There is no clothing combo more classic than a white T-shirt and jeans. Forever cool, these two pieces offer a stylish and effortless look. This simple and iconic outfit works best when each piece fits perfectly and compliments your figure. Many design variations are out there to choose from to keep this look uniquely individual.
This week, Style Fetish identifies some common female body types and suggests a few of the most flattering and comfortable styles of tees and jeans for each of these unique and lovely lady shapes. This is about distributing volume to achieve a balanced silhouette, no matter the size.
The tee: A low, scoop-necked tee is a good choice for an average-sized bust; the scoop draws attention upward to the face. If you are small-busted, wear a higher-neckline crew-neck tee. Hourglass ladies with large busts should try a bust-minimizing V-neck or scoop. Try a cropped-length tee that hits at the natural waist or a tight ’70s style with a scoop neck and cap sleeves to emphasize the narrowness of the waist. Pass on full tunic tops.
The jeans: Higher-waisted jeans look good on the hourglass. Very low-rise waists here disturbs the proportion by making the torso look overly long and accentuating the hips too much. A straight or skinny leg opening is best for petites; try boot-cut leg if you are taller. Darker washes look best here.
The tee: Avoid too-big or oversized tees to eliminate blockiness and minimize the volume on top; keep the shoulder seams right on top of the shoulders. The length of the tee should hit either at the top of the hip or be a well-fitting tunic-length tee that skims the torso and covers your butt. A V, scoop or asymmetric neckline will be more flattering than a higher crew neck and will draw attention upward to your face. Dolman- or kimono-sleeved tops have a flattering drape, narrow at the hips and look good on an “apple.”
The jeans: Go for a mid-rise jean in a slightly wider leg cut to balance the midsection. It may seem counterintuitive, but let the waist of the jeans make that horizontal line over the tummy, without a belt, to visually create a waistline. Avoid very skinny jeans as they will make the middle look larger in comparison. Boot cut is good. Wear a uniform, darker wash unless you are tall.
The tee: Try a dark color instead of white to visually narrow the shoulders and bust. Or wear an old-school baseball ringer tee, or another design with dark-contrast shoulders. Avoid oversize tees – get one that fits exactly or is snug, especially in the shoulders. Elbow-length or 3/4-length sleeves are a good look on this body shape. Avoid tank tops because they accentuate the shoulders too much.
The jeans: A pale wash or white jeans with a straight, boot cut or bell bottom look great on this body shape because they will accentuate the lower half while de-emphasizing the upper torso. Avoid skinny jeans in a dark wash; they will make the slim lower-half recede too much. If you must go skinny, wear white or a very pale wash and keep your top dark. Also try printed denim – floral, pinstripes or extra-distressed with contrast bleaching will all serve to add a bit of balancing volume to the lower half.
The tee: Try a style with a wide boatneck or off-shoulder neckline that narrows at the waist, left untucked with a skinny belt on top to create a waistline. Or a tee in a fancier design like a surplice/wrap/criss-cross shape at the waist. A cap-sleeve length sleeve (that length between short-sleeved and a sleeveless) will elongate and thin the upper arm if needed, and a sleeve that cuts across the bicep will add volume if your arms are thin.
The jeans: Wear low rise, square-hipped boy-cut to highlight any curves in the hips and booty and create a narrowing at the waist. If there is a bit of tummy you’d like to de-emphasize, wear a higher-rise waist. Try a straight or wider leg with a boot cut or flare. If you have a small booty, wear jeans with flap pockets or embroidery to add some curves back there.
The tee: A fancier tee designed with some fullness in the bust and/or decoration on the shoulders is a good choice. Horizontal stripes, a print or metallic or reflective bling would be perfect, too, to volumize that upper body. Or a draped style that gathers at the waist – anything to add volume to the torso will de-emphasize the hips and thighs. Avoid tees that cut across the hips and butt.
The jeans: Avoid any whiskering or bleaching at the waist and thighs. Stick to a uniform wash in a dark or medium tone. Keep the back pockets plain, or try a design without any at all. Wear a medium rise to elongate the lower body and avoid the love handles that are easy to get from low-rise jeans. Keep the leg in a straight or slightly wider cut that drops straight down from the hip and keep the leg opening boot cut or smaller – no bell bottoms because these will emphasize the thighs. A very stretchy denim will help rectify the fit between thighs and a proportionally smaller waist.
Heather Narwid owns Sideshow, a vintage and modern clothing store for men and women established in Dolores in 2007. Sideshow is now located in Durango at 208 County Road 250 in the fabulous commerce corridor between Florida Road and 32nd Street. Sideshow is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. till 6 p.m.