I always appreciate wardrobe pieces that stand the test of time. But now more than ever I’m sure we’re all looking to save money on our clothing budget and there’s no better way to do that than by building our wardrobes around quality basics. And you can’t get more basic than a solid white t-shirt but not all white t-shirts are created equal. So, today I’m sharing a few of my favorites white t-shirts, one as low as $8, along with a few honorable mentions that check off all the boxes.
You might remember this skirt from my this Style-Inclusive post. I’m wearing this denim jacket in an XL.
The Best of the Basic White T-Shirts
I would say that over 80% of my daily outfits include a white v-neck t-shirt. Well, there’s no basis for that stat, but I love me a white tee followed closely by a striped t-shirt. But for today let’s stick with the best of the basics.
A white tee shirt and jeans will create a limitless base for outfit creation with the addition of cardigans, moto jackets, denim jackets, kimonos, vests, button up over-shirts, blazers… The fitted white t-shirt with high paper-bag waisted pants is simple but oh, so, chic. Of course skirts, joggers, leggings and a long cardigan. See? White t-shirts are workhorses in our wardrobes!
I favor a v-neck white t-shirt as they are more flattering to me. However, they can’t be too wide or too deep to keep that flattering line and remain modest. Each v-neck tee I’ve chosen has a slightly different cut, but each fits my bill.
A crewneck white t-shirt is a definite staple to have in your arsenal even if, like me, you favor v-necks. They come in handy under certain sweaters and sweatshirts and can be totally cute layered under jumpers and tank tops to add a bit of modesty.
It seems t-shirts are getting thinner and thinner and often they are so thin they require a tank top under them to make them more opaque. This menopausal girl runs too hot to be layering up that much, especially in warm weather so while some of my recommendations are thin, they are opaque enough for me to get away without layering a tank underneath.
I usually buy my favorite v-neck white t-shirts in two sizes. One in a more fitted size, which works better under cardigans or jackets and with a more voluminous bottom. (I don’t mean tight, just a more body-skimming size.) And then I get a second in the next size up so I have a looser option to wear on its own. That’s just my comfort zone.
If you know me at all, you know comfort is non-negotiable and for me, cotton is to comfort what carbs are to comfort food for a couple of reasons. One, it breathes and I find it cooler. And two it’s less likely to cling on those areas that I’d prefer to remain hidden; back-fat and love-handles, I’m talkin’ to you. 😉
If one of my favorite white t-shirts doesn’t have cotton in it, be assured it feels super soft but still doesn’t act as x-ray machine for our cellulite we can’t even see with our naked eye. You know that fabric, right?
With all that being said, here are my three favorite white t-shirts.
Banana Republic Slub Cotton-Modal V-Neck T-Shirt
There’s something about a “slub” fabric that gets me every time and this one is so good. It’s 60% cotton but feels so silky. The XL fits fairly close to my body without clinging and because this is new to me this year, I’m still waiting on the XXL to arrive for a more flowy fit. Because of the silky feeling fabric, I believe this one will be great for a dressier look. I loved this one so much not only did I order it in one of the bright colors, I ordered it in the crew-neck.
The Banana Republic crew-neck slub cotton-modal t-shirt has the same great feel as the v-neck white t-shirt, but the crew neckline neither too high or too low and it has a substantial neck-band. I think it will hold up really well.
Madewell Whisper Cotton V-Neck Pocket Tee
This Madewell white t-shirt is on the thinner side, but I find that if my bra is flesh color, I can get away without another layer underneath. I have purchased this one in multiple colors and again in the XL and XXL. The sleeveless version made an appearance in this post and of course, it’s a stripe. 😉
Universal Thread V-Neck Short Sleeve
The Universal Thread white t-shirt from Target is probably the winner if you count opacity, a narrow v-neck that isn’t too low and comes in at $8! Yep, EIGHT BUCKS. It the most opaque of my top three white t-shirts and while I wouldn’t consider it “flowing fabric”, it’s not overly stiff. I have it in the XXL.
This SUPIMA Cotton V-Neck T-shirt from Banana Republic is also a go-to for me. The v-neck is the highest of those in this list and the sleeve length is good but I find it a little “stiff” leading to a bit of bunching when worn under certain cardigans and jackets.
I have this Lou & Grey t-shirt in black and I love its softness and the length of the sleeve and the v-neck. However, I can’t speak to the opacity of the white color and I’m currently waiting on a sale to check it out.
Chicos cotton-blend slub t-shirts make the honorable mention list because once again, SLUB! And they have a moderate v-neck. They are a little long and pricey for my taste but I have the v-neck tank version and I love that I can generally wear a regular bra with it.
Do You Love a White T-Shirt as Much as I Do?
I’m always on the hunt for new ones as I find a white t-shirt only lasts me a season or two before they are too yellowed under the arms or have a stain on them. Plus, you never know when one of your favorites will be discontinued; it happens ALL THE TIME with my favorite underwear. It’s for that reason I don’t like to spend a fortune on a simple white t-shirt but I want the best quality I can find.
If you’re as obsessed with white t-shirts as I am, what are some of your favorites? And are you a v-neck, crew-neck or scoop-neck kind of girl? Inquiring minds what to know. 😉
If you’re looking for inspiration to cut your spending on clothing, check out What I Learned from No-Buy July.
I am a v-neck kinda gal! And I am also the one who buys a wonderful white tee and spills something on it the VERY FIRST TIME she wears it. And of course what she spills will not come out no matter what she does. Sigh… so I wind up buying at least one white tee every year. I don’t have a favorite brand though, so I appreciate your ideas, Paula! I’ll check them out now, since I have, oh, not a thing to do while I midigate!!!
Hope you’re staying safe and well!
Hi Paula! The Madewell t-shirt is price matched at Nordstrom today for $11.70!
Be Well, Nancy
I saw that. That’s a sweet deal! I may need to kick one up. 😄
I gravitate towards my white tees when I wear printed skirt or pants but lately have been loving graphic tees. I do prefer a v neck too. I am always on the lookout for a good one, my current one is from daily ritual from Amazon
I have a hard time finding well fitting graphic tees (for larger sizes) in v-necks. I was recently hopeful of one from Evereve but it was too right.
I had a couple of the Daily ritual tees but I found the fabric wasn’t for me.
I am a new blog reader of yours! I, too, am a plus-size wearer! Have you tried the basic v-neck from Old Navy? I just ordered two! They fit perfectly and aren’t see through! I am enjoying your blog! I am a teacher, and enjoy the outfits that you put together! I worked at Talbots Woman for ten year, but have always loved clothing and styling! Thanks!
Great info on the white t’s! I JUST purged my tshirts and refolded them Marie Kondo style! I’m 65, size XL and have had a right side mastectomy. So there are a few things I look for in a t. Nothing too sheer, no deep v’s and nothing thin or clingy. Like you I run hot, so other than a really cold winter day, I don’t like to layer with a camisole. All my bras are flesh colored so the show thru isn’t an issue. I had around 4 brands of white t’s at the time of the purge. Laying them all out on the bed and comparing how they’ve held up over the last 2 years, my Lands End t’s were the winners. The weight of the fabric is good, and they really didn’t shrink. When ordering a t from them you have a options, v or crew, relaxed or fitted and regular/petite/plus or tall. You can basically customize your shirt! A close 2nd was the Eddie Bauer t’s from Sams Club. They are a cotton/poly blend that has a stretchy feel to them. They held up well. My J Crew ones, eh. I had to be so careful with laundering/drying, not that I’m not careful with all my t’s, but they always had a bit of wrinkled look to them, plus they are the thin side. Also my Christopher & Banks ones all shrunk up. Sorry I made a short comment into a book, but that’s my story! From now on, it’s Land’s End all the way for any style t shirt I need. Have a great weekend!
That’s good to know Gina, I’m gonna check out Lands End. It’s funny, we get my Hubs the Eddie Bauer tees from Sams Club but I hadn’t noticed them for me. But I was just wearing a old knit cardigan from there this week and was noticing how well it’s held up it hasn’t faded (it’s orange), stretched out or pilled under the arms. I may have to check them out too.
From one “book writer” to another, THANKS! 😘
Just stumbled across your blog and I LOVE it, and your style! You are stunning!
Question…if you don’t mind sharing, what size do you typically wear in shirts? My top half is my trouble zone…boobs and tummy…and I struggle finding knit tops like this that don’t cling. Wondering if some of those might work!
Oh, and any good bra/undie suggestions, while I’m asking? ☺️
Hello Wendy! I’m super happy to welcome you to my brand CRAZY! 😉
I don’t find much “typical” in sizing because cuts differ from style to style and vastly from brand to brand. I would say that I’m most comfortable starting at XXL in most brands. At a store like Lane Bryant I’m probably 14/16. You can find my current measurements here so when I share the size I’m wearing you have a reference: https://dimplesonmywhat.com/shop-my-style/
As for bras, I typically wear a 40D after having my breast implants removed (you can search those stories) but I’ve been as large as a G- cup and I’ve written a full blog post on my favorite bras here – https://dimplesonmywhat.com/a-roundup-of-my-favorite-full-figure-bras/
I have yet to be able to comfortably go back to underwire bras after explant, but I’m always on the hunt. Natori and Soma are two of the brands I would lean toward if I had to pick two.
I hope that helps.
Again, WELCOME FRIEND!
Hi, I am a G cup and the bras that work best for me are Elomi. Lately, that is the only brand I can find that has bandless bras with enough support. I am short waisted and carry most of my weight in my tummy. Bandless underwire bras are the most comfortable. I am curious about the brand ThirdLove, however I can’t justify spending money on another bra right now.
Also, I HATE chest pockets on tshirts. I definitely do not need more bulk in that area.
I too am short waisted, or so my mom says. I HAD an Elomi bra that fit me that a bra model in the cups but the issue i hade is/was that most bra straps are so far apart on larger bands and cups that they fall off my shoulders. There is a brand if bras that I failed to mention previously that are comfortable and offer good support IF you can get your fit right, and that Shapeez. The are underwire cups but they feel pretty good.
I don’t love pocket tees either.
Love this post! Great info on a must have staple!! I caught a great deal on JCrew Factory V neck T shirts last week for under $7. They are due to arrive tomorrow so I will check back and let you know if I like. I have never worn this brand so hoping they are a good fit for this busty gal!
Thanks Ronda. I have had some J. Crew (probably J. Crew Factory) in the past. Thinking about it, they were likely long sleeve and I didn’t like the sleeve at all. But I don’t think I’ve tried short sleeve so I’ll be interested to know what you think. 😁
Gotta love some white tees! I also like the Susina brand slub tees I’ve found at Nordy Rack.
I’ll have to look into them. Try the BR Slub. $12.25 today with the 50% off.
I am super pale. So I think a white t washes me out. I don’t own any. I even gave away my white denim jacket. And still haven’t found a good replacement. With yellow being such an in color this spring I had been hoping to go in and try some yellow denin on.But for obvious reasons that is on hole for now. I tend to wear a ton of black t shirts. And will have to check out the target good price option!
Kristin, it’s funny, I tend to shy away from black because I think it’s harsh against my complexion. Do you like cream color better? If so, madewell has a boxy off white tee that’s nice. The target one may come in yellow, check it out.
I do like cream better. Thanks for heads up about an off white t.
Your outfit is so cute!!
Great white t-shirts are like unicorns. HA! I love a V-neck too. So much more flattering. XOXO
I couldn’t agree more Paula. Almost every spring I get a couple new white tees because they just go with everything.
Universal Thread tee’s are my fave go to! you cant beat the price and the quality is great! I also love Madewell but they are so much thinner and more expensive.
Very interesting Paula
I am actually thinking about getting some more basics at the moment, so this post was very timely. I love colour and comfort and am creative so tend to have too many clothes but not enough basics. Trying to be more practical but also buying what I love.
As you are in the US your recommendations aren’t so applicable to me from a brand point of view but helpful in the general style suggestions and practically of the white t-shirt.
thanks for your ideas and hope your doing OK yourself through current times. Here in Australia we are in home isolations but aloud to go out for essentials and exercise (also work if it can’t be done at home)
anyway take care, Deborah x
Hi Paula; Thanks for this style share. I wear a white t shirt EVERY day. I often call it “my uniform”.
I love them with jeans, shorts, skirts and dressy pants. Accessorized – or with my favorite apron.
So, my search for the perfect white Tee ended at
Talbots and CJ Banks. I’m short waisted, hippy, smaller from the waist up. My perfect shirt length is
25 inches. I like crew neck, 3/4 sleeve or short sleeve. I like a not too loose fit. Also a fan of no show material. I wait until end of season sale and buy many. I like CJ Banks Essential Layering tees due to the satin binding at the neck. Dressy when I want to be. Thanks for letting me rave about my favorite daily outfit. Love you and thanks for styling for us.
I love a white t-shirt but just the right one is hard to find. I am a 38DDD so to get one to fit through the bust it is usually too big in the bottom. Also, the length is usually too long. I have been known to alter $5 Wal Mart t-shirts. My favorite white t-shirt is one I found at Zara in Orlando Fl. I think I gave $8 for it and it fits perfectly.
You’re so right Victoria, a good t-shirt IS hard to find. I love cotton the most and in the summer I keep going back to the ones from Madewell because they are so thin.