Since the late 1940s, Fashionistos around the world have been sporting a timeless item: the white T-shirt. This element was once only found under a top layer—usually a button-down work shirt—and tucked safely into a pair of jeans. It was male style icons like James Dean, my ultimate bad boy crush, who made the undershirt-turned-overshirt become a simple and completely fashionable trend. Whether you grew up on The Sandlot or Rebel Without a Cause, I have no doubt you too have encountered a Fashionisto icon in a classic white-tee-and-jeans ensemble.
This week, I saw a Fashionisto who combined this fashion staple with another growing trend among younger hommes. While Jim Stark and Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez were quick to strip down from appropriate work attire, many fashionably progressive men seem to be rekindling the flames. The short sleeved button-down shirt is now a staple of many Fashionisto’s wardrobes, especially in the summer heat. These shirts can be found in many colors and materials and sometimes even have different vintage patches or prints (it is also important to always cuff them at the sleeves). This Fashionisto happens to be supporting his school with his SVA iron-on patch. While the shirt is usually found buttoned all the way to the collar, he decided to leave it open in order to show his various style elements.
Our Fashionisto has found the perfect balance between renegade protagonist and completely obedient worker in order to maintain his own fashion identity. He creates a neutral base for his outfit with his dark wash straight leg jeans—perfectly cuffed at the bottom—and his chukka boots that camouflage into the rainy sidewalk (ironically enough). In order to accessorize his mainly neutral look, he adds on his own accessories. In addition to the patch on his shirt, he carries a custom printed tote bag with his blog’s logo. Rather than sporting a chain under his white T-shirt—a timeless item even our grandfathers favor—he wears a hand crafted vintage necklace with raw turquoise. Of course, let’s not forget his white snapback hat with similar circular applique to mach his T-shirt and other fun jewelry and individualized accessories!
Fashionistos of all types: no matter where you stand in your preference of certain lifestyles or clothing styles, you can find inspiration from film characters, musicians or artists from any decade. If 1950s heart throbs do not embody your aesthetic goals, look to the 1920s for some inspiration from Jay Gatsby himself or to Morrissey from the 1980s. Fashionistas too can look to multiple male style icons or general trends for their own attire as a way to create a simplistic base for a fully accessorized look. Of course, the moral of the story here is always to find what you like in one inspiration and depart from the rest: there is where you will be able to establish your own identity.