Object Lesson: Inside-Out

marceltank_objectlessonIt may be the most basic element in your wardrobe, but it's also the most significant: the undershirt, the tank top, and to add a new name to the roster (in addition to the one we prefer not to mention), the Marcel.
Though the origins behind the name Marcel are unknown—was it coined after boxer Marcel Cerdan, or the everyday miners and truckers who made it a staple?—the iconic under-outer garment is instantly recognizable. Having established a particular fondness for the piece, the designers at Le Fabuleux Marcel de Bruxelles, a new Belgian label with a nouvelle vague sensibility, have taken the Marcel back to its origins, perfecting the very basics of the basic.
Whether worn solo on a hot summer day or used as an added layer of protection between you and your wooly winter sweaters, the value of the undershirt lies in its design and versatility. Using only the sturdiest but softest cottons, the freshest but most classic colors, and the best in sporty and casual cuts, Le Fabuleux's limited collection meets the criteria head on. But there's one in particular we find undeniably magnifique.
Think French Riviera, Coco Chanel, and Picasso when you put on Le Pablo. Aptly named after the artist who made the hearty striped tank a uniform, this modern version (for both men and women) features the label's standard cut with 6mm stripes in varying color combinations. It suggests the romance of the early 20th century, and is proven to move between the seasons and the years without ever missing a beat. As the warmer days of spring approach, you just may want to invest in a few—some for now, later, under, over, day, night, and at least one, if not two, for forever.
"Le Pablo" for men is available in white/gray and white/navy ($85) at Odin, 199 Lafayette Street, New York City, 212-966-0026. "Le Pablo" for women is available in white/navy at Mick Margo, 19 Commerce Street, New York City, 212-463-0515.
A Belgian label pays homage to the undershirt.