I Keep Seeing This Cult-Favorite Tee Pop Up on Fashion-Girl Instagram


(Image credit: @emilisindlev)

If you want proof that a T-shirt isn't always just a T-shirt, just look to the elbow-sleeve tee trend that's taking over on fashion-girl Instagram right now. The '80s-inspired piece is putting a cool twist on the classic tee, and I'm here for it. Finished with long sleeves that hit the elbow, padded shoulders for a sculptural shape, and a slightly relaxed fit, this new take on an average tee feels a bit more editorial than the typical top.

You'll find elbow-sleeve tees in the collections of fashion-insider brands like The Attico and The Frankie Shop—a clear sign that they're this season's coolest basic to own. If you need further proof that they're a key buy, just look to the wardrobes of the fashion set, who have been swapping them in for more fitted styles. Ahead, see how fashion people are wearing elbow-sleeve tees and shop the trend.


(Image credit: @giorgiatordini)

This outfit on Giorgia Tordini really sells me on the elbow-sleeve tee. Her look feels directional and cool, proving how transformative the tee shape is compared to the average T-shirt.

Shop elbow-sleeve tees:


(Image credit: @aminamuaddi)

Here's yet another simple outfit that showcases just how much the '80s-inspired tee can upgrade a look. This is the cool way to pull off jeans and a tee in 2021.

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(Image credit: @emilisindlev)

If you really want to take things to the next level, go for a bold print or color like the one spotted here on Emili Sindlev. After all, saturated shades are making a huge comeback.

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(Image credit: @champagnemani)

Yep, elbow-sleeve tees work with just about any look, including this cool tennis skirt outfit. Just add some cool layered necklaces.

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(Image credit: @thevisuelofgrace)

I can't get enough of the earthy hues that are everywhere right now. From khaki to sandy brown, these soft colors are so fresh.

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(Image credit: @fionazanetti)

The shoulder pads really add a cool, structural shape to these tees, making any outfit instantly look a bit editorial.

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(Image credit: @estellechemouny)

Super-short hemlines are about to be everywhere. Loose elbow-sleeve tees are the perfect proportion to balance out microskirts or shorts.

Shop elbow-sleeve tees:

Next, 25 Cool Fashion Finds I'm Obsessing Over Right Now

Associate Director, Special Projects

Kristen Nichols is the Associate Director, Special Projects at Who What Wear with over a decade of experience in fashion, editorial, and publishing. She oversees luxury content and wedding features, and covers fashion within the luxury market, runway reporting, shopping features, trends, and interviews with leading industry experts. She also contributes to podcast recordings, social media, and branded content initiatives. Kristen has worked with brands including Prada, Chanel, MyTheresa, and Luisa Via Roma, and rising designers such as Refine and Tove, and her style has been featured in publications including Vogue.com, Vogue France, WWD, and the CFDA. Before Who What Wear, Kristen began her career at Rodarte, where she worked on assistant styling, photo shoots, and runway shows, and at Allure, where she moved into print and digital editorial. She graduated from the University of Southern California, where she studied art history and business, and currently lives in New York.