Where To Shop For T-Shirts, According To A Stylist

Where To Shop For T-Shirts, According To A Stylist

Whether you wear one under a blazer or with a skirt in summer, you’ll be grateful for a few good t-shirts in your wardrobe. In this instalment of her SL column, stylist and former Tatler Fashion Director, Anna Bromilow, reveals her favourite styles and where to buy them.

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T-shirts are often an underwhelming wardrobe staple – the most basic of basics for layering and warm weather dressing. Having turned into a dress obsessive in recent years – with more of an appetite for colour, print and a bit of flair – I admit t-shirts weren’t really on my radar. I have a basic selection – mainly grey, a few in classic white – to be worn either with jeans at the weekend or to work out in. I’d always prioritise a pretty blouse over anything minimalist, and don’t get me started on jersey (it’s just not a flattering fabric). If you ask me, as you get older, it's harder to look good in a basic tee, too.

But let’s reflect for a second. Maybe it’s our collective new-found love of loungewear, but after dressing some of my private clients this season, the t-shirt has found a renewed purpose. High/low dressing is a large part of it – by which I mean repurposing dressier items with wearable and (let's face it) more comfortable matching pieces. Leopard prints trousers, full floral skirts, scallop edge shorts – these are the kind of separates the perfect tee can quickly breathe new life into. A contemporary way to let statement pieces shine without over-styling them, the key is to be specific with your choices and find something a little different – there’s so much out there these days. Bear in mind that t-shirts should interesting but useful, so that they shake off their generic status and become hard-working pieces in your wardrobe, rather than just filler.

My main t-shirt shopping tips…


Steer clear of anything too clingy – unless its specifically structured. Thicker, denser cotton hangs better, looks more luxe and is far more flattering, particularly when it’s tucked in.

Boxy is generally best. Broader shoulders even out any body shape and make your hips look smaller, so wider shoulders are a bit of a rule. You can always roll the sleeves up if they’re too long or, alternatively, go for the capped/padded shoulder style instead.

Be wary of white. If you’re determined to stick to pure white, make sure it has some kind of structural element or expensive looking detailing – such as extended shoulders or an interesting neckline – otherwise plain white just looks plain lazy. Also, look for ecru or cream – slightly richer shades often prove a more useful and they’re more complimentary on multiple skin tones than stark white.

Oversized always looks more current – unless you’re opting for something structured or sculptured. It doesn't need to swamp you but leaving things a little roomier tends to look more flattering.

Keep it simple. If you're going for a retro or logo t-shirt, stick to monochrome or choose colours that will really work in your wardrobe.

Don't forget to look in the menswear section, too – this is such a generic shape, you’ll broaden your horizons and may just find something a little different.


The ultimate statement t-shirt can do two things: elevate a pair of jeans and downplay a smart suit. Just choose your brand well – if it's a clear message, it needs to fit with your personality and style. Gucci reigns supreme and does that 70s luxe thing so well, so if you have deep pockets, pick up either their sequinned tee or their classic logo style (they also have a great rainbow starburst design for men that I'm loving, too). Iconic French labels like Saint Laurent, Balmain and Chloe are also simple outfit elevators and Isabel Marant always delivers on retro cool. At the other end of the scale, high-street giants H&M and Zara are always worth a visit – especially now they have brands like Coca Cola on board.


Sometimes it’s nice to take a break from blousy, romantic tops and opt for sculpted, minimalist draping instead – the kind of clever but comfortable piece that’s always top of my holiday packing list. Make sure you go for a plain fabric to show off the shape and stick to a neutral colour palette to max out the wearability. Simone Rocha, Alexander Wang and SEA NY do this well, with a bit of romantic drama thrown in for good measure, while Isabel Marant has really nailed the 80s vibe with hem knots and wide shoulders. Ted Baker and Zara are your best bet on the high street – just pair them with well-structured trousers or shorts, high-waisted jeans or cigarette pants.


When push comes to shove, I'd rather spend my money on something statement. As for colour? Muted blush, rich ecru, warm primrose and sage green – these shades really come into their own when worn with skirts or trousers with an unusual print, in other words, those separates you sometimes find difficult to style. Forget primary colours – these are just too ‘Sports Day’ for my liking and look cheap unless you have an urban personal style. Reiss and & Other Stories have a great selection, as do Frame and Vince, albeit with a slightly higher price tag. Elsewhere, Vanessa Bruno, Soeur and Me & Em are also worth a look, as is Selfridges.


A traditional vintage rock t-shirt is a bit obvious – so this season, go for gentle retro illustrations and a 70s vibe to nod to the trend. They also lend themselves better to fresh pastel looks and florals. Grey, apricot, lilac, pale blue – stick to this fresh colour palette to keep things pretty and modern. I love Deborah Brett's new t-shirt collab with Wyse, and her grey evil eye design is top of my list. Oliver Bonas has a pretty circular sunburst style and Mother has done a slightly more psychedelic flower design. For higher-end options, Stella McCartney is always clever with her designs and Miu Miu is just on the right side of quirky.


Frankie Shop's sleeveless t-shirt was one of last year’s biggest trends, and it shows no sign of slowing down – there are so many versions out there now. With padded shoulders and a minimalist 80s feel, it's the ultimate, paired-down accompaniment to high-waisted trousers. It also happens to be a really flattering shape. Good American and Baum Und Pferdgarten are my go-tos for plain, neutral colours, but I also love this style in a stripe. French Connection has a bold take on a traditional breton top and Momoni's bronze style is tonally rich.

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