Image: Greg Harris
October 14 2010
Mark C O’Flaherty
Sometimes all you want is the perfect T-shirt. For the past couple of years I’ve been searching for the ideal short-sleeved, prosaic top in relaxed black jersey. Something that can work well with a pair of jeans, but won’t look too Marlon Brando in The Wild One or underwear-like if teamed with a Rick Owens blazer. Owens’ own range of often quite sheer T-shirts – which come overlong with a raw seam to let you cut where you see fit – are fantastic, but can be unforgiving when you’ve let the gym routine slip.
I bought some Alexander Wang T-shirts at the Barneys Warehouse Sale in New York recently, and realised that they’re exactly what I’ve been looking for – comfortable, great quality, a flattering shape, and very versatile. They feel like an old favourite from the first wear, but they don’t have that ready-ruined look which the likes of All Saints continues to favour. I don’t do “grunge”.
I’m delighted that Wang, the New York-based designer, now stocks his T ranges for men and women at Liberty and Selfridges in London (short-sleeved T-shirts start at £75). One of the best things about the range is the diversity of cut and shape. There are absolutely basic short-sleeved versions, but there are long-sleeved ones, hoodies and V-necks too. There are also pieces that have small layering twists, deconstructed ribbing, spine stitching and subtle irregular hems, and there are sweatshorts and long pants. It’s essentially a gentler version of that artfully sloppy gothic-tinged Rick Owens style that defines the modern wardrobe – you can wear it out for drinks, or sleep in it in a plane. It’s a refreshingly simple aesthetic.