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The Supreme Basic White T-Shirt


For some a basic white T-Shirt is exactly that. Basic. But for those punctilious people  who, like us, have put “basic T-shirt white” in google umpteen times hoping that they’ll find the ultimate one, a basic white cotton T-shirt is a complex matter.

History of the plain cotton white T-Shirt

First there’s the name. It’s called a “T” Shirt as the shape of the garment is similar to that of the letter T. It was bought to the masses in the mid to late 1800s by an Englishman called William Cotton when weekends and paid holidays were introduced for workers and, instead of their crisp shirts, they needed comfy clothing that signified their break. So the association of wearing a T-Shirt from the off was a positive one. Then, in the world wars, the army and navy adopted it much to the delight of the soldiers and sailors. In the 1950s icons such as James Dean, Steve Mcqueen and Marlon Brando gave the white T-Shirt cool kudos as did Jane Birkin a little later on. At the time it represented the counterculture and it was worn by perceived rebels to the establishment. By the 1980s it was no longer considered risqué but it’s astonishing how the white Tee, almost like any other garment (save blue jeans), is and remains cool.

So what makes the best white T-shirt?

Take, for example, the basic white crew neck T-shirt. Where can you go wrong? For BOUJO HAKE the more minimal the piece the more important the smallest details become and equally the more obvious the flaws. First there is the material to consider . Pure cotton, naturally, but the cotton shouldn’t be too shiny, slick and stiff looking like it’s just emerged from the packaging. Nor should it look too grubby and worn. You want a soft cotton that has a classic and traditional feel. And it must be, of course, GOTS certified organic cotton. The binding on the crew neck has to be the right width – too wide and it’s simply not pretty; too narrow and it looks cheap.  

Optical white or natural white

And then there is the colour. White, yes, but what kind of white? An off white basic T-shirt or an optical white? BOUJO HAKE gives you a choice, offering T-shirts that are both optical and a natural white and whilst the difference might appear minor, it is important to them and their customer. BOUJO HAKE nailed it with their Men’s T-shirt. The perfect white organic cotton Tee.

Oversized White T-Shirt

Sizing is also crucial. Everyone wears it differently. BOUJO HAKE offers a relaxed Men’s T-shirt as well as an Oversized Men’s T-Shirt with dropped shoulder seams. Some might choose to wear this as the ultimate basic white T Shirt dress that could be worn in the Summer to the beach. Although oversized T-Shirt dresses are an entirely different ball game!

Should you pay more for the ultimate white Tee?

Even for someone who has continually obsessed about the perfect white Tee, it’s sometimes hard to part with cash when you know you could have Fruit of the Loom boys’ 5 pack for a fraction of the price. How different can it be? Trust us, it’s beyond obvious, even to a rookie -  the cotton is scratchy, the fit isn’t quite right, especially on the shoulder seams and, to be frank, it looks very cheap. And that’s not mentioning the ethics and how it came to be such a low price. Someone had to pay.

How do you wash your T-Shirt?

A top quality one like BOUJO HAKE’s Men’s T-Shirt will also wear well over the years. Beautifully, in fact. We hear it all the time but, if you want your clothes to last, wash them less. This is not just for the environment - but that really is something to consider - but for the longevity of the garments themselves. But it’s white so admittedly it’s harder. Where possible, air the T-Shirt. Where it’s not possible, spot check the T-shirt. And if that’s not feasible, wash the T-Shirt with an environmentally-friendly detergent at a low temperature. Ironing is the final touch that works every time.

How do you wear your T-Shirt?

People talk about a uniform with plain white T-shirts, the implication being that they are boring and why waste time and money in the search, but the creativity on how you decide to wear them is endless. Unusual combinations – casual, oversized crew neck T-shirts with a beautiful feminine tulle skirt is a wonderful pairing. Or wear yours with an 80s power suit and killer shoes. For BOUJO HAKE the fail safe option is to wear your plain white T-Shirt with some faded, high-waisted jeans (vintage Levis) and, with the right earrings (as dressy as possible) and no other distraction, this plain white T-Shirt immediately elevates your outfit, instantly making you feel cool and stylish. 

The list is truly endless.

Long sleeve T-Shirt

Plain white short sleeve T-shirts are fantastic but don’t underestimate the power of a slim fit, long sleeve T-shirt too. It’s a brilliant underlayer in Winter but also a neat, figure-hugging option when going out and flattering. And again it can be worn in many ways.

 For BOUJO HAKE it’s a joy to search, research and design a white T-shirt. Not any white Tee but THE one. They currently have two styles: The Men’s T-Shirt and the Oversized Men’s T-shirt (in different “colour” options) but they have myriad ideas for subtle details and changes for their inspired new collection. And, in fact, they would be delighted to hear from you, the customer.

So what, in your opinion, makes the perfect white cotton T-shirt? Do you like the tight, fitted 80s version that shows off curves and, with slim fit jeans, creates a neat, slick look that just needs a long chain necklace or statement earrings for the drama? Or do you prefer the oversized but boxy look that, because of the style, creates the drama?

Nadia and Kathrin at BOUJO HAKE would love to hear your thoughts. What are the small details that makes you cherish and love your T-Shirt? What are your favourite brands?  Visit www.boujo-hake.comand get in touch.