Opaque White T-Shirts for Work

Opaque White T-Shirts for Work | CorporetteOne of the questions I often see readers asking and discussing is the hunt for the best opaque white t-shirts — and really, why is it so hard to find a t-shirt that isn’t see-through? I thought I’d round up some of the best suggestions I’ve seen over the years…

First, what to wear with opaque white t-shirts for work: I definitely recommend wearing a nude-for-you t-shirt bra (Naja is the brand with the most skin-colored shades I’ve seen; Nubian Skin also has three shades for darker skin tones); if you need to layer a camisole I’d probably go for a shade that best matches your skintone in a slightly silky fabric so it doesn’t cling to your t-shirt. (I can only find beige camisoles to recommend — if anyone has any favorite camisoles in a range of skin tones, please let us know.)

Pictured, clockwise from V-neck in top left corner: one / two / three / four

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Opaque White Tees in Regular, Petite, and Plus Sizes:

There are so many options in this range, I’ll split the post by putting shirts that only come in “misses” sizes at the bottom of the post; everything listed in this top section comes in a wide range of sizes.

  • Talbots’ Platinum Jersey line — because they’re double-lined in the front (but not the back), this may be a great option if you plan to wear it with a cardigan or blazer — but not so great if you want to wear it by itself. Right now it looks like they only have longer-sleeved versions. Readers also swear by their Pima cotton line (a common thread throughout a lot of these suggestions!).
  • LL Bean has always been mentioned by the readers, noting that they’re not fancy but last and last and are very opaque. This elbow-sleeve one or this envelope-neck version looks like they might be nice enough to wear by themselves at work, but they also may be on the “frumpy” side of the spectrum. This is their more casual plain Pima Cotton shaped version; in general I’d stick with the Pima Cotton versions (reviewers of the more stylish West End shirts note that the white tee was see-through).
  • On the super-affordable end of things, readers have sung the praises of Kohls’ Croft & Barrow Essential tee line — but do note that reviewers seem split on whether it’s see through or not.  They’re on sale for $7.99 today, though, so the price is definitely right.

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The Best Women’s Dress Shirts

Sure, we all know what basics professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

We haven’t gone on a hunt for the best dress shirts for women in a long time — so let’s take a look, ladies! Which are your favorite spots to check first if you’re looking for a classic, button up dress shirt, whether for interviews or beyond? Do you prefer a crisp dress shirt (like the ones we’re featuring in this article), or do you prefer a silkier dress shirt? A few older articles may be of particular interest in this discussion: a) if you prefer silky button-fronts, check out our Hunt for that one, b) if you’re busty, check out our guide to specialty shops for busty blouses, c) one of our all-time top posts: 10 ways to wear a button-down shirt, and, finally, d) as a laundry tip, I’ve had great success with putting the shirts in the dryer for no more than about 15 minutes and then hanging them up to air dry. Oh, and I’m on Team White-Camisole-Beneath-White-Shirt–but many others are on Team Nude Camisole; you can check out our discussion here.

Pictured at top, clockwise: blue / blue / white

First, some of our Hall of Fame styles — these are the best-selling, classic styles that have been around for years and are always highly rated:

Pictured above: pink / stripey / blue / white / blush

And, before we get to our featured styles for today, here are some of special interest categories for women’s dress shirts:

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The Best Tees For Layering Under Blazers, Cardigans, and More

Sure, we all know what basics professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have.

Which are the best tees for layering under blazers, cardigans, and more? What qualities do you look for in a work-appropriate t-shirt, how many do you own, and how long do you expect your tees to stay looking new?  We haven’t had a discussion on the best tees for layering for work in a while, so let’s revisit some of the basics, at least for my $.02. First, t-shirts make a great layering piece because they’re washable and generally no-fuss (such as tops requiring ironing).  Furthermore, a work t-shirt should be something designed to be seen — you should be able to take your blazer off during the day without worrying that it’s see-through, clinging to your bra, too low cut, tattered or torn, or otherwise too casual.  Personally I think any pockets will usually make a tee too casual for a conservative office, as does a wider rib trim at the neckline — I love my relaxed slub t-shirts for the weekend, but I think a slub knit or linen blend would make it too casual for work, as would a pattern like a space-dye. Finally, while a tank top can be great for certain situations, it isn’t always the best for layering for two reasons — first, it won’t necessarily be appropriate to wear by itself at your office (see our last discussion on whether going sleeveless is professional – know your office!), and second, it may necessitate more laundering and drycleaning than a t-shirt would because a t-shirt would cover your armpits and protect the top layer from sweat. (But: if you want a seamless look and just want to add opacity/raise a neckline, a camisole for work, demi-camisole, or tank top is definitely the look for you.)

How about you, readers — which t-shirts do you think are the best tees for layering? Do you prefer to layer tees, tanks, camisoles, or something else beneath suits and blazers? What do you look for in a work-appropriate t-shirt? 

Pictured at top, a few of our Hall of Famers: black / red / blue.

Some of our Hall of Famers, the best-selling, classic styles that have been around for years, include:

Above: black / pink / blue / red.

Today’s featured tees for layering include:

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Six Brands for the Stylish Vegan Professional: Clothes and Accessories

The Stylish Vegan Professional: Six Brands for Vegan Dress Shoes, Clothes and More

2017 Update: We still recommend these brands for vegan, non-leather clothing, shoes, and bags for the professional woman — but you may want to check out our more recent roundup of stylish vegan shoes for the office.

All right, ladies: If you’re a stylish vegan professional (or are trying to be), which are your favorite vegan brands for workwear? We recently received a question from a job-seeking reader about sources of vegan workwear — both clothes and accessories. Fortunately, it’s far easier to find stylish vegan professional workwear today than, say, 15 years ago. Before highlighting some brands, let’s review what isn’t vegan. Drawing from a post at The Compassionate Closet, here’s a list of materials made from animals (ranging from the obvious to the ones you might not think of): leather, wool, suede, silk, cashmere, mohair, alpaca, angora, worsted, serge, tweed, down, velvet (non-synthetic type), gabardine (wool type), grosgrain (silk type), jersey (wool type), satin (silk type). 

A search for “vegan” at Zappos brings up 700+ items, and a search at Nordstrom shows 350 (of course, you can further sort by category), and sites like MooShoes, Ethica, and Vegan Chic bring together many vegan products in one place. (Related: our slow fashion shopping guide.) What sources have you found for quality vegan workwear, vegan dress shoes, or other musts for the stylish vegan professional? 

For those of you looking for vegan workwear brands that are specifically vegan-focused — not just animal-free by accident — we’ve rounded up six brands worth trying:

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Workhorses for Your Working Wardrobe

working wardrobe workhorses

2017 Update: We still stand by our thoughts on workhorses for your working wardrobe, but if you’re building a wardrobe for work for the first time you may want to check out The Ultimate Guide to Business Casual for Women and our Wardrobe Essentials for Work.

Ladies, what are the workhorses in your working wardrobe? Are there any surprises in there — things that you reach for a ton more than you thought you would when you bought them? On the flip side, which were the wardrobe disappointments — the things you thought you’d wear a ton but found aren’t that versatile? (Are there any suiting pieces in the mix on either side, either bought as separates or as a suit set?)

When we last discussed surprise basics for workwear, I called out my love of colorful purses, olive-colored pants, a good watch, and nice pearls as things that I was surprised to find myself wearing a ton. (I’ve had good luck with dark olive pants, like the ones pictured, as well as lighter olives with more brown in them. I’d wear the pictured pants with neutrals like black, white, navy, gray (as well as with cobalt); pastels like peach/pink, lavender, or French blue; dark eggplant, or even limited pops of red or orange.) I’ve also written of other things that are outside the usual “must have” lists, including very light gray pants instead of summer whites, velvet blazers for festive in-office holiday luncheshuggie earrings, light blue blazers, and purple pumps. It also came up a bit with our discussion of light blue suits, with lots of readers noting that they often wear a pair of colorful blue trousers or a colorful blue blazer (but not together).

(Pictured above: shoes / pants / earrings)

In our last discussion, some of the items the readers noted they loved included:

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Sleeved Dresses with Pockets

dresses with sleeves and pockets roundupI was just writing something about the best default thing to wear to a networking event (like a conference) where you don’t know what to wear — and my answer was, if all else failed, wear “a sleeved dress with pockets.”  Sleeves because it looks like a complete look — no need for a cardigan or blazer to forget somewhere — and pockets so you have a place to stash business cards, key cards, and more.  Then, I thought to myself: good luck finding that workwear unicorn!  Despite lots of readers (year after year!) sleeved dresses with pockets!saying how much they love sleeved dresses — and dresses with pockets! — very few companies are granting that mystical request.  So I thought I’d do a mini hunt: FIVE sleeved dresses with pockets. (Psst: here’s an old WSJ article about why so many dresses are sleeveless.)

Let’s start our hunt with some of the top-rated dresses at Nordstrom

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