How do you find the best white T-shirt? It might seem like a simple question, but tracking one down that checks all of the boxes—from fit to comfort—is quite a feat. After all, the more minimal a clothing item is, the more its flaws become glaringly clear. Nobody likes the feeling of slipping on a boxy, ill-fitted white tee that is as stiff as cardboard against our skin. Finally, however, the search is over.
Throughout the history of pop culture, from Marlon Brando to Kendall Jenner, the white T-shirt is ingrained in both our lives and our wardrobes. “Everybody needs it. Every culture and subculture has used the white T-shirt. That’s where the genius is,” said Karla Welch, a stylist who committed herself to develop the perfect white tee. For us at Vogue, the shirt has become a unifying closet staple. As we look to reemerge, return to the office, travel, and make social plans once again, there’s something comforting about wearing a crisp, classic white T-shirt in the morning—fresh, dewy-faced. Perhaps we’ll add a touch of jewelry, whether that’s a pair of gold hoops or a minimalist chain necklace. But the best white tees can be paired with just about everything from comfortable at-home yoga pants to dressy skirts for the office and beyond. And what’s more iconic and representative of our daily lives than a white T-shirt and a classic pair of blue jeans? Two editors recently weighed in on this divisive topic and the verdict is in: yes, jeans can be comfortable at home too.
Below, 27 Vogue editors share the best white T-shirts for women to wear now and forever.
Helena Suric, Senior Director, Talent Casting
Why just have one perfect tee when you can have five? I get a pack of boy’s Fruit of the Loom in size XL, and at this price point, don’t even blink if I spill coffee on them. They get softer with wear and are great on their own, layered under sweaters, for workouts, or for sleep... exactly why you need five!
Anna-Lisa Yabsley, Executive Director, Content Strategy
There are two things I consistently look for in a white tee (or any tee for that matter): is it 100% cotton, and is it an oversized fit? I have a long torso, and require length. I also love a boxy cut and a drop shoulder seam. This tee from Totême fits the bill nicely.
Julie Tong, Senior Commerce Editor
I’m already a big fan of Alo Yoga’s leggings, but their white T-shirts are next level. It’s super soft, comfortable, and has that perfect oversized fit. I love to style it under a blazer and with jeans for a polished look.
$58.00, ALO YOGA
Alexandra Michler, Director of Fashion Initiatives
The Petit Bateau Iconic T-shirt is just that. It is simple, elegant, and looks just as good with a long evening skirt as it does a loose pair of worn-in denim. Bonus points: They make them for kids too.
Rachel Besser, Market Editor
To me, the perfect white T-shirt has a high, almost mock-neck collar, loose sleeves that don’t hug my arms, and is crisp with some structure yet still relaxed.
Sarah Spellings, Fashion News Editor
I have broad shoulders and love how they look in a muscle tank. This one is absolutely perfect. The sleeves hit right at the edge of my shoulders in a way that’s surprisingly delicate, and the cotton is fine and soft. Paired with wide-leg trousers, it gives me the Phoebe Philo-esque look I’ve been trying to achieve my whole life!
Rickie De Sole, Executive Fashion Director
It’s a lot to spend on a white T-shirt, but I found owning the perfect one was better than owning 12 that just don’t fit quite right. I make this T-shirt work all year round—as a base layer under sweaters during the winter, and I pair it with skirts and shorts in the warmer months.
Virginia Smith, Fashion Director
I’d love to have this Raey T-shirt in all colors hanging in my closet, but if I had to choose one, it would be a classic white. The proportions are hard to get right on a short-sleeve tee, but this one is perfect.
Madeline Swanson, Accessories Editor
I love Kule’s cotton tees for their classic unisex shape and soft, lightweight feel, with sleeves that are just long enough and never too tight. They tuck perfectly into my favorite jeans (a French tuck preferably, so as not to hide the brand’s trademark stripe at the bottom hem—my favorite part!).
Atalie Gimmel, Associate Manager, Social Media
Besides the neckline, my favorite thing about this crewneck tee is the 50% cotton, 50% modal material. Never have I ever worn a shirt so soft and comfortable, which makes it perfect for working from home.
Lucie Zhang, Director, Social Media
This breezy white T-shirt is breathable and 100% cotton. It hangs off the body, which is essential for NYC’s hot and humid summer days. Great for pairing with loose, structured shorts, or your favorite jeans.
Alexis Bennett, Commerce Writer
I’m a firm believer that basics don’t have to be boring, including plain white T-shirts. I love this design from The Line By K because it has exposed seams in the front and an open-back silhouette that adds a sweet surprise when you walk away. And I have to give it bonus points, thanks to the bodysuit silhouette, which ensures it stays tucked in all day long.
Clarissa Schmidt, Commerce Producer
I only have, maybe, 2 or 3 white T-shirts on hand, and that’s because I prefer to keep only my favorites on rotation. I’ve been really loving this crew-neck white tee from AG because of its soft, lightweight feel. Though it has an oversized silhouette, I can still tuck it into jeans or shorts for a polished look.
Lilah Ramzi, Features & Commerce Editor
I’ve never been a wear-my-boyfriend’s-shirt kind of girl. So I appreciate a white tee that looks nothing like a man’s undershirt. The sleeves on this A.L.C. cotton top do just the trick.
$135.00, SAKS FIFTH AVENUE
Madeline Fass, Market Editor
Cotton Citizen makes great basics, T-shirts, sweatpants, sweatshirts, the works. I love their plain white Sydney tee because it’s loose in all the right places and feels oversized without being baggy, or like there’s too much fabric to tuck in or have hanging out. Great for layering, lounging, and everyday wear. I have one in black too!
Chioma Nnadi, Editor, Vogue.com
Simple white tees are a hard sell for me, I rarely go for them, but when I do, there has to be a little twist, a touch of humor. That’s why Vaquera’s teddy tee really speaks to me on so many levels. Yes, it’s a white tee, but it’s anything but simple. The cheeky lace trimmings take it from basic to something completely different. I’d wear this piece with a pair of baggy jeans and my new square-toe pink Martine Rose loafer slides.
Alexandra Gurvitch, Market Editor
My favorite white tee is the Hanes x Karla crew because I like my tees to have weight, especially if they are white. I have it in both the cropped and tank versions because I love it so much! White tees really can veer unflattering, but this one retains a good structure.
Mai Morsch, Associate Market Editor
I love Leset’s Classic Margo tee. It hits at just the right length and is relaxed without being too boxy.
Zoe Ruffner, Beauty Editor
I wear Filippa K’s ribbed tank almost every day (luckily I have two!). It’s perfect to layer underneath a sweater, or to wear on its own with a pair of jeans or a skirt. I have my eye on the Swedish label’s short-sleeve version, which is made from the same supersoft stretch cotton.
$95.00, FILIPPA K
Elise Taylor, Living Writer
My wardrobe weak spot is shirts that are comfy enough to lie on the couch in, but also acceptable to wear during work Zoom meetings. Did I ever realize I’d have this extremely niche need? Nope, but here we are!
Enter A.P.C.’s Marina short-sleeve shirt. It’s made of 100% cotton, which makes it perfect for lazy lounging. The added collar makes me look like I have my act together. Which I don’t, by the way.
Naomi Elizée, Market Editor
It’s peak summertime and getting increasingly hotter as the days go by. I’m currently eyeing this itsy-bitsy Jacquemus T-shirt in my cart to combat the heat!
Carrie Marks, Director of Audience Development, Social & Analytics
I wrote about this no-fuss Hanes white tee in my WFH outfits post, and I’ll take another opportunity to sing its praises. I love the fit because it layers really well under sweaters, and tucks easily into pants and skirts. And if you’re the kind of person who, like me, can’t keep your whites white forever, the price point here is quite forgiving when you need to restock.
Emily Farra, Senior Fashion News Writer
Harlin’s white T-shirts are as close to perfect as I’ve found: They’re a little boxy, non-stretch, and come in a thicker cotton than your average tee, so they aren’t at all see-through. (Important if you’re going braless!) I need about five more!
Lauren Valenti, Senior Beauty Editor
Throughout quarantine, I’ve been borrowing my boyfriend’s pieces from the British brand Basic Rights. I’m loving their the Giving Tee series, which donates proceeds to the Shoreditch Trust, a charity working to improve health, well-being, and social networking and opportunities for locals in the U.K. This classic white tee is emblazoned with the phrase “Adore and Endure,” inspired by a beautiful mural in Shoreditch. These words ring especially true in this time, of course.
$55.00, BASIC RIGHTS
Jenna Rennert, Beauty Editor
This is hands down the best white T-shirt on the market—trust me, because I’ve tried them all. Not too tight, not too loose.
Brooke Bobb, Senior Fashion News Writer
This summer I’ve become obsessed with the organic cotton tees from Danish brand Mads Nørgaard. They offer such a huge range of styles and colors and I’m particularly in love with their pointelle version of the simple white T-shirt.
$69.00, MADS NØRGAARD
Willow Lindley, Accessories Director
These are called “holy grail” white tees for a reason. The best white tees that are the perfect opacity and über soft. Plus, they are upcycled from vintage white tees, so they’re a sustainable choice.
Originally Appeared on Vogue