Has the classic white t-shirt ever been cooler? Over the last few years, you’d be hard-pressed to find a man who hasn’t made the simplest of simple garments a staple of his spring and summer style game. And for good reason—a pristine white t-shirt goes a long way. It pairs with literally everything, it’s comfortable, and it’s affordable. (Well, unless it’s Kanye West’s $120 version.) Also, it’s undeniably cool. Like, Brando cool, Dean cool, even Elvis cool. The white tee is up there with blazers and Chuck Taylors in the pantheon of menswear classics that will never go out of style.
The only problem with the plain white t-shirt is the fact that there are countless of them. I’m pretty sure there are more white t-shirts for sale online right now than there are Lisa Ann videos. Yes, everything from cheap versions to old-school models by Hanes and Jockey to luxury ones by Dolce and Gabbana and Tom Ford. Depending on which one you get, you’ll invariably find something wrong with it. Maybe it’s too baggy or too loose. Maybe the sleeves fan out like a throw-back Brett Favre jersey. Maybe your midsection is too tight. Don’t even get me started on the breast pocket.
But worry not, fellas. I’m here to provide some clarity.
For my money, the single greatest white t-shirt on the market is this one right here, the Armani Exchange Pima cotton crew.
Why this one, you ask?
For starters, it’s made of Pima cotton, so it’s not remotely scratchy. Also, it holds up under multiple washings and it doesn’t bag in the neck. If you’ve got anything remotely resembling a pair of guns, you’ll find that the sleeve length will fall at just the right level to enhance your “horseshoe.” And—here’s the ultimate clincher—they’re two for forty bucks.
Menswear buffs might stop me to say, “Giorgio Armani? But isn’t he the ‘dean of clean’—the gold standard of ultra-high-end tailored wear?” To which I’d reply: yes, he is.
But remember: Armani’s ability to be a master of both suiting and casualwear makes total sense. For one thing, a plain t-shirt is a staple of Mr. Armani’s personal uniform. Outside of black-tie events, the man is constantly wearing one. And because it’s Armani, the Pima cotton crew is actually built to go with tailoring. It looks just as good with a suit as it does with jeans.
Just don’t forget the only rule of white t-shirts: they need to be in good condition. If it’s dirty, wash it. If it’s stained, throw it out.
There’s a fine line between looking chic and looking like a slob.
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