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We Tested The Best White T-Shirts And Here’s What We Found

Finding the best white t-shirt is like finding the best white paint: a seemingly simple task complicated by the amount of options available. What shade of white works best? The answer is different for everyone, which is why there are so many choices. The same applies to a white t-shirt. Ask yourself, “which white t-shirt is best for me?” One person’s #1 perfect white tee is another’s recycled dishrag. It takes a lot of patience, trying on and simulating different movements to find the one that works the best for you. But trust us, everyone needs at least one utterly supreme white tee. And when you finally find the one, you might next find yourself analyzing every white tee that comes within your line of sight.

There are three essential, make-or-break factors to consider here. #1. Fabric weight: Jersey has a lot of variations and thicknesses, which then affects how the shirt hugs and feels on your body, and what bras you should wear. # 2 Armpit Moveability: There is nothing more heartbreaking than taking the tag off your new white tee, lifting your arm to grab something, and having your full belly exposed. We didn’t sign up for a t-shirt that moonlights as a crop top! #3. Collar Design: How the very tip of a t-shirt sits on your neck sets the tone for the rest of the whole fit. An unstructured collar means a loosey goosey shirt that needs constant adjusting, and a thicker collar has potential to be too tight on your neck.

Once you find your white tee, don’t ever let it go (no stains, no “lending” it to a friend). See which ones I will and won’t be parting with, ahead.

The Tee: Everlane

Review: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

You never forget your first. This was my introduction into a world beyond six pack Hanes tees. It’s still heavy in my rotation and has never let me down. I first saw this on my friend and Refinery29 coworker, Mi-Anne Chan, and it immediately caught my eye. The fit is loose but not so baggy that you get lost in it. There aren’t too many bells and whistles, which is what makes it so great. The tee’s fit and fabric speak entirely for themselves.

Everlane The Cotton Crew, $16, available at EverlaneIllustrated by Tristan Offit

The Tee: Madewell

Review: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thanks to the weight of the fabric, this shirt wasn’t too see-through, and remained breathable. I knew it would be comfortable before even putting it on based on how soft the jersey was. Unfortunately, v-necks are just not for me. I’m also in the camp of no unnecessary teeny-tiny pockets, so the chest pocket on this lost major points. Overall, I would recommend this to anyone but me.

Madewell Whisper Cotton V-Neck Pocket Tee, $19.5, available at MadewellIllustrated by Tristan Offit

The Tee: Re/Done x Hanes

Review: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Ah yes, the aforementioned Hanes tee returns in a more expensive, grown-up version. This is my shining star white tee. The fabric is seriously soft while still maintaining a boxy fit. I don’t feel obligated to tuck it in, because the length is just right. It has a worn-in look but won’t fall apart in the next wash. With this price, I could buy three six packs of everyday Hanes tees –but for me, it’s worth it.

Re/Done x Hanes Heritage Cotton Classic Tee, $78, available at RE/DONEIllustrated by Tristan Offit

The Tee: Cotton Citizen

Review: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

I’m all for a good short cut. A nice “natural” rip in my jeans and fade in my hoodies are all yeses, but the wear on this tee was a slightly too much for my liking. The tear details on the binding for the collar, sleeves, and hem were overwhelming. But if this is the desired look, then there is no better worn in tee on the market. Besides the rips, the fit worked tucked and untucked. The jersey is so soft that if I met someone wearing it I might lean my head against them and fall into a deep sleep.

Cotton Citizen Standard Tee, $65, available at Cotton CitizenIllustrated by Tristan Offit

The Tee: Gil Rodriguez

Review: ⭐️

This tee was disproportionate. The collar was really thin and the fabric too thick. The fit needed so much constant adjusting that I questioned myself: was I doing something wrong? The fabric clung in a not-so-sexy way that surprised me based on the website images that made a convincing case for baby tees again.

Gil Rodriguez Bellevue Tee, $48, available at Gil RodriguezIllustrated by Tristan Offit

The Tee: Frances de Lourdes

Review: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

$280 for a t-shirt. Yes, I whispered “what the hell” to myself when I saw the price tag. This tee is the gold foil sundae of white tees. It’s a wild price for a simple essential, but if you’re the kind of shopper who splurges on one quality piece to last you a lifetime, then consider this. Constructed out of Italian cashmere and silk, this tee is COMFY. Not exponentially comfier than the other tees, but still comfy with longer sleeves and greek statue-esque folds that come with just wearing it. This is the tee I would choose to wear forever on a desert island. The quality shows when you really pay attention.

Frances De Lourdes Hardy Tee, $280, available at Frances De LourdesIllustrated by Tristan Offit

The Tee: For Days

Review: ⭐️⭐️

This tee is blindingly white. If it were a paint it would be exclusively used in hospitals. The fabric is so thick that you could essentially go braless, which made me rethink my dislike for thick t-shirts. The concept behind For Days is interesting: pick a starter tee (or a few based on your level of membership), and once you’re ready for something new, send it back in and get a new one in a different style, color or size. The cotton is 100% organic and all returns are recycled.

For Days Heritage 70’s Slim Crew, $38, available at For DaysIllustrated by Tristan Offit

The Tee: Back Beat Rags

Review: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

For those that don’t trust themselves around a ketchup packet, invest in an off-white tee. Any residual stains will barely show. This one is made of hemp and organic cotton, which provides a lot of benefits. The hemp fibers are grown organically, so +2 for the sustainability factor. They’re one of the strongest natural fibers, which means the (almost-perfect!) shape will hold.

Back Beat Rags Natural Distressed Hemp Crop Tee, $39, available at Back Beat RagsIllustrated by Tristan Offit

The Tee: LIANA

Review: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Liana makes superbly comfortable sets suitable for just about any activity. Although their tee is not at the same standard of softness as their sets, it has a crispy feeling which has its benefits. It holds its shape (which is slightly too boxy) and absolves all risks of showing your bra, but isn’t something you would throw on for a lazy day. This tee also comes in a glitter version (and a spectrum of colors)! Perhaps after a few washes with fabric softener this could be the one.

Liana Clothing The Margo , $14.5, available at Liana ClothingIllustrated by Tristan Offit

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