What I Love This Week: The Refined Layering Tee & More

When scrolling through style articles and columns, one of those phrases I’ve learned to ignore is “every women must have a _______ in their wardrobe.” (So much money I wasted trying to make Crisp White Shirts, or classic trench coats work for me!) The bottom line is that wardrobe “must haves” will be different for every woman, depending on your coloring, Style Personality Profile(s) and lifestyle.

This time of year, the style publications and columns are full of advice on “the perfect white tee.” While tees ARE a staple item in my wardrobe, it was only after I had my color analysis that I realized why I had such a hard with WHITE tees: they were too harsh with my coloring. But finding tees in a warmer cream or other light neutral color can be like looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack. Especially one with the right cut and in a nice fabric.

Enter stage left: the refined tee

COS clean cut t-shirt in white and light beige.

COS Clean Cut T-Shirt

I stumbled across this one recently and immediately bought 2. It has a substantial-but-soft 100% cotton fabric, set-in sleeves, and is a nice medium length, not too long or cropped. (Lots of colors available.)

(Oops, the light beige seems to have sold out in the last 24 hours. Lots of other great colors on this one, though…)

Runs true-to-size, size up for a more relaxed fit. (Here’s a v-neck, though not available in Light Beige.)

Help for fine hair

PHYTO PARIS Phytovolume Volumizing Blow Dry Spray

For those of us with fine or thinning hair, styling products can be tricky. I find that many mousses or gels that promise to add volume ultimately weigh my hair down. This one doesn’t! It gives my hair a bit more body and volume with no weight or stickiness.

A few spritzes at the roots, then combed through before drying does the trick!

Phyto Paris volumizing spray for fine hair

Now reading…

What are you reading that you’d recommend? Bon weekend!

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  1. Thank you for the book recommendation. John Snow was discussed in our kids class this year so it will be an interesting read for me.

  2. I’m with you on the crisp white shirts and just this week I fell for the crisp blue and white stripe shirt. It’s had one outing and I won’t be wearing it again, in fact I’ve learned this week that I am uncomfortable in shirts full stop.

    It’s the neckline and collar, I’m far more comfortable with a v-neck, scoop neck or notch neck.

  3. I’m reading The Women by Kristin Hannah. I’m going to order that Phyto Paris volumizing spray as my hair is fine to begin with, and also thinning.

  4. I could only find light beige in a Cos women’s linen t shirt,
    is that the same shirt you posted?

  5. Yes, I have spent sooooo much of my clothing budget on white shirts!! Yes, I wore them under suits for two decades of my working career but even then they were never a good look on me! I’m busty and they would gap by the buttons and white washed me out. Thanks to fashion blogs like yours, I think I look better, am more comfortable and save money. I shop my closet first, then resale shops and then purchase from my list.

  6. It’s all in one’s personal perspective, but I feel your comment about searching for the holy grail. I need true, bright white, and I am so tired of returning tops and jackets sold as white that are cream, ecru, light beige, so many variations on “not white.” I wish retailers would be more specific. Another holy grail item for me is v-neck tops (for the vertical) with elbow sleeves that are not tunic length. If anyone knows of any, please share.

  7. So true about the white tees for us Springs. I have given up on tees that are not 100% cotton. They’re not worth the bother. The viscose blends go limp and stretch out of shape. Poly-cotton is too hot. Linen jersey is too scratchy. (Woven linen shirts are fine, though.)

  8. I try to stay away from products that list parfum (fragrance) in the list of ingredients. It often hides a trove of chemicals that are harmful. The Phyto Volume has parfum on the list. FYI

    1. Masking agents are used at around 1%. They are not used to hide harmful chemicals but rather to neutralize an unpleasant odor from a particular ingredient. Even fragrance free cosmetics have masking agents in them.

  9. Hey Susan, Uniqlo is another brand with nice quality T-shirts in many colors. I would have never thought of them, but a friend of mine shops the store regularly and swears by it, so I ordered two. They’re only $19 each! They’re thick, and they hold their shape really well. Cheers – Katie

  10. I too fell prey to the white shirt must have. I shudder to think of the monies wasted☹️
    As I’ve gotten older, I find less is more. I sometimes wonder if Steve Jobs is on the right track with his jeans and black turtleneck. Find a few items you love and wear them on repeat. Sounds kinda boring but definitely easier, less anxiety producing and a not an overstuffed closet look

  11. p.s… reading suggestions
    Becoming Madame Secretary by Stephanie Dray and

    A Great Country by Shilpi Somaya Gowda

  12. I’m one of the commenters who recommended The Ghost Map. Delighted that you enjoyed it! I really thought it was a fascinating book

  13. So true that everyone’s “must haves” are different! I kept buying crew neck t-shirts and hating the look … until I realized that a soft V-neck looks so much better for me. Live and learn, and don’t take anyone’s word as the gospel truth unless you “feel it!” (The book is in my vacation reading pile; I only hope I can wait until vacation to read it!)

  14. Lands End carries a supima cotton tee in Fresh Ivory that’s perfect for Springs and, I would think, Autumns. They have crew neck and v-neck in short and long sleeve styles. I scooped up 3 immediately.

  15. Hi Susan! Boy I agree that finding the ‘ivory’ (or equivalent) tee and/or shirt is daunting. Just for future reference–did you take a size small? Many tees are too long for me–I like the Madewell tee but it’s a little too short to tuck in (only a minor issue). Anyway: COS still had khaki in small so I ordered one 😉
    Thanks for hunting these down!

  16. I have enjoyed LLBean pima cotton T-shirts for years. I like the tighter crewneck collar, both long and short sleeve. They have other neck and sleeve styles. Unfortunately they seem stuck on colors, even thought there are many and do not have an off-white or cream.

  17. Lara Maiklem‘s book “Mudlark” makes the perfect companion read to The Ghost Map. She’s writes about her experiences and the artifacts she finds as she hunts the Thames shoreline looking for treasures. There’s a lot of history buried in that mud!

  18. This is a nice off white/light beige v neck tee. I wish the sleeves were a touch longer, but it is perfect for a shorter waisted woman.

    1. The cut of that Pendleton tee looks great, but 6 colors and I would look horrible in 6 out of 6. It confuses me when a merchant sells zero colors flattering to a big segment of the population, while offering multiples that are similar.