* The term ‘guys’ is used here as non-gender specific – we are sure all guys, guyzers, guyzettes, guyzinos and every denomination of ‘guy’ will love to join us in celebrating the oversized tee.
Surely, I just throw me oversized t-shirt on with me fave jeans, you say? Simples. But no, guys, now’s the time to treat this classic and devastatingly delicious article of clothing with the respect it demands for 21st century living. A little bit of careful management and attention to detail from you, the proud wearer, and your oversized tee will quickly become a hugely admired buddy to accompany you on all your thrilling adventures.
What is an oversized t-shirt?
Let’s look at what we are actually talking about as far as the loose (excuse the pun) term ‘oversized’ is concerned with the humble tee. Whereas an oversized boyfriend tee can be slouchy and generously proportioned all over the place, the oversized t-shirt style we’re aiming for you fellers to capture, does not simply earn its credentials by having multiple XXXXXX on the label. No, we are looking for a tee which is certainly looser than normal and lacking any trace of a descriptor such as ‘fitted’, ‘tapered’, ‘tailored’ or horror of horrors ‘slim fit’, but which will still appear to have enough shape and form to it, that it does not descend into slobwear.
The perfect oversized t-shirt fit
So, the perfect oversized tee should follow these rules:
- Roomier than usual around your torso and sleeves (sorry, biceps are not centre stage here)
- The length itself does not want to be excessive, but rather of a measure which gives you a ‘boxy’ fit. A workable oversized tee shirt length could fall from hip level to the bottom of your crotch or slightly below (depending on the look you’re going for). If you end up looking like you’re wearing grandad’s nightshirt, time to rewind and find another tee to start the styling process again!
- Sleeve length can be anywhere from your mid-bicep (aha, so these bad boys can still play a cheeky cameo role after all!) to your elbow (even slightly below would still work).
- Make sure your tee is slightly broader so its seams sit below your shoulders. Again, you need to avoid any semblance of either ‘fitted’ or ‘massive’ when you look in the mirror.
The type of oversized t-shirt
The quality of the oversized tee is paramount to its success, and that is where vintage t-shirts come into their own. A heavy retro cotton t-shirt will hang far better on you than its flimsy modern equivalent, however you style it. An additional bonus of the pre-loved tee, is that it will not shrink the first time you wash it and destroy the look you have worked so hard to achieve at the first opportunity. Most vintage tees have been washed and washed again by their previous owner(s), so the item measurements you start with, are more likely than not, the same as those you will end up with the next time you don your handsome t-shirt. The king of all oversized t-shirts are vintage graphic oversized t-shirts.
The bottom half
Of course, a top half tee on its own cannot (decently) be worn in public in isolation, and we need to consider the all-important bottoms to accompany your good-looking upper body pal.
The skinny lower
By choosing a skinny pair of jeans/cargos much like à la 2015s Harry Styles style is a way to do it. It makes the look seem very intentional with a heavy top half and it may be slightly dated but is definitely a good silhouette in our opinion.
The relaxed look
The relaxed look is as it sounds... relaxed. It involves wearing an equally relaxed bottom half. If it is the t-shirt you want to showcase, probably advisable to go for neutral style and tone of bottoms, but if you are heading for the casual relaxed look, then you can always try highlighting patterns and colours in your bottomwear, leaving the tee plain to show off its class. A word of caution here though with the relaxed look, as you do need to be careful not to cross the border into slouchwear. So, choose your cosy joggers, fave sweatpants or comfy jeans carefully to ensure their style provides the best companion piece, and you don’t become completely swamped in your garms.
The straight legged bottoms
A further style you might want to look into here, once you have perfected the tee styling, is to now tuck it into a pair of smart, straight trousers. Nooooooo, we hear you cry!! Not the Simon Cowell look back in fashion??!! We know, we know, those who were about at the time, will have no desire to catch those music-man in his tucked in tee shirt again, but it is a look that really can work, especially when the trousers are not belted too high. Give it go and see what you think.
If you are not uber confident of the pairing, you can always reach for an additional top layer to complete your outfit and take the pressure off. A short jacket can look super cool above an oversized lower layer, or throw on a lengthier coat to see the effect that provides. As with everything, you will need to engage in a certain amount of trial and error in front of a mirror, to achieve a look which makes you feel both comfortable and confident.
No outfit is complete, of course, without the requisite left and right steps at the end, and this is an area you can adapt and tweak to choose the perfect footwear for you. A chunky large boot or retro trainer is the strongly recommended foot apparel here, but more discreet and less dominant sneakers or trainers might also be worth trying out, especially if you really do want everyone to concentrate on your chest rather than your size 14s plonked on the ground! A classic airforce or a pair of Js work really well.
Don’t forget, as with every outfit, a carefully chosen accessory can make a real difference and add that further touch of individuality to your kit. Again, retro necklaces, watches and bracelets can all add infinite class to your garb, so don’t leave the house without a piece … or two. If you’re styling a plain white oversized tee, then silver jewellery should be your first port of call.
Here’s our brief look at further options to pair your oversized tee with other pieces of clothing:
- Add an overlayer, such as over-shirt, denim jacket, oversized jacket, gilet or floating coat
- Include an underlayer, such as a long-sleeved tee (the stripier the better)
- Complement with a pair of wavy patterned or graphic bottoms, such as joggers, trackies, wide-legged trousers and bleached jeans
- Combine with a pair of shorts, including loose fitting gym and swimwear
- Go the full vintage (vintage oversized tee and vintage oversized bottoms)
We really hope you now feel equipped to source and style your perfect vintage oversized tee, decide what best to accompany it with, and are ready to step boldly forth into whichever missions lie ahead. But, stop! Just a minute, my friend, not so fast! Before you exit eagerly to share your incredible new style with the other chaps and chappesses in your life, we must ask you to schedule a meeting between your new bestie tee and the household iron. Nobody is going to be impressed with a crumplezone, however beautifully you have styled your tee, so avoid this crucial maintenance and care step in our guide at your peril!
We’d love to see what style you develop yourself as far as all things oversized tee are concerned, so please share your style ideas and photos on our Insta @domno.vintage and we can all enjoy the diversity of looks you have achieved.