Tuesday 23 January 2018

Paul Galvin: Summer down to a tee

Paul Galvin. Photo: Ronan Lang
Paul Galvin. Photo: Ronan Lang
Topman €20
Tommy Hilfiger New Tommy Knit Polo - Heat Yellow - €69.90
Red Herring tee, €21.50, Debenhams

Paul Galvin

Despite initial reservations about T-shirts, Paul Galvin embraces summer's must-have. A lobster-print tee, anyone?

Summer down to a tee

Despite initial reservations about T-shirts, Paul Galvin embraces summer's must-have. A lobster-print tee, anyone?

The seasons are not my strong point. In fact, the months of the year aren't my strong point. I'm like that elderly aunt or grandparent who knows your name and your siblings' names, but never knows who came first.

I know all the months by name, but the order confuses me sometimes.

The seasons all appear the same to me anyway. The summer months, in particular, I find tricky. I'm forced to perform all sorts of mental gymnastics to work out what's what.

Is May spring or summer? Is August summer or autumn? Is October autumn or winter? How many seasons are there? Stuff like that.

To cut the summer wheat from the autumn chaff, so to speak, I ask someone.

Secure in the knowledge that May 1 is the first day of summer, we turn our minds to many, many versions of one thing: T-shirts.

I have a lukewarm relationship with tees. And only on warm days. It's hard to find something that everyone else doesn't already have.

Ubiquity, it seems, is a trend in T-shirts. I like to keep an eye out for something different.

Or I like to improvise at home and take old tees to my tailor. That said, there are some great online options, too, but I can't help but feel that anyone and everyone is making and attempting to sell their T-shirt wares today.

I've been wearing Topman's knitted tees lately. Cut like a T-shirt, short-sleeved, round necked and with an ecru pattern, but made from a heavier cotton, which you usually find in a jumper.

I love that unconventional approach to design.

It can be worn on its own or layered over a regular tee, but I like to wear it over short-sleeved shirts with collars. I'm really into wearing T-shirts over shirts at the moment.

I wore a grey marl tee over a white buttoned-up shirt with a grey Kooples blazer to a wedding recently. I'm also into polo shirts worn over shirts.

So these knitted tees are right on for me. Whichever way you wear them, they're perfect for the Irish summer. Trust Topman for something twisted.

Also worth a twist is its new sublimation T-shirt collection. The word itself grabbed my attention. Directing the energy of a strong desire into socially acceptable activities, the resulting tees from this sublimation dye process are very socially acceptable.

The higher temperatures allow the dye to sink further into the fabric, thus giving bigger, bolder designs that don't fade or peel.

While the high street might be saturated, it will serve you well again this summer.

Urban Outfitters has the best selection, as it would. Its graphic tees are the most interesting I've seen in a while. Lobster print, anyone? Don't laugh. You'd be surprised, so be sure to have a look.

They have lots of good tank tops, too, if you fancy showing off your arms. They're good for guys with tattoo sleeves.

With the summer festivals on the way, you'll see plenty of vests and tanks. H&M has its environmental hat on (made from straw no doubt) with its new Conscious Collection.

While the T-shirts, polos and chinos are not quite made from straw, they are made with sustainability and environmental protection in mind.

Around 50pc organic cotton is used in most pieces, along with linen. Tapered linen chinos, preppy polos and photo-print tees bring a summery, tropical feel to the collection.

H&M is also responsible for the best tees I have found lately. Deconstructed and over-sized with rolled sleeves, similar to a surgeon's scrubs, which I love, they're unique and slightly wrong.

Speaking of wrong, I'm gonna use some very bad language now. Fucknfilthy.com is the place to go if you want to find men's tees that are so wrong, they're very right.

Joshua Gordon's online store and site is a favourite of mine. Covering mainly photography but also fashion, art and music, he has his finger in many pies.

The Fucknfilthy 'Club House' tee caught my eye. Now that's a tee I'd wear. It comes in black with a white skull motif.

Fucknfilthy hooligan scarves are also available online, along with metal pins. This guy is pretty hardcore. Anyway, I love the tee. I must get my filthy hands on one. It's available for girls in pink as well.

Fucknfilthy girls in pink; I really mustn't get my filthy hands on one.

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