I’m on vacation at the moment and my brain power has been reduced to not much more than counting the number of mosquito bites I got after spending three days in the woods. That would be 30 agonizing bites on my right ankle and foot, another 16 on my left foot, and a smattering of them on my arms, hands and fingers. A Girl’s Guide to Surviving Camping – don’t go.
I am currently decompressing and I fully admit that my brain function is lower than normal. I can’t seem to remember basic words or proper names like diversity and Croatia – okay so they aren’t everyday words, but still it took me a good 90 seconds to bring them to the front of my memory bank. Ugghhh, it starts with a “D.” What gives brain? Oh well, I will be back to full operating capacity in another week when the humidity breaks and I’m back at work and forced to be sharp as a tack once again. In the meantime, it starts with a “D,” and I think my outdoor plants may need watering. That’s it, that’s all that I got folks.
All this to say, today I’m going to blog about the basic white tee. We all know that every woman needs an LBD in her wardrobe, and I’ve encouraged that we also pick up an LWD to mix it up, but since we are talking staples, may I also recommend the LWT-shirt?
Word on the street is that Hanes makes the best LWT around, The Beefy T. I feel like they could work on this name now that women are realizing its perks. Beefy has not been one of my styling goals in days past. Pick-up a multi-pack of three men’s t-shirts in a size small or medium (or to fit). Crew neck is classic but v-neck is universally flattering, you pick. These tees are crisp, white, thick, soft, durable and cost next to nothing when you get them at your local Walmart. They also come in a rainbow of colours, but for the sake of this article, we will select white. Move out your old white t-shirts that have gone grey in the wash over the years or have the inevitable pit stains and say hello to the crisp LWT. It’s time to say buh bye.
Think in terms of the LWT as a blank canvas ready to be styled. It is minimalist and undone, but works so well when you build on this great basic. I love its simplicity, but especially when you take it to the next level with accessories. It is the perfect backdrop to cool sunglasses, handbag, shoes and jewelry. It is truly waiting for you to play it up, however you see fit.
Ways to style it are endless. Pair it with your most flattering cut of blue jean – skinny, boyfriend, trouser, straight, bootcut, distressed, etc. My favourite take on it is with white on white. So take a crisp white t-shirt and pair it with white jeans. Throw on a pair of cognac wedge heels and it’s such a great look. The options are endless.
How to Style a White T Shirt?
- pair it with a paper bag skirt, midi skirt, pencil skirt, maxi skirt.
- pair it with a cargo bomber jacket, moto jacket, slouchy blazer, boyfriend blazer
- pair it with print or colour like a coloured denim or floral print blazer
- pair it with slouchy pants, paperbag waist pants or the sophisticated jogger
- pair it with overalls
- pair it with a simple cardigan
- pair it with a chambray skirt (oh snap)
- pair it under a vest
- accessorize, accessorize, accessorize! Pair it with wedge heels, stilettos, strappy sandals, oxfords, city sneaker, colourful or statement bag, stackable bracelets, layers of necklaces, bold rings, cool sunglasses. Just don’t pair it with gym sneakers or mom jeans or you’ll run the risk of looking like a shlumpadinka and nobody wants to look like a shlumpadinka.
What to look for when you buy an LWT?
- a bright white colour
- crisp and fitted or soft and slouchy
- thick fabric to hold you in or hide last night’s indulgences. If you are worried about any of your looser parts showing, double it up with a white tank or white Spanx tank underneath. It’ll smooth you out and you’ll find yourself loving the look.
- thin, transparent and slouchy t-shirt
- sleeve length should not be too long or too wide or it’ll look frumpy. If it is longer, consider rolling the sleeves once or twice to style it and give it some edge.
- material – cotton is most comfortable. Cottons come in pima, combed, organic and jersey. Look for organic cotton grown in the U.S. or in Canada as a great way to support locally/nationally. However, polyester will not wrinkle. So unless you worked at Gap and are an expert with the folding board, wrinkling is almost inevitable with cotton tees as they are folded and placed in your dresser and slowly get disrupted. Don’t hang your t-shirts. It’ll stretch out the neckline.
So no need to think of a basic white tee as something you pair with your PJs or wear to the gym. It is a closet essential with endless creative opportunities. Think about where you want to take your tee and give it a chance to show it’s versatility.