We’ve cataloged the best crew necks, v-necks, cropped, oversized, sustainable, and ribbed white t-shirts to add to your cart.
Picture this: the year is 2006. I’m a junior in high school desperate to make my prep school uniform look only slightly cooler than my administration had intended it to be. Before I stack an arm party on my non-dominant arm and achieve the worst attempt at a subtle hint of eyeliner along my bottom waterline, I layer a Hane’s white t-shirt under my school’s branded gray polo. It’s a subtle adjustment to a look that would otherwise be a copy/paste of everyone around me, but I know I look more like an “individual,” with a glimpse of that white tee peeking out through the edges of my sleeves. Flash forward to today and I’m still inspired by the myriad of ways I can bring a bit more of myself into my wardrobe with the power of a simple white tee. 100% Cotton T-Shirt
White t-shirts promise style immortality to stand the test of time through trends, seasons, and infinite possibility–but that doesn’t mean they’re easy to shop for. Price, sizing, availability, and cut variation put t-shirts at the top of our list every month too. It’s like we’re always in search of the perfect white tee because the “one,” might not even exist. After all, the tee that completes one outfit sometimes begs for a new neckline with another. In other words, the fitted crew neck that layered perfectly underneath my school uniform isn’t the same as the oversized tee I’d turn to today for an off-duty look with leggings on a weekend outing with my kids. Although we support any endeavor to find true love, different ensembles call for unique qualities that require an endless rotation of tees. Don’t worry, we won’t even call it cheating. Like you, we need all of the t-shirts too.
Here we took the research out of your t-shirt time commitment and found 21 of the best crew necks, v-necks, cropped, oversized, sustainable, and ribbed varieties so that you can focus on the rest of your outfit. With 21 tees that offer the aforementioned infinite style potential, we’re pretty sure your ensembles really will know no limits now. And while we might not be mathematicians, we would argue that this list offers style solutions for every fashion equation.
We’ll be the first to admit that you can never really have too many classic crew neck t-shirts. The best tees are comfortable, airy, and obediently tuck into every pair of jeans we own. While they don’t make a style statement on their own, they also promise to showcase the personalities of all of us in how they’re picked, pulled, and placed into any covetable wardrobe.
Cropped tees prove that casual classics don’t have to be slouchy–the right silhouettes even work when they’re glammed up for a night out. While $4 target t-shirts are arguably worth buying in bulk for the weekends, luxe fitted crop tees have a place in every closet too. We’ll be the first to admit that channeling the “girl next door” style from a ‘90s rom-com requires high-waisted denim paired with one of the below. Additionally, we’ve decided that crop tops reign supreme in every single season.
On the flip-side, there are the t-shirts we stole from our partner's closet or ordered in a few sizes too big to layer over our go-to leggings, under a fitted vest, and everywhere in-between. These oversized tees do the guesswork in fit so that we can focus on the rest of our outfits. In other words, add them all to your cart.
If we’ve learned anything about layering over the years, it’s that a long-sleeved t-shirt can build the foundation for just about any look. We’ve seen them peek through underneath knit sweaters or add an air of effortlessness to an otherwise fancy slip dress–every wardrobe has a place for them. However, the best ones are arguably more challenging to find. Through trial and error, we’ve identified a few favorites that are cotton, fitted, and free of buttons or pockets. Those prerequisites are what give these white long-sleeve t-shirts the versatility we need to style them with everything we own.
Honestly, v-neck tees can be a hit or a miss. While we love the ability to layer necklaces or scarves into v-neck t-shirts with boxy silhouettes, sometimes we’re cognizant of looking like we just showed up for our first day of sleepaway camp. Ganni’s boxier tee avoids too much nostalgia and looks more suited for a sushi lunch in the city than it does for the mess hall at camp in Maine. Similarly, the rest of these v-necks offer a bit of a modern take on a throwback. Plus, there was never really anything wrong with camp anyway. After all, it’s where most of us learned how to turn a crush into a kiss.
On the topic of sustainability, the v-neck Ganni above is only one of our award-winning tees to buy now and style forever. We all know that even the best white tees have unpredictably short lifespans. Moreover, they typically lose their vibrant white hue even after a soft run with bleach or tend to shrink or fall apart with extended wear. So, that’s where recycled materials and limited carbon emissions come into our consideration set. PS: when these tees also inevitably serve their intended purpose, we’ll be giving them new life with a DIY tie-dye or recycling them again to do our part as fashion lovers with a conscience too.
Often more fitted and equally more challenging to find? Ribbed t-shirts. They offer more texture and elegance than many of their classic competitors too, so we’d call them worthy of workwear. Here are our favorites:
In conclusion, we’d argue that one can never have too many white t-shirts and that no two tees are exactly alike. The best laid wardrobes are also only complete with the collection of classic tees that allow our personalities to take center stage whether they’re peeking out from underneath our uniforms or laying the foundation for an entirely original look. Beyond that, we’re thoughtful about sustainably sourced or organic materials, staying power, and any circular fashion story that we can achieve with our white t-shirts. So, they’re a continual investment we’ll always support.
Since the sheer versatility of “the white t-shirt” promises to offer your own style true stardom, we could argue that a t-shirt is merely the canvas from which your style crafts true art. The only question that remains is: where will you start?
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