I know a thing or two about being utterly disgusting.
In my early twenties, I was an aesthetic Jeckle and Hyde. By day I’d roam the streets as a colorful fashion queen, prancing about in platforms and larger-than-life sunglasses that periodically engulfed my face, and by night I resembled a disheveled vagabond and reeked of MSG and old pizza. Ah yes, those were the days. In my place of rest, away from the public eye (which I imagined was obsessed with my wardrobe configurations) I wore the same outfit day-in and day-out. A black, oversized tee shirt with pandas flying pizzas while shooting lasers out of their eyes that had holes all around the collar as I would use it as a makeshift chew toy during anxious plot twists of Gilmore Girls marathons… and well, no pants.
I washed it, perhaps, once every three months. When it began to smell, I would lay it out in the sun and was convinced the sun’s rays of life would somehow extricate the odors. This was not the case as it emanated an odor that made grown men cry and seemed to bring about aggression in small children that came within a yard of me.
In the beginning, this was my understanding of tee shirts: they were odor-incubating, throwaway items that were designed for private lounge wear exclusively. Thankfully I have since learned the error of my ways and discovered that a simple basic tee shirt can be just as glamorous as a pair of platforms and oversized, face-eating sunglasses if given the right adaptation. This week we will explore 3 easy ways to tweak a basic tee shirt in your closet into simple style queen status.
Tweak #1: Tucked In
Perhaps the idea of tucking your shirt into your pants reminds you a little too much of middle management ensembles on casual Fridays where polos are tucked into sterile-toned khakis, massive camel toes are present, and you look like a zealous golf caddie. I promise you this is not the look I speak of as there is nothing that will take your look from zero to hero like tucking in your shirt. In a matter of seconds, you will have transformed yourself from a Ho-Hum-Hillary to a stylish, Bodacious-Betty. The simple act of tucking a basic tee shirt raises your leg line and gives you a makeshift tailored look. Suddenly, a blobby boyfriend-cut tee sits against your waistline and is now flattering against your shape.
There are so many invented and “innovative” ways to tuck your shirt. But to look fabulous without much maneuvering, simply follow this: after tightly tucking in your shirt completely, raise your arms overhead to untuck just the right amount of fabric that is flattering to your leg line. This will vary depending on the length of the tee shirt, but in general, don’t pull any more fabric than would cover the first 2 inches of the button of your dark wash jean. Wear this tucked look with a pair of skinny jeans and a pointed toe heel and you have achieved casual chic in a matter of seconds.
Tweak #2: Rolled Sleeves
The basic tee shirt begs for you to reinvent it. If you listen quietly, you can hear it calling to you when all is still in your home…“do something new with me, dammit!” There is nothing that will reinvent your basic tee like a very simple roll of your sleeves. This small adaptation to your look will add visual interest and also provide a bit of faux structure to an otherwise flowing tee shirt. The simple rolled sleeve is an easy way to showcase your chiseled guns without looking like you just came from a Grease audition. To master this easy look, use the palm of your hand to gently roll the the sleeves up about an inch. Keep this bad boy tucked into a pair of dark wash jeans and strappy heels and you have somehow elevated a boring tee shirt to epic stylish proportions in the matter of seconds.
Tweak #3: Off The Shoulder
There is nothing more effortlessly sexy than a hint of exposed shoulder. While you will not be able to accomplish this look in a standard V-necked tee, any kind of scoop necked tee like the one I have picture below lends itself to some easy tee shirt transformation. The scoop neck offers a deeper, wider neckline that works to lengthen the neck and highlight the collarbone. The act of changing the neckline by pulling it towards the shoulder alters the look of the shirt entirely and can easily take you from grocery shopping endeavors to a comfy and simultaneously sexy date night ensemble. To finish this look, I have tucked it into a colorful maxi skirt and platform heels, and suddenly my slouchy tee has been transformed into a spicy and expressive head turning creation.
While once reserved for romping around pant-less away from the public eye in the wee hours of the night, the tee shirt can now be effortlessly incorporated into any stylish ensemble fit for your daytime needs. A simple tuck, roll, or an exposed shoulder can take your basic tee from being pedestrian to the hero of your outfit. So grab a slice of pizza, find your nearest laser-shooting-panda, and tweak that tee into style queen status!