Find the right fit
Not all t-shirts are created equal. Sizing, cut, and the density or weave of the cotton used varies by brand. “Just as there are many different body types, there are just as many t-shirt styles, with a range of necklines, hemlines, and sleeve lengths,” says Arlene Matthews, stylist and editor at Kit This. Start by spending some time in a store trying on different cuts until you find what fits your shape comfortably, she suggests.
For petites, avoiding long and baggy styles in favor of a cropped or shorter length is ideal. If you’re taller, go for a relaxed fit and hemline that hits at your natural waistline to balance your height. Or, try knotting a slim-cut shirt for instant definition and shape. If you’re curvier or have more of an apple shape, Frein recommends A-line tees, as they are non-clingy.
Next, consider the neckline. “If you’re busty, you don’t want a crew neck; try a V-neck instead to elongate your lines,” says Frein. If you have a smaller bust and wider shoulders, she suggests staying away from boatnecks, as they will only add the appearance of more width. A scoop neck on the other hand will show off the collarbone and draw the focus in.
Try the menswear department
Now, this may seem a little contradictory, but many editors will also hit up the menswear departments for XXS to medium-sized tees. The reason? Several in fact. Co-opting those boxier cuts means no nipped-in waists and a more neutral shape, plus there is often a bigger selection. Men’s tees tend to also be made from a heavier weave of cotton, which offers both a little more structure and longevity.
“You can always alter tees to fit,” says Frein, who does this often. “Buy them to fit the shoulders and chest, then have them cut if they are too long or tight across the hips.” Men’s shirts, for the most part, are at a lower price point than women’s, so spending a little extra on tailoring isn’t unreasonable, especially considering how often you’ll wear it.