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T-shirts and polos

Five ways to wear: A long-sleeved t-shirt

Five ways to wear: A long-sleeved t-shirt

The long-sleeved tee doesn't exactly break sartorial boundaries. And yet those extra arm-lengths seem to lend this piece scope and versatility. "Long-sleeved t-shirts are something a lot of guys don't have in their wardrobes—and yet they're great for British weather," says Thread stylist Luke McDonald. "They're what you'll choose when it's too cold for a tee and too warm for a jumper (that is, for much of the summer). They also work well layered under light jackets."

If "long-sleeved t-shirt" evokes the oversized, graphic-heavy styles of the 90s, know that today we're talking about a fairly fitted shape. If yours is neither tight nor loose—much like your favourite short-sleeved tee—it handily veers into casual smart-casual territory. And while the style is most flattering on athletic builds, darker colours like grey, black and navy are most flattering if you're self-conscious about your chest or midsection. (These colours would also suit every outfit below.)

Here, Luke talks us through five favorite summer outfit ideas.

1. When you want to look smart but feel relaxed

Outfit: Long-sleeved t-shirt, indigo jeans, Chelsea boots

Why this works: "This does such a good job balancing comfort and smarts: the dark denim and dark suede boots sharpen up the t-shirt so it's smart casual. This is such a sophisticated, stylish outfit, and yet it's comprised of some of the most basic pieces around."

Photographed: Norse Projects long-sleeved t-shirt (£50), Lee indigo jeans (£80), Grenson Chelsea boots (£220)

2. When you're feeling experimental

Outfit: Long-sleeved t-shirt, black t-shirt, green chinos, minimal trainers

Why this works: "Lots of guys ask Thread's stylists about oversized clothes—a trend that's everywhere around our East London offices and warehouse—and this outfit is a nice way to test whether the look's right for you. It has a put-together (rather than sloppy) feel because the colours are neutral and complementary (dark green, black and white).”

Photographed: AllSaints over-sized t-shirt (£45), Norse Projects long-sleeved t-shirt (£50), Dickies olive trousers (£45), Pointer trainers (£99)

3. For a smartish meal out

Outfit: Long-sleeved t-shirt, stone mac, grey formal trousers, minimal trainers

Why this works: "If you're going somewhere nice but don't want to risk looking overdressed, this is a great option. Everything here is cool and modern—and yet smart. The light colour palette makes it look extra fresh."

Photographed: Norse Projects long-sleeved t-shirt (£50), Folk sand mac (£290), Reiss soft-grey trousers (£110), Jigsaw leather trainers (£98)

4. Every weekend

Outfit: Long-sleeved t-shirt, check shirt, indigo jeans, brown desert boots

Why this works: "The layering and dark-denim jeans make this outfit look considered, but it's the easiest to throw on. Wear just the tee if it's nice out; add the check shirt if it cools down (and ball it up to throw in your bag if it warms up again). Love a check shirt for feeling more weekendy than your usual formal shirts or Oxfords."

Photographed: Jigsaw check shirt (£85), Norse Projects long-sleeved t-shirt (£50, Lee indigo jeans (£80)

5. For jetting off on your holidays

Outfit: Long-sleeved t-shirt, navy chinos and boat shoes

Why this works: "Heading off somewhere hot but leaving somewhere cold? Airport dressing can be tricky, but this outfit's a good shout. The boat shoes are ultra-practical for holiday and easy to slip off at security; the chinos are the best trouser option for a warm-weather break; and the long sleeves will keep you warm until you touch down."

Photographed: Norse Projects long-sleeved t-shirt (£50), MVP navy chinos (£30), G.H. Bass navy boat shoes (£115)