If you’ve read my Classic Style Wardrobe Staples Post, you know how important  The Perfect White T-Shirt is to your wardrobe.  I live in tee shirts and they suit my casual lifestyle, but I also feel that a really high quality black and white tee is essential for a more dressy lifestyle too! You can dress it up or down and it’s a silent layering piece. It’s classic paired with jeans, or with black leggings and sneakers, or worn with a blazer and heels. If you spot me at school drop off, or grocery shopping, you will see me wearing some combination of this uniform. Once I find the perfect t-shirt style quality and fit wise, I stock up on black, white and other neutrals. Other colors can be fun too but I find I can’t play around with the look I want (classic, elegant) as well as I can with neutrals like black, white and navy. These are my favorite basic t-shirts

Basic White Tee, The Perfect White T-Shirt The Perfect White T-Shirt To Wear With Jeans, Lululemon Black Tee Shirt The Perfect White T-Shirt To Wear With Jeans, Pink

The Lululemon Love Tee 

I’ve been wearing Lululemon tee shirts for 10 years now. The Lululemon basic t-shirt has transformed over the years and it’s gone from ‘5 Year Pima’ to 6 versions of the Love Tee. My original 5 Year Pima Tees from 8 years ago are still going strong. The cut of that original style now feels a bit dated to me (and too casual) so I have now relegated those to my pajama drawer and replaced them with this version of the love tee, the Love Tee V. This version dresses up or down very well.  love this one because the sleeves aren’t cuffed, they sleeves are slightly longer, and the v neck is perfect. I love that they are made of high-quality Pima cotton, and Lyra for stretch. The added Lycra gives the material such a nice drape and shape. I find these can relax out slightly with wear, and I have sized down in a few of them – but I really like a more relaxed tee shirt these days.

Aritzia Sami T Shirt

The Sami T-Shirt from Aritzia is another one I like a lot. It’s the second favorite to my Lululemon tees. I’m very picky about the Aritzia tees though because they use a variety of materials across the same design. I will only buy tee shirts at Aritzia that are made of cotton/modal blends. The rayon version of their tees ALWAYS end up with holes in them and they get misshapen with washing. That’s just the nature of rayon though. Rayon is delicate and rips very easily, and the fibres get really deformed. It feels very nice and silky when you first buy it and has a beautiful drape, but the material is really inferior and not meant to last. You do not want to baby your basic tee shirts like you would a silk blouse. The cotton/modal blends though are so soft and lovely. I have this tee in this stripe, the inverse of this stripe, black, grey and navy. All perfect basics. They are pricey though so I only buy them when I catch the Aritzia sales. If I’m paying full price for one I’d much rather get the Lululemon Love Tee.

The Perfect White T-Shirt To Wear With Jeans, Madewell Whisper Tee

Madewell Whisper Tee

This is a tee that I like because it’s very affordable, and it’s 100% cotton. I love the look of it when it’s ironed. It’s slightly sheer, but not really enough that you need to wear a nude bra with it. You just get a hint of sheerness from the fabric. What I don’t like about this tee is that it definitely requires ironing right out of the dryer.  I wanted you to see that so I didn’t iron this tee, or the one below. I hate ironing tee shirts or casual wear. Happy to iron a cute blouse, or pants or a dress, but I’m not about ironing basics. All of my other tees I can hang to dry, or machine dry and if I hang them or fold them right away they stay pressed. This tee will never look pressed without an iron. I size up in the Madewell Whisper tee because it does shrink slightly. Overall, for $19 this tee is great.

The Perfect White T-Shirt To Wear With Jeans

J Crew Tee

I couldn’t resist the print on this tee. I consider it a basic because it’s mostly white, and the print is really small. Like the Madewell tee above it wrinkles and needs ironing to look pressed. It’s on the pricey side for what it is so I recommend holding off on these on sale.

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19 Comments

  1. Becca
    July 5, 2018 / 3:29 pm

    I also love quality tees! I love nice jeans and a good quality t shirt. I jus bought a few James Perse shirts on sale. I had a couple Madewell t shirts from two years ago and loved the fit, but I wore holes in both of them in the armpit (weird). They are both completely worn out. I bought a new white one this year and they chopped about two inches off of the bottom hem. Would definitely prefer to invest in tees that will last. I’ve been hesitant about the Love Tees’ durability, so I’m glad to hear your recommendation!

    • Cristina
      Author
      July 5, 2018 / 5:33 pm

      I think the Love Tee is definitely durable. It’s maybe not as durable as the old 5 year Pimas and the quality has gone down since then but I think you’d get at least a good 3-4 years out of them. I have!
      I have heard really great things about James Perse tees and believe they will be at the NSALE this year. I’ll look out for them and grab one if I can.

      Jeans post is next! I live in jeans.

      • Stacy
        July 7, 2018 / 1:25 am

        I have a few James Perse white tees that I have worn to death. They occasionally pop up at Marshalls on deep discount towards the end of the summer.

        • Becca
          July 7, 2018 / 6:15 am

          You can usually find lots of James Perse at Nordstrom Rack. They are my absolute favorite.

        • Cristina
          Author
          July 7, 2018 / 10:05 am

          That’s great! A few years ago Nordstrom Vancouver had a warehouse sale (hosted by another company) and they had James Perse tees for $12. I didn’t get any because I couldn’t figure out the sizing (I think it was 1, 2 and 3) but my sister grabbed a few and she loves them.

  2. Carmen
    July 5, 2018 / 3:57 pm

    Hi Cristina! Love your blog! Any thoughts on the Kit and Ace tees? Specifically the crew neck tee? I am tall, broad-shouldered with a longish torso. Any thoughts on how they fit?

    • Cristina
      Author
      July 5, 2018 / 5:30 pm

      One of my favorite black tees is my Kit & Ace Noosa Tee. If they still sold that style I would buy another one and a back up. Unfortunately mine now has a hole in it but it lasted a good three years. The scoop on that one is just perfect. Actually, I got mine during the huge Boxing Day sale they had a few years ago and sadly this year they didn’t have the same sale. That one fit relaxed and slouchy, but very feminine. I haven’t purchased any of the more recent ones only because they are boxier fit with higher crew necks.

      • Cristina
        Author
        July 5, 2018 / 5:31 pm

        I definitely recommend you give a K&A tee a try though. I stay TTS. Just beware though that they are not as cool as cotton. They are a lovely material, but just slightly too warm for me on a very hot day.

  3. Anon
    July 5, 2018 / 4:07 pm

    All the tees look good on you but the Love Tee white one looks better than the solid white Madewell tee, the Love Tee quality looks to be better as well. I don’t buy anything casual that needs ironing. The thought of ironing a tee shirt, NO WAY! One of the things I love about my casual wear is not having to iron anything. The Love Tee v-neck is too low on me so I buy the crewneck. I also have a 5 year pima tee that I still wear that has curved slits on the sides. As I wear my Love Tees and Swiftlies so much as casual wear with my Street To Studios I don’t buy a lot of other brand tees. I also don’t wear blue jeans much in the summer unless it’s a cold day.

    • Cristina
      Author
      July 5, 2018 / 5:37 pm

      I agree with you. I was really happy with the look of the madewell tee when I got it, and still do like it, but seeing the pictures here I can tell the Love Tee looks the best. It’s definitely the most luxurious, but pricing isn’t that different between all of them, except for the madewell.

      Jeans are my staple. For as long as I’ve been a Lululemon blogger I haven’t really worn tights as much as I wear my jeans for casual wear. Occasionally I wear my tights but I feel more myself wearing jeans. It’s fully summer here and very hot and I wore my jeans today for half the day and only switched to shorts when I went to the pool.

  4. Jennifer
    July 5, 2018 / 5:26 pm

    The vintage t-shirts from Gap are really nice and don’t need ironing.

    • Cristina
      Author
      July 5, 2018 / 5:38 pm

      They are! They are actually pretty similar in shape and feel to the Love Tee. I haven’t purchased one yet but I think I’ll pick one up to compare it. If I do I’ll add it to this post at a later date.

  5. Anon
    July 5, 2018 / 5:26 pm

    I am in love with Lululemon love tee and love crew. I bought many white ones for both styles as well as other colors.
    They are very good quality and wash and dry well. They are very low maintenance.

    • Cristina
      Author
      July 5, 2018 / 5:39 pm

      So low maintenance. I love them!

  6. Gymmie
    July 5, 2018 / 6:25 pm

    The lord and taylor tees at the bay are great and go on sale often for $10 to $12. I have a few pima cotton ones from 3 yrs ago that still look new and feel amazing…i put them through dryer now that i had them for a while and the seams arent faded or anything. I also bought this years version…feels great too but doesnt say it is pima… Not sure if they are or not. I just cant bring myself to spend more than $15 on a basic tee… Especially if i want a few different colours or get new ones every season…

    • Cristina
      Author
      July 5, 2018 / 8:01 pm

      Oooh what a great recommendation. I haven’t seen the L&T tees but I buy the cashmere sweaters by L&T at the bay when they have them on sale in December.

  7. Merrly
    July 5, 2018 / 9:32 pm

    Love all your new posts especially this! I’m alwahs looking for timeless basics and classics. I’ve never owned any love tees but now I’m gonna have to check them out!

  8. Susie
    July 6, 2018 / 5:23 pm

    Hi Cristina thank you for posting all of the information on t shirts. I love the J Crew tee with the swimmers. I was not able to find on line at J Crew. Do you know if it is still available? Thank you and love your blog!

    • Cristina
      Author
      July 6, 2018 / 7:33 pm

      Hi Susie, thanks for reading! I’m sorry, it’s definitely sold out on J Crew but I found it here on eBay. You may also have luck finding it on the J Crew and Madewell sales group on facebook. This is the link to the landing page for it on Nordstrom, and on J Crew in case you need the title information, but it’s sold out.

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