It’s been a little over a week, since I started my search for the perfect, everyday, plain white tee (a foundation piece in any wardrobe, capsule or not). It all started with me buying a plain white tee from The Drake General Store (their in-house label, "SHARED". I bought it for my Capsule Wardrobe that I was working on, then wondered: "is there a better one out their somewhere?" So, I put the word out there and a did some reading, and I ended up buying the following t-shirts (in no particular order):
- Uniqlo (Japanese brand, relatively new to Canada)
- Fruit of the Loom, Boys (a Vogue Senior Editor recommendation)
- Hanes Comfort Soft, Boys (another Vogue Senior Editor recommendation)
- Levi's Perfect Pocket Tee
- Gap Vintage Wash
- Shared, by The Drake General Store
- H&M (ordered online.. hasn't showned up yet!)
As previously mentioned in prior post, there were a couple of recommended brands that I did not buy for the test, as I've owned their tees before, and wasn't a huge fan; mainly due to the fact that they lose their shape over time (e.g., T Alexander Wang, J Crew, Old Navy and Madewell).
THE RESULTS ARE IN!
I tried on all the tees for fit initially, took their key measurements, then washed and dried them according to their care recommendation (which were all the same -- wash cold; tumble dry low). Once out of the dryer, I checked the key measurements for shrinkage and tried them on again for fit and form. The results, in order this time:
1. Relaxed Fit Tee by SHARED, The Drake General Store (THE WINNER!!!!)
- Price: C$45 + tax
- Origin: Made in Canada *****
- Organic cotton *****
- Ease of Purchase: In store or on-line
- Not too thick; not too thin; just perfect
- Perfect crew neck size, and perfect length for tucking in
- Fit true to size
- Price: C$14.90 + tax
- Origin: Made in Vietnam*
- Ease of Purchase: In-store online; do not yet offer e-commerce in Canada
- A nice, thick t-shirt for wearing alone (perhaps more spring/fall)
- Shrunk slightly, vertically; however, under normal circumstances I would never put my tees in the dryer. I always let them hang dry, then maybe pop them in the dryer for 5 minutes (on low) to get the last bit of dampness and wrinkles out.
- Fit small (Japanese...). I'm typically a medium, and picked up a large.
- I'll be hanging this one in my closet for sure.
- Note: I was interested to learn that Uniqlo owns their entire supply chain, including their factories in Vietnam, where they ensure safe work practices and fair wages. This is one way they are able to keep their prices down.
3. Levi's Perfect Pocket Tee
- Price: C$34.95 + tax
- Origin: Made in Sri Lanka
- Ease of Purchase: I ordered online, as opposed to visiting the Eaton Centre...
- Light-weight; very soft
- Good fit; although I don't like the front pocket (that's just personal preference)
- Notes: Seven different labels to remove. Interesting that one tag read "Care for our planet. Wash less. Wash cold. Hang to dry. Donate or recycle." In some places, you can compost garments made of 100% natural fibers, such as cotton.
- I'll keep this one as an undershirt and "heat alert tee", but otherwise, probably wouldn't wear it alone with jeans.
4. Gap Vintage Wash, "Gap For Good" Line
- Price: C$24.95
- Origin: Made in Vietnam
- Ease of Purchase: In-store or on-line
- Light-weight; soft
- Unlike Levi's, I would wear this one alone with jean shorts. It’s going in the drawer.
- Note: "Gap For Good Line" -- This is an initiative launched by Gap companies in 2016, to build programs and partnerships to reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing their denim and other garments (such as this tee). They joined the Better Cotton Initiatives Group to help support more sustainable cotton farming worldwide. From farmer training, water conservation and custody traceability -- all to reinforce their commitment to sustainable production of the world's most important fiber.
5. Hanes Comfort Soft, Boys
- Price: C$10.99 for 2-pack ($5.50/each)
- Origin: Made in Haiti
- Ease of Purchase: Amazon.ca
- Very think; not what I would consider soft
- Shrunk so much through wash/dry, did not fit me after
- I'll be donating this one..
- Notes: Tagless for comfort. Care tag says "do not use fabric softner".
5. Lastly, Fruit of the Loom, Boys
- Price: C$14.99 for 4-pack ($3.75/each)
- Orgin: Made in El Salvador
- Super thin; not soft
- Immediate disqualification, as not 100% cotton!?!? 80% polyester...
- Donation pile.
So, this particular journey has come to an end, and I have found my perfect white t-shirts, plus a couple back-ups in the drawer. However, this rating and these comments are all based on my personal perferences for t-shirt fit and feel. I challenge you to go out and find your perfect tee -- your go to -- if you have not already found it.
Thanks for reading. More to come on Creating a Capsule Wardrobe!
XO - Erika