Wardrobe Basic: The T-Shirt

photo:InStyle 7/2016

The fourth installment of the Fit-Along series of Wardrobe Basics is the classic T-shirt.  If you missed the last three, you can read about the denim jacket here, the classic white shirt here and the sheath dress here

The t-shirt is the quiet workhorse in your wardrobe.  It is not the most exciting item you have but without it our wardrobe wouldn’t be the same.  It works well as a layering piece worn under just about anything-denim jackets, suits, an unbuttoned classic blouse, jumpsuit or sheath dress.  It can also stand on its own worn with a pencil skirt, dress slacks and of course the classic combo t-shirt and jeans. And it’s perfect for showing off statement jewelry or scarfs! 

 Photo: U.S. Naval Historical Center,  Wikimedia Commons, Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The T-shirt was originally 
called the undershirt and in the late 1800’s was considered taboo to wear in public.  In 1905, the US Navy adopted the undershirt as part of their uniform. The word t-shirt was first used by the author F.Scott Fitzgerald in 1920 in his novel, This Side of Paradise But is was Marlon Brando in the movie A Streetcar Named Desire that made the t-shirt popular to the mass public. Today, the t-shirt is a fashion statement for men and women!

 Fabric Selection

White Rayon Jersey KnitBlack Rayon Jersey Knit  

Lightweight knit fabrics with lycra or spandex have excellent stretch and recovery, an important attribute for t-shirts.  The two rayon jerseys featured are classic colors to have in your wardrobe.  

 Pattern Selection

 I won’t be able to cover all of the many varied figure types and some patterns can work for more than one figure type.  But I hope this will help you to look at patterns more critically and analyze what will best work for you. When selecting a pattern for a T-shirt look at the neckline, the sleeve and the hem and select the styles that will work for your figure type.  Be sure to sign up for Sew Much Fabric’s mailing list (scroll to the bottom of the home page) for additional exclusive information including updates on videos by Sew-to-Fit for pattern alterations to get that perfect fit!  

Knit t-shirts are a great way to show off this figure type!  The stretch factor molds to show off the curves.  But be careful to not over-fit (read too tight) or this classic style becomes too suggestive! 
Pattern Suggestion: McCalls 6355

Neckline: V-neck, Scoop neck

Sleeve: Set-in or Raglan

Hem: Just below hip bone or a curved hem

Defining the waist and softening the shoulder area with a wide neckline will balance the lower half of the inverted triangle.  

Pattern SuggestionBurda Style 09/2014 #125

Neckline: Wide v-neck or wide boat neck 

Sleeves: Raglan, set-in 

Hem:  Few inches below hipbone  

This figure type looks great in interesting necklines and sleeves!  They bring all the attention to the upper body.   

Pattern Suggestion: StyleArc Emily Knit Top

Neckline: V-neck line, crew neck, square, any interesting neckline

Sleeves: Cap sleeve (extends the shoulder), elbow length sleeve to define the waist.

Hem: End at the top of the hip

The t-shirt should skim across the body especially around the mid-section.    

Pattern Suggestion: Burda Style 01/2015 #129

Neckline: V-neck, scoop neck, boat-neck

Sleeve: High armhole will help to define space between your arm and torso.  Try a hem on a slight diagonal.

Hem: Stopping the hem at the fullest part of the tummy will give the appearance of cutting your stomach in half.  

Ruching at the side seams, a breast pocket and the diagonal line of the raglan sleeves are nice details that create curves for this figure type.      
Pattern SuggestionStyle Arc Ann T-Top

Neckline: Crew neck or scoop
Sleeve: Drop shoulder, set-in or raglan
Hem: Hi-low hem or just above the hip line.

The t-shirt can handle any area of your life-the office, weekends or a night out on the town.  Enjoy making a collection of t-shirts in figure flattering styles you’ll love!   

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