Everyone needs a white t-shirt

It always sort of bothers me when a magazine tells you what every woman should have in her closet.  How can a lawyer, a teacher and a personal trainer all be expected to need the same wardrobe staples? I mean, sometimes I fantasize about dressing in tailored suits like Kerry Washington from Scandal, but sadly, my lifestyle just doesn’t involve extricating the president from crisis situations.

Having said that, I believe that every wardrobe should have a great white t-shirt.


Gap favorite short-sleeve tee

Here at Wise Women Montreal, we’re pretty loyal to our favorite white tees, and we tend to buy the same ones in multiples.

Lisa loves the Gap Favorite short-sleeve v-neck t which is 100% cotton, fitted to the body (but not tight) and just the right length.  She wears these under everything, and I may or may not have seen a stack of these arrive at her house in her last online Gap order. These are a great option if you’re on the taller side, since they’re available in long (online only).


Old Navy vintage-style v-neck

I’m a big fan of Old Navy’s vintage-style v-neck tees. First of all, they’re super cheap, and they’re a combination of cotton, polyester and rayon – which means they’re amazingly soft and don’t shrink. You can often find these on promotion at 2 for $12 which is when I stock up. These are slightly less opaque and more fitted than the Gap tee, but I like to size up for a roomier fit.

Sometimes you need a looser, longer tee. I love how these look peeking out from under a blazer or half-tucked into a pair of jeans. I like American Apparel’s Unisex Viscose Sexuali-tee. Because it’s a unisex style, choose a size smaller than what you’d normally wear. It’s also slightly sheer, so you might want to layer a cami underneath.

A word about necklines: v-necks are a universally flattering choice. They suit both the well-endowed and those of us with lesser assets. They also draw attention to your face and elongate the upper body – which is especially great if you’re on the vertically challenged side.

If, however, you’re planning to dress up your tee with a statement necklace, a basic crew neck is a better choice.

A few white t-shirt tips:

  • After a few months of wear, white tees start to show their age. They’ll likely yellow under the arms and get a little dingy from washing. I suggest refreshing your white tees every season.
  • Don’t spend a lot of money. I’ve gone this route, buying pricey tees from clothing lines like Vince and James Perse. At the end of the day, no matter the price point, they all start to look a little worse for the wear after a few months. Paying more doesn’t get you a longer white tee lifespan, and you’ll just be that much more annoyed when you get those aggravating tiny holes where your shirt rubs against your pants zipper.
  • If you find a white tee you love, buy it in multiples. You’ll be really happy when it’s time for a new one and it’s right there in your closet.
  • Buy the same t-shirt in a couple of different sizes. You might want a more fitted one to tuck into a pair of pants or a high-waisted skirt and a roomier version to pair with your skinny jeans or leggings.


Do you have a favourite white tee? We’d love to hear about it!





  • Robyn
    Posted at 19:11h, 17 October Reply

    I had this amazing long sleeve white tee from Old Navy. It fit like a glove. Both my sister and I loved it and we shared it willingly as it fit us both so we’ll. Once after removing it from the laundry and hanging it up to dry, I noticed the label which was printed in a script font in silver (obviously why I had never really noticed it) said MATERNITY!!!!’
    Yup that’s probably why it fit so well!

    • Wise Women Montreal
      Posted at 10:45h, 18 October Reply


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