And why sometimes it is perfectly acceptable to spend more than £200 on a t-shirt (no matter what your friends might say).
If you thought that the era of logo tees had finally come to an end when you left high school, you might be totally mistaken.
Or at least partly so.
Back in the early 2000s, when scrunchies and velour tracksuits were actually something you wanted to be seen wearing, graphic tees were the ultimate choice for the cool and trendy girl (or young woman, although it might be quite embarrassing to remember) who wanted do dress comfortably cute.
Brands like Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister and Paul Frank were able to build an empire on simple pieces of cloth with three holes and cringey slogans.
While we proudly flashed oddly stretched monkey faces right in the middle of our cleavage and glittery slogans of self acceptance difficult to read, we didn’t really realise how much we would have actually regretted those outfits one day.
And right when we decide to plug our USB in a laptop to permanently delete any evidence of those days, graphic tees decide to have a big comeback, spotted on catwalks, worn by celebrities and impossible to escape in every high street shop.
But, as Hamlet would say, “ay, there’s the rub!”. Because if you’re thinking of going back to your parent’s house to raid your old closet, hoping to find a vintage and original t-shirt to sport with a pair of distressed mom jeans, I’m sorry to inform you that it will be useless.
The only fashionable logo tees nowadays have to follow the rules of the titans of fashion and haute couture, otherwise they remain a terrible faux pas. Even if you really think that you are ‘with stupid’ or that ‘no one is ugly after 2am’, there is no excuse to wear it on your torso.
The rules for the perfect graphic tee are: preferably designer, simple styles, sober colours and neat pairings.
It’s commonly known that even if they are ‘just tees’, designer ones don’t come cheap. But if you’re seriously thinking of spending those pounds, it would probably be a clever investment.
And this is why: tees are versatile, can be dressed up or down, look good almost on everyone and can be worn in so many different combinations of outfits, that the frequent use would certainly pay off the price. Plus, they are the non plus ultra of casual and effortless style.
- This overly-paparazzed and already a classic white t-shirt from Dior (that has had an amazing exploit since Maria Grazia Chiuri became creative director, but that’s another story). £490
2. This subtle Tommy Hilfiger design that is basically screaming to be paired with an oversized denim jacket. £35
3. This embellished Dolce & Gabbana piece that has written ‘I was there’ in Italian on it, so you can flaunt your knowledge and pretend to be a multi-lingual genius in front of your friends. £995
- This black Moschino embellished t-shirt. Too long, too colourful, too embellished. Where do you even want to go wearing this? £325
2. This design by Louis Vuitton. Challenging the 00s nostalgia with a logo t-shirt is a thing, doing it so with a 80s reminiscent pattern and way too bold colours is another. Avoid this, please. £465
3. This Wildfox manifesto piece, whose slogan is too high-school for it to be taken seriously. When going for slogans, choose something short, witty and with a simple font. Plus, the more provocative, the better. £69.95
But how to pair it?
When paying £400 for a t-shirt, it is only natural wanting to be sure that that money is more than well spent.
Fortunately, being such an adaptable garment, it can be worn in almost every way. With some rules, obviously.
So, no to leggings, running shoes, and excessive jewellery. The first makes it look cheap, the last like you’re trying too much (and no one wants to be seen trying too much, right?).
Yes to tulle, plissé and short denim skirts, minimal necklaces and well fitting jeans. Think of it like your favourite crisp, white, and perfect shirt. You could casually tuck it in your bottoms for an “oh, this old thing?” effect or tie it on your navel to show off your tan. It it basically impossible to go wrong.
Essentially, don’t dress it too up, don’t dress it too down. Easy, right?
By Paola Giusti