As with any kind of T-shirt — whether black, white, or borrowed from the boys — determining the “perfect” long-sleeved tee is subjective. There are ribbed numbers so fitted they’re almost bodysuits, while others are oversize enough to throw on over bike shorts, and of course you’ve always got crop tops you can pair with your highest of high-waisted jeans. To find the lay of the land, we turned to stylish women for information on their favorite long-sleeved T-shirts, including boat necks, crew necks, V-necks, and even a couple of thermals. We’ve noted the colors each T-shirt comes in, too.
Girlfriend Collective’s ethos of size inclusivity and sustainability has turned it into a favorite among the cool-people crowd, earning a spot on our list of best sports bras and making it a top pick with Strategist readers. The Leila is another beloved item from the brand — two of our stylish women recommended it.
“I love Girlfriend Collective’s long sleeves because they do very simple basics in neutral colors,” says Sade Mims, founder of the jewelry and accessory line EDAS. Like EDAS, Girlfriend Collective releases its pieces in limited lines, so “when something drops, it’s a get-it-while-it’s-hot kind of thing,” which Mims appreciates. Mims told us she opts for a snugger fit for the long-sleeved tee and wears it “with a denim jean or with a skirt and a cardigan.” Gabrielle Arruda, a fashion designer who runs a style blog, points out that the slightly shorter hemline can rise when you lift your arms above your head, but she still likes it as a layering piece for going to the gym. It is available in nine colors including Lava, Sea Salt, Pepper, and Oyster.
We heard about Kotn’s tee from two stylish women. “I have to hand it to Kotn: They really know their way around a long-sleeved T-shirt,” says illustrator and Quartz art director Alexandra Citrin-Safadi. It checks off all the things she wants in a long-sleeved tee: It’s fitted, made entirely of cotton, and has a crew neck (“No V-necks allowed”), a hem that hits the waist of mid-rise jeans, and sleeves that hit the wristbone. She isn’t a fan of waffle weaves or ribs, preferring more of a flat weave (this one has a barely there micro-rib). And she points out that this T-shirt “comes in some offbeat colors (like marigold and sage) in addition to the requisite black and white.” Fran Miller, founder of skin-care line F. Miller, raves about it, calling the tee an “ideal seasonless style” and “a snug fit.” Miller adds that it “allows for comfort and movement without ever stretching out.”