Last October, a month after asking men about their favorite white T-shirts, we asked 15 stylish women to answer the same question. The answers varied but not wildly: Most women picked shirts that were not too sheer, not too tight, with anything but cap sleeves — and there wasn’t a Hanes in sight. Then this week, in August, in what might just be peak white-T-shirt season, we cast an even wider net to hear from even more women about their favorite tees. This time, we picked up a Hanes (it was inevitable), lots of Acne (the price is worth it if it’ll last), and someone even doubled down on the excellence of the cheap Gildan tee.
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 Cafe Gitane
For a lifetime of wearing in:
“I love white T-shirts; I wear one probably at least three out of seven days a week. My husband’s old Hanes are the best. I love when they’re really worn in and almost at the point of getting holes. If I want one that is a little cleaner-looking, I wear ones from Yaeca, a store I recently discovered on a trip to Japan. They are the perfect cut — not too tight, just boyish enough — but still feel sophisticated.” — Lauren Snyder, owner, the Primary Essentials
For that boxy vintage look:
“The T-shirts I like — and the ones I think generally do the best job — 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. This is the tee you imagine you could find at a vintage store for $15, but will not. You’ll never regret owning this, even though it 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.” — From Strategist editor Katy Schneider’s post on obsessively buying T-shirts
For T-shirt dresses:
“My favorite white tees would be by Acne Studios, specifically the Finchley Tee because of the thick fabric. Sometimes I’ll buy a men’s XL and wear it as a T-shirt dress. I can also switch it up and wear a white tee with a hint of detail, like Acne’s Navid optic tee. I tend to wear pieces with a box structure, and Acne always makes the best cuts!” — Aleali May, image consultant, model, fashion blogger
Both the Finchley short-sleeved sweatshirt and the Navid white tee are sold out. The Gojina, a women’s version of the Navid mentioned above, is still in stock.
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
For tucking into 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 into 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
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
“I think I have an entire drawer of white Gildan Soft Style 6400 T-shirts in size large. I tend to wear my T-shirts a bit longer so I can do a half-tuck with slimmer jeans, or an oversize look over a skirt or shorts, and these shirts allow me to do just that. I’ve also cropped a few in varying lengths as well, and the relaxed fit never ceases to be comfortable.” — Dani Roche, creative director, Biannual
For wearing with low-rise pants:
“The best white T-shirt for women is soft, works tucked or 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
For wearing with linen:
There are only a few sizes left for this exact t-shirt, but a similar round-neck James Perse tee is still available.
For a mock-neck vibe:
“The most crucial detail to my favorite white tee 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
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
For slight translucency:
“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
For just the slightest logo:
“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
For wearing without a bra:
“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
For buttery softness:
“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
For wearing under a dress:
“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
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