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Much like the perfect little black dress or a pair of nude pumps, a great white T-shirt belongs in every woman's closet. This simple item pairs seamlessly with just about everything in your wardrobe — from jeans to skirts and shorts — and can easily be dressed up or down.
But like any style staple, finding "the one" can take a bit of work. If you're in the market for a new white T-shirt and need a bit of help, you're in luck. TODAY Style tapped top celebrity stylists to uncover the three simple ways to score the perfect tee, and got them to share some of their favorite styles.
What should you look for when buying a white T-shirt?
You might think all white T-shirts are created equal, but there's actually quite a range of styles. And although it can be tempting to grab the first one you stumble upon, there are a few factors to consider before finding your T-shirt soul mate.
Find the perfect fit
"The T-shirt needs to be the right fit for your body shape. Try several styles and determine if you look better in a V-neck, which elongates your neck, or if a more casual crew neck is right for you," said costume designer Mona May, who has worked on the "Santa Clarita Diet," "Clueless," "Night at the Roxbury" and other major films and TV shows.
Consider the length of the sleeves as well. "Some are longer with more arm coverage, and some are shorter (like cap sleeves), and can make arms appear smaller," May said.
Look for machine-washable fabrics
"The first thing to take into consideration when buying a white shirt is that you will be getting stains on it, no matter what. It is unavoidable!" said Whitney Anne Adams, a costume designer and stylist who has worked on "The Great Gatsby," "Happy Death Day 2U" and "Irreplaceable You."
To make your white T-shirt last, look for machine-washable fabrics that can withstand bleach and other fabric cleaning products. To avoid discoloration, only wash your white tops with other whites, and wash them inside out with warm water to keep the outside of the shirt looking fresh, according to Dana Asher Levine, Hollywood stylist and Dhstyle Inc. CEO.
"If you have a stain, use a nonchlorine-based bleach, like OxiClean. Put it in hot water for 30 minutes before putting it into the washing machine," Asher Levine said.
Consider the fabric weight
The tee you wear in the summer can be vastly different than the one you throw on when things cool down a bit. So when shopping for your perfect white T-shirt, keep the fabric in mind.
"Cotton or some sort of cotton blend T-shirts are great for summer and warmer days. They also travel really well," Asher Levine said.
When the temperature drops, though, a thicker weave fabric can help keep you looking cool and feeling warm.
The best white T-shirts for women
1. Madewell Northside Vintage Tee, $16, Madewell
When Adams shops for clients or a film, her first stop for white T-shirts is always Madewell. "They are super comfortable, fit perfectly and are machine-washable," she said.
2. The Perfect V-Neck, $18, Everlane
Asher Levine loved white T-shirts with deeper necklines for layering necklaces on top.
3. Uniqlo Relax Fit Crew Neck T-Shirt, $15, Uniqlo
Asher Levine also appreciated the affordable price of this tee for one simple reason: "If you get it dirty and can't salvage it, you can always get a new one without the stress."
4. Free People Baby Rib Tee, $21, Zappos
"If you're looking for a comfortable, tighter fit tee to show off your curves, this is a a great option," Asher Levine noted.
5. The Cotton Crew, $18, Everlane
Adams is also a fan of Everlane's basic tees, and loves this versatile, machine-washable style.
6. Romwe Loose Ruffle Hem Peplum Blouse, $17, Amazon
Basic white T-shirts are great and all, but sometimes you just want to jazz things up a bit!
7. Sundry Ruffled Boxy Tee, $68, Anthropologie
Adams called this "the perfect summer white tee."
8. MIHOLL V-Neck Loose T-Shirt, $18, Amazon
For those times when you want a pocket handy — just in case.
9. James Perse Vintage Little Boy Tee, $75, Nordstrom
This lightweight cotton-jersey tee comes from May's go-to shirt brand, James Perse.
10. NIASHOT Criss Cross V-Neck T-Shirt, $16, Amazon
This lightweight white T-shirt pairs perfectly with jeans or shorts thanks to its dressy crisscross detail.
For more flattering basics, check out:
- The best sundresses for summer
- Swimsuits for all! Flattering cuts, shapes and styles to try now
- What style of jeans are in? The top 7 denim trends of 2019
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