i can't stop buying

A T-shirt Fanatic on Her Absolute Favorite T-shirts

Welcome to our new recurring feature, I Can’t Stop Buying, where we talk to people who can’t stop buying very particular things. Strategist associate editor Katy Schneider tells us about her favorite T-shirts.

There is generally not much intention behind a T-shirt collection — like snack and sock drawers, they tend to dwindle and build, dwindle and build, seemingly of their own accord. In mine: a Worcester Fire Department tee, a freebie from a New Haven–based production of Grease the Musical, and a threadbare beer shirt that reads, “The Best You Can Get If You Can Get It.”

But having an intentional, out-of-the-house T-shirt collection is an investment worth making — a nice, more-than-$15, didn’t-just-appear-in-your-drawer T-shirt has the ability to flatter your body without dragging attention away from the rest of your outfit. The T-shirts I like — and the ones I think generally do the best job of fulfilling the above — are a sort of baby tee/crop top/undershirt hybrid: small and boxy, crewnecked, lightly structured, and subtly cropped at the waist and the arms. A warning, before we delve into links: Some of these shirts may seem expensive. It’s absurd, you’ll probably say to yourself, to spend $80 on a simple tee. But hear me out: These T-shirts are the retail equivalent of no-makeup makeup. These are T-shirts that will pull together an entire outfit handily, no matter what you are wearing — they’ll elevate jeans, and even out skirts and fancy pants. And most importantly, these are T-shirts you can wear almost every day — for days in a row, without anyone so much as noticing.

Sidenote: If you are T-shirt or boxy-fit adverse, try a more fitted tee with a three-quarters-length sleeve. These are equally versatile, with the added benefit of being almost bafflingly flattering on the arm. And they’re really, really great tucked into a wide-legged pant — which might be why they’re a thing all of a sudden.

Conventional T-shirts

RE/DONE x Hanes 1950’s Boxy Crop Tee
$78 at La Garçonne

This is the tee you imagine you could find at a vintage store for $15 dollars, but will not. You’ll never regret owning this.

Lacausa Clothing Frank Tee
$55 at Garmentory

A perfect, subtle crop on the arm without being too Coachella at the waist. And available in several pretty pastels, too.

Lacausa Clothing Merrow Tee
$55 at Garmentory
Liana Clothing Margo Tee
$52 at Shopbop

To be transparent: This shirt is made by my friend Lili, who started a clothing company based around her idea of the perfect tee — relaxed in the stomach, flattering on the arms. Also to be transparent: I wore this shirt for four days last week.

Three-quarters-length sleeves

Waltz Short Sleeve Tee in Lilac
$124 at Garmentory

Not exactly a three-quarters shirt — the sleeve is above the elbow, after all — but still bound to be extremely flattering on the arm, especially in black.

Pama 3/4 Sleeve Tee
$90 at Need Supply

I own this — and can’t get over how sexy I feel in it. Tight, sheer, lightly ribbed in a color that’s unusual without being too loud. I love it.

Organic 3/4 Sleeve Crew
$50 at The Dreslyn

Anything by Organic is soft and well-structured — and I love this guy’s boxy fit and raw hem.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best women’s jeans, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, ultra-flattering pants, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

Every editorial product is independently selected. If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.

Get the best of The Strategist delivered to your inbox.

By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.
A T-shirt Fanatic on Her Absolute Favorite T-shirts