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Fall classics: the long-sleeved tee

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I can not lie: I will spend what others may consider an ungodly amount on T-shirts. But to me, a really good tee is an investment purchase—I wear them endlessly (and they will last forever if you hand-wash and dry them)—and I’d rather have fewer and better. I’ve got a couple of Alexander Wang Classic Jersey  tees that have worn amazingly well. And they are a perfect object lesson in why I tell you guys not to fear synthetics: they’re 100% rayon and as soft as a beloved cotton tee you’ve put through the wash 100 times. Here’s the variation I’m thinking of going for this year, because a scoop-neck is so pretty and feminine on, and the relaxed, swingy hem will deftly camouflage my stomach junk.

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Wilt tees are all cotton and definitely heavier if that’s what you’re looking for, and they have completely mastered the high-low hem thing.


A classic stripe, but in black and white for a little edge.

madewell v neck

Nothing wrong with a nice, slouchy v-neck, and this is such a good blue (it does come in other colors, FYI).


And finally: this one is dizzyingly pricey even by my warped standards (it’s Proenza Schouler) but is also just so good.

Posted on September 23rd, 2015 20 Comments

20 Responses

  1. Cara says:

    Rick Owens makes the best T’s, methinks. Buy them on ebay.

    • StillWannaBeWinona says:

      Oh god, yes. I tried on what I think was a t-shirt (maybe it was supposed to be a really short dress?), which was BEAUTIFUL. The most perfect drape. His stuff is so, so flattering and wears like a dream. But $320. I couldn’t do it, even though I was thinking it would be something I wear constantly. I can’t even bring myself to buy James Perse shirts unless at a sample sale. But, if money were no object, Rick Owens all the way.

  2. kates says:

    I’m tired of spending big money on t-shirts that develop little holes. I’ve take to buying them at Target, and they actually wear better.

  3. Eloise says:

    I love, love, love Wilt!!!! I was so very sad when Roxanne Heptner stoped producing her line until I discovered Wilt on Anthropologie and realized that she was behind it! I’m also a fan of Spendid t-shirts, which are super soft.

  4. Ellen says:

    I totally agree with you Kim. I love tee shirts and consider them an investment, because I wear them so much. Great ones can be found at all price points, but I do find that often the pricier ones have more style oompf and polish. I used to save my Alexander Wang and Acne tees to wear to work, since my office is business casual and these tees look great under a blazer. But, now I’m spoiled and like to wear my good ones on the weekend too.

  5. kristie says:

    My work as a yoga and massage therapist is tricky to dress for; I need to be functional for movement but like to look put-together. Wilt looks absolutely perfect for me, and I’ve got a big box of it on the way to try on (found that gives 10% off on a first order). Thanks so much! Can’t wait!

  6. MJ says:

    hand wash tees? ugg!

    • ecc09 says:

      My sentiments exactly! I already have too many things that need special care, I am so not adding T shirts to that pile!

  7. Mamavalveeta03 says:

    I’ve loved Wilt t’s for years and never felt they were given their due. Thx, Kim, for sharing my secret source! 😉

  8. Nina Forrest says:

    I adore tees, but the little holes that appear drive me crazy. Is there a tee shirt hole gremlin somewhere out there.

    Saw one in Urban Outfitters that had cut holes already in it. Looks like I might have enough hole-y tees to do that and follow the trend 🙂

    • Violet says:

      The tiny tee holes are completely maddening! (“A hole between my shoulder blades? How did that happen??”) A couple years ago, a friend told me that it happens in the wash when zippers from other garments snag against the tee. I stopped washing knits together with zippered things and it seems to have solved the problem.

  9. mieke says:

    I don’t really consider rayon or viscose synthetics; yes, they are man made, but from cellulose (plant based) fibers. You really do need to wash it by hand as the fibers are very delicate when wet & machine agitation is too much (see? there is a justification for your hand washing).
    Beware the Madewell viscose tshirts; I bought one in the spring & it shrunk a lot, but even more annoying, it twisted at the seams-a sign of terrible pattern lay-out & cutting.

  10. Kate says:

    You hand-wash your tees? Can we talk more about this?

  11. Tracy says:

    I use the “hand wash/wool” setting on my washer. That works pretty well…

  12. kristie says:

    My husband fell in love with a 3/4 sleeve T for work; more expensive than his previous t-shirts, so I cooked up a more careful way to launder them that made them last sooooo much longer than usual but with less work for me than a full hand wash or full air dry which then needs to be ironed or steamed. My method: quick wash in cold water (on my washer that’s a 30ish minute cycle), followed by a 15 minute tumble on low, then hang dry.. The brief, low tumble softens and takes the wrinkles out, but since they mostly hang dry, they’ve lasted forever. So effective I do most of our clothes this way now!

  13. Boden makes great Breton striped long sleeve and 3/4 sleeve tees. Substantial in weight and construction. Armor-Lux too. Madewell makes a great tee too (especially their linen blend tees). I wash them all in the delicate cycle, on cold, and hang dry. I also avoid washing delicates with zippered items. If it’s super delicate, I place it in a big lingerie mesh bag.

  14. Viajera says:

    Love the hot laundry tips!

    Also the stripey one is fun.

    Is rayon warm though?

  15. Meg says:

    T-shirts!!! thank you.