Style by Joanie

all the best tees, by Joanie

This week’s style advice column written by my sister Joanie. Most links are affiliate. Thank you Joanie!

Rachael has made a request for a denim post, which is coming, but before then we’re going to cover something that I would argue is even more basic than denim and that’s the t-shirt. They can be the workhorse of your closet and something that goes with everything from a pencil skirt to your favorite pair of sweats.

Remember the sizing discussion we had last time? That applies to this area as well. There is a time and place for the fitted tee and also for a gently oversized one. There is something very chic about a fitted skirt or pair of jeans with a loosely tucked in t-shirt that falls slightly open at the neck. It makes your whole outfit more comfortable which in turn makes you feel better in it which is really the most important part. The #1 key to anything looking good is that you feel good in it. We’ve all (or maybe it’s just me?!) worn those outfits that required constant pulling and tugging and making sure the hem isn’t flying up or the button isn’t gapping and even if it’s this seasons Gucci dress there is nothing stylish about an outfit that requires constant pulling, tucking or tugging. You have to want to be wearing what you’re wearing, that’s really the biggest part of style.

So if you find a t-shirt you love, buy two and start wearing them with everything. I think, as a foundation, you should have a white, black, grey and striped t-shirt in your closet. Those four will cover most of your needs. And then once you have those you can start adding in other options, like a graphic t-shirt or variations of a white tee. A short sleeve t-shirt is a year round item

One note on t-shirts that might be slightly see through, I recommend wearing them a white bra. I think it’s chicer than a nude bra but that’s just personal preference.

Also, I’m going to suggest a couple of t-shirts that will probably seem way over priced. Reason being, I have a couple of $50 tees that have lasted me years and that I truly wear several times a week which makes cost per wear pennies.

Here are my picks!




a. This is hands down my favorite t-shirt. I own it in white, black, grey, pink and striped and I wear them every single week. They are thin and hang just right, not too tight around the neck and sleeve. They fit true to size and I highly recommend.

b. This ribbed t-shirt is going to fit tight and it’s meant to be tight. It’s something to wear when you want a clean line, tucked into a skirt, under overalls, etc. I would order up a size and try it black. I like a really fitted tee, especially worn with wide leg pants, it’s a nice balance.

c. Everlane has a couple I’d recommend. I love this cozy waffle option for fall and winter. And this scoop neck one with the fitted sleeve is very chic.



f. Jungmaven

d. A long sleeved options because it’s fall! This is a great option from Madewell. It comes in three classic colors, and has the right weight to layer under things without causing balk. I also love it in the striped. They also make a short sleeve version that’s great as well.

e. A great v-neck t-shirt is surprisingly hard to find. I’m suggesting a true classic, the J.crew tissue tee. I’ve owned many of these over the years and they are a safe bet. Wait until they have a sale and stock up!

f. This one is a Rachael discovery that I ignored for years and finally purchased one and I love it. This one can handle some serious wear, I’ve washed it 30x and slept in it, ran in it, etc and it still looks great. These shirts have a great cut and hang just the way they should.



i.LouLou Studio

g. An option for someone who wants something heavier, without a hint of being see through. It has a bit of a shrunken fit so I’d order your regular size and one up.

h. I don’t often buy from the Outnet but every once in awhile I’ll find something great. Current/Elliott is excellent quality and I love this leopard top. It’s an additional 40% off right now which makes it about $35. Animal print can feel like a bold choice but I think you’ll be surprised by how wearable this is. I’d order your normal size.

i. It feels almost unspeakable to suggest an $80 t-shirt but I’m doing it anyway. I’m putting this one on my birthday wishlist. I love the black contrast at the neck, the length is perfect tucked in or out and there is the most subtle ribbed detailing. It’s incredibly chic and you’ll feel like you’re wearing Chanel.


  • Katharine

    I want to be one of those women who can throw on a t-shirt and still look chic, but I feel like I always get the proportions wrong. And I’m starting to think maybe it’s an issue of length, not width. Help!

    Where do you recommend t-shirts hit to get the look right?

    • Joanie

      Hey Katherine, I actually think it’s a shoulder issue! All t-shirts (even oversized ones!) should fit you in the shoulder, and that means that the seam at the top of the sleeve is aligned with the outside of your shoulder, not falling off. If it doesn’t fit in the shoulder it’s going to look either sloppy/baggy or too small/pulling across your chest. If it fits you in the shoulder, I wouldn’t worry at all about width. For length, I don’t like my t-shirts too far below the top of my pant back pockets, and if I’m wearing a skirt I’m almost always tucking my t-shirt in. But again, I wouldn’t even worry about length if it fits in up top! Order the Jungmaven and LACAUSA one’s above and try them. Let me know how it goes! Xx

      • Katharine

        Genius! I tried on all my t-shirts and you were completely right: the ones that I don’t like the fit of were off in the shoulders. It’s so helpful to know what to look for, thank you!

  • Sarah D.

    I would highly recommend the tees from Universal Standard. They are high quality and above all, the most size inclusive of any brand I’ve ever come across. The price points are similar to the Jungmaven and LACAUSA you recommended, and they frequently offer discounts and promotions for those on their e-mail list.

  • Chelsea Q. White

    I recently discovered For Days T-shirts and love them! I have a white crew neck and it’s quality without being too thick, gets softer with wear and when I’m done, I send it back and get a replacement for a discounted price (circular economy). I definitely want to try the Jungmaven in black! Thanks for sharing.

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