The Top Five T-Shirts Of Summer
The statement tees to make you stand out this season.
A picture is worth a thousand words – doubly so when it’s emblazoned on a T-shirt. Long a staple of streetwear, statement tees have since been welcomed into the upper echelons of the fashion world with open arms, especially by those who wear their hearts on their sleeve (and we’re not only talking about Comme des Garçons).
So, assuming you’re the kind of guy who wants your clothing to say more, or someone who sees them as a way of expressing themselves, here are five T-shirts to help you make a big statement this summer. Quite what that statement is can be up for interpretation.
Recently departed creative director Mr Riccardo Tisci’s spectacular efforts at Parisian label Givenchy made him one of contemporary menswear’s driving forces. His knack for mixing luxury fabrics with streetwear favourites has seen him define a singular aesthetic in recent collections. But his boxy silhouettes, punkish materials and statement prints transcend the runways, also finding favour with the likes of Messrs Kanye West and David Beckham. The snarling rottweiler is perhaps his most famous emblem – intended to reflect the designer’s rebellious spirit. On a tee like this, it should be paired with tailored black trousers and a leather jacket to give your off-duty wardrobe a bold focal point. (And as it's part of one of his final collections with the label, you’ll need to make like those dogs’ jaws and snap it up fast.)
Gucci creative director Mr Alessandro Michele is a brilliant raconteur. His collections seem to narrate 100 tales, through erudite references and clever riddles. Yet, Snoopy, Donald Duck and a bizarre menagerie of tigers, rabbits and fire-breathing dragons are also part of his wondrous and seductive fantasy world. So, what better way to add some character to your outfit than with one of his nostalgic tees? Cut from smooth cotton-jersey and worn to give it a vintage effect, it’s perfectly suited to light-wash jeans or mid-length shorts. As Donald Duck once quipped: “Life without me, how boring would that be?” We couldn’t agree more.
Summer style and nautical stripes are synonymous thanks to the mighty Breton shirt. Originally worn by sailors from Brittany, the style was later adopted by the French navy to distinguish them from the waves should they fall overboard. Those distinctive yet cool geometric lines were later popularised by the likes of Messrs James Dean and Paul Newman and have become a modern menswear staple. But how do you switch up the style from classic to contemporary? NN07’s take immediately puts us in mind of a relaxing beach-side holiday, gin spritz in hand, only with enough going on to make it suitable for a night out in the city. Oh, and while you’re here, we suggest you take the opportunity to invest in some new summer shorts and a fresh pair of sunglasses to wear with it.
Often it’s only on the beach or by the pool that men feel comfortable enough to wear florals. But this season, a new – more fertile, less furtive – mood has swept menswear, with luxuriant blooms and dense foliage bursting forth in unexpected ways and in unusual places. Admittedly, florals can be a little intimidating to wear (and sometimes bring to mind Grandma’s chintzy plastic-coated sofa), so why not opt for something a little more subdued? Characterful, but never too forced, Marni’s smooth-cotton tee features a block abstract botanical pattern that will liven up a tired casual roster. Pair yours with ankle-grazing trousers and a pair of chunky sandals for extra style points.
Isn’t it great when two of your favourite things come together? Like this – Neil Barrett’s “Hybrid” collection, made in collaboration with Interview magazine. It consists of printed tees and sweaters featuring some of the pop-culture bible’s most iconic covers, including stars such as Jay Z (shown here coming face-to-face with Mr Robert De Niro), Mr Leonardo DiCaprio and Mr Brad Pitt. Keep things monochrome and throw it on with a pair of black ripped jeans and white sneakers. Bring on the fash mag mash-ups!