The 4 Best Women’s White T
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The 4 Best Women’s White T

May 19, 2023

A great white tee is a wardrobe workhorse, but finding your go-to can feel like a daunting task—and an awkward fit, overly stiff fabric, or stretched-out collar can quickly consign a shirt to the back of your dresser drawer.

Over the course of six months, we considered scores of white T-shirts in a wide variety of styles. Then we enlisted a panel of five testers—who represented a range of shapes, sizes, and tastes—to assess the top contenders based on fit, cut, fabric, comfort, construction, value, and overall aesthetic appeal. Ultimately, four clear favorites emerged: a flattering, boxy cropped tee, a perfectly proportioned V-neck, an inexpensive classic crew-neck shirt, and a splurge-worthy slim-cut option with special details.

This breezy, lightweight cropped tee won us over with its stylish, boxy cut and luxuriously soft Supima cotton. It runs small, so we recommend sizing up.

As testing first began for this guide, I didn't expect to find a clear winner—surely people with different style preferences and body types wouldn't all gravitate toward the same tee? And yet, the Buck Mason Pima Boxy Crew emerged as the obvious favorite with our panel of five testers. It's easy to see why: This ridiculously soft, lightweight Supima cotton shirt is a joy to wear. It works on a range of body types and gives off a casual, effortless vibe that feels chic and a little flirty. The shirt does, however, run small—we recommend going up a size.

It's the softest we tested. It's made from 100% Supima cotton—prized for its quality and durability—and it was the softest of the 40 shirts I tried on during testing, beating out far more expensive offerings from Re/Done and James Perse.

The fabric feels light and airy. Our entire testing panel said the Buck Mason tee felt comfortable, with one describing it as "suuuuuuper nappable." The light, breathable jersey knit—coupled with the shirt's cropped length and easy cut—make it particularly well suited to warmer weather. "It's so lightweight, I feel like I’m naked," marveled a tester.

This tee is solidly constructed, with neat, even stitching at the hems, but its lighter material and unreinforced collar make it feel less durable than some others we tried.

It's flattering on many different body types. Understandably, boxy crop tops are not everyone's cup of tea. And yet, the Pima Boxy Crew's short, square silhouette, with a crew neck that offers a glimpse of collarbone, pleased all of our testers.

The shirt is 19 inches long (size medium, from the midpoint of the collar to the bottom hem), making this one of the shorter crops we considered. Even so, every one of our testers—who ranged in height from 5-foot-3 to 5-foot-9—liked the way it fit. The cut is remarkably versatile. "I can see wearing this with a nice high-waisted trouser, or something else a bit dressed-up," noted one panelist.

Our 5-foot-3 panelist said that when she wore the tee with a pair of high-waisted jeans, the shirt hem landed around the first inch or two of her pants; on my 5-foot-6 frame, it hit right below the belly button. But if you’re on the taller side or you just don't want to risk any midriff exposure, you may find it too short unless it's paired with high-waisted pants.

It runs one size small. Buck Mason claims this shirt will fit sizes US 00 to 18; we think that's a stretch. For reference, the largest size available (2X) worked well on our tester who normally wears a T-shirt size XL and bra size 38G. We recommend that you buy one size larger than usual to achieve the perfect easy fit, especially if you have broader shoulders or a large bust. Luckily, the shirt doesn't shrink much after washing.

It's well priced. Given the fabric, cut, and overall quality, the Buck Mason Pima Boxy Crew is a good value and looks and feels more expensive than it is. Our testers preferred it to shirts that cost more than twice as much; it was also the tee that they said they’d be most likely to buy at full retail price.

This tee has a perfect body-skimming cut and quality construction. Fuller-busted testers were especially smitten and found the style flattering without being too tight or revealing, even though the fabric is a tad sheer.

V-necks are hard to get right. Of the 18 that I personally tested for this guide, the Mott & Bow Fitted V-Neck Marcy Tee is the only one that managed to strike the correct balance on all fronts: the width and depth of the V-shape neckline, the sleeve length and the overall shirt length, and the slim but not too tight fit.

Testers with larger busts found the silhouette especially flattering, since it skims curves without clinging too tightly. We also enjoyed the silky-soft feel of the Mott & Bow tee's fabric and its well-constructed hems, which don't twist or wrinkle in the wash. Our only quibble? This is the sheerest T-shirt we recommend—a nude-color bra is faintly perceptible beneath the wispy fabric.

Note: For those who like the sound of everything about this shirt, minus the V-neck, it's also available in a crew-neck style, which we also tried (and loved).

It nails the proportions. Our test panelists raved about the cut of the Mott & Bow tee. The V-neck opening is relatively shallow and not too wide; when paired with the shirt's elongated body and short (but not capped) sleeves, the overall effect is balanced and slimming. "V-necks tend to make me look wide across the chest and shoulders," observed one tester, "but this one is just right."

Compared with other V-necks that our panelists tried, such as the Madewell Whisper Cotton V-Neck Tee and the Banana Republic Supima V-Neck T-Shirt, the Mott & Bow tee also has a closer fit that our testers found more appealing. (The sizing is true.)

The Mott & Bow tee's slightly elongated length—a size medium measures 24 inches from the back collar to the bottom hem—landed around my hip bone (I’m 5-foot-6). Worn with a high-waisted pant, it looks great tucked all the way in or left in a casual half-tuck. One 5-foot-3 panelist, however, found the shirt a little too long for her frame.

It's curve-friendly. The décolletage-framing style was particularly popular with fuller-busted testers, who told us that they’ve struggled to find V-necks they like. "The Mott & Bow tee's vee is a good depth—not too cleavage-y," said one panelist, who wears a size 38G bra and tested the shirt in an XL. "And even with big boobs, it's long enough in the torso." Another tester, who wears a size 34D bra and tried the shirt in a medium, said, "This shirt was ultra-flattering. It hugged my curves without making me look top-heavy, which V-necks often do." One bummer: The largest size this tee comes in is a women's XL (16).

The fabric is soft and smooth. "This shirt is soft AF," gushed one tester. The Mott & Bow tee is made from a blend of materials: pima (a high-quality extra-long staple cotton) and modal (a beech tree cellulose fiber known for its silky texture, durability, and drape). It feels extremely breathable and lightweight and falls beautifully on the body.

It's slightly sheer. Even with the perfect undergarments, this shirt may be too revealing for some tastes or situations. Said one tester, "My normally incognito nude bra was slightly visible beneath this shirt, so I wouldn't wear it to work." But while a trace of a bra can be seen, the material isn't particularly clingy, and it's not so transparent that it reveals actual flesh.

It's well made. The Mott & Bow tee has neatly stitched seams that hold up to repeated wear. One tester noted, "After I washed it, the V-neck and hems didn't buckle or wrinkle at all—unlike with cheaper shirts, like the Madewell Whisper tee."

The material feels resilient, too—"it's stretchy, but it bounces back," said a panelist—so it will keep its shape. After a spin through the dryer, the tee may feel a tad tight, but the supple fabric returns to its original dimensions once you’ve worn it for a few minutes.

It's a good value. The Mott & Bow tee's combination of style, comfort, and quality make its mid-range price tag more than fair. (I found only one other V-neck, from L’Agence, equally flattering—but it cost nearly three times as much.) If you like this tee and want to stock up, you can save some money by purchasing it in packs of three and six, offered in a variety of color combinations.

At under $10, this classic crew-neck shirt is surprisingly solid: soft enough, substantial, and available in a wide range of sizes. It's cut longer and more relaxed than our other picks—but it also shrinks more in the wash.

Though most under-$15 shirts we tested were pretty lousy in terms of both fit and quality, the Hanes Perfect-T Women's Short Sleeve Cotton T-Shirt was the notable exception."The price is right, and overall, it delivers," said one tester. "I was shocked at how much I liked this!" said another. Granted, we weren't wowed by the shirt's construction, but we didn't expect to be—its casual silhouette, appealing fabric, and inclusive pricing and sizing more than made up for a few loose threads.

It has an easy, relaxed fit. Testers were pleasantly surprised at how often they found themselves reaching for the trusty basic. This shirt is among the longest styles we tried (a medium is about 26 inches long); "it's long enough for an effortless front tuck," remarked one tester. Of the tees we recommend, it also has the most relaxed cut. "I care a lot about how a shirt stretches across my chest," said a panelist who wears a size 38G bra, "and the Hanes tee is roomy and flattering in that area." The crew neck is relaxed enough to reveal a glimpse of the collarbone, which I liked, although some testers said they’d prefer a slightly higher neck.

The generously cut sleeves, which hit about mid-bicep, earned plenty of praise: "I like that the arms aren't tight," said a tester, while another was impressed with their slimming effect.

The fabric feels pleasant and substantial. The 100% cotton knit is soft enough to be comfortable, and the mid-weight material is the most opaque of the bunch. "It feels solid, but not like you’re wearing a carpet," said one panelist. Though the fabric doesn't drape very well and isn't as soft or smooth as our pricier picks (which are made from higher-quality cottons and cotton blends), we found that its slightly rougher texture actually made it a good choice as a layering piece—worn beneath a sweater, it stays put.

It comes in lots of sizes. The Hanes Perfect-T shirt is available in S to 3XL (US 2 to 22). This shirt shrank more than any of our other picks—3.8% after being washed on warm and tumble dried. For me (5-foot-6, size M, bra size 34D), a medium felt too big right out of the package, but it shrank down to a pleasantly relaxed fit.

It's a bargain. Though nothing about this shirt feels particularly special—it is, after all, a $10 tee—it gets the job done, and at a fraction of the price of our other picks. Its construction isn't outstanding—we noticed a couple loose threads around the collar, and more of the raw edge is exposed at the hem than on pricier options—but it's not bad, either. "There's no huge difference between this and shirts that cost three times as much," one panelist noted.

If you’re willing to spend nearly $100 on a T-shirt, consider this one: Its slim cut, subtly textured slub knit and elevated details feel stylish and timeless. Plus, it's available in sizes from XXS to 3XL.

Of all the $50 to $100 shirts we tested, Rag & Bone's The Slub Tee felt most worthy of its lofty price tag. The quality was immediately apparent in the shirt's construction and thoughtful details, like its cool decorative back seam. Plus, the pima cotton slub, a textured knit fabric, drapes beautifully, feels soft against the skin, and is opaque enough to conceal a nude bra. Testers loved the slim fit and classic crew neck—and we were happy to discover that this shirt comes in a wider selection of sizes than most in its price range.

Elevated details make it special. Careful construction and unique details—like the neatly stitched, visually elongating seam that runs down the shirt's back—add a decorative element that make the Rag & Bone tee feel special and polished.

It has the sturdiest collar of any we tested. It's substantially built and neatly stitched, which is important for a garment that you regularly pull over your head. Another nearly $100 shirt that we considered, the Re/Done Heritage Cotton Classic Tee, had a notably thinner, stretchier collar that looked sloppy after four to five washes and wears.

The slub material is comfy and stylish. Made from luxe, durable pima cotton, the Rag & Bone tee drapes beautifully on the body and feels smooth and breathable. One tester described it as "the most comfortable shirt I’ve ever worn."

The subtly tactile quality of the slub looks simultaneously relaxed and refined. It feels lightweight, but it's not sheer—we had no issues with a nude bra showing through. It's more opaque than the Buck Mason Pima Boxy Crew and the Mott & Bow Fitted V-Neck Marcy Tee but not as substantial as the Hanes Perfect-T Women's Short Sleeve Cotton T-Shirt.

It has a slim, classic fit. The Rag & Bone T-shirt strikes a beautiful balance between body-skimming and elegantly relaxed. "It fits exactly as I’d want it to," raved one tester, who is 5-foot-9 with broad shoulders and wears a size 34A bra, and tried a medium. Another panelist, who typically wears a size XL in tees, was initially worried that the large would be too snug, but she was pleasantly surprised: "It fit really well around my top area and hung nicely over my stomach."

Panelists also praised the "flattering cut" and "high but not too tight" crew neckline, and they described the tee's length (a size medium measures about 24 inches from mid-collar to the bottom hem) as "perfect." Our shortest tester, who is 5-foot-3, found it a bit too long to wear untucked, but if you’re taller or have a long torso, it looks great like that as well.

It's available in lots of sizes. The Rag & Bone tee has the widest range of sizes of any of our picks, from XXS to 3XL (US 00 to 22). The inclusive sizing is especially notable among shirts in this price range, many of which only go up to a size large.

As a staff writer for Wirecutter's style team, it's my job to wear, compare, and generally obsess over clothes. For this guide, I spent six months clad in a seemingly endless parade of white tees.

To learn more about cotton and cotton-blend fabrics, I interviewed Kavita Mathur, an associate professor of textile and apparel at North Carolina State University's Wilson College of Textiles. And I researched many T-shirts, including the recommendations from other media outlets like Vogue, The Strategist, and Harper's Bazaar.

I also considered the diverse experiences of my Wirecutter colleagues and enlisted five of them to participate in our panel testing of the top shirts.

The following criteria informed our picks:

I began this quest by poring over hundreds of photos and customer reviews until I had whittled down my original list of 80 contenders to 40 shirts that I personally tested. I laundered and wore each shirt—some, many times—and then settled on 11 finalists.

We assembled a panel of five Wirecutter staffers—with differing shapes, sizes, and sartorial inclinations—to assess the remaining shirts. The panelists wore T-shirt sizes from XS to XXL, bra sizes from 32A to 38G, and ranged in height from 5-foot-3 to 5-foot-9.

After wearing each shirt for at least one full day (often more), testers offered detailed feedback, rating them based on fit, style, fabric, comfort, and quality. Their scores, combined with my own extensive results, surfaced the four favorite white tees that we recommend.

Everlane's The Organic Cotton Box-Cut Tee, a boxy, slightly cropped shirt similar in style to our favorite boxy crop, the Buck Mason Pima Boxy Crew, received high marks from panelists, especially on comfort and quality. Testers found the Buck Mason T-shirt to be softer, better fitting, and more stylish—but the Everlane tee has plenty going for it, too. It's slightly longer (22 inches versus the Buck Mason tee's 19 inches), and the fabric is more substantial—though still lightweight—so it feels more versatile. It's also cheaper than the Buck Mason tee, and is available in a more inclusive range of sizes, from XXS to XXXL (US 000 to 22).

We debated making the Uniqlo U Crew Neck Short-Sleeve T-Shirt—a polished, fitted tee with a high crew neck and smooth, substantial cotton fabric—an official pick. "I would never have guessed this costs $15," remarked one tester. But it was divisive. One tester loved the crisp, thick feel of the material, while another found it "suffocating." And it had fit issues: Though a size medium fit perfectly on our slender, 5-foot-9, bra size 34A tester, this Uniqlo tee received uniformly dismal fit ratings from everyone else. "If I were thin and flat-chested, this shirt would look cool and expensive," said one panelist who wears a size 38G bra, "but curvy girls need not even try this." If you do buy this shirt, we recommend sizing up: it's cut narrow across the bust and shoulders, and it also shrank more than most tees (4.57%) after washing and drying.

We were mostly disappointed with shirts in this price range. Both the Aerie Basic V-Neck T-Shirt and Old Navy EveryWear V-Neck T-Shirt (which, to its credit, is available in sizes from XS to 4X) felt schlubby and shapeless, while the long, stretchy silhouette of the mystifyingly popular Amazon Essentials Women's Classic-Fit Short-Sleeve V-Neck T-Shirt reminded me, unpleasantly, of sausage casing.

We tried two shirts from Target. The Universal Thread Women's Fitted V-Neck Short-Sleeve T-Shirt was flattering, but poorly constructed, with loose threads and uneven stitching. And the cut of the neckline on the A New Day Women's Short Sleeve V-Neck T-Shirt was ludicrously deep.

I liked the Uniqlo Slub Jersey Crew Neck Cropped T-Shirt on first wear. But it shrank by more than 6%, the most drastic shrinkage of any shirt we tested.

I enjoyed wearing the For Days Organic Cotton Daily Tee, a relaxed crew-neck option, the slightly shrunken Madewell Northside Vintage Tee, and the long, easy-fit Splendid Kate V-Neck Tee—but I noticed loose stitching and twisted, flipped-up hems on all three.

The Reformation Classic Crew Tee is a serviceable take on the boxy crew, but its cut was less refined than others that cost about the same. Meanwhile, the long, fitted shape and stretchy fabric of Gap's Modern Crewneck T-Shirt created the same sausagey effect that I so despised in the Amazon Essentials V-neck.

The Universal Standard V Rex is available in the most comprehensive range of sizes of any shirt we considered, from 00 to 40, but it runs large and the sleeves were unexpectedly long. The $50 Banana Republic Supima V-Neck T-Shirt was the sheerest shirt we tested.

COS's The Clean Cut T-Shirt, a boxy, heavyweight crew, had an oppressively high neckline, whereas the RicherPoorer Women's Relaxed Crop Tee—with its long, loose sleeves and cropped length—felt top-heavy and strange. And even after sizing down, Everlane's The Premium Weight Relaxed Tee was comically oversized.

A slew of airy, too-diaphanous slubs with a burnout look didn't make the cut. The Buck Mason Easy V Neck and the J.Crew Vintage Cotton V-Neck T Shirt had wispy fabric and shapeless fits. Based on its popularity, our panel tested the Madewell Whisper Cotton V-Neck but it ranked the lowest of any of our contenders on fit.

We liked the cropped length and roomy fit of the crew-neck Amo Babe Tee enough to have our panel test it, but most weren't fans of the intentionally distressed hems throughout. We also panel-tested the Re/Done Heritage Cotton Classic Tee, a boxy crew with an easy fit, but it felt remarkably unrefined for a nearly $100 shirt.

Ayr's The Sno Cone crew-neck tee was an early favorite, so I was dismayed when it emerged from its first wash with a small hole on the front. The Lululemon Classic-Fit Cotton-Blend T-Shirt became stiff and rough after its first laundering and never recovered.

The L’Agence Becca Tee is just as figure-flattering as our pick from Mott & Bow, but it's so delicate that a gentle tug with my finger left behind a warped impression.

Though the James Perse Vintage Little Boy Tee felt luxe and soft, the fit was narrow and tight across my shoulders. Frame's Le Mid Rise V Neck Tee has a wonderfully smooth hand, but its unusual, rectangular cut made me feel like I was wearing some kind of sci-fi cult tunic.

This article was edited by Ingela Ratledge Amundson and Jennifer Hunter.

Kavita Mathur, associate professor of textile and apparel at Wilson College of Textiles at North Carolina State University, email interview, July 21, 2022

Zoe Vanderweide

Zoe Vanderweide is a staff writer reporting on style and accessories at Wirecutter. She has been wearing things for over three decades, and she has spent years covering streetwear, luxury, art, and design. Off the clock, you can find her painting the town rainbow with her (devastatingly stylish) daughter.

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It's the softest we tested. The fabric feels light and airy. It's flattering on many different body types. It runs one size small. It's well priced. Material: Sizes: Shrinkage (after warm wash and tumble dry): Other variants: It nails the proportions. It's curve-friendly. The fabric is soft and smooth. It's slightly sheer. It's well made. It's a good value. Material: Sizes: Shrinkage (after warm wash and tumble dry): Other variants: It has an easy, relaxed fit. The fabric feels pleasant and substantial. It comes in lots of sizes. It's a bargain. Material: Sizes: Shrinkage (after a warm wash and tumble dry): Other variants: Elevated details make it special. It has the sturdiest collar of any we tested. The slub material is comfy and stylish. It has a slim, classic fit. It's available in lots of sizes. Material: Sizes: Shrinkage (after warm wash and tumble dry): Other variants: Fit: Style and cut: Fabric: Comfort: Quality and construction: Price: