One thing that stays pretty consistent in my wardrobe through all seasons is my ‘Basics Drawer’. I have one drawer in my dresser dedicated to my wardrobe basics. It’s all folded Marie Kondo style and I never pack up those items based on season. Essentially I have a mix of gray, and black tanks, short and long sleeve tees, and sweatshirts. There’s also a blush and olive tank thrown in for when I want to add a touch of color by layering.
One thing I was missing was anything in white because I never had success finding something that wasn’t see through. A couple of weeks ago Astrid, the creator of Tapered Collection, asked if I would be willing to review a couple of styles of tees. When I chatted more with Astrid and read about Tapered Collection (and white tees that aren’t see through), I decided it was a great fit.
Astrid is a mom of three kiddos who started Tapered Collection after being frustrated with not being able to find the perfect tee. She committed to finding quality fabric, creating a design made specifically for women, and to keeping her manufacturing in the USA (just outside of Boston).
What I Love
True to her word, the fabric is just right. It’s 100% cotton that is machine washable AND dryable (which is helpful when asking my husband and kids to help with laundry duty). The fabric is pre-shrunk and garment-dyed which means no fading either. It’s super soft and thicker than my cheap tees, but not so thick that it will be too much on hot summer days.
Like the name suggests, the tees are slightly tapered at the bottom. This creates a flattering cut that is a perfect fit at the hips with enough fabric to slightly blouse around the midsection which is a perfect camouflage for anyone with tummy bulge. I love that the cut makes it easy to avoid the tuck debate. Front tuck? Full tuck? No tuck? Half tuck? How to even make a half tuck look good? I wore mine untucked, but felt completely pulled together. The nice thing is the bottom is fitted enough that you could tuck if you wanted.
Another styling detail I love is the more unique sleeve lengths. I’ve always loved three quarter sleeves, which can be hard to find. The short sleeve tee is capped sleeve, the mid sleeve hits just above the elbows, and the tank with the rounded neck looks to me like a feminine version of a muscle tank, which I think is a much more flattering and stylish cut. All three of these sleeve lengths are just different enough from a typical tee to keep the top from feeling boring. I think they bring a more polished feel to the tees making them appropriate for dressing up for work or going out or just for feeling like you’re totally pulled together outfit when you throw on jeans and a tee.
I am a size 6 (very small chested), so I ordered the Small, which the size chart says is best for size 4-6. When I first tried it on, I was nervous it may be too small, but I think that’s because the fitted bottom is a different style for me, so it took a moment to get used to. I didn’t try a medium, so I can’t speak to how much looser that would be along the bottom. I tried all three necklines (v-neck, crew neck, scoop neck) and the scoop neck does feel slightly large up around my shoulders, but the other two were perfect along the shoulders.
As for the tees not being see through. I would give it a 9.5/10. When I wore a nude bra, I could barely see the slightest outline of it through the shirt (which is why the slightly lower rating), but I was standing in every light at every angle and reeaallly looking hard for that line so I could give the most accurate review. And, out of curiousity, I tested a black bra and that could be seen. But, as you can see in the pictures (which I did not edit), I’d agree that the white tees aren’t see through. I would be 100% comfortable wearing this to work as a teacher with no additional layering, which is a huge plus.
Also, I have to apologize, because I had asked on Instagram what kind of post you wanted and the response was for a Styled Three Ways post. Life just got a little hectic and instead of stressing over it and taking the fun out of it, I decided to do what I could. Thanks for understanding and I promise I will share more looks with these tees.
In the meantime, here are some brainstorms:
- Pair a tee with denim cutoffs and sandals for a typical casual weekend style. The cutoffs could easily be jeans and the sandals could be sneakers. I think the key to making these basic pieces into an ‘outfit’ is in the small details. A cute hat (floppy hat, fedora, even a baseball cap and messy bun) and subtle, but statement necklace (like these from Natalie Borton) easily add that little extra touch to complete the look.
- One way I like to make wearing a standout piece of clothing easier is to pair it with something more subtle. These tee looks more polished than most, and are the perfect partner for a bolder bottom, like wide leg crops, print shorts, or a full skirt. In this case, I would keep my shoes and accessories simple to let the contrasting tones and small details in the tee and bottoms be the attention grabbers.
- Pairing a black (or white) tee with a black pencil skirt or black jeans is a perfect blank slate for trendier accessories. I tend to shy away from overtly trendy clothes these days, but still can appreciate trends in small doses. Some ideas: a choker, a neckerchief, bright flats, strappy sandals, a headscarf, red lipstick and winged eyeliner. I think any of these additions would instantly take the outfit to a new level of chic.
I am so excited to add white tees to my wardrobe. They are so crisp and classic and a look I’ve always loved, but have never found the right tee until now. Astrid also has tees available in navy and granite and is working on stripes (!!!). I highly recommend Tapered Collection tees for making that investment into your basics that will last you forever and that you can feel good about buying.
What are some of your favorite ways to style your basic tee?