Tee Shirts and Trousers 2: the 1980s


It’s time to revisit one of my old posts and try tucking in a tee shirt into some trousers!

If you’ve been a reader of my blog for the past year, you know that I love to get inspiration from the golden age of menswear: the 1930s-1960s. They’ve done everything from odd jackets and odd trousers to a polo and a suit; nothing is truly new.  One great casual example is the use of tee shirts tucked into trousers.  In that article, we looked at how men would wear fitted, striped tees with high rise pants; I did my own version at the Griffith Observatory.

The Inspiration

Fashion is still cyclical, so don’t be surprised when I tell you that this tucked in look definitely came back in the 1980’s.  If you don’t believe me, just look at Miami Vice or Night at the Roxbury:

Image result for tucked in tee 1990

While the inspiration is still there, note that the 1980s (and 1990s for that matter) ditched the patterned tees for vibrant colors.  The overall fit of the pants moved away from slim-straight and tailored to just baggy.

I may not advocate the use of a black or neon blue shirt, I do like the idea of injecting color since you are using a plain shirt.  A white shirt may bee too “workwear” or “undershirt looking” for this, but having pastels or soft colors can look great. Consider the following image:

Image result for 1980s tucked  men

The man in the middle has a great outfit that’s perfect for vacationing. To improve it, I’d put the jacket collar down and get less-dated sunglasses.  I’m also a fan of the right outfit, in an odd way.  Perhaps its the palewave influence? Put some white sneakers and ballcap on and he’s golden.

Using light colored shirts isn’t a bad idea when tucking in tees into trousers and definitely gives a summer/vacation vibe.  Add some loafers and you’re ready to go!

My Outfit


I decided to take my outfit in that vacation 80’s style that I was mentioning previously.  In stead of a pastel shirt, I went with a subtle khaki linen tee.  I think it pairs nicely with my white linen trousers.  All linen for hot weather!



Even though its a dressed down  outfit, it still fits into the realm of “casually tailored”.  Note that this tee fits very well.  It’s snug without being too tight on the chest and arms. Having a fitted tee shirt helps you keep a nice silhouette even though its a casual garment. Loosely fitted tee shirts can still look cool, but I’m still wearing fuller cut pants.  A good contrast of fit is needed; as such,  I have a fitted top and looser bottoms.  The reverse can also look good, if that’s your style.

For layering purposes, I brought along a navy blue cardigan.  It’s simple and light, which is great for when the sun goes down on a warm September day.  It also provides a nice “extra pop” for the outfit, if you argue that the khaki and white were too bland.  This particular one is one of my favorites and it was purchased on eBay! The patch pockets allow me to put my hands in and slouch, which is one of my favorite poses to do (if you haven’t already noticed).  I keep wondering when all of the pockets on my suits and sportcoats will stretch out!


I’ve always been fascinated with the penny loafer. My thrifted pair isn’t as formal as tassel loafers but they definitely are a step above the typical beefroll pennies that you typically see.  I think that a sleeker loafer is always preferable, since it keeps the streamlined and sharp silhouette  that you get with an oxford shoe.  When combined with a no break pant, these loafers look absolutely badass.  I will admit that chunkier and rounded footwear definitely have a place, especially the last time I wore a tee.

If you’re wondering why I picked black loafers instead of the brown tassels I normally wear, it’s because I decided to keep the outfit in the 1980s-90s zone.  I’m sure that there is some pseduo mod/prep inspiration, but black loafers were definitely one of the cool shoes to wear.  Just look at Michael Jackson or Joey from Friends.  In my outfit, it plays with the deep navy cardigan to provide visual contrast to the light colored shirt and pants.


Linen Tee from BR, Linen Pants from BR, Sweater from J. Crew (eBay), Penny Loafers from Alfred Sargent (eBay)

I hope you enjoyed my latest foray into casual style! I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.  Do you still dig the tucked in tee shirt? Or do you think tees are for jeans only?

Always a pleasure,

Ethan W.

Street x Sprezza 

Photography by Vince H. 


  1. Pingback: Inspiration: Mike from MFA | STREET x SPREZZA
  2. Din · October 10, 2016

    You are fat and ugly, no matter how hard you try with your outfits. Get fit first, get tan, then show your face to the public. But you still an ugly fuck.


    • Ethan W. · October 10, 2016

      Thanks man! Always need inspiration for the gym!


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  5. sesame · July 14, 2017

    Hi, looked great! How do you alter the trousers? What are the processes that one must follow like hemming and tapering etc.


    • Ethan W. · July 14, 2017


      I’d first find a picture that you like that shows a good pair of fitting trousers and show it to your tailor. It also helps if your tailor has actually made suits and isn’t just an alterationist.

      Most of the time I only taper from the knee down, since I don’t want my pants too tight in the thighs. How much you taper depends on your proportions and how skinny your legs are! I get mine done at 8″!


  6. Petey Pablo · September 6

    You’re a queer shape, Mate.


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