Like most basics — whether it’s a short sleeve T-shirt, jeans, or a button-down — it’s not hard to find a long-sleeve T-shirt, but it is difficult to find the perfect one. And an “ideal” long-sleeve is subjective, anyway: Is it a ribbed and fitted number with just-right trimness for layering under sweaters or tucking into a skirt? Or is it a standalone baggy long-sleeve, perfect for wearing with bike shorts and leggings? To find out the lay of the long-sleeve land, we consulted with a panel of stylish women to hear about their favorites — below, their picks cropped, ribbed, neutral, and bright.
You might be familiar with Girlfriend Collective’s leggings and sports bras (they’re one of our favorite brands for sustainably made activewear that’s size-inclusive and reasonably priced) but were you aware they also make a really good long-sleeve T-shirt? We heard about it from Sade Mims, founder of jewelry and accessory line EDAS. “I love Girlfriend Collective’s long-sleeves because they do very simple basics in neutral colors,” she says. Mims notes that like EDAS, Girlfriend Collective releases their pieces in limited lines, so “when something drops it’s a get it while it’s hot kind of thing,” she says (the leggings and sports bras have been known to sell out especially quickly). Mims told us she’d opt for a snugger fit for one of the long-sleeves, and would “wear it with a denim jean, or with a skirt and a cardigan.”
For another fitted option, take note from Strategist writer Chloe Anello, who says she owns about three of these long sleeve T-shirts from Splendid. She bought them at a sample sale “a while back” and keeps them in heavy rotation to this day. “They’re so soft and a really great layering piece in the fall,” she says. The shirts, which are available in black and white, have a simple crew neck and a slim fit that hits at the hip. Just note if you have a shorter torso or prefer a crop, the Splendid shirts are “kind of long,” says Anello.
For a similar style that’s made with ribbed cotton, stylist Jasmine Caccamo recommends Everlane’s Pima Micro-Rib Long-Sleeve. “It’s a must-have staple for your closet,” she says. “Good for layering under an oversized blazer, tucked into a pair of black jeans, or just thrown on with a pair of sweats.” The shirt is available in a range of neutrals, including heather grey and olive green, and has a bit of elastane in the fabric, meaning it will hold its shape even after many wears.