Summer Style Essentials 02: The Perfect Tee

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It’s no secret that the elusive perfect tee has long been a style enigma. Is it a lightweight linen, or structured cotton? V-neck or crew? Black vs. white, or long live charcoal forever and ever, Amen?

Everyone’s got a favorite. This one’s mine…

With a throw-it-on-and-head-out-the-door ease, there’s much to love about this classic wardrobe standard. Stains? No problem. Wrinkles? Get outta here. The pros are endless, not a con in sight.

I style my favorite tee with virtually anything and everything, opting often to flip it backwards for a high neck in the front, V in the back. A few favorite pairings, of course, are of the monochromatic variety: tucked and matched with a similarly-hued bottom. All the fuss, none of the muss. But truly, I don’t have to tell you how lovely you’ll feel in your own perfect tee and favorite jeans – topped off with a sun hat for good measure. Is there anything more “essential,” more classic, than the tee you love and the denim that loves you back?

This one’s the Isley tee from YSTR ($38), a crazy soft Italian knit cotton sewed locally in downtown L.A.  Here are a few more lovely alternatives, all ethically made:

For a more casual style, this slim fit cotton crew from Everlane ($16) is a crowd-pleaser.
For a cropped version, try the Patricia tee from FashionABLE ($34).
For a cap-sleeved V-neck, try this lyocell blend from H&M’s Conscious collection ($13).
For a simple, everyday style, try the Classic Tee from Econscious ($16).

More summer style essentials up next week, and in the mean time, tell me: what are your go-to summer threads? I’d love to hear!

  • Mine would be any cotton tee that doesn’t end up with those tiny holes in them after a handful of wears! Any advice or input on which of the ones listed above hold up? I know higher quality tees don’t end up with holes as easily due to the longer cotton fibers, but I’ve shelled out for tops in the past and gotten burned. The only thing more annoying than a t-shirt getting a hole in it is a t-shirt I spent a good amount of money on getting a hole in it!

    • Those holes are such a nuisance. I’m a personal stylist and I recently had the owner/creator of Hole Button Covers reach out me and send me a pack of her button covers to try. The company is located in the UK, but she ships worldwide.

      The covers are super easy to stretch over the button on your jeans (which usually seems to be the culprit in causing the holes). I have no connection to the company, but the covers have worked for me and my clients.

      Good luck!

    • YES YES YES. you know, a good washing machine, i’ve learned, makes a world of difference. but for what it’s worth, i’ve had really good luck with everlane, and have a few old linen blend tees from target that have held up surprisingly well!

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