The long-sleeved tee doesn’t exactly break sartorial boundaries. And yet those extra arm-lengths seem to lend this piece scope and versatility. They’re what you’ll choose when it’s too cold for a tee and too warm for a jumper. 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 the smarter fitted shape. If yours is neither tight nor loose—much like your favourite short-sleeved tee—it handily ways into 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.
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.
2. When you’re feeling experimental
Outfit: Long-sleeved t-shirt, black t-shirt, green chinos, minimal trainers
Why this works: A lot of guys worry about oversized clothes, a trend that’s everywhere around the streets of East London offices and warehouse, and this outfit is a nice way to test whether the look’s right for you. For a more “put-together” feel use colours that are neutral and complementary.
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 perfect option. Everything here is cool and modern—and yet smart. The light colour palette makes it look extra fresh.
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. Love a check shirt for feeling more weekend feel than your usual formal shirts or Oxfords.
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 (see our rules for the modern man guide to air travel) but this outfit’s a great look. The boat shoes are ultra-practical for holiday and easy to slip off at security; chinos are the best trouser option for a warm-weather break; and the long sleeves will keep you warm until you touch down.