13 Hints To Pick Classic White T-Shirt You’ll Love

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Is there a garment so basic yet so classic you could wear almost anywhere while looking crisp and chic? Yes, it’s called a white tee. Here are some suggestions on how to pick just the right one you would love to wear on and on.

1. Choose a High-Quality Cotton

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It’s non-negotiable. Your choice should lean towards high-quality cotton that lasts. Stick to cotton with no synths involved, as it can result in that senseless fabric peeling. A touch of elastane wouldn’t harm the fit, while a bit of linen can introduce an airy feel, but no synthetics, please. 

2. Recognizing Poor Quality

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Recognizing poor quality cotton is fairly straightforward – it’s not the most pleasant to touch, loses shape quickly, twists, turns, smells odd, and whatnot. Opting for organic cotton is an environmentally conscious choice, and combed or ring-spun cotton is softer, smoother, and able to retain shape compared to open-end spun cotton.

3. Consider Fabric Weight

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Cotton weight is measured in grams per square meter (GSM). The higher the GSM, the thicker the fabric. T-shirts generally range from about 150-250 GSM, which is considered medium weight. I like my tees thicker or medium-weight, and I am not a huge fan of lightweight tees. I feel they lose shape more quickly, and their opacity is an obstacle on many occasions.

4. Prioritize the Fit

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I often find the best tees in the men’s department. Giving it a thought, all my white T-shirts are bought in the men’s section. I have heavyweight ones of exceptional quality featuring a slightly oversized, regular fit. They have sharp, boxy lines, and I wear them tucked in to accentuate the waist. I also have a slim-fitted, flexible, and soft one, following body contours. Or maybe choose the extra, extra baggy, oversized one seen at Balenciaga – for the sake of experiment (but we’re talking classic here). 

5. Try Circular Knitting

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I do not own the one that goes under the marketable name “seamless,” allegedly it’s worth trying. You won’t end up with that seam twist if anything. A seam twist to a t-shirt is what double knees are to trousers – an ick. Where to buy one? I have no idea. These are rare. Allegedly, these don’t lose shape, don’t shrink or twist, and need fewer chemicals that stabilize shape in the process. 

6. Appreciate Subtle Details

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The classic white tee is a solid classic white tee, but a few subtle details won’t harm it. I own one embellished with a small logo in the lower left corner – a cute anchor emblem in sailor blue and orange-yellow, a pretty cool contrast to a bright white backdrop. It complements a range of bottoms, especially those with distinctive characters themselves, such as precisely coordinated and harmoniously colored stripes. It makes two different things coming in a synergistic, fresh narrative. I also have one with some gag, a nylon neon asymmetric attachment in the corner, akin to an abstract painting, while clashing the textures.

7. Evaluate Stitching Quality

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This is a good habit when purchasing any garment – see how the seaming and stitching is done. Seams are the weakest points in a garment’s structure, so if done in a sloppy way, you’ll rather deter having that half-product in your home. You wouldn’t want hoarding stuff you wouldn’t love in the long run. 

8. Embrace Classic Collars

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The classic white T-shirt predominantly features a crew neck, and it’s best to leave it at that. I’m not particularly drawn to V-necks, and scoop or square necks have their own distinct purposes. Crew neck T-shirts, much like most men’s clothing, have military origins, with sailors initially sporting this neckline style. Thus, the name “crew neck”. 

9. Notice Labels

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While a seemingly minor detail, the design of the label adds significantly to the overall impression of the product. A well-done label can make you love your shirt a tiny bit more. They are made in a nice fabric, wouldn’t itch, and possibly would have interesting pictograms showing care instructions. 

10. Balance Price & Quality

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Well-known brands tend to offer reliable options due to their quality standards. However, supporting local designers and possessing something distinctive amid the mass-produced merchandise is always a great choice. You’ll just have to make some effort to uncover such gems, but it’s worth it.

11. Color Consistency

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Ensure the white color is even throughout the shirt without any discoloration or yellowing. A consistent color means the fabric is high quality and dyed properly. Check for any spots or uneven shading that could affect the T-shirt’s appearance. A well-dyed shirt will maintain its crisp white color after multiple washes.

12. Simple Is Better

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Opt for a simple, classic design without unnecessary logos or prints. A plain white T-shirt is versatile and can be paired with various outfits. Avoid overly trendy details that might go out of style quickly. A clean, minimalist look ensures the T-shirt remains timeless and adaptable.

13. Prioritize Sustainability

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As brands gradually become more transparent (though they have a long way to go) regarding their production practices, consumers like us play a role in pushing further progress in these areas. Opting for organic cotton is a more ethical option, but it’s worth noting that cotton clothing often undergoes heavy chemical treatment. Do your research thoroughly.

A Long History

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Starting as underwear, the white T-shirt was introduced to US Navy clothing in 1913., as a handy garment when doing chores. With its crew neck and short sleeves, it was soon popularized by icons such as Marlon Brando and James Dean. Today, it remains a classic that rarely disappoints.

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