How to look good in a T shirt.

The truth about looking good in a T shirt is that you either need to be the right kind of skinny, spending quality time in the gym or you need to wear your ‘size’ like you own the world and your big curves and bulges are a deliberate strategy to occupy more space as you grow more glorious and fabulous.

The right kind of skinny.
If your metabolism is aggressive or you burn through nervous energy then you might be one of those people that finds it hard to put on weight. You will probably be in one of the metabolic categories that is controlled by your adrenal or pituitary glands.

Females are categorised with 4 types of metabolism while men have only 3. Your metabolism is largely governed by one of our four major glands and each of us has a dominant gland; the thyroid, the adrenal, the pituitary and the gonads or sex glands. In men, the adrenal and gonadal types are combined.

Another way to categorise body types is as mesomorphs (those with athletic builds), endomorphs (those with bigger bodies) and ectomorphs (those with very thin builds).

In reality, most of us are a combination of body types or our glandular activity is a combination of those four types. Glandular activity changes throughout our life and it can be affected by our choice of diet and the external stimuli we are subjected to but the natural ‘skinnies’ amongst you can look great in the right fitting T shirt whether you are a ‘fit-skinny’ or a ‘slacker-skinny’.



The ‘fit-skinny’ who does not go to the gym is lean and toned with good posture. They are not heavy on muscle-mass and are proportioned well. They have a natural and easy posture which is upright and anatomically aligned with broad shoulders, either genetically inherited or the product of their daily activities which have involved having to move their body weight around regularly in a way that regular everyday life in an office or similar environment does not require. ‘Plasterers’ are a good example of a group of people who would fit neatly into this category as the constant movement in upper and lower body burns calories and creates regular muscular contractions that ‘tone’ rather than build muscle. A heavily muscled Plasterer would find his or her job much more taxing as large muscle groups, unless trained in a specific way, tend to produce larger amounts of lactic acid which cause that ‘fatigue and burn’ feel. If you fall in this category then you can wear anything but make sure it fits you correctly to show off what nature gave you. The GD01 is good for you at the budget end but as long as you get the shoulder seams sitting directly above the outside of your acromion bone. That slightly knobbly bit on the top pf your shoulder. Also, anything in the ‘fitted’ category is going to work but get the length right. The fashion for this tends to move up and down every few years but there is a general rule, which is to have the length finish at your pubis bone. Of course, you can buck the trend or even look to the future for the next fashion length, which seems to now be on the longer lengths to just below the crotch.


Slacker skinny


Your ‘slacker-skinny’ just has some of that ‘x factor’ that is hard to define. Their posture is not great, they are not toned or look like they can throw a decent left hook but they are proportioned well while move languidly like they are in no hurry for that testosterone to kick in. They are usually seen playing guitars, smoking, skateboarding and they are usually under 20 yrs of age. If you fit in this group, well done; Goth girls and pre-pubescents are going to love you but don’t forget that nothing lasts forever and you will need to Segway into the ‘fit-skinny’ soon to avoid the paunch and thickening that will catch up with you and your rock and roll lifestyle. The ‘slacker-skinny’ tends to work well with a slightly ‘off the shoulder’ look with the arm seems outside of the ‘sweet spot’. This is not difficult for the slacker as they normally do not have broad or developed shoulders and most T-shirts are designed to fit the ‘standard’ anatomical shape from the ISO 3635:1981 Size designation of clothes – Definitions and body measurement
Not all brands follow these standards, particularly if they have decided that their audience is in a particular demographic. Three of the brands that tend to favour the slacker-skinny are American Apparel , Continental clothing and B&C.
Some famous slackers that we like at Shirtworks are Tommy Lee from Motley Crue, who still manages to pull it off in his 50’s and professional skateboarder Andrew Reynolds. It helps to have tattoos, be really good at something or have loads of money.

I can’t be one of these so I guess I will need to hit the gym?

Well, what do we know, we are just T shirt printers …….but hang on a minute, we add value wherever we can, we help you make the best decisions, we go the extra mile and research the right kind of stuff that matters. The right kind of stuff that makes your life better…….so here goes………

‘Gym skinny’


Getting ‘gym skinny’ and looking good in a t-shirt takes work and dedication. It takes thought. You need to look at yourself and be honest. You need to change your life.

Start with your diet if you are normal individual with regular insulin levels.

The first thing that needs to go are bread and alcohol. Both of these are loaded with calories and we tend to consumer far too much in our western diets. You can swap breads for tortilla wraps or wholemeal pitta filled with proteins like tuna or hard-boiled egg that you are going to turn into muscle. Muscle burns 200 times more calories than fat so it is important to have a body composition that is muscular so that your basal metabolism is working harder even while you are resting to burn fat.

Your body obtains most of its energy from fats or sugar so cutting your sugar intake will mean that your body will switch to fat as its source of energy. That will be the tyre around your belly that is stopping you looking great in that T shirt. Fat is converted to ketones under the right hormonal conditions which is your body’s natural and preferred source of energy but conditioning your body to switch to producing ketones requires an adaptation that can take from 2 days to a month depending on the individual.
Our modern diets, which most of us have become accustomed to, are heavily over-sugared and means we have adapted to respond to and seek out sugar as a quick easy pickmeup when we feel like we are flagging; but this sugar intake increases our insulin levels which is a hormone which blocks the use of fat as an energy source, meaning we store fat rather than use it.

Getting into a state of ketosis requires dietary changes first before we even begin to consider exercise and much can be achieved with diet alone.

You need to alter your food intake to consist of 5-10% carbs, 25% protein and 65-80% fats.
Your carbs need to come from vegetables, your proteins form eggs, fish and poultry and your fats from natural good sources such as cheese, avocados and nuts.

Why are we consuming so much fat to lose fat?? Your body naturally produces 2000mg of cholesterol a day and this is vital for your brain to function, vital for your eyesight and vital for normal hormonal activity. If you increase your fat intake and reduce your sugar intake to zero, you will enter into that ketosis state where you will initially feel peculiar and sometimes light headed but you will quickly start to feel better and lose weight.

If you couple your dietary changes with high intensity strength and cardio routines 3 x a week for 30 minutes you will accelerate the changes in your body. Crossfit is an excellent way to stress your c
cardio vascular system and load your muscles for strength growth. It is also highly sociable.
If you end up getting ‘gym fit’ this is no guarantee that you will look good in everything. Stuffing yourself into a t shirt that is too small can make you look like a vain berk. Getting too big is generally a sign of some dysmorphophobia so aim to be strong and muscular without looking like you have overdone it.
The most essential piece of advice is ‘the fit’. I doubt many of you will consider the picture on the left as being more attractive than the picture on the right. It is the same model and although his shirt looks a little too short for our taste, all the girls and boys in the office agree that it is the better look for this ‘gym fit’ guy. The point is that his clothes fit him and he has been working a routine that caters for good posture with plenty of back strengthening exercises.
His shoulders are pulled back by the muscular strength in his upper back so that his arm hand by his side and have not been forced to slouch forward by too many chest exercises without the appropriate rebalancing back training.
This posture raises the chest at the same time as making the stomach look flatter.
Great excercises that will get results are pushups x 4 sets start with as many as you can. Dips, great for working the chest, triceps, back and traps x 4 sets, start with as many as you can. Close hand push ups, these work the smaller muscle groups at the back of the arm directly above the elbow and stop you having knobbly elbows. Wide hand pullups, these work that ‘V’ lats in your upper back which give you the narrowing of the waist look. They also work the shoulders and biceps, try 3 x sets of these as they are difficult and try to work up to 10 reps but start with 4 if a newbie. Close hand pull ups work a different set of muscles and target your biceps and lower lats just above your bum.

What if I have big sexy curves?

The universe loves you some much that it has given you the chance to occupy more of its space. Bigger is better especially when it is a glorious as you. ‘Size’ is your statement and it comes from within.


Your swagger and self-confidence is an antidote to the shallow western view of what ‘attractive’ is.

The trick to looking good in a t-shirt is not to buy a ‘tent’ that tries to hide those curves and bulges.
Show them off. They are your squidgy warm cuddle lumps.


This means buying something that is ‘fitted’ but in a different way to the ‘fitted’ that the ‘skinnies’ wear.
Anything with a small elastane or Lycra content at the correct size that still hugs your figure a little is going wrap nicely around you instead of just hanging loosely off your frame in an attempt to hide you.

Buying a personalised t-shirt that is shaped or tailored is a better option than buying a ‘box-fit’.

Wider, more scooped necks and more flattering fabric compositions are widely available. Especially for the cuddly lady.

So; you now have the lowdown on looking good in your T shirt.

Next time you call us for some advice just let us know what type of skinny you are or what size your sexy lumps are.

Everyone likes lumps.

Author: Arron Harnden

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