As much as I love to shop, there is one item that you will never see me shop at the thrift store. It’s a staple that’s landed on pretty much every must-have fashion list out there and you probably have three already hanging in your closet — the plain white tee. The clothing item is my all-time favorite thing to wear. No matter how much I am in need of a new one, I always buy this item new though.
About 90% of the items that I own are from the thrift store. I truly believe that there is nothing that you can’t find at the thrift store, but that doesn’t mean that you should get it from there. I know, I know. It’s crazy to even think that I wrote that sentence, but it’s true. There are just some things that you should splurge on, and I believe that the plain white tee is one of them.
First off, anyone can rock a white t-shirt. It doesn’t matter what your personal style is or how old you are. A classic white tee is a must have. You can dress it up, dress it down, or wear it on it’s own. Honestly, I could talk forever about the clothing staple, but you get the idea.
That’s exactly the reason why you shouldn’t buy it from a thrift store. You will likely buy a white tee and wear it until there’s a hole in it. Then you’ll try to patch it, realize that you can’t, and decide it’s time for a new one. Or is that just me? Either way, this is an item that you will buy, wear a lot, and get good use out of. That’s why you should buy it new.
Buying for use is never something that you should be afraid of. I learned this the hard way during my first year of purposeful living. I searched through the thrift store for a white tee that wasn’t stained, ripped, or already shrunken. When I couldn’t find on, I thought that I’d never wear my favorite clothing item ever again.
Then I realized that purposeful shopping didn’t mean that it had to be from a thrift store. There are plenty of other options when it comes to buying ethical, purposeful clothing. It might have taken me a year to learn it, but I’m making sure it doesn’t take you that long too.
Before I jump into where I shop for my white tees, I want to get a few things straight. If you truly cannot afford one of these white shirts, just know that the thrift store is an option. It just takes a whole lot of digging and you’ll want to check the pits to make sure they’re not stained. You’ll also want to go by the look of the shirt and not just the size. Because people wear this item so much, it’s likely already a little shrunk.
If you’re not willing to go through that much work for a white tee, there are purposefully shopping options for you. Not all of these options them are as cheap as picking up a pack from the store, but they will make you feel good about putting them on. These are the places that I shop when I need a good white tee.
I know that I’ve been talking a lot about this brand lately, but they truly are my new go-to for basics. The brand is Fair Trade Certified and can tell you exactly who is making their items and where the materials are sourced. That’s a huge deal to me. Because of that, I’m willing to spend a little more on their items.
PACT sell plain white scooped neck and v-neck white tees for $16 each. The brand also has racerback tanks, normal tanks, and long sleeved shirts from $15 to $25. On top of that, there’s also a ton of other color options, which I love. Because when I find a fit that I love, you better believe I’m buying it in all the colors.
This isn’t the first time that I’ve talk about this brand on the blog. The brand was first brought to my attention when it was raising money for the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. Every single cent from the plain blue tee went to the charity. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again — that’s genius. So many brands create quirky graphic tees for a good cause, but sometimes people just want a plain shirt that they can feel good about.
Each month, Project Social T picks a new charity, gets to know them and their volunteers, and donates $5,000. A little blurb about the charity of that month goes on the back of the inside of the shirt. That way you can know that you’re giving back, but you don’t need to flaunt it. Project Social T has plenty of white tees available on the website starting at $40.
3. Known Supply
Just like PACT, this brand is changing the fashion world through basics. The Fair Trade company actually puts the signature of the people who make the clothing into every single shirt. I absolutely love everything that this brand stands for, and the fit is just as great as the message. White tees, plus a ton of other colored basics, are $28 on the website. There’s also an option to personalize each tee with your name or words.
While these shopping options might take a little longer to find and are a little more pricey, they are worth it. You will feel so much better about putting the white tees on in the morning when you know that they are purposeful. Your money matters and so does the thought that you put into your clothing.