The t-shirt is an essential component of any wardrobe, whatever the season. As we prepare to make the transition from wearing this integral piece on it’s own every day to layering it up for fall, we caught up with Nicholas Brooke, t-shirt aficionado and CEO of British label Sunspel, who are principally known for their beautifully crafted tee’s. This guy really knows his stuff…
What elements make for a great t-shirt?
As with everything we do it starts with fabric. Any t-shirt should be crafted from soft breathable cotton; ours are made from a 100% long staple Egyptian cotton. This is strong, smooth, very fine cotton thread that won’t tangle through wearing or washing. The next thing to consider is fit. The perfect t-shirt should have a classic fit that skims the body without being too tight, or too baggy, flattering the best features without highlighting anything the wearer might prefer hidden.
Fall is fast approaching. What should we consider when shopping t-shirts for the cold season?
The beauty of the t-shirt is that it can be approached both as an outerwear garment and underwear too, which is ideal for layering. In autumn, I would suggest reaching for a more robust jersey, preferably in 100% cotton to allow for insulation in uncertain weather. I would also suggest a fine underwear T-shirt. Layer it under a thick jumper or a shirt as the temperature drops.
In your opinion, which colors and styles are set to be noteworthy for the coming season?
For us, we have introduced our Autumn Winter collection that features a number of t-shirts in rich autumnal shades. They are actually reminiscent of the bright colors you see in typical British fabrics like the Prince of Wales check or Tartan. So you’ll find colors like wine, and burnt orange sitting next to cooler shades like plum and petrol.
If you had one t-shirt in your wardrobe which would you choose and why?
The only t-shirts I have in my wardrobe are Sunspel t-Shirts. And I’ve been proudly wearing them for years. What I’ve always appreciated about our t-shirts (long before I acquired the company) is the purity and authenticity, the fact that it is made in Britain, the fact that it is long staple Egyptian cotton and the fact that it is made really beautifully and it lasts in my case, decades.
Finally, who looks the most awesome in a t-shirt?
If I were to name one person who came to redefine the t-Shirt, I’d say Marlon Brando in a Streetcar named Desire. Traditionally worn by laborers and World War II veterans in America, Brando’s performance as Stanley elevated its status to being a symbol of raw masculinity.
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