Style File: The Non-Workout T-Shirt

You’ve got a great sense of style . . . Where have you been shopping lately?  I’m looking for those really unique (and comfy) tees but haven’t had much luck anywhere. Any suggestions?
Hi Jill:
Style is, of course, highly subjective, but thank you so much for recognizing mine.  I have also been told I dress like Mrs. Roper and, on occasion, a man (I went through a vest/trouser phase when I worked at Boston magazine).  In other words, when it comes to fashion: to each, their own!
Whatever your personal style, T-shirts are a comfortable and cool wardrobe essential, for fitness or fashion.  And they’re increasingly fashionable, today, with many more options than your basic, boxy-cut design.  However, if you like the retro look, American Apparel makes great variations on the original (see below).
Brainstorming in a basic tee.
For more stylized versions that are also super comfortable, I’ve had good luck at H & M this season.  I bought this tank (below) in two colors and have had them on steady rotation all summer.  I even bought a couple for Erin the Intern, as they caught her eye around her birthday last month.  (She’d also like you to know she’s a fan of Vince tees).  Side note: the H & M shirt is somewhat sheer, so in the interest of saving you a wardrobe malfunction, you’ll need to layer.  Forever 21 can impress with some of its tops, too.  I bought colorful and striped cotton tees in NYC when I was there to cover Yoga at the Great Lawn: The World’s Largest Yoga Event.
(Left to right): Me, Eliza (lululemon, Boston), yoga teacher Amy Leydon, and Goldie (lululemon, Boston).
I thought it might help if I polled some of my most fashion-forward friends, too, for their insight.  Answers ran the gamut from stocking up on T-shirts in Asia because he prefers the slimmer fit (photographer friend, Jonathan), to praising purveyor of the effortless chic James Perse (retail expert pal, Vinitha), to seeing tees as wearable art from hard to find labels like Comme des Garcons PLAY and nautical inspired designs from Rogues Gallery (artist and graphic designer dude Matt), to steering clients toward the classic and cost effective white v-necks at Club Monaco (stylist and personal shopper, Alisa).
I hope this helps with your search for the perfect shirt.  Remember, it’s not what you wear, but how you rock it, gal.
Comfy & cool summer wishes,
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  • Gena Bean

    Hi- I'd like to mention that shopping for clothes can be a study in ahimsa if you choose to engage yogic principals off the yoga mat and in the clothing racks. Many clothing stores use sweatshop labor, which is an important consideration for human suffering. For environmental ahimsa, consider what impact using new materials has, as well as non-organic sourcing.
    One of my own yoga students recently asked me where I got my fabulous outfit. I was happy to announce that my shirt was from Buck-A-Pound (very stylish thift-esque store in Cambridge) and my pants were from Goodwill.
    That is not always the case for all of my clothing, but every bit helps. Reduce Reuse Rethink Revive 8)

  • Om Gal

    Awesome input, Gena. Thank you for sharing. Agreed: everything little bit helps. Always.