The parameters and aesthetics for male sluttiness change with each season, but sometimes, it feels as though the rules shift day by day. Just yesterday, I wrote about how short-shorts for men are out, and Limp Bizkit-style ankle-grazer shorts are in. Perhaps for ideal sluttiness, one would pair these shorts with a fitted white tank, or go shirtless entirely.
Not so fast, though — according to Throwing Fits, a popular men’s fashion podcast, there’s another slutty outfit contender: T-shirts with sleeves that go past the elbow. “If his T-shirt sleeves go past his elbows, he’s a slut,” reads an image the podcast’s Twitter account posted on May 25th.
It’s solid logic — if your shorts are gonna go past your knees, why not have your T-shirt sleeves go past your elbows? And if we look to either the nu-metal or Adam Sandler-core inspirations of long shorts, the long T-shirt makes several symbiotic appearances as well. In particular, we see it in modern renditions of these fashions, and oddly enough, Billie Eilish has become a prime example of the look. In the past, she’s seemingly made a concerted effort to dress exactly like Sandler by wearing his style of men’s clothing, but as a person with a smaller frame, the clothing hangs off her shoulders in a lengthier way.
This points to the key element of wearing a T-shirt with sleeves that go past the elbows: It’s all about a shirt that’s way too big. Typically, the style occurs from wearing a shirt designed for someone with broader shoulders, which is part of what makes the style so slutty on a guy — you just know he’s hiding that petite lil’ body underneath. What a tease.
But now, some companies are designing shirts where the sleeves are meant to be worn longer, and the shoulder part of the shirt is wider than one’s actual shoulders. Take the recent Marni x Uniqlo collab, which features several “oversized” button-up short-sleeve shirts. It was so popular that most of the collection sold out within hours, despite a limit of one item per person.
That fashion is now intentionally adopting this style adds another slutty element to the whole thing — in men’s clothing, the intent to look a specific way is often the sluttiest thing of all. It’s the same theory that makes the tote bag a slutty accessory: While there are surely several instances in which the tote bag is purely utilitarian, it’s often carried for the purpose of conveying a specific message or signaling a cultural cache. If cool brands are now making shirts with longer sleeves like this, wearing them now marks something similar.
Regardless of where the shirt comes from and whether it’s meant to look like that or is just too big, it’s a large-shirt summer, fellas. There’s definitely still plenty of sluttiness to milk from the short-shorts and crop top combo, but it might be nice to keep things mysterious every now and then by cloaking your body in oversized fits, too. Some days you can show it all off, and others, you can leave a little to the imagination.