A comfy, well fitting t-shirt is an essential wardrobe staple for most women. There is a lot of choice out there, but what are the brands that have the reputation for not only being the best t-shirts, but the most comfortable as well? We have done a deep dive to find out for you.
A lot of factors go into finding just the right tee including getting a great fit, and finding a fabric that is not only soft but good quality and durable as well. You can find a super soft t-shirt, but sometimes the fabric doesn’t last long with wear and tear. We have come up with a list of some of the best bets if you are on the hunt for the perfect, most comfortable t-shirt.
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Madewell Whisper Cotton V-Neck Pocket Tee
The popular Whisper Cotton V-Neck Pocket Tee from Madewell is made from a super soft, lightweight slub cotton (slub cotton has a little bit more texture in it than other types of cotton, it almost appears to have tiny bumps in it). The fit on this style is loose, but it drapes in such a way that it is incredibly flattering for most body types. If you like a tighter fit, you may want to size down. This design can be dressed up or down, and works very well for layering. It is a longer shirt, so if you are short waisted it may not be the style for you. This pocket tee also washes really well with very little shrinkage. The V-neck is fairly deep, so it may be a little low for some women. Overall it is a comfortable, breathable, and very practical tee for the warmer summer months.
Available from Nordstrom
L.L Bean Pima Cotton Tee, Short-Sleeve Crewneck
L.L Bean have a classic tee that comes in a huge selection of colors called the Pima Cotton Tee, Short-Sleeve Crewneck. Like most L.L Bean products, this is a durable garment that will last for years. This style does well with washing since it doesn’t pile or fade in color, although there may be a little bit of shrinkage with this design in the length. You need to be a little careful with the length of this design as it is kind of short, so this is a good choice if you have a shorter waist. Since it is made from Supima cotton, it is super soft with a little bit of a silky feel, while at the same time being very durable. This style is also very easy to dress up or down, depending on the occasion.
Available from L.L Bean
Another great place to check out inexpensive, yet good quality t-shirts is Uniqlo. Some of their styles are a little boxy like the Women U Crew neck Short-Sleeve t-shirt (pictured above), but they also have some nice, more form-fitting Supima cotton crew and v-necks. What I like about the Uniqlo Crewneck is the fabric is fairly thick, even on the white style. So you don’t have to worry about the shirt being see-through, which is often a problem with white tees. They also cost less than $10, so they are pretty good value for the price.
Available from Uniqlo
Halogen® Modal Jersey V-Neck Tee
Another really comfortable, everyday t-shirt worth checking out is the the Halogen® Modal Jersey V-Neck Tee. Modal t-shirt’s are often some of the most comfortable designs around, but the way that they drape may not be for everyone. Modal is a little bit silky to the touch and tends to show any kind of lumps or bumps underneath. The fabric isn’t sheer or see-through, but it drapes in a way that you can see what is going on under the shirt (i.e bra and undershirt lines). On the plus side, it does look a little more classy than a standard cotton tee. This style runs a little big and is a fairly loose, longer fit. The v-neck isn’t all that deep, so it can be worn under a blazer or cardigan for a classic look. Overall it is a very nice quality, soft and flattering basic tee that comes in 9 pretty colors.
Available from Nordstrom
H&M Conscious Fitted T-shirt
A great brand for wide variety of t-shirt options is H&M. One of H&M’s best basic t-shirts is their Conscious Fitted design, they are inexpensive and are made with a nice, thick cotton. The style pictured is a scoop neck that comes in 5 colors. It is a very fitted style with fairly short arms. H&M have lots of other t-shirt options including many that aren’t so fitted if you like a more relaxed look. Overall these basic tees are very durable shirts that should last for years. H&M sizing can be a bit off and this style may shrink a little bit after washing, but for $7 you can’t really go wrong with this design, since the quality is pretty decent.
Available from H&M
Land’s End Women’s Relaxed Supima Crewneck T-shirt
There are a lot of fans of this shirt that come back to it year after year. Women love the fit, the quality and the versatility of the design as you can dress it up or down. It comes in some vibrant colors that look great and don’t fade when washed. Land’s End offer fairly extensive sizing options, so if you have trouble getting a good fit for your body type this may be a good choice to have a look at. The fabric is a thick and durable cotton that is by most reports very comfortable to wear either casually or for the office.
Available from Land’s End
American Eagle T-Shirts
American Eagle have lot of options for really comfy t-shirts. AE seem to excel at making super soft t-shirts in sexy modern styles for a very reasonable price. One of AE’s most popular options is the AE Soft & Sexy Crew Neck Pocket T-Shirt. The soft fabric is 95% Viscose and 5% Elastane. Viscose, or Rayon as it is more commonly called, is a very soft and delicate fabric that is extremely light. The downside to Viscose shirts is that they aren’t as durable as regular cotton. Also since they are synthetic, they won’t breath as well as cotton would in hot weather. Regardless, AE’s tee are very comfy, fit most women really well and come in nice variety of interesting colors.
Available from American Eagle
Old Navy EveryWear V-Neck Tee for Women
Old Navy is one of the best places to get a budget tee. They have huge variety of different fits, lengths, colors, and material all for a very low price. They seem to modify a lot of their designs slightly each year with different color options available. The Old Navy v-neck styles are always a good choice for a good all-around shirt with a nice level of thickness. The v-necks that are currently available have a flattering length to the arms and the length of the shirt itself. Generally Old Navy v-necks are very durable and hold up well to washing and wear. For around $7 a shirt they are a great buy.
Available from Old Navy
Gap also always has a nice selection of tees with different neck styles, fits and colors. They used to have a great t-shirt called the Favorite Tee that was fantastic, but for some reason they discontinued it. A shirt that is similar to the Favorite Tee, but is a thinner cotton is the Vintage Short Sleeve Crewneck T-Shirt. It isn’t quite as good as the Favorite Tee, but it is pretty comfortable with a flattering fit. The only downside to the Vintage Tee is that it is a little bit see-through. It has a sort of relaxed fit and a longer length which is good for layering.
Available from Gap
Everlane The Cotton V
Another great place to check out is Everlane, they have a few different designs of tee that are good quality options, but one of their best styles is The Cotton V. It is a very soft Supima cotton with kind of a loose fit, but still lean and long enough to be flattering. The V-neck is a moderate length, so it isn’t too low or too high.This tee is made in Los Angeles, which is very unusual to find a shirt that is actually made in the USA. If you try it out and find it isn’t right for you, it comes with a 90-day return policy. If you like a looser more relaxed fit Everlane recommend that you go up a size. It is available in 10 colors.
Available from Everlane
CASLON® Rounded V-Neck
If you are a fan of the semi-sheer look, you will want to check out the Caslon Rounded V-neck. It has a long, not too thick, super-flattering shape. The v-neck is slightly rounded and isn’t too deep, so it looks modern and classy at the same time. The fabric is a soft cotton-blend of 60% cotton and 40% modal so it is very soft and comfy.The fit is loose so it is a great style for layering or for everyday wear. The only downside to this shirt is that it is a little thin, so you have to be careful with washing since there is a good chance that you will get holes in the fabric if your aren’t careful.
Available from Nordstrom
J.Crew Slim Perfect Fit T-Shirt
J.Crew Slim Perfect Fit T-Shirt is an update to their popular Perfect Fit T-Shirt. With this version the arms have been made a little longer. It is still a really nice tee, the cotton is soft and won’t fade with washing. The neck shape, and length are very flattering, especially if you like a slightly fitted style without it being too tight. The fabric also has a nice weight to it, it isn’t too thick or sheer, but also not so heavy that it will be hot in warmer weather.
Available from J Crew
Banana Republic The SUPIMA® Cotton Crew
The Banana Republic SUPIMA® Cotton Crew is made from Supima cotton, which is pretty heavily represented on this list. The length of the BR crew is a standard mid length that will fall at the hip or slightly below. If you have been looking for a white basic tee that isn’t see-through, you should check out this style as this is one of the better white options that will last and isn’t semi sheer. Most years Banana Republic t-shirts are usually a good investment for a wardrobe basic that will go with just about anything including a suit. Their shirts generally are not too fitted, nor so relaxed that they look sloppy.
Available from Banana Republic
Lululemon Love Crew III
One of the t-shirts that Lululemon offer that receives a lot of love from loyal customers is the Lululemon Love Crew III. This crew neck style is made from a Pima Cotton fabric, so it is very soft and breathable. A lot of women wear it for yoga obviously, but it is actually a great all around basic tee. It has kind of a flowy fit so it is quite flattering for most women, but you can size down if you like a tighter style. Since it is Lululemon, they aren’t the cheapest shirts around, but they hold up well to washing and should last for a number of years.
Available from Lululemon
An online only brand that a lot of women seem to love for t-shirts is American Giant.They have four different styles to choose from including a Premium V-Neck, a Premium Crew, a Classic U-Neck and a Classic V-Neck T. Their Premium Crew and V-Neck look nice and most reviews comment on the quality of the weighted 100% Supima slub cotton fabric that comes in a nice variety of colors. Just be aware that there is a seam up the middle of the back of these styles, so some women may not be so into that. All of American Giants clothes are manufactured in the USA and are made to last.
Available from American Giant
Fabrics– These days one of the most comfortable fabrics for t-shirt is Supima cotton or the less expensive Pima cotton (Pima cotton is like Supima but it is grown outside the US and does meet the requirements to be labeled Supima). Modal is also very popular at the moment. Modal is a Rayon, so it is soft and it is often blended with cotton so it is breathable.
Neck types– The three most popular types of neck with modern day t-shirts are crew, v-neck, and scoop necks. Within those types of necks you will find necks with different lengths and depths, as well as variations on the style, such as the rounded v-neck.
Arm Length– When you are shopping, make sure you pay attention to the length of the arm in any styles that you are interested in. Think about shirts that you own that have a length that you feel comfortable in. The arm length can make quite a difference in how much you like or dislike a particular style.
Length -Another really important thing to watch out for is the length of the design. If you are short waisted, you will want to avoid the longer styles unless you prefer a tunic look to your tee. Or if you have a long waist or like to cover your behind, you will obviously prefer those designs with a longer length. Most brands will list where the t-shirt falls in the description of the product.
Thickness– One of the hardest things to get right when shopping for that perfect tee is finding one that has the right thickness of fabric. Over the last ten years or so the style has been for the thinner, semi-sheer options that aren’t all that durable and won’t last very long. There does seem to be a shift back towards the more opaque fabrics lately. While It is nice to have a shirt that isn’t see-through, you don’t want to end up with a fabric so thick that it is uncomfortable in hot weather.