Thursday, 22 July 2010

Colour Wheel of Tees

I admit it is a truly self indulgent thing to own this many t-shirts.  Even more self indulgent is to be able to sit around photographing them after they have been laundered and folded.  As my free time is about to abruptly end with the onset of gainful employment I thought I'd better make the most of the few idle days left.  Obsessing about t-shirts seems about as good a pastime as any.

In my defence I will say that prior to reading several style guides over the last year I was pretty shameful in the dressed down department.  If I didn't need to be smart, and even worse when it became cold, I quickly became a slob and at home I was likely to be in old tees, sweaters and tracksuit pants that had been slept in, were falling apart or both.   When you live with a partner this starts to take its toll.  I wanted to stop being an eyesore during the hours of the day when my boyfriend was most likely to see me!  I was after that relaxed layered look that the Californians do so well but discovered there were several missing links in my wardrobe, namely easy to wear knitwear and t-shirts.  My previous style strategy was to spend money of clothes I like going out in, like cocktail dresses or sparkly tops, rather than things I wear everyday.  How often do I go out?  See the dresses pie chart and bar graph in a previous post for an indication.  So accordingly I have recently reversed this spending pattern.  I threw out all my midriff t-shirts and any old "at home" tees or relegated them to workout wear and invested in a new t-shirt wardrobe.

The style advice regarding a causal wardrobe all boils down to more or less the same advice on tees.

"Arm yourself with tees" is the advice given in Harper's Bazaar Great Style guide as a trick to make the most of your wardrobe and get your clothes to go the distance - "Play with different weights and fabrics."  A white tee is hailed as an "ultimate classic" a timeless staple and a foundation for layering and "when you find the best fit and fabric, stock up!"  On the subject of essential elements to a great dressed down wardrobe: "Layering pieces are fundamental.  Whether your low-key look of choice is a simple white tee, two vests at a time, or a poloneck tucked under your sweater, have stacks of them in different styles and fabric weights.  They can be the basis for nearly any outfit."

I guess I took them seriously or they have succeeded in brainwashing me.

It is a testimony to the quality of Cos tees that I have ended up adding this many of them to my t-shirt wardrobe.  All for less than what a couple of Wang or Kain tees would have come to mind you.  They have multiplied my casual wardrobe options to the extent that I no longer complain of having nothing to wear when facing getting dressed.  They actually make me want to get out of my pyjamas and get dressed!  I noticed that as soon as the first few Cos tees I bought went into the wash I would pine for them as suddenly a key element of a new outfit possibility would be missing.  Perhaps I should just do the laundry more often - but instead I have just ended up expanding my tee options in both styles and colours.

Although they aren't the cheapest on the market (Zara and Uniqlo are less than half the price) they use a much finer knit lending them a luxe, slinky feel and a causal but elegant fit.  Some I plan to wear with suits to the office.  The fabrics they are made from also ensure they are luxuriously soft and so whisper thin that you can easily layer them up without adding bulk to your outfit.  I tend to only buy the ones made out of 100% cotton, viscose or modal.  I find anything that throws even just a little bit of polyester into the mix instantly stiffens the fabric so that the fit is more boxy.  Personally, I prefer my t-shirts to drape softly across my body.  I have also bought within a neutral colour palette which goes with everything.  They are all round or scoop neck which is all Cos seem to do at the moment.  But for my V necks there is always Zara and Uniqlo!

Even my boyfriend has noticed the difference and has complimented me some days on how I am dressed.  I should be suitably armed now for that dreaded professional minefield of Dress Down Fridays!

Black cotton round neck swing t-shirt dress with 3/4 length sleeves
Black double faced cotton round neck t-shirt with short sleeves
Dark Navy viscose scoop neck t-shirt with short sleeves and pocket detail
Navy cotton singlet
Charcoal cotton scoop neck t-shirt with short sleeves
Pale Slate Grey modal viscose t-shirt dress with short sleeves and shallow asymmetrical V neckline with ruching
Silver Grey cotton round neck t-shirt with long sleeves
Pale Grey cotton round neck t-shirt with short sleeves
Cream cotton round neck t-shirt with short sleeves
Off-white viscose scoop neck t-shirt with short sleeves and pocket detail
Bright white cotton scoop neck t-shirt with short sleeves

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