Welcome back to Hi Everyone. I’m so glad you’re here! If you like what you’re reading, please consider sharing this newsletter with your community and following @hillarykerr on Instagram. Also, FWIW, all products mentioned are independently chosen, and some may be affiliate links. Your support is appreciated.
A few months ago, I bought 29 pairs of highly recommended jeans and tried them all on to find a few I actually liked. That project—while time-consuming and weirdly scary?—ended up being remarkably fun, so with input from you all, I have decided to try a similar process with a new topic: white T-shirts.
First, some context for what you’re about to read. With the jeans story, a number of folks were very angry about the price points. So right up front I want to say this story is not about the cheapest white T-shirt or a white T-shirt for every budget (two fine stories, for the record). The story is about me test-driving the T-shirts that editors, stylists, and fashion-industry contacts recommended. Some are expensive, some are not, but just wanted to reiterate where this is coming from.
Also: This is just one person’s point of view. Fashion is always subjective, and what I want in a white T-shirt might be different from what you want—and that’s okay! I’m not saying your favorite is bad; I’m just sharing the ones that met my own qualifications. Additionally, I know there are zillions of white T-shirts out there, and I couldn’t possibly try them all on. If you have one that you adore, please be kind enough to share with this lovely community by leaving a comment on this post with the brand and style you love. Bonus points for any additional info about why you love it!
And last but not least, a note on the testing. I bought shirts from a wide range of retailers and brands, and there are many fine options I didn’t include. For example: I learned that I don’t always love cotton jersey (unless it’s this striped T-shirt from La Ligne, which was not the assignment, but I’m sharing anyway because it’s wonderful), but there are some excellent options on the market. I also realized that cotton slub feels nice but isn’t for me right now. And that while I adored and dreamed about The Row’s T-shirts when the brand launched, the current cotton-jersey iteration just makes me long for the old fabrics. I learned to really read descriptions because I don’t care for an asymmetrical hem, which comes up more than I’d imagined. And that I’m not looking for a stretch T-shirt, but if you are, I like the one by Skims, but the lightest color (Marble) is seasonal. A similar vibe is available at Everlane year-round!
MY TOP PICKS
While I have loved a sheer-T-shirt moment over the years, that’s not what I’m in the market for currently. I want something soft, semi-sturdy without being bulky, and preferably not transparent. While expensive, this shirt from Re/Done ticks all those boxes. It has a slightly boxy fit. I like the somewhat longer sleeve length and semi-shorter length, as you can tuck it into a skirt or higher-waisted jeans or trousers easily. I am wearing a size small in Vintage White.
If you are looking for a T-shirt with a longer body, under-$20 price point, and a very slightly sheer vibe, this Madewell one might be for you. I didn’t realize that it had a slightly curved hemline until I tried it on, which is not a deal breaker for me, but something to note if you weren’t expecting it. This one is sheerer than my other picks, but it’s so soft I don’t really mind. I’m wearing a small in Optic White here.
As someone who has historically shopped the heck out of the James Perse outlet on her way home from Palm Springs, I haven’t tried on something new from the brand in a minute, and I’m happy to report it’s still making excellent stuff. I don’t like feeling suffocated by my T-shirt’s neckline, so I love that this one is just a tiny bit lower. It has a lightly relaxed fit through the body, and I found the sleeve a little snugger than some of the other options, but not in a bad way. I’m wearing a size 1 in White. (More sizes and colors here!)
Full disclosure: Though I’m a huge fan of The Great (and friends with the brilliant duo behind the brand), I didn’t want to like this shirt so much, because it’s expensive. But the second I tried it on, it reminded me why I’m trying to stick to the idea of buying fewer pieces that are higher-quality. Oh my goodness this shirt is good. It feels unfussy and luxurious at the same time, and I love how it’s drapey and relaxed. The material is a lovely thick-but-not-heavy cotton that also somehow feels pre–broken in, but in the best way possible. I’m wearing a size 1 in Washed White, which is a slightly more ivory color than the brand’s true white. And while this story is technically about white T-shirts, don’t sleep on The Great’s great gray ones. Every time I wear the Sleeveless Crew, someone literally stops me on the street about it. The Slim Tee is perfect too.
As the delighted owner of a bunch of Hanes x Karla T-shirts (basically sold out, for now) and someone who really liked the Re/Done x Hanes collab, I didn’t think I’d fall for the original… but I did. The fit is excellent if you’re looking for a slightly body hugging T-shirt, and while the neckline is a smidge higher than I’d design, it doesn’t feel like it’s going to smother you or anything. There is a wide range of reviews on Amazon for the shirt (over 40,000 in total), and I’m confused why some folks think it’s see-through. This shirt is not sheer, especially if you’re wearing a skin-colored bra. Anyway, for the price, I think it’s an excellent buy. No wonder it’s one of the three top-selling white T-shirts on Who What Wear.
If you want more details, I'm going to show each shirt in a video on IGS (that's Instagram Stories, mom) today, so stay tuned!