Fashion & Beauty

What We Want to Wear: 05.13.2020

I’M THINKING ABOUT wardrobe basics. Like that summer staple—white T-shirts. You’re probably saying it feels more like sweatshirt than T-shirt weather, but the forecast this weekend promises much warmer temps. While they may be a closet evergreen, tees don’t last forever. After taking inventory of my current supply, it’s clear some refills are in order. I’m happy to note there’s lots to choose from. In addition to traditional tees—form-fitting and crisp-looking—there are slouchy and relaxed styles, ones with puffy or ruffled sleeves and others with lacy, openwork. Some have curved hems. My go-to is under a jacket and with jeans. But they go with just about everything from casual to evening outfits. Even formal skirts and tuxedo trousers (should we need them again).

See below for 11 tees that suit us.


—Janet Kelly

LEFT: Bored by basic? The flutter sleeve on Paige’s rayon-and-polyester Rochel Ruffle T-Shirt (reduced from $119 to $47.60, Nordstrom) is a charming and feminine update on the classic. RIGHT: Some like it slouchy. From a capsule collection of stylist Karla Welch and lingerie brand Hanes, the lightweight X Karla Original Cotton Jersey T-Shirt ($48, Matches Fashion) comes with side-hem slits to up the comfort of the long, loose shape.



LEFT: If you like a collar, the texture of cotton pique and a loose cut (unlike the traditional fitted Lacoste polo), this Modern Fit Flowing Stretch Cotton Pique Poloreduced to $57.99, and available in 11 other colors —may meet your needs. RIGHT: I bet this Citizens of Humanity Adele Tulip Sleeve Cotton Top ($118, Nordstrom) looks flattering on (never mind that it camouflages those trouble-spot upper arms), but I’ll hold off to see if the price plunges.


LEFT: Note the focus on sleeves. Here’s another one but for a more wallet-friendly price and with openwork on the bodice. Mango’s eyelet Puffed-Sleeve T-Shirt is $27.99.  CENTER: I don’t often take to tee shirts with sayings or scenes, but I like the fierce attitude of this Leopard Graphic Tee (currently reduced to $69.30 from $99 at Anthropologie) It’s designed by Clare V.— a label with French-influenced point of view—in collaboration with Anthropologie. RIGHT: Stateside’s slim-fitting Supima Slub Jersey Baby Tee ($68) has a textured finish and is slightly see-through in white, but it’s also available in navy, charcoal, black, deep green, and coral.

LEFT: Lace and Levi’s are not two words that I would normally think go together. But Levi’s is showing its softer side with this cotton Perforated Lace T-shirt  with short wide sleeves and a straight hem ($69, Farfetch) RIGHT: I just bought this Short-Length Jersey T-Shirt ($39, Cos Stores) because I wanted a loose and slightly cropped style to go with a midi pleated skirt I dream about wearing.


LEFT: Z Supply’s T-shirts are simple and traditional. The brand’s Perfect V Tee ($28, Shopbop) is their most fitted. Most of their styles are more relaxed. RIGHT: I just tried on a black James Perse slim-fitting T-shirt that I bought more than 10 years ago. It still feels soft and comfortable. A decade on, I prefer the look of the label’s Vintage Boxy Tee ($85, James Perse). It’s too spendy, yes, but I could potentially rationalize the buy because of the long sleeves, which work for this cool May weather and would provide some protection, say, on a beach day, if that ever comes to pass.  And the long sleeves extend the wear possibilities into fall.


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5 thoughts on “What We Want to Wear: 05.13.2020

  1. Nancy G says:

    White Ts are the most useful and versatile items in anyone’s wardrobe. I also like the ones from Everlane, which uses a nice. substantial, cotton, and comes in cropped or fitted styles. Now if the weather would just cooperate.

    1. Janet Kelly says:

      Weather cooperating at least for a few days. I just bought a couple from Everlane. In my opinion, Everlane quality not as good as it once was. Sigh.

  2. Ah, could someone please gently advise Levi’s that their “perforated lace” is generally referred to as eyelet? Nice shirt!

    1. Janet Kelly says:

      Thanks for that clarification, Margaret!

  3. Carol says:

    I can never resist buying another white T! Love these recommendations (I will also wait for that super cute one from Nordstrom to get cheaper ). I will say the more expensive ones tend to last more than one summer. LL Bean’s pima cotton tees are good for two summers as are Talbot’s.

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