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
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.
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.
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.
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.