The more basic the item of clothing, the more work it has to do. This is especially true for white T-shirts, whose job it is to fit perfectly, look effortless, and get better with age (until it gets those dreaded stains). Perhaps that explains the endless variations on “basic” white tees that are on the market at any given time, as both shoppers and designers continue to search for the perfect one. A few years ago, we joined in on the hunt when we asked a bunch of stylish women to divulge their white-tee secrets. Many of their responses surprised us then (Gildan, Hanes, Fruit of the Loom), and now, as we’ve updated this list for the fourth time to include picks that some well-known fashion people gave to our friends at the Cut. Below, the 23 best white T-shirts — including French classics, men’s and boys’ three-packs, supersoft and slinky styles, and thicker, boxier ones — according to our stylish panelists.
Best V-neck white T-shirt
“Post-baby, I’ve gravitated toward more loose-fitting and boxy T’s like Current/Elliott’s Perfect V — it’s a roomy V without being too low-cut (I hate when the V is not big enough), and it’s great to sort of casually tuck in just the front, and [it] has some light distress so it feels nice and worn-in.” —Kat De Angelis, PR executive and mom
Best multipack V-neck white T-shirts
Vera Wang’s wedding gowns are nothing short of sublime, but her taste in basic white tees is decidedly down-to-earth. The designer told the Cut that she loves the short-sleeve V-necks that come in a three-pack from Fruit of the Loom. Wang loves them so much, she says, “I even sleep in them.”
Best white T-shirt for layering
“Normally I wouldn’t spend this much on a white T-shirt (and, tbh, I didn’t spend much on this one — I got it for free), especially a fitted tee, but this one is such a good layering piece. I’ve had mine for over five years and it’s in great shape, which is sort of stunning for a white cotton T-shirt.” —Lili Göksenin, style writer
Best fitted white T-shirt
This sleek, fitted tee from heritage French brand Petit Bateau is a favorite of stylist Danielle Nachmani, Delvaux’s creative director Christina Zeller, and Moda Operandi’s Caitlin Burke. The feminine, body-con-esque cut will dress up any pair of jeans or shorts, and pairs perfectly with a blazer.
Best stretchy white T-shirt
“This is my all-time favorite T-shirt. It has an amazing stretch to it but its also a much thicker fabric than your average T. It just hugs your body really well so you can show off your curves and still be really comfy. I also love the cap sleeves with the crinkled edges, so cute!” —Sabrinna Fabi, design student
Best white T-shirt to wear 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
Best thick-weave white T-shirt
“My forever issue with white tees is being able to see my bra through the shirt. The Uniqlo U tees are just thick enough that you can’t see your bra through the white material without being so thick that you feel like you’re wearing a weighted blanket. They also ride a line between the form-hugging women’s cut and a traditional tee cut, which makes them great tucked in or out.” —Meg Vasquez, creative director at Splice
Best deep-V white T-shirt
“I have this in white and black, and to me, it is the perfect T. The V-neck is low enough to show off a cute bralette, but not too risqué. I love the rounded bottom, which is always super flattering, and it’s a relaxed fit without being slouchy. Heaven.” —Chelsea Lee, graphic designer and dancer
Best vintage-feeling white T-shirts
“I don’t think there are many things more satisfying than putting on a perfect clean white T-shirt. Jungmaven makes hemp-cotton-blend T-shirts and the feeling of the fabric is SO GOOD. If you like the thicker vintage feeling of ’50s T-shirts, you will love these. They also make a 100 percent-hemp version that is so, so nice.” —Emma Allen, owner and founder of Everyday Oil
“These are secretly my favorite shirts. I could only find things like this vintage, but then I found this holy grail of three packs at Vermont Country store and I order these in bulk now. The tank tops in the same style are also the best! These are cut to be undershirts so size up.” —Allen
Best boxy white T-shirt
“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 $70 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.” —Katy Schneider, associate editor
Best white T-shirt for taller women
Best oversize white T-shirt
“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
Best cropped white T-shirt
Best white muscle tee
According to model Lindsay Ellingson, Frame Denim has some of the best T-shirts on the market. Ellingson told the Cut that “Frame Denim has so many cool T-shirt options. I love to throw one on; they’re really comfortable.” Her current fave includes some subtle embroidery, but for something more basic, the Cut editors recommend this flattering muscle tee.
Best white T-shirt with a 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
Best white T-shirt to splurge on
Best white T-shirt to wear 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
Softest white T-shirt
“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
Best white T-shirt for small-breasted women
“For basic white tees, it’s Hanes or Fruit of the Loom white boy’s tees, washed like a million times. I like that they are 100 percent cotton and for smaller-busted ladies they have a great fit, in nicer, heavier-weight cotton. For white cotton tees, I don’t always want something that’s gonna show my bra.” —Lily Hetzler, prop and fashion stylist
Best mock-neck white T-shirt
“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
Best men’s white T-shirts for women
Designer Margherita Missoni is also a fan of wearing white tees made for the opposite sex, but in adult-male sizes rather than those for boys. She told the Cut that her favorite men’s white tees come from Uniqlo and the Gap.
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