One of the most undervalued basics a man can ever have in his wardrobe is the black t-shirt. Often pushed to the forgotten corners of the wardrobe, black t-shirts are today making a quiet comeback – and they can add a slick aesthetic to your look if you play your cards right. From styles to combos to the right fit, this is your complete guide on different styles of wearing black tees.
T-shirts these days play a crucial role in the smart-casual space for men. Black t-shirts, in particular, add to this dress code but with a slicker aesthetic. It is black after all!
Ask any T-shirt enthusiast and they will tell you that the major defining factor to any t-shirt and not just black t-shirts is their neckline design.
Crew necks are the most common type which features a rounded neckline. The second most common type of t-shirt is the v-neck: a slightly fashionable form of the crew neck which pairs better with blazers.
The grandad neck with the button placket form of the t-shirt is best suited to layering with denim jackets and cardigans.
Remember Ryan Gosling in Drive? He famously wore a white one with jeans to great effect and the same can be said for the solid black tee variant.
What to wear with a black t-shirt for men
Let us take a look at different styles of wearing black tees for men.
For blazer and denim combos we suggest pairing a v-neck tee as this draws attention to the centre of the body. Those who are going the full suit route with blazer and trousers can opt for the rounded neck t-shirts as this gives off a real Euro summer vibe without dropping your fashionista points.
The Style Blackout
This one is simple and fuss-free and a big winner! When the stand-out aspect of your T-shirt lies in its minimalism, learn to integrate the biggest trend of the last decade in fashion. Embrace it and surround your black tee with reflective coordinated styling and pieces.
An all-black outfit is perfect for those who aren’t big on throwing too much colour into their everyday wardrobe style. If black is used right, you could stand a chance at looking like a real winner here. Plus, black looks sophisticated so you can ace the casual yet luxe look easy.
All-black is not sartorially adventurous enough for you? Well, you don’t have to get worked up. Staying within a monochrome colour scheme and pairing your tee with whites and greys can prove equally yielding and easy to style.
Again, your tee is the anchor in the outfit here, setting the foundation right while pairing with lighter elements to layer onto is what works best as you could opt for a solid black baseball tee.
White trousers are a natural choice, to balance the darker top half and create a contrast. Choose to accessorise with washed denim or a monochrome jacket for a neat finish. Alternatively, keep the blackout base and throw on a light-hued blazer when you need to tackle that tricky smart-casual dress code.
These days black t-shirts are used as a base layer under cardigans, jackets and blazers a lot. To accentuate this kind of layering style, it is imperative to understand that there’s an art to picking the right black tee shirt. Especially, if you want to spice things up.
Choosing the right black tee
There are generally just three cuts of tees for men and they fall under slim fit, regular fit and baggy fit. Each one has their place in the menswear space depending on personal preference and body type.
However, some quick ground rules that can help to select right:
- slim fit t-shirts are best paired to slim-fit bottoms whether that is pants, jeans or shorts.
- regular black t-shirts can be worn with slim and baggier bottoms.
- Baggy black t-shirts can be worn with baggier fit bottoms or tight-fitting ones like Kanye if you’re going for the street luxe look or trying to be a Virgil Abloh protégé.
The Black T-shirt & Jacket Combo
As one of the most stylish and versatile looks, the black tee and jacket combo can take a man from a smart casual day at work to an evening of drinks. As you can see there’s no limit to the style of jackets as well. A denim jacket is an obvious choice with black tees. Make the denim jacket colour different to the colour of the jeans otherwise you’ll pull off a double denim overkill. You don’t want to be that guy!
A suede jacket is also a sharper way to wear the black t-shirt and is very casual cool in a multipurpose wholesome way. And then there is the bomber jacket that redefines every T-shirt and you can’t go past without. Given the neutral tone of a black t-shirt, you can let the jacket colour, texture and detail do all the talking.
Super simple stuff, right?
The right bottoms: Jeans or Joggers?
Jeans should be a wardrobe essential in every man’s closet and their pairing with black t-shirts is anything but boring.
Take one Justin Theroux for example.
As a very dedicated lover of the black t-shirt, Theroux has paired it with all variations of denim from washed indigo jeans to white jeans to black jeans. Finding the right fit is key to owning this look with skinny jeans in any colour.
Those who aren’t fans of form-fitting pants can opt for a more regular fit with rolled cuffs paired to leather boots. This casual look is more representative of motorcycle styling and will give you a masculine edge. White jeans or lighter coloured pants paired to black t-shirts are more for the fashionably inclined. It’s a look which works best during the warmer seasons.
You can also pair joggers with tees! Say hello to their sporty aesthetic and slim-cut design and revolutionise your look! It’s always best to pair it with a slim-fit black t-shirt. It’s a cleaner look but people have championed the oversized black tee and jogger combo as well.
The latter is a more popular street style athleisure so it all depends on your preference.
Styling a black tee eventually comes down to one’s personal style and aesthetics. The key is to balance and not go overboard. Have fun while at it though!
Frequently Asked Questions
- What matches with a black t-shirt?
Black T-shirt is a flexible garment. Hence, many pairings depending on one’s taste can be made possible. Match a black T-shirt with jeans, denim, jackets, pants, joggers, blazers and a whole lot of other options. The world is your oyster in this situation.
- How do you style a Black t-shirt?
In more ways than one, the Black t-shirt can be styled ranging from street casual to street luxe. Time and occasion along with personal preference can also set a guideline.