The White T-Shirt I Always Get Compliments On

Truth be told, I’m always on the hunt for the perfect basics to add to my wardrobe. My closet has always operated on a selection of closely edited pieces—to the point that I recently narrowed my winter wardrobe down to a 15-piece capsule collection. But one item that was missing for a long time was the ultimate everyday white T-shirt. Finding a style I loved was actually somewhat of a challenge.

Some tees are too boxy, others too form-fitting. They can be see-through or too stiff. And length? Don’t even get me started there. I’m 5’9”—so on the taller end of the spectrum—and most T-shirts I’ve tried end up being entirely too short to tuck into pants or jeans. And finally, there’s the matter of cost. I’ve spotted some designer versions that look tempting but also come with steep price tags. I’m not willing to shell out upward of $300 for something I’ll end up spilling my coffee or a smudge of makeup on before 10:00 a.m.

But then I found one. Last summer, stylist Karla Welch released her own line of Hanes T-shirts, reimagining the staple. With little nips and tucks and tweaks to the fabric, her white tees are inspired by classic shirts worn by famous icons like James Dean. While she has a range of cuts, I gravitated toward her crew tee. Designed after styles she saw on screen heroines like Grace Kelly and Winona Ryder, this top has a crew neck that hits in just the right place, is fitted without being too tight, and has a perfect sleeve. When the shirts were released, I was quick to snap one up and wore it to the office the very next day. Even Who What Wear’s editorial director, Bobby Schuessler, snapped up a men’s version of the tee and vouched for the style.

Whenever I throw it on, I always get questions about where I found it, and I fully throw my recommendation behind this one. It seems like everyone is on the eternal search for the perfect white T-shirt. And if you’re on the hunt, you might want to try this one out. At just $30, it’s worth it.