Grey t-shirts: an unsung wardrobe hero

More than just an area where neither extreme is quite right

“Announcement”: I’m live on Bright, a new video chat platform for learning. My first "session is scheduled for next Wednesday (Sept. 22), the overarching premise of which will be ~building your wardrobe~ but to start, we’ll talk SOLVING YOUR STYLE PROBLEMS. Once you sign up (link here), we’ll send you a questionnaire to fill out with prompts for the session, then when we meet we’ll dig our teeth into the gums of your answers, or wtvr — cheaper than a visit to the dentist to be sure. So come! Bring a snack! It will be fun.

So much fun.

This is a public post from The Breakdown, a franchise that breaks down what makes wardrobe staples good. It is a better user experience in browser, either on mobile or desktop, which I realize defeats the purpose of a newsletter, but here we are.

There are 3 key components that contribute to a t-shirt’s aesthetic health: fit, fabric, and neckline.

Depending on your style preferences (e.g. do you wear more trousers or jeans, skirts long or short, leggings or sweatpants, are you ~fancy~ or *chill*), the key components will mostly inform what makes a t-shirt good.

The characteristics that define these categories for someone who identifies as chill with a side of formal (maybe wears a large amount of denim, mostly of the straight leg/mid-rise variety, but also dabbles into suits and trousers and this one metallic, a-line mini skirt that comes out at the start of Fall every season) will include:

Then there’s the thing of color. Heather grey is lately looking like a silver bullet solution to the question of what makes a t-shirt good. It’s the ultimate color to pair with virtually anything you’d choose to style with a t-shirt. Black trousers with a fancy belt clasp (above)? Sweatpants and a pair of real shoes (below)? Jeans and a sweater, ivory silk pants, an overwhelming suspenders dress (below)? Almost any and all precious-looking jewelry (above)?

At left: Rosie Assoulin suspenders dress, Kule t-shirt and Balenciaga sandals. At right: Weyhe jacket (good comp but in velvet from Etsy here; not mad at this one from Eileen Fisher either), Academy of New York sweatpants and ballet flats from The Row. Here they are on sale, and here is a full-price pair in cognac suede. Nothing wrong w these, from Italic for $110 either.

I ran the math (tried on the outfits) and there is basically no scenario where a t-shirt fits that a grey one doesn’t. This might seem insignificant but the same is not always the case with the more widely held color basics of black or white (both can err on the side of too formal or plain or just inconsequential in the scheme of an outfit being built), and lately, I’ll just say, silver bullets are what I’m after.

Here are the reasons why.

  1. Looks great with jewelry in that off-kilter way that pairing something formal with something informal does, and I wear a shit ton of jewelry.

    1a. Is, to this point, good fodder when you’re trying to strike an even balance of formal and informal in one outfit (see: blazer and normal shoes, grey tee and sweatpants look)

  2. Is also surprisingly dynamic with an otherwise shade of grey or ivory.

    2a. Functions as a surprising contrast to formal wear

  3. More interesting than the basic black or white when mixed with some other print

  4. Generally refuses to put itself in a box of extremism, lingering on the outskirts of clarity.

My choice t-shirt is from Kule for $60, but here’s a good one from X Karla (Karla Welch’s brand, I think still with Hanes?) for $53. This is Acne’s for $130, or Polo’s for $45 (if you like this one and think you’ll get it, just order your women’s size).

Ok! Here’s where I stop talking about t-shirts!

This Week’s Thing of Note:

Snaxshot, a substack newsletter (but really a cult) about new-age snacks, by Andrea Hernandez

Why’s it a thing of note? Because it is an honest and funny as hell assessment of the state of snack we’re in, contextualizing where we are, how we got here and predicting where we might be going with sassy opinions sprinkled in like surprise adaptogenic sugar crystals for good measure (gut health?).

Hernandez, who makes all her own graphics and clearly spends a great deal of time deep-diving into the history of whatever she’s writing about also delivers community through a discord group for the newsletter’s band of food and bev consumers.

I also got to meet Andrea when she was in New York some weeks ago; she’s as funny and thoughtful and self-possessed in person. The whole thing is inspiring — and fun! So much fun. I miss fun, it’s good to refind it in places.

Subscribe to Snaxshot here

Signing off yours truly,


But don’t forget: if you want to come to my first Bright session, here is where you can sign up. Hope to see you there!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Signing off again, this time as Fabio. Bye!