Earlier this week, Kanye West dropped his $120 plain white “Hip Hop” T-shirt on the masses, and the Internet instantly went crazy, lambasting anyone who would even CONSIDER spending that much dough on a T-shirt. The shirt was part of his much-heralded 3-item collaboration with French brand A.P.C. (There's also a hoodie and a pair of jeans if you're interested.)
The shirts sold out immediately, although what that actually means isn’t all that clear. What was the run? 100 t-shirts? 10,000?
I could say I "sold out" of my 2003 Dodge Durango when I traded it in -- because there was only ever one of them to begin with! The best part of the whole deal is that the sold-out T-shirts appear to be selling for almost $300 on eBay! Who is stupid NOW, right?
I get the shocked responses to Kanye’s crazy expensive plain white tee -- most peeps, myself included, would never dream of dropping that kind of dough on a simple T-shirt. I’m more likely to spend my money on something worthwhile like this person did -- on a small motorcycle, leather jacket and goggles for their dog.
But is it remotely possible the T-shirt in question may actually be worth the money? Since I haven’t seen Kanye’s shirt in person, it’s hard to say. A.P.C.’s men’s clothes are always beautifully designed and usually well made. The male actors I dress tend to love A.P.C. stuff because it’s not cluttered to death with logos and insignias.
But the real secret is the fit. Placement of armholes, shirttail lengths, and sleeve widths are details that a lot of brands get wrong. A.P. C. gets it dead right, every time. When you find something that suits you, you’re likely to spend whatever they want for it -- and then keep on spending it. I never thought I'd say this, but I now regularly spend almost $70.00 a pop on my own personal T-shirts.
I used to laugh at my pals who splashed out that kind of cash for a plain old T-shirt -- but then I bought one by Splendid (it was on sale!) and instantly fell in mad love.
I've never looked back since. Splendid’s tees hold up through dozens of washes, and the loose, swingy cut is the most flattering thing that ever existed. It glides over your guts instead of grabbing at them. This alone makes them worth every dime. And Splendid's sailor stripe tees are my absolute favorite thing on earth. (I own at least 6 of them!)
SECRET STYLE TIP: I say a simple striped tee is practically a neutral, so grab yourself one and pair it with the craziest printed skirt or pants you happen to own. It totally tones the whole look down without veering into boringtown.
Another great, sort of $$ t-shirt line is Petit Bateau, a French brand that weaves the fabric for their luscious cotton tees at their very own factory in Troyes, France. They also guarantee that their clothes are non-toxic and non-allergenic, so you can avoid any possible chemical reaction you may have to dyes and solutions commonly used in clothing production. I have a few Petit Bateau tees from the 90’s that are still in heavy rotation in my closet. The damn things last and last and LAST.
My other favorite T-shirts are nowhere NEAR as costly. I’m a huge fan of JC Penney’s Stafford men’s V-neck tees. After about 10 washes, they become the stuff that dreams are made of. I buy mine in a men’s medium cause I like ‘em loose and baggy. (They look so good with a skintight mini skirt -- I guarantee it.)
I am also pretty devoted to Forever 21’s “Basics Shop” tees. For less than $9 a pop (and sometimes for less than $4!) you can stock up on cute, simple t-shirts in tons of cuts, colors and styles.
(For the record, their knockoff of my beloved striped Splendid tee is about 75% as good as the original.) Forever 21's t-shirts start to fall apart after about 12 washes, but nothing that costs $3.80 is meant to be in it for the long haul. I end up leaving them in hotel rooms and taxicabs way before this has a chance to happen, so I don't really care all that much.
I am also a total sloppy hobo at heart -- I just love shirts with holes and rips, so the fact that the Forever 21 tees start the aging process almost immediately is actually a plus for me.
What’s the most you have ever paid for a T-shirt you consider to be the definition of perfection? I own a closet full of fancy stuff but all I ever want to wear is T-shirts, so I’m always on the hunt. And come on, SPILL IT -- which of you nuts actually bought Kanye’s $120 plain white tee???? Cause somebody sure as shit did!
I’m on Twitter: @IveyAlison.