T-shirt Quest
August 14, 2018 7:32 PM   Subscribe

Seeking women's soft fitted T-shirts, but I am picky. Details below.

I am looking for simple soft plain shirts that are longer and fitted, but not skin tight. They should be at least 26 inches, longer is better. I know that 23 inches is too short.

Not looking for;

*Polyester blends, polyester anything.

*Ribbed anything. Not even the kind that has very small ribbing, which I've observed can be found on thicker cotton shirts. They lose their shape too quickly.

*Spandex only in small quantities, preferably not at all, but if a shirt is of good material overall, I can sometimes make it work.

*Crew necks or small v-necks.

Am looking for:

*Cotton first, then modal. Silk if it is affordable. Rayon blends sometimes work. Viscose... meh.

*Solid colors only. Can be heathered, but no actual prints.

*Either short sleeved or tank tops, or spaghetti tops provided they aren't the kind that are cut so low in the back that the bra is exposed. Racer backs... maaaaaybe.

*Repeat: not skin tight. "Fitted" may not be the right word, it just comes closest to what I am thinking of. I do not want your standard boxy tee with no shape; neither do I want to have to feel self-concious about belly bloat.

In short, soft T-shirts that can go with any outfit.

I have looked all over Amazon and other places. The closest I ever found were the cheapie T-shirts from Wal-Mart for Juniors, which at least are the right length and shape, and fit okay, so long as I size way up. But they are just $3.00 shirts and pill very quickly.

I don't want to go into cost other than to say I am on a budget, but would be willing to pay more for the right product.

posted by Crystal Fox to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (18 answers total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not 100% sure what you will and won't take in a neckline? You say you want t-shirts, but then say you don't want crew necks or small v-necks, but do want tank or spaghetti tops or "short sleeved" (?) shirts...maybe there's a word missing in there somewhere?
posted by praemunire at 7:40 PM on August 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

Could you link to the Wal-Mart shirts that nearly worked? Then perhaps someone will know of a more durable version of those.
posted by Iris Gambol at 7:45 PM on August 14, 2018

Response by poster: Sorry. Um, not really tight necklines, I guess, all the way to spaghetti straps, which are not T-shirts but which would work.

Here is a link to the Walmart shirt which is close to what I want. If this is considered a crew neck, it is not tight.
posted by Crystal Fox at 7:49 PM on August 14, 2018

J. Crew for sure. Their more stylish is stuff is criminally overpriced for the quality but their teee/tanks are legit.
posted by lovableiago at 7:56 PM on August 14, 2018 [4 favorites]

I asked a similar question recently because I was trying to replace an old Madewell style that was *perfect.* Someone recommended J Crew, but I didn't find a great shirt there. I actually found this t-shirt at Target and like it pretty well. This t-shirt from Banana Republic is a really nice quality of cotton and also pretty nicely fitted and not too short.
posted by pinochiette at 8:09 PM on August 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

I want to suggest Banana Republic as it has a variety of shirts of varying softness made from an assortment of fabrics, including cotton and modal. I don't know what the US online site has on clearance (there isn't much on sale at the Canadian site at the moment) but I'm betting if you find yourself in one of the stores you could probably find some deals.
posted by sardonyx at 8:11 PM on August 14, 2018

Long Tall Sally has exactly what you want. Their tanks are longer than their ts by a few inches but both are legit long. Their shirts last me 2-3 years of solid wear before they even start to look grubby, they are not super cheap but are a good value.
posted by fshgrl at 8:28 PM on August 14, 2018 [2 favorites]

Athleta has shirts that come in a "tall" option, they are a couple of inches longer than the regular ones. Most of them are poly blends, unfortunately -- but there are a few that aren't!

Duluth Trading company has the "long tail" t-shirts. They are very soft and versatile. In my experience they tend to run a little large. They come in a wide variety of colors, though, so it would be easy to have an array of shirts to coordinate with various outfits.
posted by Ostara at 8:32 PM on August 14, 2018 [3 favorites]

I’d look at Lands End. Sometimes they have good sales. And thrift stores have a huge selection of course—so easy to go down the row feeling fabrics to weed out only the good quality ones.
posted by AnOrigamiLife at 8:37 PM on August 14, 2018

I guess I would call that either a scoopneck or a low crewneck, if that helps you search.

LL Bean calls their longer t-shirts "tunics" (e.g.) but they're really closer to long t-shirts.
posted by praemunire at 8:53 PM on August 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

Seconding Duluth: 100% soft cotton jersey, Trim Fit, relaxed neckline long-tail T. Also in more colors, with other sleeve lengths including sleeveless tanks, etc. See also the longer "no-yank tank"and camisole variant, both 95%cotton/5%modal blend.
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:57 PM on August 14, 2018 [3 favorites]

Everlane, particularly their Air Dolman Tee?
posted by typify at 10:41 PM on August 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

My current favorite brand for this type of thing is Ninety Percent. Their tops. I'm not 100% sure of the drop length but they seem pretty long to me and I think I have a longer than average torso. I have this particular one that fits your requirements and I really really like it. It's soft, thick, fitted but not too fitted. I've found their chat support pretty quick and helpful if you have questions.

(Plus, they donate 90% of their profits!)
posted by like_neon at 3:07 AM on August 15, 2018

As a short person with an extremely long torso, I'm known to buy petite pants and tall shirts. This makes shopping extra fun. But I made a delightful discovery when I was pregnant... many maternity t-shirts and tanks are simply longer versions of the regular kind with a nice stretchy feel. My kid is now three, but I still have some of my old Target Liz Lange tanks in constant rotation because they are a wonderful long length and form fitting without being clingy.
posted by hessie at 6:52 AM on August 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

I just bought a few of these ana scoop neck tees from JCPenney this weekend. They are a rayon/poly blend but the length is great and they are semi-fitted.
posted by jabes at 8:08 AM on August 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

A side note, on my quest to find "not clingy/not too tight" tees, I found the magic words for me are "jersey knit." Rib knit, even if it doesn't look ribbed, is too clingy and doesn't drape like I want. "Interlock knit" is a type of rib knit.

Jersey knit can be hard to find in women's tees, though (now planning a trip to Duluth Trading Company - thanks, Iris Gambol, I didn't know they had that style!).
posted by adventitious at 11:34 AM on August 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

adventitious, I do not work for Duluth or RetailMeNot, but the latter is currently showing discounts for the former:

Code T18PC3 for 20% Off & Free Shipping with $75 Order

Code GBPPCMN for free shipping on $50+
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:01 PM on August 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

For search purposes, I would call the neckline on the Walmart shirt you linked a "jewel neck." It's a very similar shape to a crewneck, and a lot of tops labeled "crewneck" have a loose enough neckline that they should be referred to as jewel neck, but aren't. It's different from a "scoop neck" which lands far down enough that some cleavage may peek out. Jewel neck lands just below the collarbone, a couple of inches below the throat hollow.

My short stature means I have no direct recs for specific shirt brands to you, though.
posted by Pandora Kouti at 2:18 PM on August 15, 2018

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