“If you were an item of clothing, what would you be and why?” When this question was asked to the iconic Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld in a recent issue of Harper’s Bazaar, what his response? “A white shirt. Because its impeccable.” Karl’s words of wisdom strike a chord with me because one of my personal fashion rules has always been, “All else fails, wear a white T-shirt.”
It is hard to believe that one point in history, the T-shirt was considered underwear and wearing it on its own was socially unacceptable. The T-shirt has come a long way in history’s fashion timeline. The first T-shirts back in the 19th century were made of wool… yes, wool! Can you imagine?! Talk about an all day exfoliator! T-shirts, named for their T like shape, started being mass produced during the Industrial Revolution and became popular during World War I and II. Worn as part of their uniform, the T-shirt quickly became a fashion trend when our war heroes were all donning them after they returned to the States. This armor of cotton represented a sign of manliness. Later, in the 1950’s the reputation of the T-shirt changed a little. Marlon Brando made the T-shirt sexy, the working man across America was wearing the shirt and it became the universal symbol of the laborer, and the first of today’s ‘graphic tee’ appeared in retailers. T-shirts were no longer just reserved for military men, they had become an American fashion staple.
At some point in history women began wearing T-shirts, and thank goodness for that! Now, when I said before, ‘all else fails, wear a white T-shirt’ I by no means am trying to tell all of you that a T-shirt is appropriate to wear for all occasions, because it’s not. HOWEVER, when a T-shirt layered under a fantastically tailored blazer with killer accessories, now that is appropriate! A plain white tee, has been the base to many of my best outfits. It is the perfect canvas to showcase a statement necklace, or pull together a blazer/scarf combo. When picking a T-shirt, pay close attention to its fit and fabric. The shirt shouldn’t be too tight or too see-through, and should have a little bit of stretch to it so it retains its shape. A V-neck shirt looks less casual, so if trying to dress it up, opt out of the traditional crew neck. And when you find your perfect tee, buy them in multiples! White somehow attracts stains whether its red wine or pit stains, so if you find that your’s has any sort of blemish on it, toss it! Lastly, invest in nude undergarments!
So whether it’s tucked under a pencil skirt, or resting on top of denim, the white T-shirt is an effortless choice with so many chic possibilities! Here are two looks, wearable for women of all ages!