Tees are such a staple item, but I’ve never felt much enthusiasm shopping for them. They seem to be such a bland thing to buy, and a cute embroidered top or a dry-clean only dress were always more fun to carry away from the mall in a shopping bag. If I did buy them, I chose spruced up versions with ruffles or an intense hue, which always felt “not me” once I hung them in my closet. But my tune has changed since leaving my job of teaching and professional wardrobe to spend a few years at home with my three babies. Tees are now a wardrobe essential, so I finally found some I loved wearing and that hold up to sticky jam hands, spit up, and lots of coffee.
I turned to my favorite brands, Everlane and Madewell and came away with some great tees, all in neutral tones. I love the tomboy edge they lend to most outfits, while still being just fitted enough. They’re easy to pull on at 7am when Evie wakes us up, but I also like to dress them up for a weekend date night. I’m normally a size small or 4, but fit is everything with a good tee and you’ll see the sizes I picked below vary.
Madewell Whisper Cotton Long Sleeve Tee
(Size Medium) I have always struggled to find a good long sleeve tee in the past, and I’ve decided the problem was they were always too tight and would ride up or stretch out. So, I was super happy to hear good reviews of this bestseller, and I would second them! I went a size up so this soft cotton crewneck wouldn’t cling. I like the seams at the shoulders, the curved hem, and the drapey slub cotton. I grabbed it in white, black and this heather grey and have worn each a lot in the past 6 months, although not so much since we hit 90 degrees.
Everlane Texture Tank
(Size Small) This thicker weight slub cotton tank has a flattering A-line silhouette and is slightly longer in the back. I love the creamy white color, especially paired with denim. This is the pretty, everyday version of Everlane’s silk tanks, which are so flattering, but I would never wear around my kids.
Everlane Slouchy Cotton Slub Tank
(Size X-Small) One of the perks of a slimmed down wardrobe is being able to check for “holes.” In my case, as I hung up my clothes I realized I had no tank tops other than a fancy date-night tank. So, this spring I went shopping and ordered a bunch of tank tops from Everlane to try. I ended up buying several of their basic $14 white cotton tanks and this slub cotton grey tank. I’m so glad I thought to order a size down, because I had tried their tanks one time before but returned it because the arm holes were gaping and the tanks were super long. But this size is just right! Note: I also tried on this tank in white, but found the fabric really sheer.
Madewell Whisper Cotton Crewneck Muscle Tank
(Size Small) I really wanted to find some muscle tanks for this summer, so I tried some from Everlane and Madewell. I found Everlane’s to be really tight around the neck and kind of bland. Madewell’s version was a lot better for me – curved hemline like their long sleeve tee, better drape and more open neckline. Even though it is a boy tee, this had some femininity to balance it out. I like how lightweight and breathable the fabric is too. I bought this in white and heather grey.
Everlane Box Cut Tee
(Size Small) I really like this cropped tee. The smooth white cotton isn’t too see-through, which is a major plus for a white tee. PS, if you have never checked out Everlane’s site, they have “From The People” outfit pictures on some of their product pages, like the box cut tee, of real-life women wearing the tee. I get lots of outfit ideas from those instagram pics.
Everlane Cotton V
(Size Medium) This is the ethically made $15 tee that Everlane built its brand around. It’s soft and classic, and I’m especially partial to this navy and the white. I size up for a more relaxed fit.
p.s. You might also like my secret tip for saving money when shopping online!