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Our stylists found the best white t-shirts

Our stylists found the best white t-shirts

We all have our own personal styles, but if there’s one thing that binds us, it’s that we’re all in pursuit for the perfect t-shirt. Who knew that something so simple could be so complicated to find? Our stylists did. Their inboxes are constantly flooded with requests for that one effortless tee that will give them a James Dean-level nonchalance. 

Because they take t-shirts seriously, our stylists decided to test over 60 different styles on guys in our office, as well as one very devoted fit model. They also enlisted one of our in-house designers to weigh in on fabric and quality. (We weren’t kidding when we said we take tees seriously.) The result? A comprehensive list of the t-shirts we stand behind, whether you’re all about fabric or you're after a style that won’t break the bank. James Dean who?

Photographed: Billy Reid Washed T-Shirt (£56)

Best break-the-bank tee

All of our testers agreed Billy Reid’s white tee is a solid all-around choice. The fabric is super soft and has a worn-in feeling without being transparent or drapey. The slightly boxy shape flatters a range of body types, and the design details lend it a more premium feel. This is a great choice if have extra money to put towards a tee, and if you want a soft, flattering tee that still feels structured. 

Photographed: Sunspel Classic Cotton T-Shirt (£70)

Best alternative

If you prefer a softer, drapier feel and longer length, but still want a premium fit, then this classic t-shirt by heritage brand Sunspel is a worthy choice. Need more convincing? It was worn by Daniel Craig in "James Bond". 

Best affordable tee

All our testers were impressed with the quality and fabric of the regular-fit t-shirt from River Island. It’s a super classic, straight fit and thick enough that it’s not transparent. It also doubles as a great underlayer.

Best overall tee 

This was the only t-shirt to be featured in all our testers top five lists. The high neck, mid-weight fabric, and slightly boxy fit was a hit across the board. It was also the unanimous best tee in the mid-price range to work as a standalone tee and still have a premium feel. Pro tip: if you’re on the slim side, you may want to size down.

Best alternative

If you have a slimmer, smaller build and want a more tailored t-shirt with a softer, drapier feel, then the “perfect” t-shirt from Selected is a good choice. Note: our taller testers found it a little on the short side.

The heavyweight champion

This base tee from Carhartt was the favoured choice by testers who preferred a heavier fabric. They liked how it keeps it shape and flattered a range of body types, as lightweight tees can sometimes be less forgiving. Consider this is a great choice for everyday wear. 


Best alternative

This heavyweight style from Jack & Jone’s specialist denim sub-label R.D.D. was a hit with testers who appreciate a heavier fabric. The Japanese flag detailing adds a nice finishing touch and is a reference to the brand’s affinity for Japanese denim.

Best slim-fitting tee

If you’re slimmer or have a smaller build, then opt for the Edwin classic-fit tee. Edwin is a Japanese denim specialist (think the Levi’s of Japan), and they’ve lent this white tee a 1950s feel, with shorter sleeves, a mid-weight fabric, and a chest pocket that recalls the slimmer t-shirts of that era while still feeling contemporary. If you’re typically a regular fit, then you’d be wise to size up.

The softest tee

The Arlen mercerized tee has been put through a chemical process that gives the fabric a silk-like sheen and soft hand feel, which our testers loved – they were also a fan of the slightly relaxed shape. This is a good weekend tee, but if your a fan of a higher neckline, you’re better off with tees from Selected or Sunspel.

Words: Thread Stylists + Writers