Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Thinking About Tees

It's been a while now since I last purchased a new tee shirt, a gray linen v-neck from H&M (old, similar in other colors) back in June 2017 (unless we count my LinenFox "Mona" top from April 2019, which I don't really because it's dressier than a typical tee). I currently own three tees that I wear outside my home or the gym: (1) that H&M gray linen v-neck; (2) an Everlane white linen scoop-neck (old, discontinued); and (3) an Everlane black v-neck in cotton (old, similar) purchased around 2013 or 2014, before I started this blog. 

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In truth, tee shirts are not a mainstay of my wardrobe, even on weekends. Throughout spring and NYC's typically long summer - I've only just stopped wearing my summer outfits more often than not, in mid-October! - I generally don't reach for separates at all, I strongly prefer to wear dresses. Back when I started this blog, tees played a bigger role in my casual outfits for fall/winter when I wore more cardigans on the weekends. Since 2019 or so, however, I've preferred pullover sweaters rather than cardigans, so my tees only really get used for layering purposes, and thennthey're completely hidden. 

But during my recent travels - to Crested Butte, CO in mid-August and upstate New York in late September - where the temperatures and settings didn't suit my light summer dresses, but also didn't require sweaters, I found myself feeling like I'd outgrown the styles in my current tee collection. Back when I was buying those tees in 2017 and earlier, I avoided crew necks because I found higher-cut crew necks unflattering for my bust. Over time, however, as my proportions have changed somewhat with age and a few periods of significant lifestyle changes due to long commutes or the COVID pandemic, I'm actually finding I may prefer the look of a higher-cut crew neck over some of the alternatives. 

For a while now, I've been feeling like more typical or classic, somewhat higher-cut v-necks like on the Everlane cotton tee (similar) are just not flattering to my current bust and shoulders, at least to my eyes and because I'm a bit self-conscious about those parts of my body. That type of higher v-neck just feels awkward on me right now. As for my linen tees, both the very wide v-neck from H&M (similar in other colors) and the rather open scoop-neck from Everlane are just a bit too wide or open for my tastes now. With those tees' intentionally relaxed fits combined with their low necklines, both could easily shift around as I go about my day and accidentally expose my bra at times. They just feel sloppy to me now as a result, and so I'm not fully comfortable wearing them out by themselves anymore. Also, I think I'd prefer cotton jersey to linen as a material, the linen can feel a little less smooth on the skin. 

Long story short, I'm currently in the market for a few new tee shirts, maybe two or three total (one white and one black, maybe also one in gray). Though I feel like tees may be difficult to shop for online, since so much depends on how exactly a specific tee will sit on one's body, something very difficult to discern from store photography on mostly very tall, slim models. In the past, I've found that seemingly near-identical basic tee shirts from different brands can all fit me very differently. I'm currently thinking of starting with an ATM Anthony Thomas Mellilo schoolboy slub cotton tee in black (also available here; as recommended by Michelle) and a James Perse vintage boy cotton jersey tee in white (also available here). 

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