What’s the Best White T-shirt?

By
Not a Hanes in sight.

Last month, we asked twelve men to name their favorite white T-shirts, and the consensus was loud and clear: Hanes, be it V-neck, crewneck, tagless, or ComfortBlend. Now, we’ve asked 15 stylish women to muse on their favorite white tees: not too sheer, not too tight, anything but cap sleeves — and not a Hanes in sight.

For dressing up:

“I like the Rag & Bone Base Tee because of the fit and feel. I’m tall so I like the T-shirt to hit below my waist. It also has a little sheer look — not solid white — so it makes it a bit dressier and more feminine.” —Lindsey Boyd, co-owner of the Laundress

Buy
Rag & Bone Base Tee$85, Saks Fifth Avenue

For wearing with a necklace:

“I like the Everlane V-neck because of the company’s transparency. It’s an ethical issue — I like to know where the clothing is made. And I like this specific shirt because I wear a lot of necklaces, so the depth of this V shows them.” —Elizabeth Rose, server at Café Gitane

Buy
Everlane Cotton V$15, Everlane

For wearing with an army jacket:

“I love my slub-linen-and-cotton tee from James Perse. It’s pretty much an essential white T-shirt and slots seamlessly with most outfits. The cut is a pretty loose fit, and I like its semi-sheer vibes. I usually wear my white tees with sweatpants or yoga pants, maybe with an Army-green jacket. Also on the beach over swimsuits.” —Maya Jankelowitz, owner of Jack’s Wife Freda

Buy
James Perse Relaxed Linen Cotton Tee$69, Forward

For tucking in to high-waisted jeans:

“I like a white shirt to feel like an occasion, something that only needs my well-moisturized skin and a few gold necklaces to set off. Lately, I’ve been really into the Project Social T because it has enough weight and length to give it a dramatic slouch and a good silhouette that flatters my curves. It is also incredibly versatile. I can wear it tucked in to a pair of high-waisted shorts or ripped boyfriend jeans or over leggings with a blazer for meetings. It’s sexy without being overly femme, which is important to my current aesthetic.” —Jenna Wortham, staff writer for The New York Times Magazine

Buy
Project Social T Austin Tee$39, Urban Outfitters

For playing a concert in:

“My shirt is a Gildan Soft Style 64000. I play a lot of our shows in it because I always feel comfortable in it. And I love the feeling this shirt gets when you’ve worn it for a long time — loose but fitting, with a stretched-out collar. I cut a few inches off the bottom, so it barely meets the waist of my jeans.” —Jane Penny, singer, TOPS

Buy
Gildan Soft Style 64000$3, Amazon

For wearing with low-rise pants:

“A great white T-shirt is soft, works tucked and not, and strikes the perfect balance between loose and snug. I like the Everlane Men’s Cotton Pocket because it hangs nicely with low-waist pants.” —Anna Gray, writer and editor of Things I Would Buy If I Didn’t Have to Pay Rent newsletter

Buy
Everlane Men’s Cotton Pocket$15, Everlane

For wearing with linen:

“My face is round so my T-shirt has to have a round neck. It’s a very light, not sensitive fabric. In the summer I wear them with linen — under an open linen shirt, or with linen pants.” —Minnie Min, tailor and owner of Grand Cleaners

Buy
James Perse Casual T-shirt$60, James Perse

For a mock-neck vibe:

“The most crucial detail to my favorite white T is a high and tight-ribbed crewneck. I’ve found the best ones to be assorted among the boys’ classics. I like an early-2000s Fruit of the Loom boys three-pack crew. The packaging must feature the classic dark-blue stripe and saturated fruits. Mock neck look is guaranteed.” —Mellany Sanchez, stylist

Buy
Fruit of the Loom Boys Crewneck TeeFrom $7 for a three-pack, Amazon

For bringing to friends in Europe:

“Whenever I go to Europe it’s what my friends want me to bring for them. It’s because of the fit — they are very straight and sit flat along the chest. I even keep one here in the store, just in case.” —Rosemary Matovu, owner of Madame Matovu vintage store

Buy
Fruit of the Loom Men’s White V-necksFrom $12 for a five-pack, Amazon

For comfort:

“My favorite white T-shirt is the perfect V-neck short-sleeve from Old Navy. For me, a lot of it has to do with comfort. I’m on the bustier side and crewneck T-shirts make me and ‘the ladies’ feel like I’m choking. V-necks give me some room to breathe while giving it a little bit of a flirty flair. Also, because I work in the restaurant industry, affordability is super-important. And the material is actually not that bad. It lasts for more than one wash!” —Sunnie Park, pastry chef at Charlie Palmer at the Knick

Buy
Old Navy Perfect V-Neck Tee$8, Old Navy

For slight translucency:

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

“This is my favorite white tee because it’s so soft and luxurious that it feels like a decades-old super-worn-in supermarket shirt, though it’s not nearly as cheap and you don’t have to wait to break it in. I also love that it’s see-through enough that your bra peeks through just slightly, which feminizes the boxy boy cut. Definitely my girl next door who’s going to seduce you look.” —Diane Chang, owner, Eating Popo’s

Buy
Base Range Off-White T-Shirt$60, The Line

For just the slightest logo:

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

“I love that the material on this is just a little bit thicker than on most tees. The sleeves on this are just right too — not too long but not cap sleeves either. And even though I have a long torso, I have a weirdly high waist and somehow these hit at a sweet spot that really flatters me. I never wear it tucked or with a rolled sleeve because it’s the perfect length. Plus, the heart just gives it that little bit of ’tude.” —Jesse Lee, visual artist

Buy
Comme des Garçons Play$85, Ssense

For wearing without a bra:

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

“I’ve lately started wearing this pocket tee and absolutely love that it doesn’t have a soft preciousness. So many women’s shirts have that stretchiness about them, but this has the weight and structure of a men’s shirt. I like wearing it front-tucked with jeans and rolling up the sleeves. The best thing about it is the perfectly placed pocket over the left boob, which I think suits women who are smaller busted. The shirt’s opaque so I can skip a bra, too (I hate bras).” —Shannon Adducci, contributing editor, Billboard

Buy
Levi’s Perfect Pocket Tee$30, Spring

For buttery softness:

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

“I used to be a big James Perse wearer, but recently I fell in love with the T-shirt of a male friend of mine. I brushed up against him and felt this incredibly smooth texture, so of course I stole the shirt (which is too big for me in a way I like), and every time I wear it it feels softer than silk.” —Deborah Castel, senior footwear designer, Opening Ceremony

Buy
Buck Mason Slub Tee$28, Buck Mason

For wearing under a dress:

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

“I buy this shirt in extra-large so it’s casual and loose, but somehow it still has a shape that hugs the right parts above the waist. I’ll pair it with anything — jeans under a vintage ’90s bomber jacket or with a short skirt or even under baggy dresses. Plus, I love that it’s made of organic cotton with responsible manufacturing and farming practices.” —Diya Vij, cultural producer

Buy
PACT V-neck Tee$15, Amazon

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