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Whether you wear it on its own with your favorite pair of jeans or layered under a cardigan, we all know that a classic white t-shirt is a wardrobe staple that deserves a spot in every woman’s wardrobe. Yet, why does it have to be so hard to find a good one? Too long. Too short. Too sheer. Too fancy. If you feel like Goldilocks lately trying to find one that’s justttt right, let me save you some time. I tested 7+ women’s white t-shirts that aren’t see-through (supposedly) and I’m sharing my findings with you so we can all have the perfect wardrobe staple. Spoiler alert: there are some good ones here!
What makes a classic tee?
The right classic white t-shirt is a wardrobe staple. It can be dressed up or down, whether you’re wearing it out to dinner with friends or for running errands on the weekends.
A classic tee can look good on its own but can also be a great layering piece too. A classic t-shirt or tee is generally fitted. This means it’s generally not oversized, boxy, super long (like a tunic), or cropped.
Basic cotton is the best for the most versatility. This means no waffle or rib knit, as it can look too wintery. Not to say those are wrong, of course, but they shouldn’t replace your basic cotton tee staple.
In this post, I’m testing out crewneck minimal white t-shirts without pockets, raw hems, holes, contrast stitching, or other embellishments. Why crewneck? Simply put, a crewneck is the most classic t-shirt style!
Personally, I feel the most comfortable in them (don’t have to worry about exposing anything) and I find them to be the most versatile. You can wear them in summer as well as winter, whereas a v-neck might be a little bare for winter.
However, for those that like to dress specifically for their body type, keep in mind that if you are an inverted triangle, hourglass, rectangle, or oval, you may find a v-neck to be slightly more flattering as it opens your neck, draws attention to your waist, highlights your collar bone, and breaks up your upper half.
Helpful tips when shopping:
Just in case you don’t purchase one on this list, I still want to give you some helpful tips when shopping for your own white t-shirts that aren’t see-through!
- Read between the lines
Some clothing retailers give you a clue as to how light or see-through their clothes might be, just in the product name. For example, Madewell’s “whisper” tees are very light. J.Crew’s “tissue” tops are very thin. These keywords are a good indicator that an item’s material may be light, thin, and see-through.
- Know your materials
Slub is a popular, more current t-shirt style that you’ve probably seen. It has an irregular “lumpy” look to it that gives it a casual and trendy look. However, slub fabric is very light and airy. So if you are looking for a non-see-through white t-shirt, then it’s best to avoid materials such as slub.
- Read the clothing description
Many retailers will note how sheer something is on their website. If you’re not looking for something sheer, then reading this first can save you a return trip!
- Shop at places with a return policy
You can’t really trust the sheerness (or lack thereof) of how a t-shirt looks online. Though I don’t think clothing retailers are out to deceive, the way something looks with fancy studio lights is probably going to look a lot different when you’re trying something on in your own home. Unless you plan on having around 10 white t-shirts (which I now do after this post haha), then make sure the place has a return policy and avoid shopping final sale.
A few more things:
- You may notice that in most of these photos, you can see the top of the jeans when the shirt is hanging over it. I took that photo on purpose so you can see it, but to me, that doesn’t make something non-see through. I am classifying a white t-shirt that isn’t see-through by wearing a nude/neutral/skin-colored bra underneath and not being able to see the color or your flesh.
- These photos have not been edited and were taken in natural light.
- I’m not reviewing places like H&M because I’ve tried their basic line and already know that their shirts are see-through. For this post, I’m picking from higher-quality places that have a good shot at being non-see-through.
Okay, let’s go!
Testing Out T-Shirts to Find the Best Women’s Classic White T-shirts That Aren’t See-Through
- Sheerness: This one is see-through, though I shouldn’t be surprised. It says it’s “slightly sheer” right on the website. Whoops, missed that one.
- Comfort: It’s soft and lightweight. Not great for non-see-through t-shirts, but it’d be a great warm weather pick.
- Fit/Style: I love the fit of this particular tee. It’s boyish yet not too boyish. A real classic fit in my opinion.
- Verdict: It’s the sheerest one on this list so I can’t say it wins the award, but if you were to tuck in your tee and wear a nude bra, it almost wouldn’t matter. Sheerness aside, this t-shirt has one of my favorite feminine yet not too fitted styles.
- Sheerness: Though not as sheer as the one above it (you can’t see my flesh here), it feels sheer because you can see my bra outline.
- Comfort: It is only 58% cotton and I don’t know what the rest of the blend is (jersey? spandex?), but it is SO comfy.
- Fit/Style: Oofta! Can you feel my skin struggling to breathe for air? I got my normal small, but it is very, very tight.
- Verdict: Sizing up could help, but it is the tightest one on this list and tight/thin enough to see bra lines. That being said, it is the stretchiest one on this list and super comfortable! Though I wouldn’t choose to wear this one on its own, I would wear layer it under something else. It’d be cute under dresses, jumpsuits, and cardigans.
- Sheerness: Besides the blue jeans peeking through, you can’t see my bra or my flesh. And if you tuck in the tee or bunch it up a bit, you can’t even see the jeans!
- Comfort: It is soft, breathable, and comfortable to wear.
- Fit/Style: This one has a nice fit. It reminds me of the Everlane tee and it’s feminine but not super fitted.
- Verdict: This one is a solid option! You can’t see flesh or bra and when half-tucked, you can’t see any blue jeans either.
- Sheerness: This t-shirt is the thickest one on the list. You can barely even see the jeans too, making this the best non-see through t-shirt!
- Comfort: The comfort is good, yet the sleeves are just slightlyyy too tight. It’s not unbearable and doesn’t cut off ciruclation or anything, but they are not as boxy as the other sleeves.
- Fit/Style: It fits well, but since the sleeves are slightly longer and more fitted, it looks less boxy and boyish than the others. But that’s not a bad thing per se, it all comes down to personal preference.
- Verdict: This top is the thickest (and most expensive) t-shirt on this list. If you want something that isn’t see through, this would be the best option.
- Sheerness: The sheerness is similar to the t-shirt above, but maybe slightly more sheer.
- Comfort: It isn’t as soft as the others, but it isn’t bad either.
- Fit/Style: I had to size up because my size was unavaiblae, but I’m not the biggest fan of the fit. It seems too boxy and unflattering, but that could also be because it’s a size too big for me.
- Verdict: Not my favorite as far as fit and comfort, but the material is thick and barely see-through, even with jeans.
- Sheerness: Definitely thicker than the first Everlane tee I tried, this one doesn’t seem see-through. Plus, because it’s boxier, it doesn’t hug your chest or show any bra outlines either.
- Comfort: Not the softest on the list-but that generally goes hand and hand with being a thicker material.
- Fit/Style: The sleeves are a little longer and less fitted, but it’s great if you like the boxy fit.
- Verdict: Okay, this is cheating a little because it’s not a standard fit. It’s more of a relaxed, boxy fit, but the reviews said it wasn’t see-through. After trying it myself, I’d say it’s accurate. This is one of Everlane’s thicker tees and it’s a good one.
- Sheerness: Though the sheerness isn’t all that bad, it does remind me of a slub tee slightly.
- Comfort: Comfy and easy to wear.
- Fit/Style: Slightly off white and relaxed, this does seem like a vintage tee to me and is a good option if that’s what you’re going for.
- Verdict: Naturally a shruken fit, it’s best to size up if you want something slightly bigger. Perhaps not as classic as the others, but a good option if you have a vintage aesethtic.
If you were to wear a nude bra and tuck in your shirt, then technically, these would all classify as the best women’s white t-shirts that aren’t see-through! Tried on in natural light (with a few other eyewitnesses), the see-throughness of these tees was little to nonexistent.
So if that’s how you normally wear your t-shirts (half-tucked or tucked in), then you couldn’t go wrong with any on this list. Though there are some that are thicker than others with a slightly different style. I’ll break it down for you even more.
Thickest materials and most non-see-through: Banana Republic or Uniqlo
The stretchiest: Gap Tee
The thinnest: Everlane Organic Tee
Most feminine fit: Banana Republic Tee, Gap Tee
Boxiest fit: Everlane Tee
Most classic: Banana Republic Supima Tee, Banana Republic Luxe Touch Tee
Most vintage: Madewell Tee
Most expensive: Banana Republic Luxe Touch Tee ($39.50)
Most inexpensive: Uniqlo ($14.90)
A few extra fashion tips:
- You may think that wearing a white bra or tank underneath is what you should do if you don’t want it to be sheer. That’s actually false! White highlights, reflects, and attracts. You are better off wearing a bra that is as close to your skin tone as possible.
- You may be wondering, “What is a t-shirt bra, and do I need one?” It’s not just fancy marketing from a company pushing something on you that you may not need. It can actually be very helpful. A t-shirt bra has smooth and seamless cups so you don’t see lines under a tight t-shirt. These bras are typically plain, solid-colored, smooth, have no detailing, and sometimes underwire-free.
According to Amazon reviewers, this is one of the best affordable t-shirt bras with over 18k 5 star reviews!
Now that you’ve found the best women’s white t-shirts that aren’t see-through, it’s time to keep building your wardrobe with other staples! One great way to do that is through a capsule wardrobe. Keep reading to find out more!