If I had a dollar for every time I’ve received a DM asking me about THE BEST white t-shirt–I’d be a RICH WOMAN.
Here’s the thing: Before you all started ferociously asking me for advice regarding white tees, I really had never given it much thought. I rarely ever wore white tees and I owned one. ONE white tee–and it saw the light of day maybe twice per year. It was three years old from Madewell–it was a good tee–fine, did its job, but then again, it’s a white t-shirt. What white tee shirt could ever be defined as a “true love” when it comes to wardrobe staples?
“A white tee is a white tee,” I thought–”can they really be that different?”
Apparently, they can. After receiving a plea from my friend, Gianna (which became my final straw in putting off this “white t-shirt hunt” any longer)–”please do a blog post on this, Keys!” she asked a couple months back. Then, I took to Instagram stories and put the question out to you–and the rest of the universe:
“Which white tee is your favorite white tee, and why?”
The opinions poured in in droves. It appears that there is in fact, a HUGE difference between white tees. It took your expertise to show me the light! The white tee debate is indeed a heated one!
See, it appears that some are too boxy, some are too short, some too long, some wrinkle easily, others are scratchy, some are made of cheap material and nearly ALL of them see through.
I quickly learned one thing–what works for one girl doesn’t work for us all. There are as many kinds of white tees in this world as there are women who like to wear them–but most of us have one thing in common, and that is that we are all searching for THE white tee to end all white tees.
Naturally, I decided to take matters into my own hands, and chose to purchase (with my own money!) your top 6 most popular tees (according to your feedback via DM)–three crew necks and three v-necks from J.Crew, Everlane, and Madewell. What did I discover? There’s a great white tee out there to suit everybody’s tastes and needs, but there was one v-neck that took the cake.
FIRST, a disclaimer–I often hear people complain of a lot of tops being see through. If you find this is a common occurrence, it’s because you are wearing the wrong color bra.
“Nude” is not a color that is one-size-fits all. Many nudes are too dark or too light–you need one that actually matches your skin tone. Here I’m wearing Thirdlove’s t-shirt bra in “naked-2”–I like the bra well enough (it got a little better once it was “broken in” and I like that they come in half cup sizes, which I need!) I love that it comes in several different nude shades!
The safest bet, however, is probably to go into a department store with a t-shirt you deem is “see through” and try on several bras. You’ll likely find that it’s not as much your shirts that are the issue!
Okay, now that that’s out of the way, scroll down to find out more!
The Perfect White Tee–Crewneck Review:
Relaxed fit, here I’m wearing my normal size, which is small.
When I first pulled on this tee, Neal told me that it looked like something I had stolen from the Little Boy’s department. 🙄 (Which is funny, because he owns one that looks JUST like it??)
That being said, not sure if your husband will like it, but I personally think it’s so cute! It’s definitely the “trendy it tee” on this list, and I can easily see why it was so popular with GG readers!
You guys know that I tuck literally EVERY shirt I ever wear in, including this one.
I think a tucked-out shirt adds about 10 additional pounds to any frame and just isn’t really flattering, but that’s just a personal opinion.
BUT, if you absolutely do not like tucking your shirt in, this is a good option because it’s cropped, and therefore hits you higher at the waist, which is in turn, more flattering.
If you plan to wear it untucked, I’d recommend sizing down, because I think an untucked shirt should be slimmer fitting than a front-tucked shirt–an oversized, untucked shirt just makes you look like a giant box, and nobody wants that! If you do want it tucked in, and like a relaxed, oversized feel, go with your normal size!
Overall, I love the casual feel to this one, the fact that it’s cropped, it’s super soft, not see through, and I think the pocket is such a cute little tomboy touch.
Sizing and fit:
I’m wearing a small, which is my normal size. It’s supposed to be slimmer and is therefore much more form-fitting than the other tees, but if you like the slim shape but don’t want it as tight, you could size up.
So I have very conflicted thoughts on this tee. I thought it was going to be a home-run because I own it in two other striped colors and I ADORE them, but at first I really hated it in white, but then I realized that it just can’t be put in the same category as the other t-shirts.
Anna pointed out that it’s more refined, dainty, lady-like, and dressier–which connected the dots for me–of course I didn’t like it, because I was comparing it to the other t-shirts when it’s truly in its own category. This tee satisfies a completely different purpose.
For one, it’s definitely supposed to be more form-fitting vs loose, which makes it a great tee to pair with a feminine skirt, or even a tee that you can wear to the office with a pair of slacks. I would liken this tee to something classy enough for Jackie-O or Audrey Hepburn to rock.
If you prefer sleeves to be on the longer side, you’ll also like this tee.
The arms are longer than most short-sleeve tees, which is nice, but on the flip-side, they’re also tighter and slimmer than any other tee. This can be a positive or negative, depending on preference.
Additionally, the material is definitely thicker and stretchier–and for whatever reason I think this makes it show more lines/bumps/etc than other tees. For example, if you don’t tuck it in, the bulge of the waist of your pants underneath is obvious (which isn’t a total dealbreaker, because that can be lessened with some bunching of the tee), as is the line of your bra (if you have a perfectly fitting bra, this probably isn’t noticeable, but if you don’t, it will be.) However, it is not see through, so that’s a big plus!
Overall, if you’re looking for a truly polished, slim-fitting crewneck t-shirt to tuck into skirts, office pants, jeans, and the like, this is a good tee for you.
I’m wearing a small, which is my normal size. I find that it’s true to size, but size up if you want it to be looser.
I think this is a really good “goldilocks” crewneck tee. It’s not too tight, not too baggy, not too thick, but not too thin. The sleeves are a bit shorter than some other tees, which I think makes it look casual but polished.
The one thing I did not like about this tee (again, total personal preference) is the fact that it’s heathered.
I’m just not really as much of a heathered tee kind of girl, and I think it makes it too hard to dress the tee up.
The length is average–personally, I like it tucked in, but the fact that it’s a bit more form fitting than other tees (and doesn’t bell out and fits through the waist nicely) makes it a very flattering option for those who don’t like to tuck in their shirts.
See through-ness: I will say this is definitely the most sheer of the crewnecks, but as long as you’re wearing a nude bra that matches your skin tone, it’s definitely not problematic in my opinion. I would say that depending on the color of your bra, if you’re LOOKING for your bra underneath the tee, you can probably detect it, but if you aren’t, there’s no way you’d notice.
The Perfect White Tee–V-Neck Review:
I’m wearing a small, my normal size–it’s pretty oversized and loose. If you want to tie it, order your normal size, if you want it untucked, size down.
Funny enough, I wholeheartedly expected this Madewell tee to remain #1 in my book after the research phase of this post was over–but it actually got beat out (I’ll tell you my favorite in a second!)
Here’s the thing–this tee is fine if you like your tees tied. They have actually improved the design since the last one I purchased a couple years ago (I bought a new one for the purposes of this review). The older versions used to bell out when un-tucked, but the new one doesn’t. However, I really dislike the fact that it’s heathered. I just prefer things with a bit more polish and the heather ruins that for me.
Other knocks against it: (only if you want to wear it untucked) is it just feels very dowdy and frumpy to me when it’s not tucked in. It’s just a lot of material–that isn’t a good look on anyone 🤔 It also stretches out a lot so I wasn’t super happy with that.
I still think it’s a good shirt, and had I not tried out the others, I would say this shirt is a great one, but now that I have–well, this is no longer my favorite 😂. I think you can do better (which shocks me, because, again, this was my favorite pick going in!)
Wearing a small, my normal size. Runs true to size.
The main knock I have against this shirt is, again, the heathered quality. If that’s not a problem for you, I really like this tee otherwise. If you want a heathered white tee, I’d go with this one over the Madewell one. Honestly because I do think it’s slimmer fit makes it much more flattering when untucked. Its even a bit lighter-weight than the Madewell version, which makes it excellent for summer.
On the other hand, the fabric is a little more sheer than other tees in my opinion. Definitely not a deal breaker or problematic if your bra matches your skin tone. I’m not really that big of a fabric snob. However the negative reviews online do say the fabric is a bit on the cheap side and gets holes easily. (I haven’t had it very long, so I can’t comment on that). I do like that it doesn’t have a pocket, just because it makes it easier to dress up.
A cute buy if you like a heathered tee. Although I’d probably say the fabric is lesser quality than its Madewell counterpart. On the flip side, if you want the thinnest, lightest tee possible (like if you get hot easily) then this is a good pick for you!
True to size, but based on reviews I sized up to a medium (I usually wear a small) so I could tie it. If I wanted it untucked, I’d order normal size, otherwise it’s too big to wear untucked! (Which is evident in the photos, haha!)
WINNER WINNER WINNER! The only tee I’ve found that isn’t heathered, isn’t see-through, is amazingly soft and high quality. I truly love everything about it, and I will never have a need to buy any other v-neck ever again. I love it so much that now I’m convinced I need it in every color. Plus I also want to try Everlane’s regular crewneck, too! I’m not surprised–is there anything Everlane doesn’t make better than everyone else?
Was this a helpful review?! I hope it lived up to your expectations! What is YOUR favorite white tee? If you have any opinions on any of these tees or any other favorites, leave them below!