Back To The Black T-Shirt

A couple of months ago I wrote about the importance of having a black T-Shirt. I would even go so far as to say it is on those top lists of things to have in your closet. In that earlier post I did two stylings using a black crew neck shirt the I thrifted from Goodwill.

This time around it’s all about the V-Neck which I like better. For me, the V looks better with jewelry and is more flattering and I think one can do more with a V-Neck.

Today I am working with a shirt bought from American Giant, an American company that manufactures all its products in Middlesex, North Carolina. I will write a bit more about them at the end.

In this style play, the two main characters stay the same but the supporting cast changes. This also brings up something else I really enjoy: accessories. You can’t have too many because they can change the mood just like that!

Let’s get started…

The two main players today are American Giant’s premium short sleeve shirt and an Apt. 9 geometrical stretch print pencil skirt with a front angle slit detail (clearance rack-Kohls).

Act 1

This is a simple look for work or lunch with a little pop of red. There are quite a few of support players in this look.

I picked a heavy silver chain and pearl Stella and Dot necklace which is discontinued but I found one on eBay and you will like the price.

My bag is a Rebecca Minkoff Love Bag in a red patent reptile finish. She had these on clearance last winter. Her Love bags are one of the best classic looks around and she always has a few on sale. Check them out on her site.

My black Marc Fisher Sunny4 d’Orsay flats keep showing up because they are the best flats I have ever gotten. By the way, they are on sale now!


For some extra added fun and color, I put some vintage Mahjong playing pieces that I got from Frilly Feet. They are attached with some pretty strong magnets but a couple of times I have hit them on something while walking and one has popped off. I’m not sure if this is a inherent problem with magnets (and these are super strong) or that I am just more clumsy than most.

I’ve never stopped loving chain belts and found this one on eBay. I’ve used belts with everything today. I know belts emphasize the middle and I do have a thicker middle…but I love belt…so I guess I really don’t worry too much about that. Finally, I chose some odd cuffs I thrifted here and there.

Act 2

I made just a few cast changes. I added a silk scarf that I painted, changed out the silver chain belt for a skinny black one  (Salvation Army) and removed the shoe clips. The look looks pretty much the same but I just added more “me” with my scarf which has a lot of reds and oranges in it. Painting on silk is fun.


Act 3

This could be worn to a friends get together event and just stand out a little bit. I realize my shirt is covered up but this just shows this shirt works under jackets just fine.

I added an older Juliana Collezione jacket (eBay) and changed out the pearl chain for a red glass three strand necklace that I picked up at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art’s gift shop. Always check out Art Museum gift shops. One of my favorite online shops is the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

I traded my red bag in for a smaller Coach bag (still reptile) and changed shoes. I’m wearing a pair of Tahari textured heeled booties (HauteLook) for a more modern twist. I like these booties but realize they aren’t everyone’s cup of tea; I’ve seen some negative comments about them at times. But I always believe in being and wearing what you want and these pointy-toed babies get to come out and play a good amount.


Act 4

With this look I took a different direction and went with something more casual and edgier. I turned the shirt into a tunic and added a cinch belt that I picked up a Target.

With cooler weather, I added one a grey Chi Chi layering shell. Chi Chi is a small New York company but they make their garments in China. However, I love these shirts and just can’t find a replacement for them anywhere. I am finally going to get a Serger so maybe I can experiment a little and make my own. Only time will tell.

This would be a good one for me to substitute teach in and went with some boots that I know are comfortable to walk longer stretches. These Rebecca Minkoff grey suede Bensons are the ones. You can’t find these anymore (well, maybe on the second hand market) but all of her boots are on SALE now.

I added a vintage Carlos Flachi clutch which I found on eBay. The necklace keeps up that edgier look but don’t ask me where I got it, I just can’t remember.


Act 4, Scene 2

I didn’t change anything out but added my big plaid Mud Pie Phoenix Reversible Ruana in Marshmallow & Charcoal that was gifted by Lillian’s KC during her wonderful blogger event this summer. Doesn’t it just take this look to a new level?


American Giant

As I mentioned earlier, my shirt is by American Giant which manufactures all of its clothes in Middlesex, North Carolina. Wikipedia sums American Giant story up better that I can.

American Giant was founded in February 2011 by Bayard Winthrop. Winthrop started the company to address what he saw as a lack of affordably priced high-quality American Made products in the market. He believed that by changing the economics of distribution and marketing, a business could re-deploy those savings into product made in America sold at mainstream prices. The company was named one of the 50 Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company in 2015 and cited for “breathing new life into U.S. US Manufacturing”.

I paid $36.50 for my shirt. “What!?” you ask, “you paid that much for a T-Shirt? Don’t you know you can get one a lot cheaper.” I believe you get what you pay for. I have bought cheap T-shirts from Walmart and Target and have been disappointed. Some of these shirts are not even cut on the straight of the grain (which means they will eventually twist), have dyes that fade and I am now aware of the conditions they were made. I checked the price on a J Crew shirt which was $30 and all they could say about that one is that it is “imported”.

Here’s what American Giant tells me about my shirt:

This shirt will last. They also have a lighter cotton T-Shirt for 24.50 and maybe someday I will get that one and try it out.

I didn’t find out about American Giant on my own. I listen to Charles Beckwith’s American Fashion Podcast. If you want to know what is going on with American designers and the American fashion industry, I highly recommend this show.

American Podcast’s interview with Bayard Winthrop can be found below.

When I grew up, American’s spent about 15% of their income on apparel (now we spend less than 5%). These were well made garments and they were kept and worn for a long time. You can still go to Goodwill and find these garments in perfect shape. When I go thrifting, the first thing I look for is “Union Made”. I know it is now impossible to have a wardrobe that is 100% American made but a piece here and there is a reasonable goal.

Added Note

Would you like to try and be more ethical in your fashion choices? One of my favorite YouTube channels is by  Justine Laconte, a French born, American trained, German fashion designer. She just gave a Ted talk in Greece about how to get started in this exciting adventure. I’ve put in the link below.


That wraps it up for this week. Thanks for stopping by. I’ll have another blog bit early next week because this Friday is a 1st Friday and that means it will be time  You are certainly welcome to leave a comment or two or three. I love to hear from you.

I link up with some great blogs every week. To see who they are go HERE.

Husband Michael and I took photos used in the post today. Michael does a bit of editing from time to time.

Again, thanks for stopping by. Take care……..


Now it’s time for my 2nd Loved 1st Friday blurb!

The November 2nd Loved 1st Friday Linkup will stay open until November 30th.

Any post on a blog, Instagram, Facebook or the like can linkup to this style celebration. If you can copy and paste the URL in the Linky box, you are good to go!

One item is quite OK—a hat, skirt, pants, shoes, purse, or a piece of jewelry.  That item (or items) can be from a thrift shop, eBay, consignment shop, vintage boutique, one of the online consignment shops such as RealReal–or even something a friend gave you because they didn’t want it anymore.

When you do post, I would appreciate a description about your 2nd Loved item (or items), what type of shop you found it and what drew you to it. Tell as much or as little as you want. To be featured in my collage, which I will put on Instagram along with your links, you have to say what item is second loved. That is a “have to”.


If you have never participated in a linkup before, no fear. Go to Linkup 101 guide that is found on my 2nd Loved 1st Friday linkup page (also found at the top in the tab section).

Just click the frog below to link up and join the fun!

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16 thoughts on “Back To The Black T-Shirt

    1. Thanks, Jodie and I’m about to put together my collage for this Friday. Can you believe another month has gone by already!

      And I think another shirt works as long as its very form fitting which is why I like these Chi Chi’s. I would never wear one by itself but under other things, they just can’t be beat.


  1. As ever, I loved your styling Terri. The scarf you painted is beautiful and possibly my favourite item 🙂
    I also liked those ‘marmite’ booties, (an expression that divides people equally into love or hate, don’t know if you’ve heard it?)
    The last outfit is great, I would love to wear it and you really rock that look. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marmite?, yep never heard that one. The scarf is three big leaves and is 14″ x 58″. I messed it up the first time I steamed it and had to repaint it so it was quite an adventure. The second time I steamed it, I got it right.

      I like my last one too and will be wearing it some.


      1. Marmite is a thick brown yeast extract (the Australian version is vegemite) it has a very distinctive flavour that people love or hate. I love it spread very thinly on toast – too much and it’s revolting!
        Your scarf was worth the effort, it’s beautiful.


  2. I love what versatility you’ve packed into this twosome. I like black Ts and agree that they are wardrobe workhorses but you have found some really classy looks for your two players. I especially like the last act and I’ve mentioned to you before that I really like those grey heels, and the grey boots too BTW. A great performance, Terri, you will get rave reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You picked up on going the way of the play for this post. I was going to do something with pants but decided to just do another post; maybe. Our tastes in clothes are pretty much up the same ally.


  3. All the looks are great but I love Act 4. You are so right about a black T being versatile and should be considered a wardrobe essential, you have inspired me to do more with the few in my closet. Great post! Lise

    Liked by 1 person

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