The Quest For The Perfect, Affordable “Basic” Tee Is Over… Because We Did The Legwork

This post originally went up two Saturdays ago, the day after we heard the incredibly heartbreaking news that RBG had passed. We thought that donating the affiliate money made from this post to a wonderful organization called She Should Run, was a small way to still give you content while also acknowledging the deep loss the country had just experienced. But then after we woke up we felt that reading about t-shirts was not what anyone needed nor wanted (us included). I mean who cares about t-shirts when we just lost a hero?

We will still of course be donating because helping women become elected official is critical and what Justice Ginsburg was fighting for. But she fought for us long enough. Now we must pick up where she left off. Happy t-shirt hunting and VOTE!

I know this post I don’t know why but finding the perfect “basic” of anything can feel like the search for the holy grail (the Monty Python version, obviously). Shopping should have some laughs, right? But seriously, I think the clothing category, “basics” needs a rebrand because the term “basics” associates it with the term “easy”. SO maybe a simple shift to saying “ultimates” would make us feel less irritated when the search is long and hard. At least for us, there isn’t a killer bunny along the way:)

So I say all of this to talk about my quest in finding my “ultimate” t-shirt. But don’t worry it’s not just me. Mallory also is coming on this journey with me because she also was on the hunt and with two very different body types we can hopefully help twice the amount of people! O and Em jumped in at the end too:)

But first, let’s take a step back and talk about the reason for this post. This shirt below has been my favorite for over a year. I randomly found her at H&M on a whim and bought six in four different colors. But then, OF COURSE, it’s been permanently out of stock ever since. Devastating. My $13 dream t-shirt, gone. Look, I still have the shirts but after A LOT of wear, half of them have holes (and not in a cool, expensive-looking way).

The Quest For The Perfect, Affordable "Basic" Tee Is Over... Because We Did The Legwork Best Children's Lighting & Home Decor Online Store

This is why she was perfect and what I am looking for…

Jess’ T-Shirt Requirements:

  • Worn-in feeling fabric
  • Medium length
  • Medium sleeve length (no cap sleeve but not too long)
  • Crew neckline
  • Flattering up top but room around the hips
  • NO pockets (my boobs don’t require any further attention)
  • Looks good with a “french tuck” (the little tuck behind the pant button that Tan France made famous and I love)
  • Comes in multiple colors
  • Not one million dollars

It’s a lot, I know, but if I’m searching for my “ultimate tee” then the standards have to be high, right? I ended up trying on seven different styles that are all under $30 each. And just so you can have a reference point for sizing here are my sizes:

Shirts: I go between a medium and large but more so large
Dress: 10/12
Pants: 30 in high-waisted Madewell jeans (not sure if the high-waisted part makes a difference)
Bra: 36C/34D
Height: 5’3 3/4″

So before we get to the good stuff, I just want to say that these reviews are 100% based on personal preference and what feels good on my (and later, Mallory’s body). We are not saying these “requirements” are what everyone should want/look for. Everyone should wear what makes them feel awesome!

FUN FACT: None of these have neck tags!

ANOTHER FUN FACT: I haven’t had my hair done since March 10th.

The Quest For The Perfect, Affordable "Basic" Tee Is Over... Because We Did The Legwork Best Children's Lighting & Home Decor Online Store
The Quest For The Perfect, Affordable "Basic" Tee Is Over... Because We Did The Legwork 24

Size: M
Overall Rating: 8 out of 10
Fit: I would say it’s pretty flattering. The sleeves and neck are good and it looks like it was made to work on a woman with some curves. I personally don’t love the length and the round hemline, though. However, if you are someone who likes that then I think this is a slam dunk option…especially for $8!
Fabric: Soft, medium thickness but a slight worn-in feel and 100% cotton
French Tuck Approved?: Sort of…

The Quest For The Perfect, Affordable "Basic" Tee Is Over... Because We Did The Legwork Best Children's Lighting & Home Decor Online Store
The Quest For The Perfect, Affordable "Basic" Tee Is Over... Because We Did The Legwork 25

Size: L
Overall Rating: 5 out of 10
Fit: I liked it better in person than when it’s photographed. A bit too slim of a cut for someone with boobs and hips, but not terrible. I would prefer the sleeve length a smidge shorter. The overall length is too long and tight for my shortish torso. Also, the neck is a little too small for my liking. Sizing up would have only made the top half less flattering.
Fabric: Soft but not as breathable. 50% cotton/ 50% Modal
French Tuck Approved?: No

Size: L
Overall Rating: 4 out of 10
Fit: This pic is kinda deceiving. Way too slim of a cut for someone with boobs and hips but not “terrible”. I like the sleeve length and the neck is cute but also too long for me.
Fabric: That classic stiff cotton but would probably be great after a lot of washes. 100% cotton.
French Tuck Approved?: No (too tight)

Size: M
Overall Rating: 7 out of 10
Fit: A little too slim of a cut for my hips. I really like the sleeve length and the neck is perfect but just too long for me.
Fabric: Slightly stiff but lightweight and 100% cotton
French Tuck Approved?: No

The Quest For The Perfect, Affordable "Basic" Tee Is Over... Because We Did The Legwork Best Children's Lighting & Home Decor Online Store
The Quest For The Perfect, Affordable "Basic" Tee Is Over... Because We Did The Legwork 26

Size: L
Overall Rating: 6 out of 10
Fit: Overall it is kinda tight but I like how the top half fit. I don’t think sizing up would have helped because then the sleeves would be too long. Honestly not bad but I just don’t love it on me.
Fabric: Soft, pretty lightweight, and 100% cotton
French Tuck Approved?: No

Size: L
Overall Rating: 9 out of 10 (there’s always room for growth:))
Fit: This one is my favorite which is SHOCKING to me and again much better in person. When I ordered it I was sure that the “shrunken” aspect would highlight the things I want to avoid highlighting. However, between the neck being the right shape, the sleeves hitting at the right place, and the not “too long” length, everything just works. The more boxy shape is a winner in my eyes. I have already ordered 3 more:)
Fabric: Worn in cotton but also 100% cotton…
French Tuck Approved?: YES (mainly because of the shorter overall length)

ALSO…

The Quest For The Perfect, Affordable "Basic" Tee Is Over... Because We Did The Legwork Best Children's Lighting & Home Decor Online Store
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Size: M
Overall Rating: 8 out of 10
Fit: I do like the smaller size because it does show my shape a little more;) and the sleeve length is cute. BUT there is no room for it to shrink so since it’s 100% cotton, I’m sticking with the large.
French Tuck Approved?: Still yes

Size: M
Overall Rating: 1 out of 10
Fit: I was pretty excited about J.Crew because so many of you recommended it to me. Unfortunately, this shirt in particular is a no-go. The neck is too big, the sleeves and body are too long and I just don’t love how it sits on my body.
Fabric: Very soft, light (which I really liked), and 100% cotton
French Tuck Approved?: Not really

Now let’s move onto Mallory!

Mallory’s T-Shirt Requirements:

  • Soft fabric (IT MUST BE SOFT)
  • Tuckable length
  • Short sleeve length (can be cap sleeve…I’m not picky)
  • Crew neckline but doesn’t look like a little boy’s shirt (meaning not ~too~ high on the neck)
  • Breathable, boxy fit. It BETTER NOT be skin tight
  • Comes in multiple colors (same as Jess)
  • Not one million dollars (I, of course, also agreed with Jess)

I have similar requirements to Jess because after all, don’t we all want t-shirts that are soft, look great, and aren’t crazy expensive? Like it’s a t-shirt, not a ballgown…she better be affordable. Let’s get into my sizing:

Shirts: Usually a small but could be a medium (especially in this category bc I love a looser fitting t-shirt)
Dress: 4
Pants: 26/27
Bra: Itty-bitty-titty-committee!! (32A)
Height: 5’7

So I bought this shirt in a mustard-orangey-yellow a while back (see below) and I REALLY like wearing it for the color, but then I thought –– wait I think the fit is good too…the reason I didn’t know for sure was because I had bought it in an XS since it was the only one left. So I thought, why not try it in my actual size and see what happens. That’s exactly what I did and here’s the deal…

Size: S
Overall Rating: 10 out of 10
Fit: Overall it’s the perfect shirt. Boxy, not too long on the sleeves, a solid crew, plus it’s VERY comfortable. Plus it has a cute rounded hemline so that’s a plus.
Fabric: Soft, lightweight, very comfy, and 100% cotton
French Tuck Approved?: YES

I thought I’d show you what the XS looks like just in case you were curious…

Cute and I’ll still wear it, but I definitely am team get your normal size since it doesn’t run big or small.

Size: M
Overall Rating: 5 out of 10
Fit: If I was unexpectedly sleeping over at a friend’s house and they let me borrow their clothes for the next day and handed me this shirt, I’d say “great this’ll work.” But honestly, she’s not much more than that. The sleeves are a little too long and the neckline seemed too wide. Not to mention the shirt was overall WAY too long, and I have a decently sized torso.
Fabric: The softest, comfiest shirt out of all the ones I tried fabric-wise, so if you want comfort, have a long torso, and don’t mind a longer cap sleeve…this one is for you. 49% Modal, 48% Cotton, 3% Spandex
French Tuck Approved?: It’s the only way to wear it

Size: S
Overall Rating: 7 out of 10
Fit: I bought this shirt YEARS ago because I stumbled upon it and definitely needed a white t-shirt. It would be blasphemy if I didn’t include it in the post, after all the things we’ve been through together. It’s $5, so if you’re in desperate need of a shirt, this one will do the job and do it very okay. It’s got a pretty big swoop neck overall, but it’s stretchy fabric and tight-but-not-too-tight-fit will impress you.
Fabric: Stretchy, comfy, and 100% cotton
French Tuck Approved?: Yes!

Size: M
Overall Rating: 10 out of 10
Fit: This one is a real favorite. As you can see from the above photos, the shirt is a solid length –– not too long, not too short. It’s perfect if you want to french tuck it OR wear it untucked (which sounds foreign to me but I would do it with this shirt because the length is that good).
Fabric: A little thicker material, but still VERY comfy. 100% cotton
French Tuck Approved?: YES

Now we couldn’t end this post without a quick mention of Emily’s favorite tees in case you missed her talking about them in the past:)

The Quest For The Perfect, Affordable "Basic" Tee Is Over... Because We Did The Legwork Best Children's Lighting & Home Decor Online Store
photo by veronica crawford | from: a fashion review: new clothing on my body and how i like them (or not)

Emily loves the scoop neck and the relaxed fit.

The Quest For The Perfect, Affordable "Basic" Tee Is Over... Because We Did The Legwork Best Children's Lighting & Home Decor Online Store
The Quest For The Perfect, Affordable "Basic" Tee Is Over... Because We Did The Legwork 28

Emily loves this shirt! Her only tip is to size way down.

The Quest For The Perfect, Affordable "Basic" Tee Is Over... Because We Did The Legwork Best Children's Lighting & Home Decor Online Store
image source

The Great is a female-founded company and is one of Emily’s favorites. This tee is for sure a splurge according to Emily will definitely make you feel cool.

Well there you have it, t-shirts on our real bodies to hopefully help you in a real way in finding your perfect and ULTIMATE match. We hope that you have as good of a day as you can, make sure you have a voting plan and we will see you tomorrow.

Love you, and very much mean it. We need each other now more than ever.

Fin Mark

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