Self Styled with Elliot Aronow: Pumped Up Tees

By Elliot Aronow

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Get rid of your graphic tees and step up your style with these summer shirts.


It is every man's right to wear a T‑shirt (while walking his dog or schvitzing at the gym, at least) but sometimes summer calls for something super casual and comfortable that has a bit more polish. Here are some alternatives to Average Joe Summer Bummer's beach dad look that split the difference between flavorful and grown-up. No real rules here in terms of fit, just make sure you have some room where you need it most, like across your chest and around your neck. 

A nice upgrade from your standard tee is to rock a henley, which is basically a T‑shirt with two or three buttons on the front. While I don't usually cosign rustic "man's man" clothes, these have a strong masculine vibe without making you look like you work in a lumberyard. This particularly handsome model from Brooklyn/Downtown NYC mini-empire In God We Trust features a subtle and sharp contrasting placket to give it some low-key pop. Pair this with some khakis and white Converse and you are good to go. It's nothing too fancy, but a few steps up from what everyone else will be wearing. And ladies will love it.

Another option, this one for the more nautically inspired gent, is this striped crewneck tee with contrasting pocket from Saturdays, who are making a killing right now selling surf clothes to dudes who may or may not surf. This is a strong-ass look so make sure the rest of your outfit is pretty mellow. I would avoid wearing this with boat shoes or white pants, but aside from that, you can pull it off. Just be easy, man. 

My final point on the matter is that grown men of all ages probably shouldn't wear graphic tees. While there are some exceptions to this rule, the odds of this look working for them are not in most men’s favor. Stick with patterns if you want to make a statement. And, just so I can sleep at night, I must tell you that any shirts with jokes on them should be burned immediately. But you knew that. Have fun out there!

About the Author

Elliot Aronow is a tv personality, editor and music and style hustler living in New York City. He is the host/producer/editor/publisher of OUR SHOW with Elliot Aronow and the Co-Founder of music site RCRD LBL. All of his hair and opinions are his own. 


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