Yes, there is such a thing as a best white T-shirt. In an increasingly casual world, jersey basics translate in nearly every situation; so having a few on rotation, ideally one casual and smarter iteration, is ideal. They don't call it a staple for nothing.
A simple white tee looks crisp and pulled-together while still oozing nonchalance, no matter how much thought you’ve put into your outfit. If you choose wisely, this essential will work hard in your wardrobe. The best designs are neat enough for impromptu office trips but more comfortable and less stuffy than shirting; they'll add a laid-back twist to tailoring, dress down evening attire and make seasonal pieces go the extra mile.
But, you have to get the fit just right (and once you’ve found it, stick with it). From boxy cropped styles to slimline layering heroes, here are the key T-shirt shapes you should keep on rotation – and some that are sure to liven up your basics collection, too.
What's the best white T-shirt to buy now?
Many designer labels out there drop new directional iterations of the white T-shirt every season but, when it comes to this piece, basics are best. Look to capsule wardrobe brands like Asket and Everlane for reliable go-to tees that will work with anything in your wardrobe.
How do you style a white T-shirt?
As we've said, the options are endless: you can wear a white T-shirt with suiting, leather separates, denim and joggers. The question most people are Googling, however, is how to style an oversized white T-shirt. The answer? When it's not doubling as a nighties, the key it to play with proportions: French tuck one into a pair of slim-leg jeans, wearing loose and louche over cycling shorts à la Hailey Bieber or layer up with this season's favourite knitted tank.
How do you clean a white T-shirt?
If you care about the environment, you'll have considered how frequently – or infrequently – you should be washing your clothes. “The life span of clothes is usually determined by how much they have been washed. Most clothes never get worn out – they get washed out, says Frej Lewenhaupt, co-founder and CEO at Steamery Stockholm.
We get it, unlike a loose-fitting dress, jersey basics are tricky because they sit close to the skin – but do try to avoid washing your white T-shirt everyday. Spot clean any stains, try airing outside to get two wears out of it or use a steamer (fashion editors swear by this Steamery one) to freshen things up.
When most brands talk about a staple wardrobe, they don't often follow through with the stock levels to match. Asket is true to its word, producing just a few key essentials every season; including one pair of go-to jeans (in a plethora of sizes and hemlines) and this trust white T-shirt available in a UK XXS-XXXL.
The Frankie Shop's Eva T-shirt kick started fashion's obsession with Eighties-inspired basics and shoulder pads. It's nearing cult status, actually, since the brand was barely able to keep it in stock for the first year. Snap this multipack up in the MyTheresa sale to keep two in constant rotation.
Proof that souped-up basics are the best investment out there, Prada's T-shirt can be worn for both casual and evening looks. Made from white jersey, it's layered with sheer black tulle and finished with a sequinned version of the brand's '90s logo. Wear this one tucked into denim during the day, then switch to a leather mini come nighttime.
Low-rise jeans and trousers are creeping back in from their noughties graves thanks to the likes of Chanel and Alexander McQueen. If you’re planning on tackling this trend, we suggest you invest in a bodysuit asap. And if you’re not, buy one anyway. Everlane's version will create a smooth silhouette under jeans and cigarette pants.
After two years of waist-up fashion and a slew of Zoom meetings, it's only natural that we still can't get enough of statement collars. Miu Miu's playful Peter Pan tee is trimmed with broderie anglaise and scalloped floral lace – we like how this girlish detail is tempered with a graphic logo print.
Why not swap your standard silky camisole for a white T-shirt during evenings out? Alexander McQueen's is printed with a trompe l'oeil design to create the illusion of a tulle bustier layered on top.
Thanks to their generous fit and wide sleeves, boxy T-shirts are not only comfortable but they elevate to everyday outfits. The voluminous shape provides some much needed drama (and yet it couldn't be easier to throw on) to tailored trousers, slim-leg jeans and midi skirts.
Give your classic white T-shirt a dose of attitude with cropped hemlines or elegantly-placed cut-outs. Victoria Beckham's cold-shoulder take showcases just a hint of skin; tempering the oversized fit perfectly.
Give high-waisted trousers an edge by pairing with a statement cropped tee. MM6 Maison Margiela's is cut for a boxy fit and finished with a structure origami bow.
The easiest way to add definition to jersey basics is with ruching or darting. Stella McCartney keep things comfy – but flattering – with the stretchy smocked bodice on this white T-shirt. Wear yours loose over cargo pants or tuck into pleated trousers.
In 2017, when logomania renaissance first hit, Gucci could barely keep this graphic T-shirt in stock. Alessandro Michele's ironic take on branding was one of the most original out there, so naturally this bold piece has become a brand signature. We still love it just as much as we did back then.
We love Whistles' ladylike take on the white T-shirt. This piece is simple, yes, but the puffed sleeves and Broderie Anglaise trims give it a Fifties feel. Tuck yours into flared midi skirts and anything gingham.