Never underestimate the power of the humble T-shirt. Beloved by celebrities, stylists, and fashion lovers alike, the affordable and universally flattering T-shirt might be fashion’s great equalizer.
But of course, T-shirts are subject to the whims of the fashion elite just like any other article of clothing. From fabric and finishing to silhouette and cut, T-shirt trends change with every passing season.
As for summer 2021, we did some investigating to determine the tees that will continue to dominate the year ahead and consequently, which trends we’re noticing on the decline. From baby tees to ribbing, shop the five summer T-shirt trends that will reign supreme in 2021, according to our favorite fashion insiders.
PHASING OUT: Padded Shoulder Tees
REPLACING WITH: Boxy Crewnecks
I know some of you will come for me for saying this and maybe it is too soon to outright say they’re “done” but I’m personally feeling fatigued by padded shoulder tees. Instead, I’m really gravitating towards boxy and oversized T-shirts that you can throw on with bike shorts or tuck into something high-waisted for a relaxed vibe.
Good American Oversize Crewneck T-Shirt ($39)
Open Edit Boxy Crop T-Shirt ($19)
H&M Oversized T-Shirt ($18)
Free People Mila Tee ($58)
Ag Jeans Karter Ex Boyfriend Tee ($68)
PHASING OUT: Tie-Dye Tees
REPLACING WITH: Graphic Baby Tees
The Y2K era may be all the rage right now, but the baby tees of the ’90s are definitely having a moment, too. They tend to come in and out of style but right now it’s all about shrunken tees with cutesy graphics. And based on my most recent closet purge, tie-dye T-shirts are on their way out (at least as far as my own closet if concerned).
Realisation Hercules Baby Tee ($69)
Urban Outfitters Little Fairy Baby Tee ($34)
With Jéan With Jéan Tee ($69)
Re/Done Little Angel Classic Graphic Tee ($135)
Urban Outfitters Happy Thoughts Baby Tee ($34)
PHASING OUT: Mesh Tees
REPLACING WITH: Plissé Textures
There will always be a spot for more interesting T-shirts and right now those are plissé and box-pleat tops. The texture never wrinkles, looks so expensive, and in my opinion, is timeless. Invest now and wear forever.
Pleats Please Issey Miyake Plissé-Effect High Neck Top ($237)
ASOS Design Plisse T-Shirt in Black ($29)
Song of Style Mara Shirt in Sage ($140)
Vince Plissé Mock Neck Shell ($245)
Wayf Meridian Print Crop Top ($27)
PHASING OUT: Slogan Tees
REPLACING WITH: Kitschy Graphics
Now let’s talk graphic tees. They will hardly ever go “out” but I’ve noticed how the type of graphics do tend to change from time to time. These days, I’m noticing a lot of quirky and kitschy graphics like Ganni’s dolphin graphic pictured above and H&M’s My Little Pony tee below. If you’re wearing one of these, you’re definitely a fun person.
Ganni Have a Nice Day Graphic Tee ($105)
H&M Printed T-Shirt ($18)
Jordache Carla ‘Go Fast’ Boxy Crewneck Graphic T-Shirt ($10)
Mirror Palais Paradise Logo Tee ($50)
PHASING OUT: Lettuce-Trim Tees
REPLACING WITH: Ribbed Tees
Little details sometimes have the biggest impact. Case in point: ribbing. We love the texture on loungewear and knits and more than ever, on T-shirts. They’re easy but add a little something elevated to your outfit and as seen here, are French girl-approved. If you’re looking to nail that je ne sais quoi vibe, these are how to do it.
Agolde 90s Scopp Neck Rib Tee in White ($78)
Reformation Bardot Rib Top ($48)
Cotton Citizen Verona Ribbed Long Sleeve Crop Top ($5400)
Bp. Ribbed Mock Neck Crop Top ($0)
H&M Ribbed T-Shirt ($8)
Speaking of closet staples, these are all my favorite under-$55 Nordstrom basics.
This article originally appeared on Who What Wear
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