Ode to the White Tee
In a way, nothing needs to be said about the white t-shirt. All of us are familiar with it, we all own at least one, and it is one of those classics that goes with everything, so nothing can go wrong wearing it. And that is true in my opinion, and then not true, because if you intensify your relationship with the white tee, then you’ll find out that there is an ocean full of choices you have to make, and therefore, potentially, also can make them wrong.
Let’s start with fabrics (cotton? Silk? Linen? Viscose? Polyester? Blends?), the cut (boxy/boyfriend/tight/baby/70s/90s/long/short/high-low/rounded hem), the sleeves (how long/how wide), and the collar (v-neck/crew/round/boat). I’m just naming a few options here. A few years ago I decided to take the plunge and have been constantly on the lookout for the “white perfect t-shirt” ever since. And it’s been quite a journey I have to say.
Initially, the slouchy v-neck tee was the only tee on my radar, but even just focusing on that category left me with a million options. The fabric can be too thick, which affects the way the t-shirt falls, or too thin, which then forces you to always wear a tank underneath. And the v-neck can be too high or too low. Those were my main challenges for that category.
Pretty quickly after the v-neck, I adopted the wide round neck into my repertoire, since it conveys a similar feel as the slouchy v-neck, and also, a designer I photographed for made a fabulous one and gave it to me (with rolled sleeves). But I was definitely still in the boyfriend/slouchy territory overall. If you haven’t given that style a try, I highly recommend you do. Depending on how wide the collar is you get a bit of an 80s Flashdance vibe.
Then, over the last few years, two things crept into my consciousness: the crew neck, and the fitted tee. I honestly don’t know how it happened. I think I was purchasing more high-waisted skirts, and with that silhouette, at least for me, the slouchy did not work. I wanted a more feminine feel, and the slimmer versions of my classic delivered perfectly. That was a 180-degree turn for me, I had never even considered that style, so a whole world opened up for me.
And that is pretty much where I am right now. I am still looking for great tees, I’d love to have a go-to brand, but so far I don’t. I’d love to design my own ones one day, we’ll see. The only thing that has been constant for all the tees I own is that the fabric can’t be too thick. For me, it ruins the feeling of comfort and sense of ease that to me the white tee represents. If you have any white tee recommendations, please let me know! I’d love to try them out.
And here some of the looks I love and that have held up over time: