The Best Basic T-Shirts

Last week I reached out on Instagram with that age-old dilemma: who makes the best basic tee? I received lots of feedback—from rave reviews to commiseration and requests to share the results. But one brand emerged as the clear winner…

By far, the majority of comments recommended tees by Everlane as their go-to, top choice.

There were enthusiastic reviews—”Everlane always! Amazing, amazing quality!” and “So soft and affordable!”—for multiple cuts from the brand, from their Air Oversized Cotton tee to their Pima Stretch mid-sleeves. But the most often-mentioned were the cotton v-neck and the cotton box-cut, both shown above—and which both come in many colors.

A few of the runners-up?

The Madewell Whisper Tee. I can attest to this being a standby pick for me—it has a narrow cut without being too snug around the waist or the arms, and a relaxed drape.

Loft was a favorite for many, for its price-point and durability: This is their vintage soft tee (with and without a pocket), but they have a range of cuts.

And Uniqlo’s Supima Cotton and U Crew got some mentions, as did their longer-sleeved Waffle Crew.

(Gap, JCrew, American Giant, and packs of Hanes crewneck basics also got some love.)

In my closet, you’ll find many tees from SF’s own Mollusk Surf Shop…

And I also recently tried out the H&M Cotton Tee and ended up packing it on our trip to Mexico.

Did I miss your favorite? Add it in the comments! 

P.S. More style picks, like flattering jeans and vacation style.  Also, this started out as a not-so-basic search, actually: I spotted Gwyneth Paltrow wearing a scoop-neck tee with sleeves that hit at the elbow, and wondered where I could find a similar cut (Emerson Fry, it appears—though their Luxe Emerson T—shown at top—is the one that’s available now).

[Lead Photo: Emerson Fry]

Related posts:

Travel Guides

Browse By Category