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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. So why does it have to be so hard to find the perfect white tee? 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 10+ women’s white t-shirts from all different brands that aren’t see-through (allegedly) and I’m sharing my findings with you so we can all have the perfect wardrobe staple together. Spoiler alert: I think your favorite white t-shirt is in this post!
What Makes Up 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 while you’re running errands on the weekends.
The beauty of a classic tee is that it can look good on its own but can also be a great layering piece. Generally, the perfect white t-shirt is semi-fitted with short sleeves. This means it’s not too oversized, boxy, super long (like a tunic), or cropped. The shorter sleeve length allows for more styling opportunities too – you can wear it with denim shorts in the summer or layered under a cardigan in the fall.
Fabric-wise, when it comes to selecting the best white t-shirts, a high quality cotton or a cotton blend is the best material to choose in a simple finish. This means avoiding waffle or rib knit, as these choices can read more “cold weather” than year-round. Those aren’t bad materials, of course, but they shouldn’t replace your basic cotton tee staple.
Also, when it comes to building your wardrobe with staples, you want to avoid a slub material or vintage look. This can be a great addition later on, but it can give too much of a casual look and if you just have the budget for one shirt, make it a crisp white tee!
In this post, I’m testing out minimal crewneck white t-shirts without pockets, raw hems, holes, contrast stitching, or other embellishments. A plain white tee is going to be the unsung hero of your wardrobe.
Why crewneck? Thanks to its chest and neck coverage, a classic crewneck is the most timeless and versatile option. You can wear them in summer as well as the winter, whereas a v-neck might be a little too bare for winter.
However, for those who 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, highlights your collar bone, and breaks up your upper half.
Need help understanding the different body shapes and how to dress in the best way for yours? I have a resource I created for you here!
Okay, let’s get into it!
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 doesn’t hide your figure – 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, the sheerness would be nearly undetectable. Sheerness aside, this t-shirt has a flattering fit of feminine yet not too fitted.
- 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, due to the slim fit.
- Comfort: Though it’s only 58% cotton with a remaining blend that feels like jersey and spandex, the comfort is unmatched.
- Fit/Style: Oofta! I am wearing my normal size (small), but it is very tight. Another thing to note is the longer sleeves – this sleeve length may potentially be slightly less flattering than a standard length.
- Verdict: Sizing up could help, but this option 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 very comfortable! Though I wouldn’t choose to wear this one on its own, I would layer it under something else, such as cardigans, sleeveless jumpsuits, and even dresses.
2024 Update – Gap Modern Crewneck T-Shirt (fresh white)
Because the previous t-shirt from Gap is out of stock, I am now comparing the new version of their best seller!
- Sheerness: Though the shirt looks almost identical, this fabric seems slightly thicker, making it even less sheer than their previous option.
- Comfort: Thanks to cotton, modal, and spandex, this cult-favorite Gap shirt is still as comfortable as ever! The nice fabric weight makes it feel durable too.
- Fit/Style: This newer version has big improvements made in the sizing and general fit. Though I’m wearing my same size (small), it feels looser and not as skin-tight. A larger chest may need to size up as you can still see undergarment lines. The longer length of the sleeves hasn’t changed and may be odd to some, though it’s all a matter of personal preference.
- Verdict: The price point (under $25 and often on sale) makes this a top contender for a durable non-see-through shirt. However, next, you’ll have to focus on the right seamless undergarments to avoid seeing bra lines.
- 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.
2024 Update – Banana Republic Supima® Crew-Neck T-Shirt
Because Banana Republic updated their best seller shirt, I’m updating my review too!
- Sheerness: Unfortunately, it seems like their newer version got slightly thinner, making it look a little bit more sheer.
- Comfort: This 100% Supima cotton shirt still feels very soft and breathable.
- Fit/Style: With a nice sleeve length and relaxed fit, this still has the perfect cut!
- Verdict: The cut makes this one of my favorite t-shirts, though the price is high for something slightly sheer. However, I have several Banana Republic pieces and they are of higher quality than other retailers, so I know that this would still be a durable t-shirt.
- Sheerness: This t-shirt is the thickest one on the list. You can barely see the jeans too, making this the best non-see-through t-shirt!
- Comfort: The comfort is good, yet the sleeves are just slightly too tight. It’s not unbearable and doesn’t cut off circulation, 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, boyish, and relaxed than the others. 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.
2024 Update – Banana Republic Refined Shrunken T-Shirt
Though that shirt is now out of stock, I found the next best thing to compare!
- Sheerness: Just like its predecessor, this shirt is thick enough to feel like it covers almost everything. You’ll want to wear a seamless bra, however!
- Comfort: With a cotton and spandex mix, this shirt feels equal amounts soft yet stretchy.
- Fit/Style: Though I prefer slightly shorter sleeves, it has a nice fit and is true to size.
- Verdict: With the right bra, this shirt is a top contender and a great wardrobe essential. As a bonus, this one comes in different colors too.
- Sheerness: Comparable to the BR best-seller, it has a nice fabric weight, but is borderline slightly sheer.
- Comfort: It isn’t as soft as the other options, but it’s not uncomfortable either.
- Fit/Style: I had to size up (M) because my size was unavailable, 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 t-shirt as far as fit and comfort, but the material is thick and barely see-through, even overlapped over jeans.
2024 Update – Uniqlo Supima® Cotton Crew Neck Short-Sleeve T-Shirt
Because the previous t-shirt’s link has been removed, I’m reviewing the brand’s current version of the Supima cotton t-shirt.
- Sheerness: If you are wearing any type of white or colored bra, you’ll definitely be able to see right through it. If I had to give it a rating, with 1 being see-through and 10 being non-see-through, I’d give it a 5.7.
- Comfort: You can tell that it’s a higher grade of cotton as it’s very comfortable!
- Fit/Style: I was able to get my normal size this time (S) and it has a much more flattering fit. It strikes the right balance between form-fitted and “drowning in it”.
- Verdict: Though it won’t be completely non-see-through, for the price, it’s a good value pick.
- Sheerness: This one is definitely thicker than the first Everlane tee I tried and doesn’t seem see-through. Plus, because it’s boxier, it doesn’t hug your chest or show any bra outlines either!
- Comfort: It’s not the softest on the list, but that is to be expected with it 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: Though this option is more of a relaxed, boxy fit instead of a classic fit, the reviews said it wasn’t see-through and I wanted to see for myself. After trying it out 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, though present, isn’t that bad, it does remind me of a slub tee slightly.
- Comfort: All in all – 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 shrunken 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 aesthetic.
New year, so why not add a new one to the mix?
- Sheerness: This ranks high and is one of the best (if not the best) options for a non-see-through shirt!
- Comfort: Because it’s not as sheer, it is thick. I’m wearing a small and it’s a little stiff, but could perhaps soften up with regular wear. It would be even better if it were more comfortable, but it may be worth it for the quality and thickness.
- Fit/Style: The thickness is comparable to the Banana Republic tees which is a good thing if you like sturdy, durable feeling tops. It’s worth noting that this top has a more exaggerated crewneck collar, which makes it look slightly less timeless.
- Verdict: All in all, wow! This is very similar to the best-selling Banana Republic top at less than half of the price.
What’s the Best White T-Shirt That’s Not See-Through?
If you were to wear a nude bra and tuck in your shirt, then these may 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. The biggest issue in these tops was visible bra lines – not so much seeing the color of the bra.
However, 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: Uniqlo, Banana Republic
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®, Banana Republic Refined, Uniqlo Supima®
Most vintage: Madewell Tee
Most expensive: Banana Republic ($50.00)
Most inexpensive: Uniqlo ($14.90)
How to Wear Your Shirt in the Best Way:
- You may think that wearing a white bra or tank underneath your shirt is what you should do if you don’t want it to be sheer. That’s actually false! The color white highlights, reflects, and attracts. You are better off wearing a nude bra or one 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 are sometimes underwire-free.
According to Amazon reviewers, this is one of the best affordable t-shirt bras with over 18k 5-star reviews!
Helpful Tips to Follow When Shopping for Your Best White Tee:
Just in case you don’t end up purchasing a classic white tee 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, current t-shirt style that offers a casual and trendy look thanks to its irregular “lumpy” material. However, slub fabric is also very light and airy. So if you are looking for a non-see-through white t-shirt, then it’s usually 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 Good 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!), then make sure the place has a reasonable 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 (besides cropping and sharpening) and were taken in natural light.
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 and focusing on the minimalist basics. Up Next: Minimalist Wardrobe Checklist: The Essentials for a Functional, Timeless Wardrobe