Wearing a T-shirt over a long-sleeve shirt was the ultimate style power move (second only to the butt cut) in the 1990s and early 2000s. Beck wore a blue long-sleeve shirt under a red and white T-shirt during his legendary (and completely ridiculous) 1994 interview with Thurston Moore. Tom DeLonge wore a similar blue long-sleeve shirt under a plain white T-shirt during Blink 182’s famous AOL Sessions in 2003. Even Angelina Jolie rocked the look, for god’s sake.
The look, though, mostly died when grunge fashion was replaced by the clusterfuck known as 2000s fashion in the mid-aughts. As a 2012 BuzzFeed article explains, “Unfortunately, I think Abercrombie bros have co-opted this ’90s grunge look [wearing a T-shirt over a long-sleeve shirt] for themselves, which makes it a lot harder to pull off in modern times. You’ll end up looking like you’re on the way to a kegger instead of the actual tomboyish Kim Deal look you’re really going for.”
But now, as both grunge music and 1990s fashion are making their own comebacks, we’re also naturally seeing a resurgence of people wearing T-shirts over long sleeves. NBA legend Tim Duncan, for example, was recently seen sporting the look.
Meanwhile, in a popular vine, one female user parodies so-called egirls (the same ones who do that sexy derp face on Instagram and TikTok) by mentioning their penchant for wearing T-shirts over long-sleeves. “I listen to Billie Eilish and wear long-sleeved striped shirts over my T-shirts,” she jokes. In fact, on Urban Dictionary, the definition for egirl includes that they’re [sic] “normally wearing some type of shirt from Urban Outfitters over a long-sleeve striped shirt.” Case in point:
Men, too, have picked up on the trend, which can be seen in many forms — T-shirts over long-sleeve shirts, T-shirts over collared long-sleeve shirts, T-shirts over long-sleeved turtlenecks — on numerous style Instagram accounts. Which InStyle more or less predicted back in 2016 when it first proclaimed that the look was on the comeback trail: “The graphic tee layered over a long-sleeve shirt is back — but with an elevated 2016 twist. For one, the short-sleeve T-shirts have a more borrowed-from-the-boys feel, with boxier, slouchier silhouettes. Secondly, the long-sleeve underlayer veers away from the basic white tee we once knew (think: turtlenecks and graphics).”
Anthony LoBasso, co-founder of the fashion brand Lucid777, confirms to me that wearing T-shirts over long-sleeves is indeed a thing again. “I’ve been rocking with it a bunch this winter,” he says. “I’m not totally sure why it’s coming back, but I think baggy is back, and it goes well with baggy looks.”
In which case, I’ll meet y’all in the parking lot so we can compare our T-shirt-over-long-sleeve looks and play with our Tamagotchis.