One of those items that makes almost every Style Maven’s “Must-Have List” for women is a “crisp white button-down shirt.” Une femme says, “Must-have? Not necessarily.” Bien sur, the white shirt is timeless and chic, but for many of us the button-down shirt gapes at the bust, develops wrinkles around the waist when we sit, and can look anything but crisp and soignée.
Une femme’s answer to the classic white shirt during warmer months is a simple, well-fitting white tee. A few seasons ago, I discovered the Banana Republic Timeless Tee, a crewneck cotton tee that looks equally chic under a suit jacket adorned with layered necklaces or with jeans and a scarf. I’ve picked up one or two of these each year (which is about as long as I can keep them looking good).
While this is a perfect classic tee, there are times and ensembles that call for a v-neck, which is also for many of us a more flattering choice. But true v-necks seem to have been more elusive than Bigfoot these last few seasons, so I was thrilled to see one show up on the Banana Republic website recently. But unfortunately this tee is cut very differently than the crewneck: much longer, more fitted (read: very snug in all the wrong places, even after going up a size). In short, pas bon for short-waisted, curvy me. The Gap version was cut much the same, and the fabric flimsier.
Yesterday, on a whim I decided to stop by Talbot’s to see what they might have to offer. Other than their fabulous bateau neck tee, I haven’t really been impressed with their iterations of cotton tees. They tend to be cut on the shapeless side, and stretch out even more with repeated wearing and washing. However one of the two v-neck cotton tees they’re currently offering has a whopping 11% lycra content, enough to keep the shape and fabric looking fresh. The fabric is light but has a substantial feel (critical for a white tee), and the fit, while not perfect, is much better than anything else I’ve found so far this year.
The vee is nice and deep, but still lands right above the top of the bra, and the curve adds a feminine touch. (They didn’t have the 100% pima cotton version in the store, but I may order one just to compare the cut and fabric.) The sizing runs toward small (if you’re unsure, go with the larger size, especially if you’re full in the bust). And right now Talbot’s is offering a special on all tops: buy one, get the 2nd at 50% off (through Sunday, 5/10)! Free shipping too.
Top photo from here.
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