The T-Shirt

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by Andrew Jacobs

The t-shirt, along with socks and underwear, is the most universally owned item of clothing. This commonality often makes us forget just how versatile t-shirts can be.

With spring just around the corner here in Madison, jackets and sweatshirts are finally coming off, placing t-shirts at center stage. The problem, however, is that almost every guy on campus wears the same, run-of-the-mill style of shirt. In my opinion, crew-necked Badger t-shirts aesthetically transform a very diverse and unique student population into an undistinguishable mass.

Don’t get me wrong, on game day there is nothing like the camaraderie those t-shirts foster amongst the student population. However, style is an expression of individualism, which is lost when these shirts define a day-to-day aesthetic. To separate yourself from the crowd, let’s focus on two distinguishable elements.

First, let’s look at the neckline. On the street, the t-shirts that really catch my attention are those with unique necklines. Crew-necks, v-necks, u-necks, and scoop-necks are just a few options. The key is to maintain an open mind and not to be afraid of trying something different. So next time you’re in the market for a new t-shirt, go for something a little out of the box.

Like the neckline, there are many different options when it comes to sleeve length. This could be something you’ve never thought of before, but it can really set you apart. As I mentioned in my previous entry with regards to pant length, guys often think in polar terms; either long or short sleeves, either long pants or shorts. There are, however, many options in between.  Try buying shirts with unusual sleeve lengths or experiment with rolling them up to different lengths. Make this your own and do what looks best.

Once again, I admit I am no style expert. My goal is not to tell you how to dress but to get you thinking of what you can do differently. The t-shirt is so common that we often take it for granted. However, if you focus on the details of it – the neckline, the lengths, and the fit in general – you can make the simplest of garments stand apart.

Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone a little bit. After all, risk-taking can help you discover great things.


photos courtesy of Ben Watts, Street Etiquette and Tommy Ton