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Summer's Sultry T-shirt Fashions Sizzle on City Streets

By Patrick Michael Hughes | August 9, 2012 7:30am

MANHATTAN — This summer's heat has forced fashion's hand in terms of what New Yorkers can — or, rather, can't — wear on scorching city streets.

The sweltering weather has made basic apparel and unisex styling a must for many, as Street Chic saw the classic T-shirt on the backs of many pounding the pavement this summer. 

Monochromatic, entrancing, taut and epicene describe this season's noteworthy T-shirt styles, with looks that posses a captivating quality, serenely floating above city heat and chicly moving through metropolitan chaos.

A focus on fashionable New Yorkers keeping cool revealed an ongoing love affair with tone-on-tone monochromatic styling, complexion-baring cuts and attentively fitted silhouettes.

This summer’s T-shirts are also novelty-free. Urban taste reveals very flattering, expansive collars and exceptionally hollow necklines, with a keen eye on the quality of the knit and the dynamics of woven apparel.

Brands such as Alexander Wang, All Saints and Diesel Black Label have provided indulgent selections for the fashion-savvy looking for more than just a plain cotton shirt. The finishing process of treating knit fabric has evolved into a textile-industry art form — applying heat and pressure to knits to make them more shiny, filling knits with an abrasive to create softer-to-the-touch sensibilities, and washing and pulling to make the knits more luxurious. The processes are numerous and varied, with the final result a fresh and astonishing fabric.  

Striking looks we took note of ranged from playfully feminine cotton stripes to Chanel knit drapery lavishly accessorized with the fashion house’s signature gold link and leather jewelry. For menswear, the highlights were an exceptionally masculine graphic T-shirt styled in pink, black, white and blush on Mercer Street. In the Meatpacking District, a classic bright white fitted crewneck worked well with vintage suspenders and denim from Signature by Levi Strauss & Company. It was in SoHo where fashion saw the most traffic-stopping looks. The styles evoked Michael Jackson, including a svelte guise fashioned with a sleeveless T-shirt, cropped pants, white socks, black loafers and mirrored lenses.