Down to a T

Of all the catwalk trends, celebrity influences and High Street offerings, if I was to pick my favourite item of all time, it would be a t-shirt. Plain and simple. It’s a core item that no wardrobe should be without. You may think that there are plenty of items that should form part of your capsule closet but think of it like this. Blazer and jeans, leggings and sneakers, summer skirt and sandals, no matter what the outfit, the basis of all of the aforementioned, is a t-shirt. Now I’m not talking about a top emblazoned with your favourite 1980s rock band (although I have a brilliant one with Debbie Harry on it ) my advice is to keep it plain this summer and stick to styles such as a fitted cotton “v” or round neck, sleeveless or cap sleeved, waist or hip length. The simplicity of the T is what makes it genius. To get you summer ready, there are lot’s of ways to style up the minimalist, most unadorned of all fashion staples.

Summer is really a time to have fun with your clothes and there is no other designer from which to take influence than Marc Jacobs. His Marc by Marc Jacobs collection represents everything that I love about fashion. It has a young feel without being limiting and can be worn by any age. From cute characters to subtle branding, mixed with the highest quality cotton, these tops can be worn with jeans, or as styled by the designer himself with a printed skirt (“MJ NY12” t-shirt, €75, Brown Thomas ). If you want something that is more dash than cash, then take a look at River Island who have a summery selection of t-shirts in cotton and alternatives like satin (blue top with black trim, from a selection at River Island ). So that’s the casual box ticked, how can a t-shirt possibly be a dressy item? This is where accessories become key.

Take, for example, a typical outfit for work - black narrow leg trousers, blazer to match and a blouse. It’s 5pm and it’s time to play. Swap the blouse for a white cotton t-shirt; my tip is something with a slash or a scooped neckline, that’s not too fitted which can be tucked in nicely to black trousers creating a lovely silhouette to suit all shapes. Lose the blazer and pop on a statement necklace, like layering gold chains or something chunky, and throw on a pair of black platforms and ta-dah, you are ready for the night out. This is a very simple look to achieve but with very chic results, and it means you are not carting a suitcase to work with a change of clothes. You can also try this look with some bright neon colours, if you want to experiment with some colour blocking; stick to pinks and yellows which are the most versatile shades on the neon palate.

The queen of cool, Kate Moss masters the t-shirt like no one else (and I am not just saying this because she’s my fashion idol ). If you break down her look over time, she has several staples, including an array of tops, leather jackets and jeans which she alternates with boots and wedges depending on the season. To steal her style, take a look at Miss Sixty who channel the Moss really well. And the unique selling point of this label is they can outfit you from head to toe with jeans and accessories as well as their gorgeous ready to wear collection, which is really popular in London at the moment (top and skinny jeans, from the Miss Sixty range ). If you want to make this look a little more feminine, take a look at www.tarastarlet.com where you can find the most fabulous range of floral printed shorts and skirts which will look trés gorgeous for your summer holidays.

Lorna Claire Weightman — www.styleisle.ie — Twitter: @styleisle

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