The Best White T-Shirts

Last week I got another one of those SOS messages…

“Help Hallie! I’m headed on my first vacation in over a year and looking for some great white t-shirts. What are your favorite brands? Thanks!”

And it got me thinking… Like white jeans, a great plain white t-shirt is one of those items we’re always on the lookout for. They need to be replaced often (every year or two) in order to stay clean and bright. And if you’re like me you have a favorite that you’re holding on to for dear life and then others that you like, but maybe don’t completely love.

IMHO – a white t-shirt is a foundational piece in a wardrobe. And it’s not a one size fits all proposition (ha-ha pun intended!) I typically recommend having a short sleeve, sleeveless and long sleeve version in your wardrobe. Unless you have specific reasons for not wearing one of those styles (like modesty – no sleeveless, or hot flashes – no long sleeve) they each play a role in your wardrobe.

The Essential Elements to Look for in a White T-Shirt:

  • Fabric – some softness and drape
  • Neck – hits at your clavicle bone and not too thick a band
  • Sleeve – if it’s a short sleeve, ideally to hits at a diagonal at the top of the tricep
  • Length – at the hip bone

Crew Neck vs. V-Neck

And then there are the various styles of t-shirt. The neckline (crew vs v-neck) and sleeve length (sleeveless, short sleeve, or long). Some of this depends on what works best for your particular figure.

V-necks tend to look better on women with larger busts. However, sometimes a v-neck can be harder to put under a topper (jean jacket, blazer, or cardigan) because the necklines fight.

And v-neck styles are perfect for highlighting necklaces, especially layered or statement necklaces. Yes, necklaces can look great on a crewneck but there’s something about the way a v-neck frames a multi-chair neck party that can’t be beaten.

A Balanced White Tee Shirt Wardrobe

Having these three (well really four) styles in your wardrobe will give you maximum versatility. Of course, if you don’t wear a particular sleeve length (modesty, hot flashes, hatred of upper arms – yes this is a thing), then take that type of top out of the mix. But if you wear all, then having a basic white tee shirt in various arm lengths will allow you to use them as building blocks in your outfits.

  1. Short sleeve (both crew and v-neck). For when you want that classic tee shirt and jeans combo. This also looks good under suiting to make it a smidge more casual.
  2. Sleeveless. For the summer when it’s HOT. Also for under toppers that have shear or tight sleeves.
  3. Long-Sleeved. A needed but often overlooked style. The long-sleeved variety looks great layered under sweaters and jackets and adds another element of warmth too.

So let’s have at it – my favorite white t-shirt’s this season.

Short Sleeve

V-Neck

Sleeveless

Long Sleeve

I feel like this is one of those topics I talk about year after year. But that’s because a great white t-shirt is a building block of a wardrobe.

As always – hit me up with your fashion SOS’s – my best posts come for your questions.

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Photo: Becky Cormell

Location: District Gallery – Artwork: Joshua Jensen-Nagle

Outfit details: T-Shirt // Sunglasses // Jeans // Shoes

Author

Cleveland-based personal stylist and fashion blogger.

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