Better than a T

While button-up shirts, vests and suits have their place, there is room in a stylish man’s wardrobe for something a bit more dressed down. Yes a well-made T-shirt can be a part of that, but there are better options out there. Here are a couple.


The polo is the most common and recognizable of the T-shirt upgrade. The main standout is that it has a soft collar. There are usually two but sometimes three buttons. Never do up the top button and don’t ever wear a tie with one of these. It’s a casual shirt.



For me, the henley is a step up from the polo in both uniqueness and overall masculine appearance. I’ve heard it called lumberjack underwear and there’s no problem with having that kind of manly association. Essentially it’s a polo without a collar and can come in both short and long sleeve styles.


And speaking of long-sleeved, the crew-neck thermal is the last of the easy upgrades. What used to be long underwear is great as a layer on its own – especially in the fall. Throw on a tweed jacket and scarf over this guy and you’re set for any activity inside or out during October and November.

None of these options are anything ground breaking but I guarantee they will make you stand out without making you look metro. They’re stylish and masculine which means they’re exactly what you want.

The trick is the same as always, finding something that fits right. For short sleeves, you want the sleeves to hit somewhere in the middle of your bicep. Too low and it looks sloppy, too high and it looks like you’re wearing a child’s shirt. The other length aspect is where it fits on your torso. The rule with the polo is the same with any other casual shirt, it should fit just below or at your belt. Again, if it goes too low it looks sloppy and too high is mid-riff territory. Lastly, you want it to fit your torso. Slim cut, athletic fit, custom fit – whatever the name for it – it just needs to fit your body instead of blousing around you. Thankfully, this cut of shirt is getting easier and easier to find.

The best thing about these shirts is how cheap they are.