A White T-Shirt Is My Holy Grail of Basics—Here Are the Styles I Wear the Most


(Image credit: @meganadelaide)

Minimalist isn't necessarily a term I'd use to describe my style. However, for all my love of dramatic trends, I can never turn down quality basics. A steady arsenal of reliable wardrobe staples just makes getting dressed that much easier, and once I find ones that I love, I make sure to stock up in multiples. A simple white T-shirt is easily the basic I lean on the most. It's a big part of my daily spring uniform of jeans and a blazer, but of course, it's also handy for layering underneath the multitude of sweater-vests and cardigans I own.

I get so many questions about which white T-shirts rise above the others, and today, I'm laying out the brands and styles that have carved out a permanent place in my closet. While there are so many shapes and necklines to choose from—boxy, formfitting, V-neck, scoop-neck—I'm a fan of them all and have narrowed down the best brands and styles for each category. Despite my more budget-conscious approach to shopping this season, I'm making an exception for my collection of white T-shirts. Below, all of my holy-grail styles I'm sure you'll love too. 


While any white tee will serve you well, a crewneck is exceptionally versatile. Whether layered underneath a knit, a denim jacket, or a slip dress for a casual take, this silhouette looks effortless. A couple of my favorites are Hanes Nano tee, which is a no-frills option that's easy on the wallet, and H&M's redesigned collection of basic tees that feel so luxurious it's hard to believe they're less than $10.

best white t-shirts french outfit idea

(Image credit: @annelauremais)


Sooner than later, hot temperatures will be our reality, so yep, it's time to break out a trusty white tank top. I love how a plain tank can make a pair of party pants look so effortlessly cool, as seen on Camille Charrière. From trendy high necklines to scoop-necks, below are plenty of options to fit your fancy.


(Image credit: @camillecharriere)


For a fresh spin on the classic white tee, try a cropped length. The low-rise-pants trend is in full swing, and pairing it with a midriff-baring tee adds a casual '90s-inspired twist. 


(Image credit: @chanelmckinsie)


Ideal for displaying layers of necklaces, this neckline helps to create a lengthening effect. We the Free's version features an oversize fit for a modern take, while Amazon's version is more fitted.


For added drama, consider an oversize white T-shirt. Styled with skinny jeans or slim high-waist trousers, a big billowy shirt creates a cool contrasting silhouette that looks on point. H&M's tee is an editor favorite, while I love to lounge in Citizen of Humanity's T-shirt during a chill weekend.


This is the ultimate layering piece. I own about five white long-sleeve tees, and they're easily star basics. Wear them underneath your favorite sweaters for extra warmth during the winter or under a trendy sweater-vest for a layered look. They're also perfectly chic when worn alone.


(Image credit: @tylynnnguyen)


Sometimes you want a little spice in your basics, and these white tees are just it. Good American's version has cute ruching details, while Paige's tee has billowy sleeves.


For a more polished look, try a figure-hugging white tee. If you tend to favor formal separates like pinstripe pants or silky slip skirts, a slim-cut T-shirt feels appropriately elevated and put-together.

Fashion Market Editor

Indya Brown is a fashion editor, stylist, and writer living in Los Angeles. While going to school at Columbia University in New York City, she got her feet wet in the fashion industry interning at Elle magazine, Harper's Bazaar, and New York magazine's The Cut. After graduating in 2016, she joined The Cut as a fashion assistant, eventually working her way up to fashion editor. There, she worked on a multitude of projects, including styling inbook feature stories for New York magazine's print issue, writing and pitching market stories for The Cut, and serving as fashion lead for The Cut's branded content. While New York has been her home for over 10 years, she moved to Los Angeles in the midst of the pandemic in 2020 for a new chapter. Now she is a fashion market editor for Who What Wear, focusing on emerging designers, rising trends on and off the internet, interior design, and BIPOC creatives and brands. Aside from her duties as a fashion market editor, Brown is also a freelance stylist and writer, working on national print and video commercial campaigns for Sephora, The Independent, and Cadillac. Her bylines also include Harper's Bazaar, Vox, and The New York Times. But once the computer goes down and the emails turn off, she's likely eating her way through Koreatown, hunting down vintage furniture, scoping out new outrageous nail designs to try, or taking a hot cycling class.