I Tried 10 White Tees and Now I Have Some Thoughts

One of the most recently and widely requested post this year has been for the BEST white tee shirt. And I get it — a white tee is a staple of a wardrobe and honestly it should be. You can do so much, or so little, with a white tee. It’s timeless, classic, bougie, ratchet. So why wouldn’t you want the best of the best? Therefore I accepted the challenge and started looking for the BEST white tees. I ended up ordering a few and digging into my closet for my time-tested favorites. But as I was ordering, I realized wanted to try different fabrics, styles, fits, necklines, etc which made the comparison of each tee as ‘best’ difficult. Then once I started trying them on, I quickly realized the idea of best is very, very subjective. What I might find valuable, you may not. Like what is my rubric here for the BEST right? Then I started getting way too existential like ‘who am I to tell YOU what is best? what even is BEST? and why are we here and what is the meaning of life?’ So after having a complete mental breakdown over a damn tee shirt, I realized the best thing I can do is just tell you the facts; give it to you straight. I’ve created my own rating system and rules to have a little bit of a fair playing field.

So without further ado…I tried on 10 white tees and these are my thoughts.

The Rubric

I wanted to have some rubric for grading each tee so I have five categories for each: Fit, Fabric, Quality, See-through Factor, Tummy Friendly. The rating system will be based on 1 to 5 stars (1 being the worst, 5 being the best) because I’m unoriginal and deeply boring.

My Stats

I feel like I say these things a lot so if you already know I’m 5’9″ and a pretty average size 8 or medium, you can move on from this paragraph. But since this is a post that involves fit and sizing, I thought I’d share that detail with you. I’m typically a medium in blouses, but a large in tees and a 29 or 8 in denim and dresses. I have a 36D chest and today I  went out on a limb and wore a real underwire bra for this post instead of those wireless, seamless bras that are basically a sabbatical for your boobs but do nothing for them shape or lift wise. But the other reason was because I wanted to show you if the tees were see through or not with a white t-shirt bra. If it’s see thru with a white bra, I can guarantee you a darker bra will be just as seen. (If you are wondering what bra I’m wearing, it’s the Soma 360.)

I am usually a large in a tee because I hate when tees are too tight at my chest / arms / tummy which is where I carry the majority of my weight.

Okay that should cover most of you questions so let’s get to the piping hot Tee.

Best Overall: Splendid Slub Tee

☆☆☆☆☆


This is probably my favorite tee to be honest. But it’s not your typical “plain white tee” with it’s higher crewneck and longer sleeves, it definitely has a more elevated look than just your typical white tee. This tee has a cotton slub fabric that is so soft, but pricey for a tee. Splendid is a great line for elevated basics.

(I’m in the large.)

Find it here.

The Ratings

Fit: true to size, looser at arms / tummy. I always size up with Splendid, so it’s true to size for me. I’m in the large. | 5 out of 5

Fabric: 100% slub cotton / a soft and worn in feel | 5 out of 5

Quality: high quality, will wash out well, last for years | 5 out of 5

See-through Factor? a bit sheer, can see outline of white bra | 3 out of 5

Tummy Friendly? yes, not a clinger! | 5 out of 5

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Great Quality for the Price: Z-Supply V-Neck

☆☆☆☆

Okay so this tee is great, just kind of … forgettable. Pros: it’s not see through at all, it’s a great weight, a pure white, pretty good fit, great quality for the price. Con: the v-neck is already a little stretched out which is a PEEVE of mine. That’s it, that’s the only con. I like Z-Supply but I’ve only ever had their rayon blend tees so I can’t speak to how this would wash out but judging by the weight of this cotton, if you washed it on cold and hung it to dry I think this one would be a keeper for a while. As long as that v-neck holds. *fingers crossed*
(I’m in the large.)
Find it here.

The Ratings

Fit: tighter fit, I am in the large and it’s pretty fitted. If you need more room in the arms / bust, size up one. | 4 out of 5

Fabric: 100% cotton / thicker cotton, should keep it’s shape | 5 out of 5

Quality: pretty good quality, love that it’s cotton | 4 out of 5

See-through Factor? the tiniest bit of a bra outline is shown in full light so I say it’s pretty non-sheer for a white tee! | 4 out of 5

Tummy Friendly? it’s a bit clingy, my friends. | 2 out of 5

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Best On a Budget: Madewell Whisper Tee

☆☆☆

This tee from Madewell is a bit of a let-down. I like Madewell — no I LOVE Madewell — but this tee is underwhelming. I’ll say this — for the price I could justify it. It’s 100% cotton which is nice, but it’s a bit thin and not the softest fabric. It’s no Splendid slub, know what I’m saying? I think after a few washes it would soften up though. I would say for an inexpensive cotton option, this one would work. It’s just not *my* favorite.

I’m in the large.

Find it here!

The Ratings

Fit: true to size, a bit relaxed, I like the longer sleeves and the crewneck| 4 out of 5

Fabric: 100% cotton / pretty thin fabric, a bit crunchy | 3 out of 5

Quality: okay! nice for an easy, cotton option | 3 out of 5

See-through Factor? pretty see through, not belly button see through but you can see my bra outline| 3 out of 5

Tummy Friendly? clingy for sure, but works with a front tuck | 3 out of 5

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Cheap Thrill: Hanes Nano Tee

☆☆

My immediate remarks on this tee, as reminded by Bryan: “I would wear this shirt to mow the lawn in.” And I’ve got to be honest — I agree with myself on this. Also, I’ve never mowed our lawn. I feel bad shit talking the cheaper option here, but it’s not all bad. Here’s the deal: if you need an easy, pretty average fitting white tee for under $10 — this is a good option. Honestly it doesn’t come across as a cheap tee in person, it’s just not the nicest fabric to wear (a bit stiff / scratchy) and the fit is boxy. But I can probably guarantee you that you can wash and dry this tee to your heart’s desire and it will stick around for a long time. If you’re looking for an easy and cheap option, Hanes is your lady.

Side note: if you have time, read through some of the reviews. I get such a kick out of what people will write in a review! 

I’m in the large. I sized up and would suggest a size up if you want it to fit more relaxed.

Find it here.

The Ratings

Fit: true to size, boxy fit. almost fits like a men’s tee. | 2 out of 5

Fabric: 100% cotton / standard cotton, not super soft | 3 out of 5

Quality: it’s just okay. nice for an easy, cotton option. just your typical base level tee. | 2 out of 5

See-through Factor? not too see through!| 4 out of 5

Tummy Friendly? not so tummy friendly (I feel like you can see that above) but it’s boxy enough it would be okay if you wear high waisted leggings or you want to tuck it in | 2 out of 5

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Slouchy Favorite: Shein Summer Tee

☆☆☆☆

Okay so I have this tee in a dark grey and I thought why not just get the white tee as well and I’m so glad I did. I love this cheap little tee. Now this is not a cotton tee — this is a rayon / poly blend so it has a bit of bounce to it. But some people aren’t into a blend so I wanted to let you know. I personally I love rayon, it’s so slouchy and soft.

This tee is just a nice slouchy white tee, slightly sheer though. Also you’ve GOT to size up one. I”m in the XL and honestly it fits a bit smaller than the grey XL. This fits more like a large.

Find it here.

The Ratings

Fit: fits at least one size smaller. slouchy fit in the middle, tighter on the arms. | 2 out of 5

Fabric: 95% rayon / 5% polyester / so slinky and soft | 5 out of 5

Quality: good! it washes out well — just don’t dry it 0n high heat or it will pill. | 3 out of 5

See-through Factor? not too see through! | 4 out of 5

Tummy Friendly? it’s pretty loose fitting the middle so it’s more flow, I say it’s mom tummy friendly! | 4 out of 5

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Hidden Gem: Daily Ritual Tee

☆☆☆☆☆

Wow okay I took a chance on this one and honestly it’s the one that hits all the 5 stars. This is a jersey fabric with a bit of stretch, which I am always here for. The stretch helps it keep it’s shape and gives it some slouch. The boat neckline was actually a surprise for me, I didn’t think I’d like it but I really did. It’s a super flattering cut and the dolman sleeves are actually pretty flattering too.

I stayed true to size, I’m in the large.

Find it here.

The Ratings

Fit: true to size. perfect fit! | 5 out of 5

Fabric: 95% viscose / 5% elastane  / so slinky and soft | 5 out of 5

Quality: great quality! wonderful weight of the tee and the construction is perfect | 5 out of 5

See-through Factor?  NOT SEE THROUGH! | 5 out of 5

Tummy Friendly? yes — it’s mom tummy friendly! | 5 out of 5

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Best Fitted Tee: Amazon Essentials Tee

☆☆☆☆

Okay so this one was not my favorite BUT for personal reasons. And can you guess why? Yes, that’s right…because it’s tight and fitted. *covers chest awkwardly*  Yeah I just hate a tight tee, but I’m well aware that you may not! So don’t toss this tee out because if you like a more fitted tee, then this is a GREAT option. This is the Amazon Essentials brand and it comes in a two pack for some reason. And to be honest, the fit is good, the quality is great and it’s pretty non-sheer. (You can just barely see my bra outline.) I just don’t love a fitted tee.

I am in the medium.

Find it here!

(Side note: I love the Goodthreads brand from Amazon as well but all of the white tees were sold out! I do recommend them for an easy cotton option.)

The Ratings

Fit: true to size. perfect fit! | 5 out of 5

Fabric: 95% viscose / 5% elastane  / so slinky and soft | 5 out of 5

Quality: great quality! wonderful weight of the tee and the construction is perfect | 5 out of 5

See-through Factor?  NOT SEE THROUGH! | 5 out of 5

Tummy Friendly? yes — it’s mom tummy friendly! | 5 out of 5

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Favorite Textured Tee: Target Ribbed Knit

☆☆☆

If you are wondering why I don’t have any cotton tees from Target on here, well I’ll tell you why. I’ve never really found Target tees to hold up or be worth it so I didn’t really want to post them because I know how it ends. Sorry if you were hoping for some from there, but they just aren’t my favorites. However, I really liked this rib knit option so I thought it might be a nice one to throw in. Since the 90s are back with full vengeance, this rib knit is a nice ‘modern’ option for a tee. Plus the texture of the tee elevates the look of just a t-shirt + jeans outfit.

I am in the large.

Find this tee here!

The Ratings

Fit:I sized up — would recommend this if you have bigger boobs! It’s pretty fitted. | 3 out of 5

Fabric: 58% Cotton, 39% Modal, 3% Spandex /  soft and stretchy| 5 out of 5

Quality: great quality! wonderful weight of the tee and it feels high quality | 5 out of 5

See-through Factor?  just slightly sheer | 4 out of 5

Tummy Friendly? negative. rib knits love to cling. | 1 out of 5

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Best Investment Tee: Vince V-Neck

☆☆☆☆☆

Would you believe this shirt is 4 years old? It looks brand new doesn’t it? I’ve had this tee since 2016 and it’s such a timeless gem. It washes out well (I wash it on cold and hang to dry.) and if it gets a little out of shape, I just steam it and it pops right back to normal. It’s soft but not worn in and it’s the right amount of fitted and slouchy. My only complaint is that it is a bit sheer, as you can see.

I am in the medium.

Find this tee here.

The Ratings

Fit:I sized up — would recommend this if you have bigger boobs! It’s pretty fitted. | 3 out of 5

Fabric: 58% Cotton, 39% Modal, 3% Spandex /  soft and stretchy| 5 out of 5

Quality: the highest of quality! This tee is a forever tee. | 5 out of 5

See-through Factor?  pretty sheer, but just around the bra| 3 out of 5

Tummy Friendly? yes! this tee does not cling | 5 out of 5

PS: I was looking around and found a TON of Vince tees and basics on sale here!

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 Sustainable Option: Everlane Scoop Neck

☆☆☆

This is another tee that I’ve had for a few years and it’s held up pretty well. This one definitely needed a steam as I notice that this tee wrinkles a lot. I’m kind of torn on Everlane tees and basics in general and I’ll tell you why. On one hand, they are a soft cotton and sustainably sourced. But on the other hand, I don’t feel like they wash and wear for a really long time. They tend to loose their shape or softness after a few washes. This one in particular hasn’t lost it’s softness, but it’s shape. You can tell the neckline is a bit stretched out. Overall I like this tee but I do find their tees to be on par with Madewell basics as far as quality.

I’m in the large.

Find this tee here.

The Ratings

Fit:I sized up but I do think this tee fits TTS | 4 out of 5

Fabric: 100% cotton /  soft and airy cotton | 5 out of 5

Quality: the tee is a bit thin and stretches out with wear | 2 out of 5

See-through Factor?  pretty sheer | 3 out of 5

Tummy Friendly? yes! this tee does not cling | 4 out of 5

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My favorite of the lot? Splendid Slub tee, Daily Ritual Boatneck tee and the Vince V-neck tee. You can’t go wrong with a higher quality tee if you are looking for a one and done option, but I have been so impressed with the Daily Ritual brand from Amazon.

Do you have a favorite tee or brand? Let me know in the comments below!

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16 Notes

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  1. Linda Gregory says:

    Kendie: luved this tee shirt post – I’m SO short…. anY recommendations on length of a tee …. most are SO long and I look frumpy…. but tailoring is another$20 😱😱😱more than the tee!!
    Thanks linda

    05.13.20 · Reply
  2. Laurice says:

    This round up is exactly what I needed! Thanks for sharing! The v-neck stretching/crinkling KILLS me – I noticed a lot of my knit/cotton tees and tanks (from Madewell mostly) tend to crinkle along the next line after washes and I hang dry after. Is steaming them the only fix? Should I be buying tops with better fabrics?

    05.13.20 · Reply
    • Kendi Everyday says:

      Steaming seems to fix it but I think it’s just the nature of cotton and a v-v neck. I think that shape is hard to keep in the washing machine. Maybe a delicate cycle or hand wash would help but…that’s drastic for a tee 😂 I find that rayon blends truly keep their shape the best but not everyone loves a synthetic. For me a rayon v-neck rarely stretches out like a cotton.

      05.13.20 · Reply
  3. Lashley says:

    I get Madewell tees from Nordstrom Rack. Previously I’ve gotten the whisper cotton, but I just got the Vintage Short Sleeve Crew Neck and it’s great! Sturdier than the whispers, but still soft. It comes in lots of colors, including white, and it’s not too long (I have similar stats to you, but I’m 5’3″; I got a large).

    05.13.20 · Reply
  4. Mireia says:

    A white tee is a must-have but it has to fit you well and be really good quality!

    Mireia from TGL
    https://thegoldlipstick.com/

    05.14.20 · Reply
  5. Love this!

    05.14.20 · Reply
  6. Jeany says:

    Such an amazing post! I totally agree with you, a white tee is definitely a wardrobe staple!

    Loves of Love,
    Jeany from https://vogueetvoyage.com

    05.14.20 · Reply
  7. Leslie says:

    Thanks for the round-up! Also, I love a good review (local restaurant reviews are my favorite!) and enjoyed the Hanes tee reviews…”have I become a “large” woman?” 😂

    05.14.20 · Reply
    • Kendi Everyday says:

      THAT WAS THE ONE I WANTED YOU GUYS TO READ!! I was like OMG what I need to read all of her reviews now lol

      05.14.20 · Reply
  8. A says:

    wear a nude bra to limit see-through-ness!

    05.14.20 · Reply
    • Kendi Everyday says:

      yes for sure! In a normal situation I would, but I just wore the white bra to show the sheerness level in photos 🙂

      05.14.20 · Reply
  9. Briel K. says:

    Great round up! I actually just bought a few of those Hanes tshirts to try some tie dye on. 🙂

    How do you keep the armpit areas from turning yellow on your white shirts?

    05.14.20 · Reply
    • Kate says:

      Use a deodorant without aluminum!

      05.27.20 · Reply
  10. Celyn says:

    I love this post! I’m obsessed with white tees as well!

    Life is a Shoe

    05.14.20 · Reply
  11. Megan says:

    Kendie, thank you so much for doing this post! I’ve been on the hunt for a good white t-shirt for years, and this is so helpful!

    05.16.20 · Reply
  12. Anne At Large says:

    Great round-up, FYI I adore the Madewell whisper tees in theory (favorite cut and good colors) but in practice I find they both stretch out and get holes really fast. I am not of the school of thought that I should have to wash all my t-shirts like they were lingerie and I hove noticed the whisper tee loses structure and stretches out While I Am Wearing It like a cheap pair of stretch jeans. It makes me sad.

    Also I think I will have to try that Target rib tee now, it looks super cute on you!

    05.19.20 · Reply