The white T-shirt has been a wardrobe mainstay for everyone from James Dean to David Beckham, and really it's no surprise. It's so easy to chuck on and it always looks good. Here's how it became so iconic and our top white T-shirts to buy now.
If there's one item in your wardrobe that you can always count on it's the white T-shirt. Sure fashions come and go, but throughout history the humble white crew-neck T-shirt has never run its course. Chances are you will have more than one stowed away.
Once a World War II uniform regulation, the white T-shirt has an illustrious history that you probably didn't know about. Starting life as an undergarment way back in the medieval period before eventually becoming a part of the British Naval uniform, it wasn't until the turn of the 20th-century that brands such as Fruit of the Loom began manufacturing white T-shirts in bulk. Picked up later by the likes of Chanel in the 1920s, it soon became a fast-fashion staple. What Chanel does, others copy after all.
Over time its simplicity has been a blank canvas for portraying the age we live in. Whether a symbol of the working class (just look at images of the workers constructing the Empire State Building) or rebellious teens (James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause) it has always played an important role in a man's life. The white T-shirt has been championed by everyone from Marlon Brando and Kurt Cobain to John Travolta's Danny Zuko, and its staying power is second to none. Today David Beckham has become somewhat of a spokesperson for the garment. Why is it so great? It goes with absolutely anything. Under a suit or with jeans, it's always a safe bet.
What exactly should you be looking for when buying one? Sure, if you're picking one to play sport in perhaps you'll go for polyester, but ideally you should be choosing a white T-shirt made from cotton. Cotton is light, breathable and super-durable.
When picking a white T-shirt you need to consider a few things: do you want it tight or are you going for a baggier fit? If the former, than you'll want to go for a size smaller. If the latter, then you should go for a T-shirt where the seams fall below the shoulder. Fancy the perfect fit? Then make sure the seams sit well on the shoulder.
Want our picks of the best white T-shirt you can buy right now? We've rounded up our favourites from Off-White, Topman and more below. And if you'd prefer some more colour from your T-shirt, check out our list of the best T-shirts for summer.