Monday, October 25, 2010

Fit to a T

Saturday, I got an email from my mother. After looking online a variety of places - Banana Rep, Gap, Lands End - she was unable to find a high-quality, plain white T-shirt. My mom often wears white Ts in her day-to-day wear. The easiest basic of all, what's not to love about the possibilities a white T - really, a blank slate - offers.

Like my mom, I love a quality white T-shirt. My go-to outfit often consists of jeans paired with a fitted white T, accessorized with a scarf or a long necklace.

I have a few go-to white Ts; my favorites - dingy with age - are Gap's Favorite T, made with a bit of spandex for a fitted look. I have a couple other white Ts I love for different reason: a long, tunic-y T from H&M that was $5, a J Crew tissue T with a pocket that's soft and comfy, and so on (I have maybe 7 or 8 white Ts in various styles). But these other Ts are fairly sheer - you must wear a camisole of some kind under these shirts or - hello bra! (Luckily, I always wear a cami. It started in adolescence, and now I am just way more comfortable with a tank on under my Ts.)

So when my mom asked for my rec for white Ts, I immediately thought of my Gap Ts. But as my mother said in her email, reading the reviews on, it sounds like the quality of the Favorite T has gone down - way down. Cheap fabric, ill-fitting, super see-through were all terms used to describe the T shirt. It hadn't gotten a favorable review in ages.

So I thought of other good brands for Ts, and I went on a hunt to find great Ts recommend to my mom (unfortunately, I don't think my mom would go for the slouchy, boyish, pocket Ts of T by Alexander Wang - despite their incredible softness).

Splendid 1x1 scoop T, available at Shopbop: $46

James Perse V-neck tee, available at Nordstrom: $49.90 (double layered - so extra not-see-through!)
Three Dots crewneck T, available at Nordstrom: $40 (Runs small!)
American Apparel fine jersey short sleeve T: $17 (for me, American Apparel is something you should buy in the store and not online, unless you know what you are buying)

But my mom had a valid point: It's next to impossible to find a quality T shirt that isn't super sheer or meant solely for layering purposes. Even hunting online, I could tell how sheer most of the options out there really were. 

In most cases, an opaque T isn't going to be made only of cotton, in most cases - many will have spandex or modal to help with the transparency. And in other cases, the shirts are too fitted (no one needs to see my innie belly button through my T-shirt). And for whatever reason, there is a dearth of crew-necked T-shirts. Not all ladies like the V-neck (though it is universally flattering). So basically, it was really freakin' hard to find white Ts! 

So I ask: Do you have any go-to brands for quality Ts?

My mother, in all her sagacity, closed her email with this. "Otherwise, based on all the reviews I read, we should start a company that makes a good quality high opaque plain white tee."

Does anyone want to invest?

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