How to dress: Evening T-shirts

I recently bought a T-shirt for the first time in about five years. This is not because I'm a restrained shopper (more's the pity); it's just that I don't do T-shirts. I am hardly in theDaphne Guinness, couture-to-water-the-garden league (again, more's the pity), but my natural tendency is to the dressed-up end of any given dress code. In almost every scenario, a T-shirt is about dressing down, and therefore the only situation that requires a T-shirt is, well, watering the garden. And since I do that with woeful infrequency (once more, MTP), the T-shirt pile I've had since university proves more than adequate.
My new T-shirt is an evening T, cut like a normal T-shirt, but silk. The switch from cotton to silk elevates an outfit into a higher key, like switching from a flat shoe to a heel. The evening T-shirt is one of those genius pieces that makes looking smart feel easy. Its simplicity works well with the current headache-inducing trouser shapes; it also looks good with an above-the-knee skirt and a blazer.

My first evening T-shirt, a crew-neck silk pocket T, came from Gap, and I wasn't the only one to back a winner: it turns out my sister bought one in purple. The first time I wore mine to the office, the editor of this magazine narrowed her eyes at it and demanded to know where it came from. That one is no longer on sale, sadly, but Gap has a summer version, in store now – V-neck, £29.50, in a machine wash-friendly silk mix. It's not often I recommend a genuinely useful piece of clothing, so I suggest you take my advice. There. That's enough about practical clothes. Normal service resumes next week.

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