On any given day at M.M. HQ, I can expect to find at least 10 (today, I counted 12) of my coworkers wearing one of our knit underpinnings—versatile tops made from a lightweight, stretchy knit blend. The reason these tops are so beloved is no mystery. Not only do they have all the functional features you look for in something you plan to wear a lot (machine-washability, wrinkle-resistance, lingerie snaps for sleeveless styles, that perfect balance between thick-enough-to-hide-your-bra and slim-enough-to-tuck)—they’re also, when you get right down to it, office-appropriate T-shirts. And like any great T-shirt, a knit underpinning goes with basically everything, therefore exponentially increasing your outfit options (math!). Read on to see how Brand Stylist Nyjerah styles knit underpinnings with three different silhouettes.
The Classic Tee
The Choe top has a straightforward, unabashed “I’m wearing a T-shirt!” vibe—and that’s what makes it so great. Try pairing it with navy pants, like the Mejia in galaxy blue, to hint at the jeans-and-a-tee aesthetic without actually breaking your dress code.
Say you work in a casual office environment. And say you happen to fall deeply, inconveniently in love with a pair of elevated suit pants, such as the Elliott trouser. No need to get broken-hearted—just dress things down with the Choe top, a slouchy cardigan, and some fresh white sneakers. (Or, go full power suit, and keep these comebacks in your back pocket in case someone questions you.)
The Long-Sleeved Tee
There are certain days when choosing which blazer/sweater/shawl to wear seems to require more mental energy than it should. So, if you like having your arms covered, a long-sleeved tee is a must-have. Opt for something that speaks for itself, like the Celeste top. Subtle details (a boatneck that forms a V in the back, a slight flare at the hem) make it more elevated than your typical tee. Nyjerah recommends pairing the Celeste with a flared pant, like the Clooney, to complement the top’s A-line shape.
Just because you don’t need to layer with the Celeste doesn’t mean you can’t. In fact, the top’s relaxed fit means you can easily wear it over a mock-neck style like the Giulia for extra warmth—and a color-blocked neckline, because you’re fun like that.
The Tee That’s a Tank
Speaking of the Giulia top, has there ever been a more perfect tank? The not-too-tight mock neck, the perfect-width straps that make everyone’s arms look great, the swingy side slits—I could go on. Pro tip: Don’t be intimidated by the Giulia’s length—you can tuck it in! Nyjerah also recommends wearing it with jackets and sweaters that have flat (or no) lapels to avoid covering up the top’s signature mock neck.
If you prefer an untucked look, try the Giulia with a form-fitting pant like the Oshima. Since the top has a slim silhouette, you can throw on an oversized layer like the Dougherty coat without adding too much volume. This is the outfit to reach for when you reeeally don’t want to take off your pajamas but still need to look like a professional adult who has a job. In other words: You can catch me proudly sporting this combo at least once a week.