August 15, 2018

Can A Tuxedo T-Shirt Really Cost $450?


Everyone’s favorite joke tee has officially gone high-fashion.

Tuxedo T-shirts are one of the most iconic ironic clothing items in our culture (see also: holiday sweaters). Worn by DGAF outsiders to prom and boardwalk-goers for decades, the tuxedo T-shirt is the universal symbol of self-aware faux-elegance. But what if it costs $450 and is made by Saint Laurent? Does the tuxedo tee somehow become legitimate fashion?

Hedi Slimane, the label’s creative director, has lifted up (and we mean way up) garments long considered to be low-class. Whether it’s grunge-inspired flannels, ripped jeans, or pre-scuffed canvas skate shoes, Slimane’s genius is re-contextualizing these everyday pieces, building them to last from quality materials, adding a glossy sheen, and making them must-haves-even at double-take-inducing high-end prices. It’s a big part of why Saint Laurent, business-wise, is doing so well these days. (Last year, the label’s profits rose a very healthy 27 percent.)

But does this tuxedo tee take it all a touch too far? After all, it’s hard to be ironic when you’re spending $450 on a T-shirt you’d normally see sold next to one with “I’m with stupid” printed on the front. Is this the tipping point to how many “new classics” designers can get away with? Or is this just Hedi at his most sly? After all, we’ve yet to see him misstep at the brand yet.

Not that it stops us from drooling over Saint Laurent’s Spring-Summer 2016 collection, which just hit the label’s online store. We suggest you stop by ASAP to ogle everything from printed silk bombers to plaid shirts. Because no matter what, it’s all going to be gone before you know it.


join our newsletter