Picture the scene. Your alarm fails to rouse you from your cosy slumber and you wake up with five minutes to spare. In the throes of frantic teeth brushing and manic hair slicking, the chances you will throw together an outfit worthy of Moss calibre is unlikely.
In fact, you will probably grab a reliable T-shirt and jeans combo. There couldn’t be a simpler ingredient in an outfit. The trusty T-shirt. This garment may come attached with a dreary and decidedly no-brainer stigma but this season has given T-shirts an upgrade.
It all began with Henry Holland’s nu-rave fashion mottos. The fluorescent Tees emblazoned with witty fashion lingo were the talking point of fashion week and launched the young designer to a new level of fashion status. Even Gareth Pugh and Giles Deacon got in on a slice of the designer’s trademark by wearing their own Holland T-shirts at fashion week in September. It was this T-shirt triumph that lead to the 23 year old designer’s “House of Holland” range launched in Harvey Nichols and Barneys.
In a world where the daily what-to-wear debate is increasingly traumatic, the simplicity of a T-shirt is welcomed with open arms into our wardrobes. Sadly, this is one garment that doesn’t tick the versatility box. Its simplicity detracts from its versatility in that it will never be acceptable to wear a T-shirt to work or any other formal event. No matter how high your heels or how glitzy your jewels; a T-shirt will always denote a nonchalant exterior. On the bright side, this is great news for those who favour LA effortless cool. Hollywood starlets have devoted much time and effort to mastering the art of facile dressing and it is rare a day goes by without one of them being papped in a statement Tee.
Nowadays, T-shirts accommodate all tastes. There have been many replicas of Henry Holland’s luminous, block capital Tees and rock and roll designs can be found in any good vintage shop at little expense. In fact, for an undoubtedly unique design, vintage shops are the perfect hideaway for treasured T-shirts complete with the desirable worn-in look that the high street simply can’t compete with. Having said that, I highly recommend Urban Outfitters for their T-shirt selection. Nowhere else would you find a Carebear T-shirt next to Batman’s T-shirt. Urban Outfitters yields licence to transform you into any superhero you wish to be.
My favourite T-shirt was actually bought for me by one of my best friends. Ever the astute fashionista, she spotted someone wearing the unique T-shirt and pounced on them demanding they reveal where they purchased their trendy top. My friend scampered straight to the shop and bought us both one because I would apparently “absolutely love it”. As always, she was right. It declares “I heart Stella, Tom, Marc, John” and I take great delight in divulging to any confused stranger that it actually states my love for Stella McCartney, Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs and John Galliano and does not represent a bold bisexual statement on my behalf.
Here lies the beauty of T-shirts themselves, you can say anything you want with them. There’s no mistaking one of my closest friends when he struts out in a purple Henry Holland “Come Back To Mine Calvin Klein” T-shirt and such are the virtues of designer Tees. Customise a bargain Tee with bedazzling gems, scribble on your own graffiti or feminise with satin bows and gleaming trinkets. Whatever you think, with T-shirts you can literally get it off your chest.