The Perfect T

– By Sarah-Leigh Wade –

What makes the perfect t-shirt? Super-soft cotton? The right fit? A little interest in the form of on-trend details, embellishments and prints? And what are your favourite items to team them with? A basic tee is so versatile, such a staple, that many of us buy by the bucket load and turn to them in any dressing dilemma. Personally, I love a basic fit with a little breathing space and slim sleeves in white or grey marl, teaming them with anything from office-casual jeans and a blazer to prim pencil skirts and cardigans.
Naturally, we all have our favoured brands and retailers we visit time and time again to find that perfect example. Here at we’ve dug through our little black books to give you a rundown of the best international t-shirt brands.
US knitwear label Whetherly has provided the answer to many t-shirt dilemmas. With ex Citizens of Humanity designer Leila Nasseri at the helm, the traditional too clingy, too boxy issues have been solved with a line of simple, supple styles which delicately hang from the body. The collection is released in seasonal colours too, with a fun neon palette dropping for spring.
Similarly Kif-if, created by Scottish designer Jane Munro-Hall, focuses on simplicity, ‘capturing the spirit of the beach with beautiful natural flowing fabrics’. The line specialises in basics with a clean aesthetic, without prints but offering appealing options to effortlessly take the wearer from day to night.
California-based Vince offer more luxurious staples; clean lines remain but rich fabrics and intricate embellishments, such as all over sequins, are applied to boxy or oversized cuts, loose in the body. Dropped shoulders are a signature, as are slash, wide scoop and v-neck styles.
 Hive and Honey, available via Piperlime, pride themselves in supplying fashionable tees, using the latest fabric washes and details. Heathering is a regular technique, resulting in grungy, nineties inspired pieces. For spring/summer 12 too embroidered or laser cut bib collars are seen as well as comfy and cool wide hems.
Specialising in quality textiles and kitsch motifs, British fashion house Mulberry are the brand to turn to for long-lasting basics. This season their linen baseball tops and slouchy modal tanks with cute graphics represent their part-Americana, part-British seaside inspiration for s/s 12.
Last but by no means least; global chain Topshop is perfect if you want variety, stocking tanks, tees and long-sleeved variations in a myriad of trend-led hues. Plus, every season Toppers update their basic range with the hottest details. Scalloped necklines on tank tops, waterfall hems on cap sleeve tees and super-wide crew necks are just a few examples, ensuring even the simplest of purchases keep you on tack and style savvy.
Photograph of Olivia Palermo courtesy of Stefani Pappas
Based just outside London, Sarah Wade is the editor of international trend service and the eponymous blog Sarah is an advocate of emerging talent, vintage fashion and the arts, while is also a published photographer. You can follow her on Twitter @SarahLeighW
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About the Author

Based just outside London, Sarah-Leigh Bunting is a seasoned editor and marketer, having worked with some of the world's biggest fashion and interior brands and retailers. In 2012 Sarah-Leigh co-founded What Peggy Did Next (, an event and communications agency based in the UK. You can follow Sarah on... Instagram - @sarah_leigh_b Twitter - sarah_leigh_b Facebook -