White Ts – Your Basic’s Basic

12 Feb

There’s nothing more standard, more comfortable, more accepted, more versatile than the white T-shirt. It takes on many forms: v-neck, crew neck, 100% cotton, some spandex, henley, long-sleeve, short-sleeve, ballet neck, tank top, long tank top…you get the idea. It really doesn’t matter what style of a white T you like, we all need them and we all default to them as the basis for many an ensemble.

Some tips when buy cotton T-shirts, particularly white:

  1. Try to buy a cotton blend (cotton/spandex; cotton/modal; cotton/nylon). They offer snap-backability so they keep their shape and don’t stretch out.
  2. When you go to buy a T-shirt, make sure it stretches lengthwise and widthwise. Tug on it from the neck down and from one side to the other to ensure a good stretch and  bounce back.
  3. Thickness: tissue thin is great but it’s just that…thin. So make sure you know how you want to use your Ts–underneath versus on its own.

Some of my favorite Ts are below and here’s why…

White Tanks

These layer under the itchy sweater, under a semi-sheer top, work for you in a workout, can be dressed up with jewelry and a blazer and offer the best in sleeping comfort.  I typically will take advantage of the “Buy 2 for $15” at some chain store, wear them for the season, throw them away and replenish.  Cheap tanks are fine for sleeping or lounging around. But they don’t necessarily take well to the streets or work or play.  Some alternatives that my be a bit more pricey but well worth it. They last a little longer, they hold their shape a great deal better, and they are a mix of cotton with other soft, stretchy fabrics to make them more comfortable than your average cotton tank.

James Perse: $45–The key is the fabric, cotton and modal. Premium stretch and superb snap back. Finally, a rib knit that doesn’t stretch out!


Splendid: $44–This is an alternative to a body-skimming tank but still maintains the integrity of the definition. A loose, flowy fabric offers you max-comfort and it still works as a layer underneath jackets and sweaters.


White V-Neck

The v-neck is a flattering neckline for most any woman, particularly those who have am ample chest. It also makes for a great framework for a beautiful necklace or scarf.  Long-, short-, or somewhere in between, the V-neck is clean and crisp with dark denim or any dark colored pants, and uber-comfy underneath your favorite hoodie.

Michael Stars: $46.  This style does a world of good for two reasons. First, the V is wide and elegant. Second, a 1/2 length sleeve that hits at the elbow is very flattering for women who have larger arms as it hits the narrowest point on the arm. It’s long enough to peek out underneath a shorter cardigan or sweater and it covers the belly if you’re wearing low-rise bottoms.


LA Made: $41.  Long sleeve v-necks look great underneath short-sleeved tops, sweaters or cropped jackets. I have two myself and they serve as the basis for many winter outfits for a layer of warmth and a peek of slouchy style under a brightly colored sweater.



Camisole is the cousin of the tank. The basic difference is that the strap is spaghetti in width rather than the 1″ width of the tank.  Every woman should own a variety of camisoles in a variety of colors.  I use them under any top that plunges too far in the neckline making it appropriate for work.  I wear them around my apartment, I wear them on a super hot day when I’m running errands, and I wear them under most sweaters or cardigans.

Hanro Grace 1927: $54. The lace at the top is a pretty detail that renders jewelry unnecessary, but for a simple pair of hoop earrings.  It’s smooth to the body making it an easy layer without adding bulk and long enough to cover any peeking tummy from the waistband of your bottoms. This same simple style is also available without the lace…and in every color under the sun.


Ella Moss: (sale) $55 Ella makes flirty and feminine clothes in comfortable fabrics.  This camisole is loose and flowy, pretty classic white.



One Response to “White Ts – Your Basic’s Basic”

  1. nyshoespy February 21, 2009 at 8:22 pm #

    Good call on the brands you selected, James Perse is my absolute favorite for t-shirts and tanks – definitely worth the extra they cost. 🙂

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