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Stylists share the basic piece that you really need in your closet

A simple white tee can unlock infinite wardrobe possibilities.
Madewell; Banana Republic; Everlane

A T-shirt can have different silhouettes, lengths and materials, but when it comes to this basic piece of clothing, it offers an array of possibilities to mix and match. Whether you like donning your trusted oversized shirt or prefer a shorter version, finding the perfect tee requires attention to detail.

From recycled polyester, cashmere, organic cotton and more, the classic T-shirt can be recreated in many different ways. This is the iconic garment that elevates your favorite denim, skirt and many other types of bottoms. You can alter the classic fit of a tee with a simple knot, tucking it in or wearing it loose with pants.

We compiled a simple guide to find the best T-shirt while keeping in mind key features such as fit, sizing and price. Below, you'll find the best T-shirt in each category with expert styling advice.

How do I find the perfect white T-shirt? | What material is best for a white T-shirt? | How to wash a white T-shirt

How do I find the perfect white T-shirt?

One of the most important features to look for when shopping for a white T-shirt is the fit. According to designer Daniel Patrick, it's essential to look for the type of fit you want. "For me, I prefer something a little bit boxier as that matches the aesthetic of my clothing," he says.

The perfect white T-shirt depends on the style and aesthetic you're going for, but the weight can also be a factor in choosing the right T-shirt style. For example, Patrick goes for lighter weight, softer tees during the summer. "For everyday wear, I go for a heavier weight with a slightly rough hand feel," he adds.

What material is best for a white T-shirt?

When it comes to material, Patrick recommends 100 percent cotton T-shirts because they're the most breathable. "I do enjoy the lightweight and softness of a tri-blend one also, so it’s really up to the wearer on preference in that regard," he says.

How to wash a white T-shirt

According to Patrick, the best way to wash a white tee is with white clothing only. "I use a non-scented organic washing detergent that is gentle on the fabric. Always refer to the care instructions of the specific garment though," he recommends.

As for Grisel Paula, founder of Rebdolls, a white T-shirt should be washed in cold water because it avoids the piece from getting shrunk and it helps in reducing color fades and wrinkles.

Best boat neck T-shirt

Hanes Originals Women’s T-Shirt

Consider this the classic tee for all your casual needs. This affordable white T-shirt from Hanes is made from a tri-blend fabric that offers a classic fit. It's not too tight or too loose, which gives a universal silhouette for anyone that tries it on. You can't go wrong with this original style that lends endless outfit combinations to your daily wardrobe.

Best off-the-shoulder T-shirts

Poetsky Women's Off Shoulder

If you're craving something with more aesthetic, this off-the-shoulder tee is a comfortable option. The oversized style has a loose fit and features tunic sleeves for a relaxed look. It also has a longer length than your original style. Best of all? This style is not see-through and breathable enough for warmer days.

Supersoft Boat Neck T-shirt

For those looking for a more put-together silhouette, this cotton-modal blend tee will make a nice addition to your wardrobe rotation. The style is made from a soft cotton blend jersey and features a boat neckline to match your oversized blazers and other go-to jackets.

Best cotton T-shirt

The Organic Cotton Box-Cut Tee

The great thing about basic T-shirts is that you can dress them up or down. Paula suggested dressing up your tee with work pants or a pencil skirt. This style features a box cut that matches well with your high-waisted bottoms and slacks. The shirt is made from certified organic cotton and is cropped to sit right about the hip for a versatile fit.

Best high-neck T-shirt

Short-Sleeve Sleek Seamless Fabric Mockneck Top

Get a sleek fit with this seamless T-shirt featuring a slim-fitting design with a mock neckline. The top is soft to the touch and has a straight hem to match all your bottoms. This is a great base shirt to wear under a leather jacket, blazer or flannel. No need to really iron this T-shirt as it's made from a nylon fabric that requires minimal care.

Best overall T-shirt

Buck Mason Pima Slim Crew

Make it your mission to look spotless and bright in this T-shirt featuring a slim fit and crew neck. The soft fabric is made from 120 GSM pima cotton for a super breathable and lightweight experience. What makes it a premium construction and a great choice is the straight cut and durable stitch collar. If you already have too many white tees, though, the style comes in six different neutral hues to match all your bottoms.

Best baby T-shirt

Madewell Baby Tee

Take it back to the '90s with this baby tee from Madewell. This T-shirt is a feminine take on the tomboy aesthetic and traditional oversized shirt. It also features ruffled-like details on the hem for a more chic design.

Best crew neck T-shirt

Regenerative Cotton Crew T-shirt

Comfortable, relaxed and sustainable make this T-shirt a great addition to your timeless wardrobe. This garment has a looser fit and is made from 100 percent regenerative cotton. The basic tee offers more room in the sleeves for a laidback look and a delicately ribbed neckband to showcase your favorite necklace.

Best cashmere T-shirt

Mongolian Cashmere Tee

For a more luxurious take on the classic T-shirt, opt for this super soft and lightweight cashmere tee. The design is made from quality cashmere that offers a warmer experience. What makes it super soft is the source of its cashmere, which comes from Hircus goats in inner Mongolia (and ideal for cooler days when you need an extra dose of warmth).

Best V-neck T-shirt

Kate V-Neck Tee

This V-neck tee is an everyday essential when you need the perfect basic for your blazer, trousers or skirt. The T-shirt is made from a lightweight cotton and modal jersey blend that fits comfortably. It drapes effortlessly on the body and is easy to tuck in thanks to the shirttail hem.

Best ribbed T-shirt

Square Rib Tee

This ribbed tee features half sleeves and squared neckline for a more put-together fit. The Tencel modal fabric offers a soft-to-the-touch feel that is hard to resist. You can dress up or down this ribbed tee with the right accessories.

Best crew-neck T-shirt

Refined Crew-Neck T-shirt

You'll still need a few tees in your rotation for when the weather is cooler. For example, this T-shirt will give you a more refined look when you're in transitional mode. The tee adds an elegant balance between your casual and more elegant pieces thanks to the fitted design.

Best oversized T-shirt

Dominique Short Sleeve Tee

When comfort is at the top of your mind, this shirt will give you the relaxation you need. This lightweight knit tee is perfect to build your wardrobe and is irresistibly soft. The material is 100 percent organic cotton and offers a loose fit for those days when you're aiming to look (and feel) laid-back.

Meet the experts

Daniel Patrick is a designer and founder of his eponymous brand, Daniel Patrick, a label focused on athletic apparel with a minimal appeal. He recently launched a collaboration with New York Red Bulls during New York Fashion Week.

Grisel Paula is the founder of Rebdolls, a brand offering trendy plus-size clothing. Launched in 2014, this size-inclusive Latinx brand is a publicly traded company under the A.K.A brands umbrella putting sizing inclusivity at the forefront.