White Tees

No Wardrobe Is Complete Without a White T-Shirt—These Are 12 of the Best

We already put them to the test.
By Christie Calucchia
August 30, 2021
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The perfect white T-shirt looks a little different to everyone. Some prefer theirs to fit snug, others like a flowy silhouette, and more still go for cropped, boxy options. No matter how you prefer your basic tees, there's no denying that they're a wardrobe staple. You can wear them with cut-off jeans, midi skirts, blazers, and even underneath cute dresses for a more casual look. But which white T-shirt is truly the best?

To get to the bottom of this age-old question, we tapped our own resources to get the inside scoop on which brands sell the best white tees and what styles are worth ordering. Ahead, discover the white T-shirts that 12 editors swear by. There are fitted tees, cropped tops, tanks with shoulder pads, flowy T-shirts, and more from an array of brands. Think Hanes, Madewell, Everlane, Banana Republic, and J.Crew.

The Best White T-Shirts:

This casual tee comes at an irresistibly low price.

If loose and baggy is your style, go for this oversized V-neck.

Whether you're hitting the gym or lounging in the living room, this breathable T-shirt has you covered.

Made with 100 percent cotton, this soft tee has a modern, boxy silhouette.

This fitted crew neck is great for layering.

You can't go wrong with this vintage-inspired plain white T-shirt.

Keep things casual with a relaxed-fit tee to go with everything.

Cooling Peruvian pima cotton and a cool cut make this top worth the price.

Change things up with a modern shoulder pad moment.

This tee looks professional and crisp thanks to its body-hugging fit.

Stay cool in this lightweight T-shirt made for hot summer days.

This cropped tee hangs loose for a relaxed look on petite frames.

How to shop for the perfect white t-shirt

There are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for a white T-shirt. Fit is first: Determine whether you're looking for a relaxed style, something more fitted, or a boxy option. Next, think about the fabric. Most of the styles on this list are made of cotton, but take weight and breathability into account. Are you hoping for something lightweight to wear during the summer, or something with a bit more heft to wear to the office? Finally, consider how durable you need your new T-shirt to be. Some white tees show discoloration over time and will need to be replaced regularly, so take that into account when looking at prices.

Ready to shop? Keep scrolling to learn more about our favorite white T-shirts. Your new go-to top is just a few clicks away. 

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White Tees
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Most Affordable: Hanes Perfect-T

BUY IT: Starting at $5.25; amazon.com

The Fit: Order your regular size

How We Tested: Worn with casual and formal clothes over the last two years

You'll Love: How well it holds up over time

Keep in Mind: The cut is tailored but not tight

"I've paired this shirt with almost everything in my closet over several seasons. Besides the flattering cut, the affordable price point on this shirt cannot be beat. It's also incredibly versatile: It's the kind of T-shirt that's casual enough to wear with shorts and sweatpants yet simple enough to pair with office-ready pants and party-ready skirts. And it holds up well over time. I've spilled on it several times, but every time I wash it, it comes out of the machine looking like new." — Jessica Leigh Mattern, Senior Amazon Ecommerce Editor

White Tees
Credit: Courtesy of Aerie

Best Oversized: Aerie Distressed V-Neck Boyfriend T-Shirt

BUY IT: $9.98 (was $24.95); ae.com

The Fit: Oversized; consider sizing down

How We Tested: Years of frequent wear

You'll Love: Its versatility and soft fabric

Keep in Mind: Discoloration and pilling might occur if you wear and wash consistently

"I buy a couple of these shirts every 12 to 18 months depending on how much I've worn them out. They're meant to be oversized, so I order one size down. Expect a super soft, broken-in feel from the start. If you need a few white tees that feel great right away, get these, but be warned: They get discolored easily and stains are hard to get out. They also start to pill after a few dozen washes." — Ariel Scotti, Ecommerce Partnerships Writer

White Tees
Credit: Courtesy of Outdoor Voices

Best Activewear: Outdoor Voices Ready Set Shortsleeve

BUY IT: $48; outdoorvoices.com

The Fit: Runs small (consider ordering one size up)

How We Tested: Worn occasionally for more than two years 

You'll Love: It's breathable and sweat-wicking

Keep in Mind: It's a bit sheer

"I'm usually a medium, but I wear this shirt in a size large since it runs small and I prefer my T-shirts looser. It's incredibly breathable and wicks away sweat super fast. I love that it's slightly cropped but not so much that I'm flashing my belly button, and it's perfect for wearing under dresses and overalls. I've washed it countless times, and it has held up really well. Of course, it makes for an excellent workout top, too. The only con is that it's more sheer than other cotton T-shirts, so I have to be mindful about which bra I wear under it." — Nina Huang, Lifestyle Ecommerce Writer

White Tees
Credit: Courtesy of Target

Best Boxy: Universal Thread Short Sleeve Boxy T-Shirt

BUY IT: $8; target.com

The Fit: Size down for a slimmer fit, or order your go-to size for the true boxy look

How We Tested: A year of wear

You'll Love: The details: soft cotton material, boxy shape, front pocket

Keep in Mind: It doesn't feel very breathable in hot weather

"This is probably one of the most affordable T-shirts out there. It's also the softest T-shirt I own thanks to its 100 percent cotton material. The fit is meant to be a little boxy and true to size, but you can size down for a slimmer fit or size up for an oversized look. The sleeves are the perfect length, and I love the breast pocket detail. I usually pair it with sweatpants and leggings, but it also looks great with a midi skirt and jeans and a blazer. While it's super soft, this T-shirt isn't the most breathable. I wouldn't recommend wearing it on long summer walks, but it's great for casual wear or sleeping." — Lily Gray, Ecommerce Writer

FITTED CREW MARCY
Credit: Courtesy of Mott and Bow

Best Pre-Shrunk: Mott & Bow Fitted Crew Marcy

BUY IT: $30; mottandbow.com

The Fit: Order your go-to size for fitted tops

How We Tested: Worn at least once every two weeks for about a year

You'll Love: The soft fabric that doesn't pill

Keep in Mind: It may lose its crisp white color over time

"I've owned this T-shirt for about a year, and it's my go-to for layers under jean jackets, sweaters, and blazers. The fabric is unbelievably soft but doesn't pill over time like other T-shirts I've worn. The fit is perfection, too. It hugs around the neck, which ensures it's easy to layer under other items. However, it's still loose enough around the stomach that it has a casual, laidback look that can be really hard to find. Like all white tees, it's slowly lost the bright, crisp white color that I love. It's nothing a little bleach won't fix—but who really wants to do that? If you need an everyday tee that you can wear for literally everything, this is your pick." — Braelyn Wood, Health and Wellness Ecommerce Lead

White Tees
Credit: Courtesy of Madewell

Most Classic: Madewell Northside Vintage Tee

BUY IT: $16; madewell.com

The Fit: True to size

How We Tested: Three years of regular wear

You'll Love: The classic look and affordable price

Keep in Mind: It's prone to pit stains over time

"I've had this shirt for about three years and have truly worn it to death. It goes with trousers, skirts, and jeans, and it even works as an undershirt beneath scratchy sweaters in the winter time. In fact, I'm due to order another one to replenish my stock since the shirt does get those dreaded yellow pit stains after a while. If you're looking for an affordable closet staple, this is it." — Christie Calucchia, Lifestyle Ecommerce Lead

White Tees
Credit: Courtesy of Everlane

Best Relaxed Fit: Everlane The Organic Cotton Box-Cut Tee

BUY IT: $24; everlane.com

The Fit: Slightly cropped but true to size

How We Tested: A few months of casual wear

You'll Love: You can order three shirts in this style for $60

Keep in Mind: It has a sturdy construction that may feel hot on warm days

"I've had this shirt only a few months, but it's quickly become a favorite. It washes well (no shrinkage or pilling), has a boxy, relaxed fit, and is available with or without a pocket. However, it's not a tissue-thin tee, so it might not be best for super hot days. The style is slightly cropped but still perfect for doing a slight tuck in high-waisted denim and skirts. It's a great length for me (being tall and smaller chested), but the cropped length may not work for large-chested wearers. Overall, it's a great choice for someone who wants a tee that's high quality, office appropriate, and good for the planet while still being affordable (especially when you take advantage of the three for $60 deal)." — Laura Miller, Editor and Strategist, Performance Content

White Tees
Credit: Courtesy of AYR

Biggest Splurge: AYR The Supercool

BUY IT: $65; ayr.com

The Fit: Size down for a more fitted look

How We Tested: Over two years of regular wear

You'll Love: The unique cut and cooling Peruvian pima cotton material

Keep in Mind: It's a little expensive for a plain white tee

"The cut of this splurge-worthy T-shirt isn't like every other basic tee out there. Its collar lays right on mine, and the sleeves are a whisper longer than cap length. I can let it hang loose over a pair of bike shorts, or I can tuck it into a pair of high-waisted jeans (either French or all the way). And then there's that distinctive seam down the center of the back. Plus, it's made of 100% Peruvian pima cotton, which is so soft, naturally cooling, and very opaque in this case. While I usually buy medium or large size from other brands, I like the way this boxy, oversized tee fits me in a small—it all depends on how you want it to fit. It's just the thing for anyone who wants a soft, structured basic from a woman-led brand that's garnered the attention of celebrities." — Laura Gurfein, Senior Editor, Ecommerce

White Tees
Credit: Courtesy of Banana Republic

Best Tank: Banana Republic Supima Padded Shoulder Tank

BUY IT: $23 (was $29.50); bananarepublic.gap.com

The Fit: Size down for a tailored fit, or order your true size for a relaxed silhouette

How We Tested: Worn for a few weeks

You'll Love: The exaggerated sleeveless style

Keep in Mind: Sewn-in shoulder pads mean the T-shirt will have to air dry 

"I've only had these shirts (a size small that's a little more fitted to wear under jackets and a size medium that is looser to wear with boyfriend jeans) for a couple of weeks, but I knew I'd love them because I've worn this sleeveless style from other brands. This exaggerated sleeveless tee is my go-to style. It's more 'formal' than a tank top or a plain white T-shirt and is easy to dress up or down. I have an ample chest that can look even bigger in regular T-shirts, so the sleeveless style draws attention to my shoulders and emphasizes my small waist. Fair warning: Since there are sewn-in shoulder pads, I can't just throw this in the dryer if I want it to keep it's crisp shape." — Bronwyn Barnes, Senior Product Reviews Editor

White Tees
Credit: Courtesy of J Crew

Best Fitted: J.Crew Slim Perfect T-Shirt

BUY IT: $24.50 (was $32.50); jcrew.com

The Fit: Order your regular size

How We Tested: Worn multiple shirts in the style for five years

You'll Love: The thick material and longer sleeves that prevent bunching when layered

Keep in Mind: It's not a relaxed fit

"I've been buying this shirt on repeat for more than five years. It has a nice, thick material with longer, tighter sleeves than most I've seen, which means they don't bunch up if I throw a sweater on top. It washes nicely and comes in a great array of colors. It's just about the most crisp and professional-looking T-shirt I've come across. I don't feel underdressed wearing it to the office, especially with a few extra accessories (more is more in my book). Also, I love the high neckline. If you're looking for a T-shirt that will last, can be dressed up, and won't get stretched out after a few wears and washes, this is for you." — Patricia Shannon, Senior Editor, Beauty & Lifestyle

White Tees
Credit: Courtesy of Buck Mason

Best Lightweight: Buck Mason Pima Cropped Easy Crew

BUY IT: $35; buckmason.com

The Fit: True to size for a looser fit

How We Tested: Worn all summer

You'll Love: How easy it is to dress up or down

Keep in Mind: It's a little thin

"I've been wearing this T-shirt, and a few other tees from Buck Mason, all summer, and they've become instant wardrobe staples. It's ultra-soft, and the fit is just cropped enough for my liking to wear with high-waisted pants. If you're looking for a cropped tee that's still appropriate to wear for work or just about any occasion, this top is for you. It's great to dress up or down, but it is a little pricey and a bit thin." — Madeline Diamond, Ecommerce Writer

White Tees
Credit: Courtesy of Mott and Bow

Best Cropped: Mott & Bow Boxy Semi-Crop Noble

BUY IT: $30; mottandbow.com

The Fit: Size up if you have a longer torso

How We Tested: A month of wear

You'll Love: The lived-in look

Keep in Mind: It might hang a little short on those with longer torsos

"I sized up for length when I purchased this T-shirt, and I'm glad I did because I don't like clingy tees. It skims the body and looks classic and lived-in for the perfect fit. But if you have a longer torso, it may be too short because it has a cropped length that hits right at the hip on me (and I'm pretty short). Still, it's a great option for most anyone looking for a classic T-shirt made for a woman's body." — Jennifer Chan, Ecommerce Editor/Writer

FAQs

  1. How do I keep white T-shirts looking like new?

While some people no longer separate their laundry, you can help white T-shirts maintain their original color by washing them with other white pieces of clothing. You can also prevent bright whites from dulling over time by using plenty of detergent (too little can cause dirt to stick around). If stains appear, be sure to pre-treat them before tossing affected clothes in the washing machine.

2. How do I prevent armpit stains?

Unless you want to switch to an aluminum-free deodorant, pesky yellow pit stains on a white tee are almost inevitable over time. You can keep them at bay by washing your shirt right away after every use or by using a stain remover. Many suggest using a DIY mixture of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and water to remove stains from your favorite white T-shirts, but there are store-bought options, too.

3. What type of detergent is best for maintaining that crisp white color?

You can buy detergent specifically designed for white clothing, like Out White Brite Laundry Whitener, but using the right amount of detergent is more important than what type.

4. What's the best way to treat makeup stains around the collar?

A mix of laundry detergent, baking soda, and cold water should do the trick. If it's a tough stain, consider soaking the shirt overnight and adding hydrogen peroxide to the solution.

5. How should I wash and dry a white T-shirt?

The best way to wash a white T-shirt varies. It's best to read the instructions on the tag of your tee to determine whether you should hand wash or machine-wash and if it's safe to put in the dryer.