The best t-shirts for women—from Breton stripes to classic white

The search is over. We've found the best t-shirt for women to suit every budget, style and occasion

best t-shirt for women collage
(Image credit: Future)

It's worth putting the time in to find the best t-shirt for women in your budget. A well-cut tee is a key staple in most chic outfits, and they are one of the hardest working pieces in a contemporary wardrobe. It might be a simple garment, but the style credentials of a t-shirt should never be underestimated.

From a chic Breton stripe to a classic white style, a t-shirt is one piece you can never have enough of in your collection. The best t-shirts take you seamlessly from one season to the next.

Although often seen as just a wardrobe basic, finding the perfect t-shirt is just as important—and sometimes just as tricky—as finding the best jeans. And a successful capsule wardrobe is certainly not complete without one.

The best t-shirts for women—styles to invest in

When it comes to finding the best t-shirt for women, there are myriad designs and fits to choose from. With each serving different purposes, it's wise to invest in a few different styles so that you have a piece to suit every occasion and outfit. 

  • V-neckline: has a preppy look and sits well underneath blazers – not to mention flatters bigger busts. 
  • Crewneck: is perfect for dressing down tailored trousers or layering under slip dresses à la Kate Moss in the 90s. 
  • Oversized: works best for casual wear with the front portion tucked into the waistband of your jeans (otherwise known as the French tuck). 
  • Fitted ribbed: are the style to opt for when looking to tuck a top into high waist trousers and skirts, or as a base layer beneath chunky knits.
  • Cropped: a good option for petites, offset the shorter style and team with high waistbands.

A note on fabric:

If you’re looking for the softest women’s t-shirt, then lightweight and breathable natural fabrics such as cotton and linen will not only be kinder to the skin and the planet, they’re more likely to last longer too. Cheaper poly mixes can lose shape in the wash.

We asked Rachel Ingram, editor in chief of personal styling service, Threads Styling, for advice on the top t-shirt trends this year.  

“At the moment I love a round neck, slightly boxy fit in a cotton linen mix,” she says. “The softness of that fabric avoids the boxy fit making you look… boxy! I’m also a huge fan of the slim-fit, ribbed tank this season. If your waist is your slimmest part, you don't want to hide that, so a ribbed tank is a perfect piece to tuck into a high waist pant or jeans for a flattering silhouette.”

  • Boden—best for Breton t-shirts from $22/£15
  • COS—best for oversized t-shirts from $22/£15
  • Everlane—best for ribbed t-shirts from $10/£10
  • Free People—best for cropped t-shirts from $20/£18
  • GAP—best for long sleeved t-shirts from $9.97/£12.95
  • H&M—best for sleeveless t-shirts from $2.99/£2.99
  • J.Crew—best for white t-shirts from $19.50/£15
  • Mango—best for linen t-shirts from $9.99/£6.99
  • People Tree—best for sustainable t-shirts from $14.50/£17
  • The White Company—best for v-neck t-shirts from $20.30/£14

The best t-shirts for women, as chosen by our fashion team

Finding the best t-shirt can feel like mission impossible, so we’ve done the hard work for you and rounded up the best styles considering quality, versatility and price. 

J Crew Slim Perfect T-Shirt

(Image credit: J Crew)

1. J.Crew Slim Perfect T-Shirt

Best white t-shirt

Specifications
RRP: $32.50/£36
Fabric: Cotton
Fit: : Crew neck
Sizes: XXS-3X
Reasons to buy
+3/4 length sleeve+Opaque fabric
Reasons to avoid
-Over $30/£30

With hundreds of top reviews from happy customers, this t-shirt really lives up to its name. Made from 100% cotton with a classic crew neck, it has a slim fit that hugs your figure without being too tight—perfect for layering. It fits true to size and has a longer, 3/4 length sleeve which gives upper arms a little extra coverage. Available in twelve colors, the classic white wins for not being see-through. You can even add a monogram for that extra unique touch.


COS Oversized T-Shirt

(Image credit: Cos)

2. COS Oversized T-Shirt

Best oversized t-shirt

Specifications
RRP: $39/£25
Fabric: Organic cotton
Fit: Oversized
Sizes: XS-L
Reasons to buy
+Classic silhouette +Beloved by fashion editors
Reasons to avoid
-Small size range 

If you want your basic tees to last, it’s really worth spending a little bit more on beautifully made premium iterations that can stand up to repeat wash and wear. Beloved by many fashion editors, COS is a destination for top women's t-shirts, and this oversized style is no exception. It comes crafted from 100% organic cotton jersey which feels soft on the skin and hangs well. The classic round neck is paired with elbow-grazing sleeves and a relaxed cut to create a stylishly slouchy look. Fashion-forward details, such as the back seam, elevate it. Pair it with jeans and flats at the weekend, or use it to dress down smart trousers. Try tucking the front section into your waistband to streamline your silhouette. 


Boden Short Sleeve Breton

(Image credit: Boden)

3. Boden Short Sleeve Breton

Best Breton t-shirt

Specifications
RRP: $38/£25
Fabric: Cotton
Fit: Semi-fitted
Sizes: US 2-22/UK 6-22
Reasons to buy
+Choice of colorways +Longline length is versatile 
Reasons to avoid
-Too long for petites

Nothing adds a dose of Parisian chic to your outfit more than a stripy t-shirt and Boden has perfected the art of the Breton top. This short sleeved cotton iteration comes with an elegant wide round neck, which flatters the shoulder line and easily sits under myriad collar styles making it a great layering piece. The longline length, which hits top of thigh, can be worn loose or tucked, while the short sleeves and medium-width stripe create the perfect balance of proportions. Available in a selection of colorways, we recommend opting for a classic navy and white combo for that stylish nautical vibe. Wear with your favorite jeans or it dress up with a pleated midi skirt and statement earrings. 


Gap Modern Crewneck t-shirt

(Image credit: Gap)

4. Gap Modern Crewneck t-shirt

Best long sleeved t-shirt

Specifications
RRP: $20/£14.95
Fabric: Cotton and spandex
Fit: Slim-fit
Sizes: XS-XXL
Reasons to buy
+Super soft+Good for layering
Reasons to avoid
-Very fitted

A long-sleeved t-shirt is a smart addition to your cold-weather wardrobe, as it offers coverage on the arms and can be slipped underneath jumpers for an extra layer of warmth. Gap's slim-cut style is made from lightweight, ultra-soft Supima cotton with the addition of Spandex to give stretch and create a snug, streamline fit. The longer length means it can be worn tucked in or out and doesn't risk exposing your midriff even when bending over. It fits true to size and is available in regular, petite and tall. Coming in twelve colorways, we rate the classic black as a versatile addition to your capsule wardrobe. 


H&M Jersey Sleeveless Top

(Image credit: H&M)

5. H&M Jersey Sleeveless Top

Best sleeveless t-shirt

Specifications
RRP: $7.99/£5.99
Fabric: Cotton
Fit: Baggy
Sizes: XS-XXL
Reasons to buy
+Under $10/£7+100% cotton
Reasons to avoid
-Size runs big

If you're looking for a t-shirt to showcase your arms, or are after something lighter for summer, H&M's sleeveless style is a chic choice. Not only is it a steal ringing in at under $10/£7, but the relaxed sportswear-inspired silhouette will lend an air of casual luxe to every pair of trousers in your closet. Plus, made from 100% cotton it doesn't skimp on quality. The style comes up a little big, so size down if you are seeking a slimmer fit. It comes in four versatile tones that pair easily with brights or neutrals and could be worn all year round.


We The Free The Perfect Tee

(Image credit: Free People)

6. We The Free The Perfect Tee

Best cropped t-shirt

Specifications
RRP: $38/£32
Fabric: Cotton
Fit: Cropped
Sizes: XS-XL
Reasons to buy
+Available in 29 colorways +Cool design details
Reasons to avoid
-Size runs small

Cropped t-shirts are easier to pull off than you think, and are the perfect t-shirt shape to wear with high waistbands. Style them with a pair of high-waisted jeans for an on-trend retro look, or tuck into high-rise palazzo trousers. What's more, if you're petite, a cropped style won't swamp your frame. Free People's pure cotton style is the best on the high street, coming in an easy-to-wear relaxed silhouette with a classic crewneck. Design-lead details such as raw hems and cuffed sleeves give it an extra-special touch. It comes up a little small, so it's worth considering sizing up. You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to colors too—the styles comes in 29 on-trend shades from vibrant orange to soft lavender.


The White Company Organic Cotton V-Neck T-Shirt

(Image credit: The White Company)

7. The White Company Organic Cotton V-Neck T-Shirt

Best v-neck t-shirt

Specifications
RRP: $49/£35
Fabric: Organic cotton
Fit: V-neck
Sizes: US 0-14/UK 4-18
Reasons to buy
+Luxurious design +Beautifully made
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey 

You can’t beat The White Company when it comes to luxurious wardrobe essentials, and the brand offers top women's t-shirts that are both stylish and beautifully made. This classic v-neck would make a clever addition to your capsule wardrobe as it layers easily under blazers for smart/casual office days, and can be paired with jeans and trainers of a polished off-duty look. The deep neckline is flattering on bigger busts too. Crafted from organic cotton it’s soft and breathable and keeps its shape after washing. Add sparkle by layering up a few delicate gold necklaces. 


Everlane The Pima Micro-Rib Crew Tee

(Image credit: Everlane)

8. Everlane The Pima Micro-Rib Crew Tee

Best ribbed t-shirt

Specifications
RRP: $30/£28
Fabric: Cotton and elastane
Fit: Slim
Sizes: US 0-16/ UK 4-20
Reasons to buy
+Stretchy for comfort+Perfect for layering
Reasons to avoid
-Hand-wash only

If you’re looking for an everyday tee you can tuck into everything, then look no further than Everlane's extra-fine ribbed style. Crafted from pima cotton with a hint of elastane, its snug fit makes it perfect for tucking into waistbands and layering under knits and jackets without adding bulk. The only downside is that it's hand-wash only, however washing it delicately will mean it'll retain its shape over time so it's worth the extra effort. The soft grey hue is a go-with-everything addition to your capsule wardrobe.


People Tree Gaia Tee in Black

(Image credit: People Tree)

9. People Tree Gaia Tee in Black

Best sustainable t-shirt

Specifications
RRP: $39/£26
Fabric: Organic cotton
Fit: Tapered
Sizes: US 4-10/UK 8-16
Reasons to buy
+Uses sustainable materials and production processes+Elastane maintains shape
Reasons to avoid
-Basic style

Want to stock up on your basics and help the planet too? This simple black t-shirt from People Tree will do just the trick. Made from soft, organic cotton, it has a flattering fit that tapers slightly at the waist to show off your shape. A small amount of elastane give the style stretch, which helps maintain shape over time and is comfortable to wear. People Tree has a strong focus on sustainability and its GOTS certified organic cotton is grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment, including reducing the use of toxic substances and replenishing soil fertility. 


Mango 100% Linen T-Shirt

(Image credit: Mango)

10. Mango 100% Linen T-Shirt

Best linen t-shirt

Specifications
RRP: $29.99/£17.99
Fabric: Linen
Fit: Slouchy
Sizes: XS-XL
Reasons to buy
+Uses sustainable materials+Lightweight
Reasons to avoid
-Creases easily 

Linen is a breathable fabric, making it an excellent choice if you want to keep cool in the summer. This 100% linen t-shirt from Mango is a real steal. With a simple v-neckline and straight design it has a slouchy fit to give your look a laid-back vibe that works well with a pair of mom jeans and sliders. We love the sky blue hue for a breath of fresh air but you can also snap it up in white and a stripy design—both essential styles. The tees are part of Mango's Committed collection too, meaning they have been produced using sustainable fibers or processes.

How to style your t-shirt 

best t-shirt for women street style

(Image credit: Getty)

A handy layering tool, the humble t-shirt is incredibly versatile and can easily be worked into any outfit.

“T-shirts are the foundation to your wardrobe. I tend to find a style that fits nicely each year and then buy a few,” says Rachel.

Their casual aesthetic doesn't mean they can't be dressed up too. Worn under a blazer or suit they can give tailoring a cool, laid-back edge.

You can also choose to wear a t-shirt under a strappy dress for extra coverage or to give it a 90s-inspired finish.

Alternatively, a t-shirt worn simply on its own with a pair of wide-leg trousers or your favorite jeans is an easy and effortless weekend look. Just add a pop of color or a chic stripe to elevate it.

How to care for your t-shirts 

  • Wash at cool temperatures: When it comes to caring for your t-shirts, always wash on a delicate spin and cool temperature—no more than 30 degrees—to avoid shrinking and styles losing their shape.
  • Separate your laundry: Avoid washing them with rough fabrics such as denim or items with zips which can catch and rip your t-shirt
  • Never tumble dry: And don't use the tumble dryer which can cause shrinkage and make dyed fabric fade.
  • Store them flat: Fold rather than hanging t-shirts in your closest to avoid them stretching.
Charlie Bell

Charlie is the Acting Deputy Fashion Editor across multiple women’s magazines and also a freelance fashion, beauty and lifestyle editor. 


She bagged her first magazine job in 2009 and has previously written for titles including Woman & Home, Closer and Dare. Over the years Charlie has embraced anything that was thrown at her from styling celebrities to testing out the best jeans on the high street to writing about must-have beauty buys. 


With a weakness for a printed midi dress, Charlie is on a mission to shop more sustainably and loves finding new ethical brands and second-hand buys. You can follow her on Instagram @fashionabell_