Wardrobe 101

Finding Your Perfect Tee

Questions to ask…

Happy day, dear reader!

In spite of all the chaos surrounding us, we are having the nicest spring in 13 years in Augusta, Georgia. We settled here in March, 2007 and I’ve grown accustomed to spring in the Golf Capital of the World. I think 2020 is the most temperate spring I’ve seen in 16 years of Augusta living. How do we have 16 years in 2020 if we settled in 2007? Well, we were posted here once before for a three year tour, so we have a few extra years of Augusta experience!

Normally, our seasons look a little like this: Winter: Cool–December through mid-February; Spring: Warm Days and Cool Nights–three days (max) in February or March; Summer: Hot Humid Days and Mosquito Laden Hot Humid Nights–March or April through October; Fall: Warm Days and Cooler Still Mosquito-y Nights–November. But this year? We’ve had cool nights and daytime temps in the 70’s and 80’s for more than a month now. It’s been absolutely lovely. I’ve been spoiled. Except for the mosquitos…

A rambling start (Again.) to segue into today’s topic: Picking a great tee shirt. Why? Well, the humble tee is ubiquitous! Particularly in the warmer seasons. Almost everyone wears them; some wear them exclusively. You see (literally) tons of tee shirts any time you visit a thrift store, and I cannot begin to imagine how many more tons end up in landfills each year in this country alone. The humble tee deserves respect. And consideration.

Why makes the tee the Rodney Dangerfield of clothing? People think “It’s just a tee.” Maybe it’s the price point, or the fact that it doesn’t have a collar, that allows people to buy and discard tees willy-nilly. Your tee shirt (and the planet) deserves the same mindful treatment you give other purchases. If shopping mindfully is a challenge, call me. Let’s talk…

When you buy a tee, it should (like all your clothes) reflect your personality. That doesn’t mean it has to have a logo or saying on the front! There are lots of other ways for a tee to get your personality across. (More about personality and dressing here!) I’m sure you think about the color and the pattern when you choose. What about the design structure? Straight? Curved? Swing? I’m convinced many tees make it into the donate pile after one wear and wash because the buyer didn’t take shape (or shrinkage) into account. Many a client wardrobe audit bears this out!

Sorry. I can’t resist a bad pun!

Best Strategy!

Try on any tee before buying. PLEASE! (When fitting rooms open again, of course!) Grabbing the size you always wear is an exercise in frustration. Cuts change; different lines and designs will fit differently. The same blue tee produced by different manufacturers (Even for the same brand!) will fit differently. A neckline that works on the mannequin may be scandalously low on you. Or not low enough. If trying it on is too much of a bother, opening your wallet should be, too.

Yes, try on your tees. Even at Kohl’s. And Target.

The two biggest stumbling blocks are neckline and fabric. There’s no right or wrong here. Just wrong or right for YOU! In general, look for a neckline that mimics the shape of your chin. Rounded chin? Look for a scooped neckline. (Crew necks look great on almost no one.) Pointy chin? A vee neck will look best. Start by trying a V-neck first! Vee’s are the best bet for many women. (Hint: When searching on line, use vee and v!)

As for fabric, finding one you like is like finding the Holy Grail. I want mine to be soft but not thin. Substantial but not heavy. Drape-y but not clingy. A little stretch, but not so much that it droops. Some rayon or modal for softness and smoothness, but not so much that it pills on the first wash. Mostly cotton for breathability and wear. But that’s me. You may prefer another fabric blend and weight. It’s about knowing what you like, and finding that. Wait for what you want.

Please. Make sure you like the tee and it washes well before buying it in every color. Again, it’s worth waiting. Let go of the FOMO. Believe you me. I’ve seen 5 colors of the same unloved tee in more than one wardrobe!

Once you find that tee, if you need a few ways to style it, read this! Do you consider these things before buying (or decluttering) a tee? Do you wear tees? Weekends? Or anytime? What quality is most important to you when buying a tee? Do you have tees that your closet (or dresser) wears, but you never do? Does anything you read here give you a clue why? Do tell! I love to hear from you…

Stay safe and sound, sane and stylish!

It might be fun to have this print of Liz on a tee… Liz Squared!


    • closetplayadmin

      Thanks for visiting, Darlene! Tees are such a cornerstone; it’s a pity they don’t get the attention they deserve!

  • Lise

    Hi Liz, From your four examples a scoop neck is better for me, but I do love a boat neck. Any idea what characteristics will be most flattering with a boat neck?

    • closetplayadmin

      Thank you for the question, Lise! It’s a bit of a challenge since I don’t know what you look like! I love a boatneck, too. In general, wider boatnecks are more flattering than narrower ones. Also, wearing a necklace past the neckline that mimics the chin shape will act like the neckline that works best. For example, a pendant on a chain would look more like a V-Neck, a chain or strand of beads looks more like a scoop. Hope this helps!

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