Undisputed among sartorial experts is the absolute iconic look of a good white tee and denim. Spring, summer, fall and winter embrace their versions of this outfit while men and women alike make it their armor of choice to face the unknowns of any given day.
It's truly a classic that anyone - no matter body type, style preference, or skin color - can fully embrace and make it their own. But the key to a truly iconic white tee/denim combo is finding that one piece that works hard for you. You might prefer a thick, oversized tee that can be easily worn with jeans or loose over biker shorts a la Princess Diana. Or a thin, silky v-neck might be more your speed that's easily layered under cardigans or jackets.
Today's blog post may not help you decide what type of white tee you prefer but hopefully it will help you find out which one you may want to purchase.
I've bought, tried on and ranked 6 white t-shirts for women on a scale of 1-5 based on the following criteria:
So without further ado, here are a roundup of white tees for women starting from least expensive to most expensive.
This is definitely more of an ivory/off white not a true white, so keep in mind that not every shade of white is created equal and your skin tone may look a bit different with a warm white than a true white.
Sizing: XXS – 3X
I bought a size Small and found it be a very nice fit. Not so oversized that it was bulky but not a fitted tee either. Madewell calls it a Relaxed Fit. Works well fully tucked in, cropped, or with a french tuck.
Madewell often runs promotions and currently they're running 20% off with code SPREETIME. If you're a Madewell Insider it's always free shipping.
Where to Buy
Madewell.com has this exact tee in 5 different color ways, but I bought mine from Shopbop through my Amazon account. Something to note is Shopbop is offering this tee for $25 + free shipping through Amazon Prime, but they only have the Lighthouse color and only carry the XS-XL sizes.
I loved the fabric on this white t-shirt. It was heavy enough to feel weighty on the body but not too thick to be hot or bulky.
The fabric makeup is 100% supima cotton which means the fibers are extra long to make them stronger and smoother than normal cotton.
Fit + Comfort
For me and my body type this was a very comfortable tee shirt. I loved the relaxed fit and it didn't feel too big or too tight. Because of the cotton's weight it was not see through and felt substantial on my body.
Total Score: 4.7/5
Good American Essentials Oversize Crew Tee in Bone
Much more of a warm ivory color, this was the least "white" out of the six tees I tried. It was actually a little closer to beige than anything else.
Sizing: 00/0 - 7/8
Shopbop was sold out of the 00/0 which is an Extra Small of this shirt so I ordered the 1/2 or more traditional size Small but because it was very oversized it felt very very large. The photos are hard to see because I have the shirt fully tucked in but it came down to mid thigh and felt like a chore to keep tucked fully into my jeans. If I were to keep this shirt I would definitely exchange it for a 00/0 size.
In addition to Shopbop, the tee is also sold on the Good American website - currently marked down to $36 - but only in the color Shadow and only in the Extra Small 00/0 size.
Substantial is the only word that comes to mind when I feel this t-shirt. The brand's website calls it a garment dyed heavy cotton It's very heavy and would surely cause me to sweat in the heat of a Greenville summer. It's not at all see through though so that is a big bonus.
Fit + Comfort
Ultimately, because of the size of the shirt and how I like my staple white tees to fit I thought it was pretty uncomfortable. It was more than oversized on my petite frame and needed to be a size or two smaller to truly fit like how I wanted it to.
Total Score: 3/5
Graceful District White Monroe Crew Neck Tee
This is a true, cool white tee. So if you're looking for a bright white tee shirt, this is the one for you. But something to note is that a true white tee is going to show stains a little more readily - especially underarm stains. (but never fear I'll be sharing a solution for that below!)
Sizing: XS - XXL
I again have a size small in the shirt and it's always fit like a glove. The one thing I love about this tee is that it came pre-shrunk twice so you don't have to worry about shrinkage. I always air dry my t-shirts, but you could throw this in the dryer with no issues.
A very reasonable price for a great tee shirt. I've actually had this white tee for a year and a half and with some stain management and air drying I've been able to preserve the brand new look of it for the whole time. Definitely a great staple without the steep price of an investment piece.
The fabric is a 100% organic cotton that's been washed, shrunk, and dyed to make it super soft and breathable.
Another thing to note about Graceful District is that all their products are made in Los Angeles instead of overseas.
Fit + Comfort
I think I'm a little biased because I've owned this tee for a year or so now, but I think it's one of the comfier white tees I tried on for this experiment. It's so soft to the touch and easy to wear. It is, however, a touch see through which is the only reason this tee is not getting a perfect score.
Total Score: 4.8/5
Imogene + Willie the drop tee in vintage white
Color: vintage white
While again, this is not a true, bright white tee, the vintage white would be an excellent choice for those of us whose skin in the winter tends to be about as white as the shirt. Vintage white comes across as about the same shade as the Madewell tee and not quite as warm as the Good American tee.
Sizing: XS/S - M/L
I have the XS/S and it's a true fit. They did a good job finding the middle ground between the two sizes and I'm sure the M/L would be the same. However, their sizing is limited so if you're not one of the two sizes this is not the tee for you.
For the quality that you're getting with this tee $55 is not a bad price. Their tees are not sold anywhere but their website, however they always offer free, no minimum shipping in the United States.
The fabric on this shirt is truly special. It's a 100% cotton knit. The special thing about Imogene + Willie (a Nashville based company) is that every part of their garment process - from sourcing raw materials to dyeing, sewing, etc. – is all done in the US. Nothing is ever sent overseas and even the cotton is sourced from US farmers. They're definitely worth a visit if you're in Nashville or a browse on their website.
Lee and I both own several items from them now and each piece is truly special.
Fit + Comfort
To the touch this is a very soft fabric. It's not silky soft but rather feels like a good pair of Levis that you've had for 5 years - worn in in just the right places. It's slightly cropped but as I have a short torso that doesn't affect me too much.
Total Score: 5/5
Agolde Thea V Neck Easy T Shirt
This is a true white tee much like the Graceful District shirt. It's an easy color to match with anything from dark denim to leggings.
Sizing: XS - XL
This shirt is designed as a relaxed fit, but honestly it just felt like it couldn't make up its mind if it was oversized or fitted. I got my normal size small and I don't know if it would have mattered if I got a smaller or larger size.
Because this comes from a designer-adjacent brand it's (in my opinion) pricy for no reason. Especially since the Imogene + Willie tee is less expensive and every part of the process is supporting American small business a mass-produced tee for more money doesn't make me love it.
The fabric on this shirt is definitely very soft, a very silky soft. It's made from 100% pima cotton but feels like it has a bit of jersey in it.
Fit + Comfort
Like I mentioned previously I don't know if this tee was supposed to be oversized or fitted. This was the only V-neck I tried and I don't love v-neck tees anyway, but this one pulled in all the wrong ways and as you can see from the photo to the side it's just not fitted well.
I would personally not buy this tee shirt which is a bummer because Agolde is known for their high quality denim. But maybe they should just stick to making jeans.
Total Score: 1/5
Vince Essential Crew Tee
Color: Optic White
A very, blue toned white that is going to emphasize how little sun you've gotten or how tan you actually are - real or not. This is not the best white for my skin tone, but may look lovely on someone else.
Sizing: XS- L
Not the most inclusive sizing available, but it is a fitted tee so even if you normally get an XL a L would likely fit as intended.
The most expensive of all the tees I tried on for this experiment, it's a designer brand so it makes sense, but not a price I would really be comfortable spending for a plain white tee shirt.
It's called a lightweight jersey on their website with a 100% pima cotton shell. Which is the exact same fabric makeup as the Agolde tee.
It's soft, for sure, but reminded me a bit of a wet suit or scuba suit? Definitely an interesting fabric that was slightly see through but not too much.
Fit + Comfort
The shirt was very soft and silky - due to that jersey fabric - but the fit wasn't super comfortable due to how constrictive it was. It fit more like an XS than a S and I just tend to prefer a relaxed fit over a fitted fit.
Now that I think about it, it fit much like the Aeropostale tee shirts we used to love as tweens - anyone else?
Total Score: 3.5/5
Caring for Your White Tees
I'm the type of person that when/if I spill something it's going to be on my brand new bright white tee shirt.
Hence my commitment to finding the best stain remover product on the market and it's definitely the Stain Solution from The Laundress.
It's a vegan-based, stain remover product that really works for everything from food stains to underarm discolorations. Do yourself a favor and get this product to keep all your clothing looking brand new for years.