctly haggard vibes to onlookers.
GIF via 99gifs.com
The downright fugly: BOXERS. You shouldn’t even be calling it “dressing up” if you put on boxers when heading out; it’s “dressing down” if anything.
SHIRT WITH MINIMAL PRINT
Image via Teenormous.com
This means a small repeating motif or pattern–tiny polka dots, tiny flags, tiny crocodiles, tiny dildos–lets even throw in the pocket tee with a fancy pocket design in here (it’s minimal enough).
Image via Askmen.com
The good: Khakis. This is the official hipster look, but it’s a good look so maki-uso on this one. The textureless-ness of khakis compared to denim (with its fades, weaves, rips, paint stains, etc.) offsets the intricacy of your shirt nicely.
Image via Urbanupdater.com
The bad: Patterned bottoms–especially those plaid Abercrombie-clone shorts that you can only seem to buy in Greenhills nowadays
Image via Ebay.co.uk
The downright fugly: Tailored chino shorts. Officially the douche uniform, especially when you go with stunt colors like salmon. If you want to look like a douche though, go right ahead.
Image via Twistedenvy.com
Anything with a big graphic: Affliction tees, Manny Pacquaio fight shirts, “Vote for Senator Sam Ting” shirts. These things can have the goods on the front, back, or both.
Image via Ibsammydressgadgets
The good: Solid color shoes. Your kicks are often the loudest part of your outfit, so keeping your footwear plain when your shirt is keeping busy is a good mix. That’s the high-low concept right there!
Image via Theuglysweatershop.com
The bad: Jackets. Well, you did buy the shirt for its graphic–so why cover it up with a jacket? Just saying, bro.
Image via Popafrica.com
The downright fugly: Super loud graphic hat/cap–or even worse, a matching Affliction/Pacquaio hat or something similar. It’s a visual overload and will make you look like you love MMA way too much.
PLAIN ALL-BLACK SHIRT
Image via Amazon.co.uk
Ahh, the “bad boy” staple. It’s also slimming, hides food (and armpit) stains really well, and hindi naninilaw. Why aren’t black shirts enjoying white shirt popularity levels then? See below.
Image via 6pm.com
The good: Dark but not black bottoms. Black and a deep navy blue is handsome minimalism at work. Or try dark gray. Black on black is too goth. This is also a good time to try out some joggers if you’ve always wanted to.
Image via Outdoorworldca.com
The bad: White bottoms–be it shorts or pants. Girls pull this look off all the time and we concede defeat–and who wears white bottoms anyway?
Image via Refinedhype.com
The downright fugly: JEWELRY. This is the quickest way to sleazify/DOM-the-fuck-out of your look. Even more minus points if you’re draped in Saudi gold.
Image via Theadairgroup.com
Whether you made your own or bought it ready to go from a high-street brand, tie-dye shirts just feel fun. And no one will ever tell you it’s time to get rid of a tie-dye shirt because them fading out is part of the appeal.
Image via Linenpage.com
The good: Linen shorts or those couchey gym shorts. Go full chill with your outfit, it’s probably the best way to wear tie-dye, but stay away from any events with any semblance of formality.
Image via Trend-kid.com
The bad: Again, slacks. Tie-dye shirts are the epitome of casual, care-free wear and pairing it with ultra-formal slacks just screams weird.
Image via Ebay.co.uk
The downright fugly: Flared pants. Or no pants. Both of these looks were big in the '60s and both of these looks should stay there.
Image via Asos.com
So trendy that we just have to give them their own entry. Floral tees can come in full color bouquets or single color versions that look like dinner plate designs. It’s also a sneaky way to wear pink without getting called out for wearing pink. We still haven’t seen a sampaguita print though.
Image via Garment.fibre2fashion.com
The good: Blazer. All your favorite bloggers have done it, but it’s still different enough that people will complement your floral shirt-and-coat combo/mad personal style. We guarantee at least one compliment at your next party!
Image via Lyst.com
The bad: Another patterned anything. This is odd looks at the party all night.
Image via Solestruck.com
The fugly: Another floral-print anything. No. You have not solved the “how to wear floral pattern with another pattern” problem. It’s just…too much.