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Style Counsel: The Perfect White Tee Shirt


Style Counsel: The Perfect White Tee Shirt

June 21, 2013

We often get requests from friends asking for recommendations on a certain piece of furniture or a fixture, but a year ago, when my friend Berry wanted to know my go-to white tee shirt, I was stumped. I had just recently come to the realization that my staple, the Petit Bateau white tee, was looking infinitely better on my tween daughter (tragic, I know). Where to turn? I was in white tee shirt limbo. I polled my fashion forward-friend, Heidi, who promptly recommended Alexander Wang and APC. I thought the latter would work, but it was not to be. Then, last summer, on a visit to LA, I found the solution: the Standard Issue Crew Neck T Shirt from Apollis (a soft, washed cotton jersey with a fit inspired by military issue undershirts). I stocked up immediately and have never looked back.

Who knew that such a wardrobe basic could be so elusive? Should you find yourself in a similar situation, here’s a roundup of our favorite white tee picks at Remodelista:

Style Counsel The Perfect White Tee Shirt portrait 3
  • Julie: “I recently discovered Everlane and I’m a fan of their well-priced basics; their V-White Tee is $15.”
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  • Francesca: “My current obsession is the Isabel Marant Linen tee shirt, which I have in short sleeve and long. Pricey, but with a nice chunky necklace it’s a new substitute for the white button-down shirt. $176 from Montaigne Market.
  • Christine: “For years, I have been wearing Petit Bateau White tees and when I do, I’m channeling Jean Seberg in Breathless.” $33 for a two pack set from Petit Bateau.
Style Counsel The Perfect White Tee Shirt portrait 5
  • Alexa: “Ever since I first discovered Danish designer Marie-Louise Mogensen’s Base Range line last year I’ve been collecting the pieces, one by one. Their whole approach is about clean and functional basics with a sustainable, organic approach. I like the oversized fit of the Classic Tee in off white made from organic bamboo.”  $55 from La Garconne.
  • Janet: “I love a classic Boatneck Tee and my favorite is from Chance. It holds its shape, which is a flattering but not an overly tight fit.” $68 from Chance.

Style Counsel The Perfect White Tee Shirt portrait 6

  • Meredith: “At heart, I’m not really that fancy. I truly love the Hanes V Neck Undershirt. They’re opaque enough to wear in real life and run small enough to fit a woman’s frame. I don’t like the delicate little arms designers put on women’s shirts; I like the fit of men’s tees, loose and comfortable. These hold up in the wash and they’re tagless and uber comfortable. And they’re cheap enough that you can actually wear white tees like the basics they’re meant to be.” $21 for a pack of three from Hanes.
  • Stacey: “The Standard Issue Crew Neck T Shirt from Apollis. I tend to pick up a new one whenever I’m in downtown LA, and they make such good gifts, too.”
  • Izabella (our resident Scandi): “I like Filippa K Tees, preferably in jersey cotton fabric. They are super comfy, durable, and keep their shape.” They’re hard to come by in the US, so Izabella usually buys them on trips back to Sweden (you can find them online in the UK at Boozt).
 splendid v neck t shirt
  • Justine: “As a mother of young children, Splendid’s very light jersey tee is exactly the kind of shirt I look for. Casually feminine, it has personality and flare, but still works well with my active lifestyle. I love the juxtaposition of playful capped sleeves with the subtly sexy lower neck line. And I have to admit, the modest coverage of the tummy and posterior certainly has its appeal.” Splendid Jersey Tee; $48 from Revolve Clothing.
Style Counsel The Perfect White Tee Shirt portrait 16_36

As for Berry, after much sleuthing on her part, she ended up with the Short Sleeve Crew T, $14.95 from The Gap. As she says, “I’m always getting stains on tee shirts. I’ve learned it’s best to buy a bunch and have a new one standing by.” If you have a favorite white tee shirt, we’d love to add it to the list. Just pop it in the comments below. Thanks!

Want to know what to do when a tee shirt starts to yellow? Check out our post on Editors’ Secret Cleaning Tips.

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Frequently asked questions

What makes a perfect white tee shirt?

A perfect white tee shirt is made of high-quality materials like pima cotton or linen and has a flattering cut that fits well on the body without clinging. It also has the right thickness to provide adequate coverage while still being breathable and comfortable.

How should a white tee shirt fit?

A white tee shirt should fit snugly without being too tight or too loose. It should skim the body without clinging to every curve or bunching up at the waist. The ideal length should hit at the hips and the sleeves should be fitted but not constricting.

What should I consider when choosing a white tee shirt?

When choosing a white tee shirt, consider the material, cut, and brand. Look for high-quality materials like pima cotton or linen that will last longer and feel more comfortable on the skin. Consider the cut that flatters your body shape and your personal style. And choose a reputable brand that offers quality products and good customer service.

How do I care for my white tee shirt?

To care for your white tee shirt, follow the care instructions on the label. Wash it in cold water with like colors and tumble dry on low or hang dry. Avoid using bleach or fabric softeners, as they can damage the fabric and cause yellowing. If your white tee shirt gets stained, treat the stain immediately with a stain remover like OxiClean, then wash as usual.

How can I style a white tee shirt?

A white tee shirt is a versatile piece that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. For a casual look, pair it with jeans and sneakers. For a more polished look, tuck it into a high-waisted skirt or pants and add heels. Layer it under a blazer or denim jacket for a chic and effortless outfit.

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