I used to think one of the most worthwhile wardrobe splurges was a basic tee — one you can both work out in and wear to work; one that is loose-yet-flattering and exceedingly comfortable but also cute with a long skirt at a holiday party. I found this in an Outdoor Voices version for $55.
I didn’t expect to also find it in the zip-sealed plastic pack my mom put in my stocking one Christmas a few months after I made my OV investment. She’d spotted a long-sleeved scoop-neck tee by a brand called 32 Degrees on a grocery trip to Costco — it cost $7. She bought one in black for herself, my sister, and me. (They are currently $10 here.)
That shirt instantly became my most-worn wardrobe item. The material is thin but not flimsy; it looks great tucked all the way into jeans or untucked or French tucked. Its not-too-low cut looks as awesome on my mom, who has a shorter torso than I do, as it does on my sister, who has more of an athletic build.
I went on to buy the short-sleeved version as well, which is a more direct dupe of my Outdoor Voices tee — particularly in the “Excalibur Space Dye” shade. In both cases, you basically get an exercise top disguised as a nice top. In both cases, the fabric is breathable and comfortable and doesn’t get damp spots at the armpits, perhaps due to a comparable form of cooling technology. I’ve worn both brands with slacks to the office and with denim shorts to the beach. I’ve done long bike rides in both of them, too, and they stayed dry and minimally smelly throughout the day. And they both hold up well in the washing machine and dryer.
The biggest difference is that the Outdoor Voices iteration is slightly more cropped, and the fit is a bit looser. It’s definitely the more effortless-looking of the two tees, and I’d recommend going one size up in the 32 Degrees version to achieve the same look.
But again, the 32 Degrees tees cost seven bucks. They’ve overtaken my closet in every color. It’s become a tradition for my mom to gift them to my sister and me. And I also keep buying them for myself.
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