Can a T-shirt be a statement piece?

The t-shirt has always been an underutilised piece of an outfit, often being covered by sweaters, shirts, and jackets. Because of this, when summer rolls around and the layers have to come off, we are often left wondering how to use a t-shirt as a centre-point. Today, we've selected four ways in which you can start to think about the types of tees you wear, and how to pair them with other pieces to style some outfits for the hotter days. 


Kicking things off with something simple but effective, colour is something that can work wonders in elevating an outfit. By understanding what pairs with both your skin tone and the other clothes you own, pulling more vibrant tees out can really bring some intrigue into your wardrobe. Here, we've gone for a Warehouse 4601 in Salmon, paired with a similarly coloured bandana, and some mid-wash jeans. The 4601 comes in a huge range of colours, so it's a great place to start if you're after some more vibrant pieces, but Merz b. Schwanen, Dubbleworks, and TOYS McCOY all do similarly bright basics.


Speaking of TOYS McCOY, the heritage veterans stock an incredibly varied selection of tees. First, we'll look at one of their vintage cartoon print ringer tees. A graphic tee can be a great way of adding more texture to an outfit without layering, as the design becomes the centre-point. Here, we've paired the black 'jomo' Woody Woodpecker tee with some Buzz Rickson chinos and a lovely pair of Red Wing oxfords to create an airy smart-casual look. TOYS McCOY's range of graphic tee's includes characters like Snoopy, Felix the Cat, and Mighty Mouse, so it's definitely worth a look to see what designs take your fancy.


Another great way to play around with t-shirts are their weight, of which we stock a huge variety. From lighter weight offerings by Warehouse, to heavyweight undershirts from ONI and Merz, there's a great selection to experiment with and find what works for you. In this category, we've broken the rules slightly to include a short sleeve sweatshirt from TOYS McCOY, a fantastic mix of a tee and lightweight sweater. The weight of the garment sits right on the edge of the shirt/sweater category, but its more relaxed fit suits the more unpredictable summer days much easier to dress for. You can either pair it up with a full military look like we've done here, or dress it up into an Ivy League style which works incredibly well to achieve a smart, sporty aesthetic.


Finally, playing around with the cuts and sleeve lengths of a tee is a fantastic way to find standalone pieces that can also be used to layer. Freewheelers specifically are fantastic at this, with their range of striped long-sleeves being some of the most well constructed in the shop. For this, we've styled a black and white variant with some faded Lee Archive jeans, and finished the outfit with an always reliable Red Wing Moc Toe. Tees like these give a real moto-inspired look, and when the weather starts to turn, vests can be layered over the top to keep the arms expose and really go down that biker route.