The return of the t-shirt (by Greg Atkins)

Do you often think what would have happened if Victorian builder William Willet didn’t enjoy an early morning horse ride? I’m regularly thankful for William’s get up and go attitude and fondness for being on the back of a horse. On his early morning horse rides through Chislehurst and Petts Wood, William noticed we weren’t utilising the sunlight on offer during our most clement months. As a man of action William started lobbying government to adopt his daylight saving scheme which would enable us to see a bit more of that big yellow thing in the sky.  Unfortunately Mr Willet didn’t live to see the fruits of his campaigning for BST, he died the year before the ‘Summer Time Act’ was passed in 1916. If you’d like to say thank you to one of his relatives you can, stuffy indie warbler/worlds sexiest vegetarian 2005 Chris Martin is his great great grandson.

Before the Act was passed Blighty never saw sun apparently so we’ve got a lot to thank Willy for. As you’ve maybe noticed our little island is getting a few more rays than usual of late. This throws up a host of British summer time related sartorial dilemmas which in truth are best saved for the problem pages of Angling Times and Men of Great Practicality magazine to discuss the merits of a dri-fit, water proof, rip away at the arms and knee, all in one, summer multi-activity suit.  Clothing worries aside BST means that the humble t-shirt is back and you’re free to expose those arms you’ve not been working on all winter.  I’m against any sort of nutty Aztec patterns or tie-dye, or anything frankly out of the ordinary. My reasons for this are plentiful but most pertinent is the necessity not to look like you are any form of children’s television presenter as we all know that simply doesn’t end well. So stand firm in the face of jazzy t-shirts, say no to patterns and stay out of prison. I’ve picked out some rather nice ones suitable for a variety of situations whether that be sauntering around a bazaar in Marrakech or sat on the bonnet of your  Mk2 Golf at Newport Pagnell Services (south bound) tucking into a Ginsters. If you’re averse to stripes I’d look away now.


Armor-Lux Théviec (White/Army)

Quite simply, the don of Breton shirts. Fairly slim fitting with the usual dropped boat neck. This time with green stripes instead of the classic blue. In more regulation based facts- The Breton shirt was created officially by French law, the 27th of March 1858 Act. This made the blue-and-white striped knit part of the regulation uniform for French sailors. The first one supposedly had 21 stripes, one for each of Napoleon’s victories. Apparently Callum Best is collaborating with Old Glory to produce a similar t-shirt with 0.001 mm thick stripes, one for each of his conquests.

Armor Lux Theviec

Armor-Lux Stripe T-Shirt (Cobalt/Nature)

Those familiar stripes but this time with a pocket and more lightweight. The fit is a bit different to the usual Armor-Lux offerings, the result-a bit more Regents Canal than French Riviera.

Armor Lux Cobalt Blue

Sunspel Short Sleeve Crew Neck T-Shirt (French Stripe)

I stood in a Sunspel shop recently just stroking this t-shirt, some ten minutes went by and I was stood there almost grooming this fine t-shirt. A nervous shop assistant came over and asked me if I was ok? I came clean and told them I was in an Egyptian cotton t-shirt stroking cult and this was a sort of pilgrimage. I reassured them that it was ok though, I wasn’t not going to offer a pamphlet once I was done, as we’re not that sort of a cult. A super soft MI6 issue t-shirt, how splendid.

Sunspel stripe

A.P.C Baseball T-Shirt (Ecru)

Fancy an ironic, yet understated, exceedingly well fitting, 100% cotton t-shirt ideal for summer? Well look no further than this A.P.C. character.  Not one of “those” slogan t-shirts. You know, those thoroughly unfunny and not at all well-fitting ones with “Property of the Pub” or something similar emblazoned across the front. I’m glad though that those sorts of t-shirts are about though as they make the “do they own a pair of white three quarter length trackies and a caravan in Rhyl game” much easier.

apc 3

YMC Dot Pocket Tee

Developed an interest in mini polka dots to compliment your array of white t-shirts? Would you like to? Or are you just a bit polka dot curious? Well, here you are. There’s even a little pocket for good measure. Find happiness in dots this summer.


By Greg Atkins



PS we still have a very limited amount of Proper Tees left HERE

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