Style Toolkit: Yup In My White T

By Sola Onitiri

Photos by Bonnie Saporetti

Welcome to The Style Tool Kit, an ongoing series where we give you the tips, tricks, treats, and tools to become your own style icon.

Photo by Dickies

Photo by Dickies

Remember that scene in Parks & Recreation where Tom Haverford (hilariously) explains to Jerry that there’s like 44 shades of black? I am Tom Haverford 200% of the time (like IRL) - but especially when it comes to white t-shirts.

There’s got to be like 4,400 different types of white t-shirts - and even though collared shirts get all the screen time - let’s talk about all of the different things you can do with them, but first a (super) quick fashion history lesson:

Once an article of clothing issued by the U.S. Navy around the Spanish-American War, the T-Shirt was worn purely for utility and not as a fashion statement. Blue collar laborers like dockworkers, farmers, and miners adopted the T-shirt as undershirts because of its price and breathability. It wasn’t until the 1960s that the T-Shirt gained its reputation as an iconic stand alone article of clothing. Made popular by Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire, the T-shirt was considered sexy.

Flash forward to the last decades of the 20th century. T-shirt decoration (band-Ts, baby doll-Ts, etc) is at an all-time high and the plain white T is for some reason is no place to be found. Enter "Dirty South”  and “Gangster Rap” of the early and mid-2000s. Songs like Yup In my White T and Ridin' Dirty bring the White T back in a big (or should I say tall) way. Long T-Shirts, paired with baggy pants, sweat bands (unfortunately) hit the streets and clubs for a bit. Which brings us to today, an era where fucking Kanye West is trying to sell one with holes for $600.

Now dudes are not the only ones who made this trend popular. And they are not the only ones who can rock this look either. That’s why you need A White-T in your Style Toolkit.


Get Your Working Girl On

Photos by Bonnie Saporetti

Photos by Bonnie Saporetti

Yup in My White T - The Power of a Fashion Classic

Chromecasting your Tinder messages during a meeting - NOT work appropriate. Rocking a white t-shirt under a banging, well cut, working girl, lean in, power suit - completely and totally work appropriate. When you’re rocking a White - T here’s what to think about.

Different T-shirts call for different occasions. If you have a mind for business and a bod for sin try a V-neck T-shirt OR a classic t-shirt with a corset-inspired belt and tight skirt.

Off Duty 90s Supermodel with a Dash of Carrie Bradshaw  

Photos by Bonnie Saporetti

Photos by Bonnie Saporetti

Our culture is completely comprised of nostalgic callbacks. And no decade is more hip and trendy than the 90s - even though the 70s is giving it a run for its money. The 90s were the heyday or normcore minimalism and the opulence of high fashion styling choices exemplified in Sex and The City. When you’re trying to expertly balance two looks that seem unrelated but yet go together like PB&J here’s a few things to think about.

Let your basics be basic. Stick with your White - T and a good reliable pair of jeans then build from there. Add a colorful headscarf, a long spaghetti strapped maxi dress (yes overtop your denim jeans), and statement bangles.

Night Time To Day Time Back To Night Time

Photos by Bonnie Saporetti

Photos by Bonnie Saporetti

The Power of The Classic White T in Fashion

Unless you are literally Salt Bae (in which case hey boo thanks for reading huge fan), there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be layering your T-shirts with your tightest, miniest mini dress you own. A classic white T-Shirt is a great way to make your #ootn into an #ootd and vice versa. Plus, it makes your walk of (no) shame (in your game) a little bit comfier. 

Slip a printed mini dress with cut outs over your white T. Accessorize with your most scandalous choker and your highest heels.

No matter how you slam down flip it and reverse, consider throwing a White T-shirt into your personal style tool box. And remember, never spend more than $20 for a T-Shirt but that's a conversation for a different time. 

Want to know how to stay on trend? #Letsgetgoing