Basic, boring, but durable t-shirts
August 27, 2012 1:15 PM   Subscribe

Help me find durable, affordable basic t's and tops for ladies. (Size XXL) Preferably online.

I've shopped at The Gap and Old Navy for ages. They have lots of basic layering tops and t-shirts, tanks, etc. that have kept me clothed through undergrad and grad school.

Sadly, they don't wash super well. The colors start to look faded pretty fast and I've noticed the sweaters snag really easily. I'm coming to the realization that I probably need to just invest the money in some shirts that last.

I'm a pretty boring dresser. I like basic t-shirts. No frills, no lace, no ruching, no dry clean only. 99% of what I own is a solid color with no labels or decoration. And I'm pretty happy with that. But where to find basic t's and tops that don't break the bank (ideally under 40 a piece, but maybe a bit more) and come in XXL? A lot of the places I've seen in stores, like the Limited, don't go up that large.

Share your favorite online retailers please!
posted by gilsonal to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (17 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Do you have a cheapo dry cleaners near you? I do-and send the knit/jersey basics out to be drycleaned. Yes, there are solid enviro reasons why this is bad. But, so is buying/replacing on a regular basis.
Anyway, it's not new shirt links you're looking for, but it is a great way to keep those shirts alive and vibrant much longer.
posted by atomicstone at 1:18 PM on August 27, 2012

J Jill is my go to for t shirts, tanks, long sleeve tees, etc. Their misses sizes go to XL (and I find their sizing generous) but they also have P and W sizes.

They change colors out a lot so if nothing turns my head now, I wait 6 weeks.
posted by pointystick at 1:21 PM on August 27, 2012

I fail at HTML. Also my Land's End tees have held up well but I like the cut and color of J Jill better.
posted by pointystick at 1:22 PM on August 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

Try LLBean. This sort of this is their wheelhouse. Here's their basic Tee, but there's a lot of variations (scoop neck, v-neck, long sleeve, 3/4 sleeve...) on the shirts page here.
posted by brainmouse at 1:23 PM on August 27, 2012 [1 favorite]

Lands End and LL Bean are nice. I've looked at KosherCasual but haven't bought any (was buying for children but found equivalents at Target so I couldn't throw a few on for me, darn).

I've also lusted after the long tail tees at Duluth Trading, but again, nothing to order "with" it to justify putting in an order for them ...
posted by tilde at 1:25 PM on August 27, 2012

And to follow up on atomicstone - we do send some clothes out for dry cleaning, but through a local oxxo cleaner.
posted by tilde at 1:27 PM on August 27, 2012

posted by livinglearning at 1:28 PM on August 27, 2012

Also, jjill is having a 30% off sale and clearance thing going on through September 3.
posted by atomicstone at 1:33 PM on August 27, 2012

I came to nth Land's End, LL Bean, Eddie Bauer and Target for the real, basic stuff.

I have items from these folks that have lasted for years and continute to look great. Often if you buy multiples of camis or t-shirts, you get a discount.

Preppie forever!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:37 PM on August 27, 2012

If you have a Nordstrom Rack, check there periodically. Things are still pricey, but I find the quality of build exponentially better than Lane Bryant.
posted by smirkette at 1:42 PM on August 27, 2012

My Boden T-shirts last a long time, and I'm tough on my clothes. They seem to go up to size 18. They do both patterns and plain.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:48 PM on August 27, 2012

J. Jill, Lands End and LL Bean are all winners.

Most Target tees have a fair amount of spandex/stretch. Those tees show every ripple and bump no matter how large you buy them. I cannot buy any size t-shirt there with having my boobilushiness take over the room because of the clinginess. If you're a women's size, then Target tees may be more revealing than you'd find acceptable.
posted by 26.2 at 1:54 PM on August 27, 2012

What I meant to say was withOUT having my boobilushiness...
posted by 26.2 at 2:01 PM on August 27, 2012

I am in pretty much the exact same boat; I usually buy Old Navy men's t-shirts. I just bought a bunch of Duluth women's short-sleeved tees. They're great. They have a nice soft texture and are pretty thick, AND (best of all) the sleeves are actually sleevey. None of those awful cap sleeves. They're nice enough to wear as layers under blazers, etc., but are perfectly fine on their own.

Styles: crew neck, V neck (shallow, very nice) and Henley half-button. I love the half-button look in these tops. Tons of sleeve lengths, tons of colors.

Word of advice: they run quite big. I am a large 18W or XXL/1x/2x in tops, and in the Duluth stuff I'm a L. Happily, they go up to XXL if you should need that or wish to recommend them to a larger friend :)
posted by Madamina at 3:29 PM on August 27, 2012 [2 favorites]

Also look at your detergent choices and washing habits. I wear a lot of dark-colored clothing and fading is a problem. I use Woolite for dark clothing (it's in a black bottle), cold water, and lower agitation settings on the washing machine. I also turn clothing inside-out so that I have fewer seam fading issues. These habits keep my dark Old Navy and Target t-shirts looking pretty good.
posted by quince at 3:53 PM on August 27, 2012

lane is a good source as is they both have outlet sales that are great! is good for nicer clothes
posted by msleann at 7:24 PM on August 27, 2012

I'm in the same boat. The shirts from Old Navy become unwearable after a few washings, fading and stretching. I have a front loader, so it's not the wear from washing. They are just cheap. The shirts at Target don't seem to be great either, though stretching doesn't seem to be such a problem there. They are not cut on the grain, probably to save fabric. I think that's common among mass-produced t shirts.

For me, I have been trying out shirts from LL Bean and Eddie Bauer. They both have frequent sales, too. LL Bean seems to run a smidge larger.
posted by annsunny at 7:30 PM on August 27, 2012

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