Where to Find Quality T-Shirts

In my recent post about the “30 wears initiative,” I lamented the lack of quality in many of the t-shirts own and asked for readers’ suggestions on where to find tees that will last for 30 or more wears.  Thankfully, I received many helpful replies! Since I know I’m not alone in my frustration regarding garment quality, I decided to consolidate this advice into a smart shopping resource that can easily be accessed on the blog.

Quality t-shirts

Do you have trouble finding t-shirts that wash and wear well?

Past Posts on Quality Issues

Clothing quality issues have also been the focus of several previous articles, including a very popular guest post from 2014, so please refer to the links below if you’d like to learn more.  I also recently created a blog category on Clothing Quality & Sustainability where you can view all of the posts I’ve published on that topic.

On Including Retail Links in Posts

Since many of the readers of this blog are dealing with compulsive shopping issues (although certainly not all… some of you are mostly interested in wardrobe management and addressing your “closet chaos”), I don’t feature retail ads on the page and I typically do not include links to shopping sites, either. I want to be part of the solution for fellow shopaholics rather than yet another person who is contributing to the problem.  However, I also want to assist you all in shopping smarter whenever possible.  Since clothing quality has plummeted dramatically in recent years, I feel that many of us can benefit from advice on where to find garments that will last.

Even if we decide to take a shopping hiatus, we’ll eventually need to shop again.  The objective for most of us is not to stop shopping altogether, but rather to buy in a more conscious, deliberate, and balanced manner.  Posts related to clothing quality will assist us in this endeavor.  Although I included links to retail sites in my previous post on quality clothing, I’m not going to do so today.  It’s easy to Google a retailer to learn about them, plus I’m sure some of you would would prefer to visit a brick-and-mortar store to inspect merchandise and try things on anyway.   The last thing I want to do is unnecessarily tempt any of you to overshop, so I’ll just stick to manufacturer and product names in this post and leave out the links.

Caring for Knits

Before we get into the brand recommendations, I want to share the wonderful tips that were offered related to caring for knit items.  The way we launder our wardrobe pieces can make a big difference in terms of how long they will last.  While my husband’s t-shirts seem to be fairly indestructible, I’ve found that mine are a lot more delicate and require special care.  I almost never put them in the dryer unless they will otherwise lose their shape (as has been the case for many of my old workout tees).  Sadly, however, even with treating my tees with proverbial “kid gloves,” many of them still haven’t lasted anywhere close to the 30 wears target I wrote about a few posts ago.   I’d hate to think of how quickly they would have worn out otherwise!  Hopefully, if we employ some of the suggestions below, we’ll find that our knit items will last longer.

  • My tees go into dryer on extra-low for about 5-10 minutes just to slightly dry them. Then I hand-shape them and hang them on racks in my guest room under a ceiling fan to dry.
  • I don’t dry my t-shirts. I lay them flat to dry.
  • Cold water wash, line dry.
  • I don’t put mine in the dryer (I line dry). I wonder if this is why some people’s t-shirts only last a matter of months. I have never had one last so little time, even the cheap ones.
  • I line dry everything. I just use my tumble dryer for towels, to fluff them up after they are dry and to ‘air’ bedding so I can wash it and get it back on the bed the same day.
  • I line dry or hang on a “clothes horse” overnight, then do a quick 10-minute warm tumble to soften and get rid of fluff. My stuff lasts years and years! I think tumble dryers are the enemy of cotton.
  • I don’t put most of my clothes in the dryer and that helps a lot of them to last longer. But my t-shirts are STILL not lasting more than 15 or 20 wears.
  • I try not to put knitwear in the dryer unless it’s made of certain fabrics, like bamboo or modal, because it twists sideways and never goes back straight. I probably shouldn’t put bamboo in the dryer, either, because it goes fluffy and pills after a few washes.
  • I never tumble dry t-shirts, just line dry, and always iron. I think this does help prolong the life of all garments (I actually quite like ironing!).
  • I wash either by hand in cold water or on delicate cycle in the washer and then hang to dry. So far, my t-shirts have been worn 30 times plus and are holding up well.
  • I don’t put knit items in the dryer at all because they’re easier to shape by hand and hang to dry. The heat destroys the spandex that is in a lot of knits, so it’s better to not dry for a longer lifespan. Also, I use powdered Vitamin C in the wash and rinse cycles to neutralize the chlorine in the water and minimize fading.
  • I wash all my good tees in cold water and hang them to dry.
  • I launder knit tops inside-out in net bags in cold water and dry them inside-out on delicate cycle.

Some Comments about Fabric

Respondents also had a lot to say about the fabric content of t-shirts, which has a lot to do with whether or not they will last. I found this feedback especially interesting, as it seems that the 100% cotton tees that I’ve preferred may not be the best way to go.  There are some contradicting opinions here in terms of spandex, but it seems that fabric blends may be more durable overall than pure cotton.

  • I find that fabric content is one of the best indicators for long-wearing tees. High spandex content is usually a good indicator that the fabric will stay soft and smooth after washing, and should hold its original shape well.
  • I’ve often wondered what the perfect tee fabric would be and in what quantities. This year, I’ve bought some that are 17% linen and 83% polyester. I know polyester always gets a bad rap, but this combo appears to have the drape, slub, handle, and easy-care elements I’m into. I’ve discovered that I like 2% Lycra in my jeans and dislike 100% cotton anything. It certainly helps to know these things!
  • I try to steer clear of rayon, as it doesn’t seem to last.
  • I dislike cotton/spandex blends, as I’ve found that manufacturers add spandex in order to disguise a lower grade of cotton.
  • My favorite tees are the ones with all cotton except about 5 % of spandex. They hold their shape well.
  • Currently I have been having better luck with linen tees and I prefer them.
  • Modal is a robust fiber for t-shirts, I’ve found.

About the List…

Now it’s time to share the recommendations I received from readers!  A few brands were mentioned by multiple people, so I will call out each manufacturer and then list specific comments underneath the name.  Those brands that were mentioned only once, as well as comments that specified multiple brands, are listed under a single section towards the end.

As I know I have some readers in both the UK and Australia, I’ve included specific brand recommendations for those countries as well, although you’ll hopefully be able to acquire some of the other brands covered in this post, too.

The Clear Winner – Uniqlo!

One brand was mentioned far more often than any other, and that’s Uniqlo!  This low-cost Japanese company has locations throughout Asia, as well as in the UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Canada, Australia, and throughout the United States (but not yet here in San Diego, sadly).  Uniqlo’s t-shirts all appear to cost less than $20, which goes to show that quality and durability is not only about price!  They offer many different styles and colors in both solid and graphic tees and in various sleeve lengths.  Here’s what respondents had to say about Uniqlo knits:

  • Uniqlo is really decent for basics. I wear their camisoles and tights exclusively, and LOVE their cardigans. I also bought an emergency pair of their “trouser leggings” while in England and they are now one of my favorite pairs of pants. They will definitely have items in your jewel tones and are also always running sales. And they offer a recycling program for their own clothes when you’re done with them.
  • Uniqlo t shirts are Pima cotton and have a good feel. I haven’t had them long enough to know how they will hold up.
  • Believe it or not, Uniqlo makes very nice cotton/Lycra t-shirts at an affordable price point.
  • Uniqlo has decent quality for a cheap, fast-fashion brand.
  • Uniqlo tees hold up really well to lots of washes and wears. I usually get the V-neck ones or the crew necks.
  • Uniqlo – we have a lot of their kids clothes and they’re indestructible.
  • I’m wearing a Uniqlo top right now that cost me £0.99 and has already had more than 30 wears.
  • I love the Supima cotton range at Uniqlo. So soft and so many pretty colors and styles.

Boden

British retailer Boden was also mentioned multiple times.   Boden primarily sells online by mail order and catalog to consumers in the UK, US, Germany, and Australia.  They are known for their bright patterned clothing and casual basics, and offer collections for men and children as well as women.  Here are some of the comments I received about Boden:

  • I have had good wear from Boden t-shirts.
  • I second Boden cotton tees. Mine have held up well to weekly wear and washes.
  • I will echo those mentioning Boden for t-shirts. I shop almost exclusively at Boden and Ann Taylor/Loft for work stuff because their sizing is fairly consistent and the quality is good. I recently branched out and bought a few casual pieces from Boden, including their Breton shirt in short and long sleeves, and they are fantastic. Durable material, thicker fabric, and classic styles. Their stuff is a little more expensive ($35-$45 for a shirt), but if you can catch their stuff on promotion, you can get some fantastic deals.

Eileen Fisher

Eileen Fisher was also mentioned as offering high quality, long-lasting knit pieces.  This brand is known for their simple, sustainable designs in classic stylings.  Their items tend to be on the pricey side, but they received high praise overall.

  • Eileen Fisher – costly but her pieces hold up very well in my experience.
  • I don’t have any linen EF items, but the knit ones I have launder well. I have a couple of the scoop neck tunics from Nordstrom and one other knit top. The heavily worn one shows a few pills under the arm but otherwise looks pretty good given that it’s now 3+ years old with significant wear.
  • Eileen Fisher has great quality basics at a high price. These items look a little nicer and last well.
  • I’ve had excellent experiences with Eileen Fisher silk tees.

Lands’ End

Lands’ End is an American clothing retailer that specializes in casual clothing, luggage, and home furnishings.  Their clothing is available online and in Sears stores.  Quite a few people mentioned that Lands’ End tees have worked well for them, although one person lamented a decline in quality as of late.

  • I’ve had good luck with Lands’ End T-shirts, although lately the fabric quality is less reliable than in the past. I prefer 100% cotton or with 2-3% spandex for a little stretch. Their cotton/modal blends are too thin feeling, but that’s just my own preference. The “shaped” fit is probably better for layering, but I also like the “relaxed” fit. I stock up on needed colors/styles when I have a high-value discount code and only order from the sale/clearance section of their website.
  • As for quality knits, yes, they are hard to find. One brand I like is Lands’ End. Not the most fashion forward, but good quality.
  • As a rule I have had the best luck with the cotton/modal blend tees from Lands’ End.
  • I’ve found Lands’ End tees to be well-made and wash and dry beautifully. I’ve got a couple that I’m favorably impressed with so far.
  • Lands’ End cuts have improved, but the quality has declined.

Everlane

  • You should definitely have a look into Everlane. Really high quality and timeless styles!
  • My Everlane linen tees have washed well and get worn a lot.

J. Jill

  • Jill – Mine last for years, butI do have quite a lot of them in many different styles.  
  • Jill, 100% Pima tees.
  • The J. Jill Pima is so soft and drapes well.

Lane Bryant

  • I’ve also found that Lane Bryant t-shirts hold up well, although they have recently rebranded toward the teen market, so I’ll have to watch the quality.
  • I get mine from Lane Bryant and they last a good 5 years, through camping, washer/dryer, exercising, etc. The only ones I don’t like are the 100% cotton.

Target

  • Target’s Merona 3/4 sleeve boat-neck tee has become my go-to for spring and summer. I only found them last year, so I’m not sure of their lifespan.
  • I have had good luck with Target for basics.
  • Target’s tees have held up surprisingly well.
  • I’ve had tees from Target last for years

Old Navy

  • Old navy Vintage tees hold up surprisingly well.
  • I also have some Old Navy t-shirts that have lasted well, and for under $7.

Nordstrom

I was surprised to see a few readers call out Nordstrom as having good quality tees, as the ones I’ve purchased from there over the past few years have been disappointing, as I mentioned in my “30 wears initiative” post.  However, my Nordstrom tees from previous years were great, so perhaps it’s a declining quality issue.  It also seems to make a difference which styles of tees are purchased, with the linen and long-sleeved tees receiving higher marks for quality.

  • Nordstrom’s tees are generally good, but they’re making them much thinner lately, which I really don’t like.
  • Nordstrom’s Caslon brand seems to wear well in the long-sleeved version.
  • I’ve had really good luck with the Nordstrom brands Caslon and Halogen.
  • I bought 3 new Caslon linen tees from Nordstrom this year and they’ve been worn 20+ times and are doing well.

Thrift / Consignment / eBay

  • Thrift stores and consignment stores. I’m guessing the previous owner already got some wears out of them. If they still look good, they’re sturdy enough to last a while.
  • Most of my tees are bought secondhand or on eBay for lower prices. It works well for me.

Other Recommendations

A number of other brands were mentioned just once by respondents, but I wanted to make sure to include this information as well.   It may be worthwhile checking out these items, too, in your search for t-shirts that will stand the test of time.

  • For t-shirts, I recommend the Three Dots brand, particularly the 100% cotton shirts that are made in the U.S. Some of mine are 4+ years old, have been worn dozens of times, and are only just fading a bit (I generally machine wash and line dry). They’re relatively pricey, but none of them have pilled or stretched, and sometimes they have pretty good sales. They also make some shirts that are a cotton/modal or viscose blend, but I haven’t found those to be as high quality.
  • L. Bean makes decent quality clothes, though their cuts may be a bit boxy.
  • I like Peruvian Connection turtlenecks. I have had some for nearly ten years and worn them 200+ times. No pilling or fading, and I have yet to replace one. The colors don’t match the catalogs and you have to pay for exchange or return shipping, but the quality is excellent.
  • I recently bought some Patagonia tees. They are pricy but seem very durable and well-made, and I like their manufacturing practices. I think they may last 30 wears.
  • Tommy Bahama tees wash and wear great and even tolerate the dryer with no shrinking or “misshapenness”.
  • I have a few tops/knits from Zara that I’ve been wearing regularly for the past 2 years and they have held together really well. I also never put any of my clothes in the dryer, so that could help as well.
  • I am curious about American Apparel tees and may try one next time I need a white tee.
  • Talbots tees work well for me.
  • I love Macy’s Charter Club Pima cotton knit tops
  • Cut Loose makes a linen/cotton blend tee that I’ve worn at least thirty times, but the color is starting to fade.
  • I’ve had excellent experiences with GapFit tees.
  • I have to say that mine have come from such a variety of sources that I’ve found that price or label really don’t guarantee anything! I’ve had tees from Target last for years, but more expensive ones from Madewell have done well, too.
  • I looked over my t-shirt wears from January 2015 through today. The winners: Boden, Talbots, Jones, and Eileen Fisher linen tees. All have been worn 20+ times per year and are still going strong.
  • My favorite knit tops are from J.C.Penney, Talbot’s, J. Jill, and Ann Taylor.

 Brands That Are Not Recommended

A few respondents mentioned some t-shirt brands that haven’t worked well for them.  For the sake of completeness, I have included this feedback here as well.

  • I’ve been kind of underwhelmed with the quality of tees I’ve gotten at J. Crew and Anthropologie.
  • I’ve had seam issues with J. Crew tees. Their tees are in good colors, but they can be so thin that my bra shows through!
  • I’ve been underwhelmed with Old Navy.
  • I swore off any Banana Republic or Ann Taylor tees, even linen, no matter the sale price, as the quality is low and they do not last or wash well. I also avoid any of those very thin cotton tees that seem so light and airy (I had some from Madewell and J Crew). The fibers wear out and they get small holes in them quickly.
  • The tees that have been losers for me came from either the Eddie Bauer or James Perse brands. (Note from Debbie:  Eddie Bauer was my go-to t-shirt brand for years, but I won’t buy from them anymore because the tees lose their shape quickly and bell out at the bottom).

UK Brands

  • This summer, I bought a couple of linen mix tees from Asda (George), £5 each. I’ve already worn/washed over a dozen times, and they’re still great. I don’t know if I just got lucky, though. I’ve asked for a couple of other colours for Christmas, so fingers crossed!
  • Stretchy tanks, the kind you wear as underwear (I’d call them vests, but that will only make sense to my UK friends :)) from Marks & Spencer, last forever and cost under a fiver. I finally had to throw one out last week as the Lycra had started to break down. It never saw the inside of a dryer and reached the giddy heights of 112 wears!
  • Yep, M&S essential t-shirts for me, too. They last until I get bored with them.

Australian Brands

  • It’s probably not much use to most people here, but my one t-shirt that has been worn more than thirty times (and is still in great condition) is from an Australian brand called Trenery (available from David Jones and in standalone stores).
  • I had a JAG t-shirt that lasted forever. They are owned by the same company who owns Saba and Sportscraft. I find that groups of companies tend to have similar quality products.
  • I have had good luck with most mid-range Australian stores (Just Jeans, Portmans, and Myer brands, as well as other brands they sell). Staying away from cheaper stores (Kmart, Jay Jays, etc.) seems to be the best idea.

Conclusion

I hope you found this round-up of quality t-shirt brands helpful.  If you have additional feedback you’d like to add, please do so.  The more the merrier!  Also feel free to mention where you’ve found quality clothing, shoes, and accessories in general.  I just focused on t-shirts in this post because that’s been a particular problem area for me and other people.  Clothing quality is a big issue for all of us, so whatever we can to help each other make better purchasing decisions will serve us well.  Thank you and have a wonderful weekend!


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Comments

  1. I have been buying the Felina long sleeved tees from Costco, they usually bring them in for the winter and they are holding up well. I have some Calvin Klein and Talbots short sleeve tees that have worked out well also. I do put my shirts in the washer and the dryer, but I wear my clothes multiple times before washing them as I rarely sweat, so for 30 wears that is probably only 6 washes, which undoubtedly affects the durability. YMMV.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      Thanks for sharing these tips, Tara. I haven’t tried those tees before and hadn’t even heard of the Felina ones. Like you, I will often wear shirts multiple times before washing them, especially since sometimes I will only have them on for a few hours at a time. Something should definitely last for 6 washings!

  2. Excellent post Debbie! I always wash & dry my Ts by machine – that’s way too much clothing for me to fuss with line drying. IMO 100% cotton Ts wear like iron but come up short in drape. The next time I see linen Ts I’ll be checking them out in terms of feel and drape. I had seen them online but didn’t know that so many companies were making them now.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      There should be no problem with machine washing and drying t-shirts, Diane, and it’s sad that there have been increasing problems with that as of late. In fact, many washing instructions specify hand-washing these days! I haven’t tried linen tees, either, but I’m intrigued based upon the feedback I received. I definitely plan to try some new types of t-shirts once I shop again next year.

  3. Every tee shirt I have bought in the last few years has developed holes at the waist. It could be cheap or expensive. Very frustrating. I’ll check out your recommendations.

    • My t shirts tend to develop pinholes at the waist at the front. I have come to the conclusion it is from my belt.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      That’s very unfortunate and definitely frustrating, Mary and Anne! I occasionally get small holes in my tees, but it’s usually the rayon or modal ones and it’s not only at the waist. I hope some of the recommendations here will be helpful for you.

  4. Thank you, Debbie, for this post. I wash all T- shirts in my washing machine and always use a dryer (I don’t mind a bit of shrinkage, and sometimes even desire some, as I’m petite and all my tops seem to be too long/loose). Interestingly I find no correlation between the brand and the cost of the item and how it wears. Some very cheap H&M kids’ T shirts have lasted through years of heavy use and some of my fancy ones lose shape and pill after one or two wears, so I don’t think it depends on how we treat them. I prefer cotton with a touch of Lycra for longevity and shape retention and find cotton/modal mix a poor performer. I love the feel of rayon but agree it can develop little holes at the waistline, presumably from rubbing over the button of my jeans. Also, I suspect quality and performance of clothing varies from season to season, not just from manufacturer to manufacturer, compounding our difficulties. For the record, I’m a recent convert to Boden – good quality, decent price point in Australia and they have petite sizes. I’m sold! By the way, love your blog, your considered and systematic approach to the topic and your honesty and personal integrity make it compelling reading. Thank you!

    • Thanks Joanna. I’ve wondered about Boden. I was fearful to try due to the price point, but you have convinced me.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      Thank you for your kind words about my blog, Joanna. I always appreciate hearing these types of things from readers! I also appreciate your additional feedback about t-shirts. I agree that cost is often not related to how well tees will last. I have long been one to buy 100% cotton knits, but after reading so many endorsements for Lycra/spandex mixed in with the cotton, I’m going to try that next time. I may try linen, too. Like Terra, I’m planning to try Boden as well. It wasn’t the price that scared me off so much as having to pay for shipping and potentially returns. But I’m feeling desperate to find good tees, so I am more willing to take the risk.

      • Keep an eye on the promos for Boden. Their current one is 15% off, plus free shipping and free returns on orders over $49. I only buy when they are running those types of promos, as I HATE paying to return stuff.

        • Debbie Roes says:

          I hate paying to return stuff, too, Melissa, which is why I don’t order from a lot of brands. Thanks for the heads up about the Boden promos and I will keep an eye out for them. I won’t be able to buy the t-shirts until 2017 because I played it too close to the edge with my 2016 budget, but that’s not too long away at this point 🙂

  5. I know the dryer is a culprit and I avoid it if I’m at all concerned about something shrinking or pulling out of shape – linen t-shirts I’m looking at you! BUT, I also think my HE washer is a problem. It has a killer spin cycle and I think that can weaken fabrics, particularly if the washer is full and the shirts spin around next to the drum where they get forced into the drain holes.

    If I really care about something, and I don’t really care about everything, I wash it in a small load (in my machine) and set the cycle to delicate, which leaves the shirt wetter but less spun around.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      I can see what you mean about the washer, Rose, but I haven’t wanted to have to launder everything by hand or on a delicate cycle. It’s frustrating to have to do that, but I really want things to last. I am at least somewhat encouraged by some of the commenters above who are able to put their t-shirts in both the washer and the dryer. There was so many variables, including the brand, the fabrication, and the washer and dryer. It can take a lot of trial and error to find what works, but hopefully the tips in this post will help some people to make better choices.

  6. Little Tabby says:

    In Australia I also find these brands are good forT-shirts and other clothing in general: Givoni, Black Pepper, Noni B, Damart (online and mail order). for Damart especially their crinkle T-shirts which cost about $34.95 but they have deals. These T shirts wash up very well, don’t lose shape and I find them very comfortable in hot (35 degrees celsius) weather.

    I used to buy Katies t-shirts but now they are mainly made in Bangladesh. I bought them from about 1986 – 2006 and they washed up well and wore well. I think Givoni used to make them as Givoni has very similar styles.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      Thank you so much for sharing your suggestions for Australian brands, Little Tabby! I didn’t have a whole lot of information of that type before and your tips will certainly help some people. It’s sad that some tried and true brands (like Katie’s for you) make changes such that they’re not so great anymore, but I’m glad you have found some good replacements.

      • Little Tabby says:

        Hi Debbie, Also I forgot to add: I am wearing a Myer (Australian Department store) – Regatta Sport (now just called Regatta) T shirt and it has very minimal pilling and it is still is good shape. It is 100 % cotton and I have had it since spring summer 2004-2005. I still hope that that brand is still good – I haven’t bought any t shirts for a long time but the ones from that brand still have a good feel to them.

        • Debbie Roes says:

          I appreciate the additional tips, Little Tabby. Sounds like your Myer t-shirt is of excellent quality! I wonder if the newer ones are as good. If they are anything like what we have in the U.S., I suspect that they are not, but I would love it if I was wrong!

  7. Good post, with a wealth of resources. My biggest dilemma is finding T-shirts that fit me. I’m petite and few years ago I never had any problems with fit, but now good petite tops are hard to find. The majority I try on are either too oversized for my small frame, too boxy and wide, or too long and skinny and tight. Because I have a short waist I can’t wear regular sized tops because the v neckline usually hits too low on me, or the scoop neck is too wide, which is fine in the summer, but my neck gets cold in the winter.

    I don’t own many tops and I’m ultra careful with the ones I have. In the past Talbots was good quality and fit, and now it is junk. And J.Jill petites run big. Can anyone recommend “good quality, reasonably priced” t-shirts that come in small petite sizes?

    • nutrivore says:

      Land’s End, some kinds (not the modal), but they have a great return policy. I am small petite, but in LE I wear small regular. They do have petite sizes, though.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      I can imagine finding things that fit you would be challenging, Terra, especially since vanity sizing has become so rampant these days. In terms of t-shirt length, they are often too long for me, so I’m sure some of them are like dresses on you! V-necks are often too low-cut on me, too, which can be frustrating… I’m glad that nutrivore had a suggestion for you and hopefully some other people will chime in as well. All we need is one or two good brands, but that can be difficult to find. Too bad about Talbots quality going down. I have noticed the same things with my two go-to brands for tees, Eddie Bauer and the Nordstrom Caslon and Halogen brands. Hopefully some of the suggestions here will work for you and me and many others.

  8. nutrivore says:

    I actually like the tees from Fred Meyer (the Kroger line of grocery/department stores). I think their in-house brand is Great Northwest. They are 97% cotton, 3% spandex. Not too thin, not boxy, not tight, about $10 each and the 3% spandex prevents them from getting out of shape. Their white ones are too thin and see through, though. I prefer Land’s End for white tees.

    I don’t put them in the dryer and wash the colored only in cold water. No fading and no shrinking. Well over 30 wears each.

    J. Crew as a brand has gone completely down the drain.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      The Fred Meyer tees sound great, nutrivore! I wish we had that store around here, but I know your tip will benefit some readers for sure. I agree with you about J. Crew. It’s really too bad and sad to see what were once excellent brands going down the tubes. The general downward trend is why I have decided to do posts like this. Whatever we can do to help each other shop smarter will help to serve us all.

  9. Whoah, behold the power of data. Who knew about Uniqlo? I’ll definitely have to check them out.

    I really like an old Karen Scott tee that I have. Really thick, almost pillowy cotton. I also have an old Ann Taylor factory outlet tee that just wont die, and also 100% cotton. The defining trait of these two garments is their thickness.

    I used to love Lands End, but more recent items I got from them really did not make the mark. I’m not sure if it’s just a one-off thing, but it has turned me off of Lands End for now.

    • Now that I think about it, the thing I didn’t like about the Lands End shirt is its thinness. I guess thin fabric is all the rage. I can’t wait for this trend to be over!

    • I like Uniqlo, but be forewarned that their sizing can run small.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      Thanks for sharing your feedback, Jane. Yeah, I was surprised about Uniqlo, too, and I wish there was one close by so I could try the tees on. I may have to chance ordering them online, so I appreciate Rose’s input about the sizing running small. I often have to choose between ordering a small and a medium, so this suggests that the medium will be the way to go…

      I have noticed that fabric keeps getting thinner and thinner, too. I think this started out when there was a cotton shortage, so the “tissue tee” was invented. Cotton is more plentiful again, but brands can save money by using thinner fabrics and thus less cotton. Like you, I have some older tees that are still going strong whereas newer ones are already gone due to poor quality. I wish I could get more of the older styles I have to replace the existing ones, but the only chance of that is to find them at a thrift store 🙁

  10. If you’re Canadian check out Jerico.ca. Not only are the tees good quality they are sustainably and ethically made. Just make sure you check out the sizing before ordering as it varies for each style

    • Debbie Roes says:

      Thanks for sharing this Canadian brand suggestion, Kirstin. I haven’t heard of Jerico, but I hope that this tip will help some of my readers in Canada!

  11. Debbie Roes says:

    I received a brand suggestion from a reader via email that I would like to share here. This tip goes to show that it’s not always about how much something costs. I have definitely learned that through my own experience and from the comments on this post. Here’s a reader suggestion for Walmart’s White Stag brand tees:

    Interestingly, I did not see the mention of the White Stag brand from Walmart. I have a drawer of these in different colors. I wash and dry them completely. They hold their shape well and the cotton spandex or cotton poly blend don’t shrink. They are thick enough that you can’t see through the white ones. They come in crew and v neck, long and short sleeved. I’ve had some of mine for over 5 years. If you catch them on clearance, sometimes you can get them for under $5 but even at full price they are under $10. I know people hate to admit they shop at Walmart but that brand of t-shirt is better than even the expensive one I tried from Macy’s.

  12. I’m another Uniqlo fan, not only for their basics, but also for their heatech gear as an underlayer in the colder months.

    • Debbie Roes says:

      Thank you for the suggestion of Uniqlo heatech gear, Lisa. I will check that out, too, as I get cold easily and such items would for sure come in handy when I visit my family in Lake Tahoe.

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