There may be no one wardrobe item as essential as a white t-shirt, and I’ve tried quite a few over the years, so I definitely have some favorites.
I have no problem splurging on a quality tee that looks great and holds its shape, but white t-shirts can be a bit of a liability, so I also like to keep a few around that don’t cost a lot for the times when fit and feel don’t matter quite as much.
All that to say, I have both “save” and “splurge” versions in my closet, so today I’ve rounded up my top recommendations in both categories.
This list is comprised of white t-shirts I own and love, plus a few others I’ve tried that I like.
Save: White T-Shirts Under $20
Treasure & Bond Twist Detail T-Shirt $20 // I love this twist on a basic tee… see what I did there? I have this in the grey, but it also comes in white. The fabric is 66% polyester, 28% rayon, 6% spandex.
This tee is super soft with a really nice drape, and the rolled cap sleeves and twisted scoop neck really make it stand out. You can wear it alone or as a base layer under a jacket or cardigan. It has a 24 1/2″ body length, and it runs true to size with a relaxed fit.
Caslon Rounded V-Neck T-Shirt $19 // This lightweight slub tee (60% cotton, 40% modal) has been around for years, and I buy a new one almost every season. My only complaint is that silly boob pocket; I don’t know why t-shirt manufacturers do that.
But it’s a good basic tee for an excellent price. Just be aware, it’s a bit on the thinner side. (I don’t wear a cami under mine though.) It’s the longest in this group at 26″, and it runs true to size.
Madewell Whisper Cotton V-Neck T-Shirt
$19.50 $16.50 + 20% off // This is another slub tee that has been around for several years, although they removed the boob pocket this season, hallelujah!
The fabric is 100% cotton, and it has more of a traditional v-neck and a split hem. It has a 25 1/2″ body length with a boxy silhouette, and it runs true to size.
Banana Republic Slub Crew Neck T-Shirt
$29 $15 // I threw in a crew neck option for those who want it, but this tee comes in a scoop neck style as well. I like the seam up the back for added interest, and it fits a bit closer to the body than some of the others in this roundup, for a more elevated appearance.
The fabric is 60% cotton, 40% TENCEL™ modal, and the body length is 24″. These tees run a bit small, so I take a medium.
Caslon Short Sleeve V-Neck T-Shirt $19 // I wanted a 5th option, so I added this one in. I don’t have one of these, but I did try it in a different color so I can attest to the quality.
It’s 25″ long and made of 60% cotton, 40% modal. It has more of a boxy fit than the other Caslon recommendation — more like the Madewell tee, but a bit thinner than that one. It’s true to size; the small fit me perfectly.
Splurge: White T-Shirts Over $20
Velvet by Graham & Spencer Kira Original Slub Scoop Neck T-Shirt $59 // This tee was one of my favorites in last year’s white t-shirt reviews, but I ended up returning it because it was a bit too low-cut for my comfort level. I might try it again now that I don’t need to be so cautious about that.
This tee is the ultimate in softness, and it has a really good drape. You definitely feel and see a difference when you go up in price range. It’s 25 1/4″ long with cropped sleeves, and the fabric is 100% cotton. I also appreciate that it’s made in the USA. The fit is true to size; I’m wearing the small.
Rag & Bone Jean The Vee T-Shirt $90 // This classic v-neck tee is the one I declared my favorite in my 2020 white t-shirt reviews, but I ended up returning it because it was too low cut. (Are you seeing a pattern here?) It’s made of 100% organic cotton, and it has a subtle slub texture and a nice drape — not too thick, not too thin.
It has a rather deep v-neck with a little bit of trim that makes it more refined than your basic boyfriend tee, but the sleeves are a tad long for my liking. The body length is 25 1/2″, and it has a seam down the back, which is a nice a detail. For this price, though, I would opt for the ATM tee (see below).
AllSaints Emelyn Tonic T-Shirt $45 // This tee is 100% cotton and 25 1/2″ long. It has a raw-edge v-neck tee, and the fabric is more of a smooth cotton jersey. It’s on the thiner side, but not so thin that I need a layer underneath. I actually have this in the grey, as well.
If you don’t like the slub texture, this is a great option. Plus, it’s the most affordable of the “splurge” tees. I would put this in the “spend” category, if I had done three sections. It runs true to size; I wear a small in this tee.
ATM Slub Jersey Schoolboy V-Neck T-Shirt $85 // This is my all-time favorite t-shirt. Yes, it is the definitely of a splurge, but the quality is there, and fit and feel is simply perfection. Whenever I wear it, I get compliments and questions about it, which is saying a lot for a fairly simple white v-neck t-shirt.
It’s 100% cotton and 23 1/2″ long with a slightly boxy, shrunken fit; and I like how the slubbed cotton jersey is thicker than most slub fabrics. This tee does run small, though; I take a medium.
Michael Stars Skyler Ultra Jersey Relaxed V-Neck T-Shirt 57.95 // For some reason, this is the only picture I have of this t-shirt, but it’s a nice basic with a classic v-neck in a super soft modal/cotton jersey fabric.
It has a 24″ body length, so it’s also on the shorter side, but I actually like it that way. It layers very nicely under a fitted jacket, as seen here. Also, this tee is made in the USA.
Do you have a favorite white t-shirt that is not on this list? Let us know about it in the comments!
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photos: Alison Cornell