The most basic of basics, the white T-shirt, is simpler than a day at Walden Pond. But that doesn’t mean it’s boring in all of its un-dyed and unfussy glory! As countless slideshows and features—like Fabsugar and style blogger Love Maegan— have shown, this basic lends itself to more looks than the getting-dressed montage in any respectable chick flick. Don’t worry; I’m not going to offer up any ‘new’ or ‘original’ styling takes. That’s what the Internet is for. (Speaking of the Internet, this website is crazy and also dispiriting.)
Instead, I’m going to get a bit theoretical up in here. Historically, the white T-shirt is a quintessential American hero. It’s Marlon Brando and James Dean and Cindy Crawford with a can of Pepsi. (The latter was a tank-top, but the point is: Simple sticks.) So when things get shaky with the economy, there’s no better way to project assuredness and normality than with a white T-shirt. Plus, they’re cheap. Hanes isn’t high fashion, but with the right attitude and accessories—in that order—it can look more stylish than haute couture.
I’m no expert, but common sense and the Internet both tell me it’s true: Forget the hemline or lipstick theories of economics. When people want to remember a better time whilst looking for a brighter future, the comfort of a white T-shirt is insurmountable. So when you see a “basics” slideshow full of peacock-feather flats and organically produced denim, you’ll know that the times, they’ve a-changed.