You’ll thank us for this, we promise.

By Betsey McLain
October 31, 2017
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Stack of T-shirts
Credit: HomePixel/Getty Images

There’s a checklist for the perfect T-shirt—it has to be incredibly versatile, super-soft, well-structured, and flattering in all the right ways. It has to go with anything and everything in your wardrobe. Oh, and it definitely has to last for more than one wash.

That’s a tall order for such a simple garment. Sure, there are many high-priced iterations that fit the bill, but don’t make the mistake of breaking the bank on them. You don’t have to have to overspend to find an everyday favorite you’ll love having in your closet.

These four options should provide all the inspiration you need to find an essential tee that ticks all the boxes—without breaking your budget. Because that “not-too-sheer, not-too-tight, fits exactly the way you want” version does exist, and because dropping extra cash on a spendier version doesn’t necessarily get you closer to T-shirt magic.

Levi’s Perfect Jersey V-neck

Levi’s Perfect Jersey V-Neck

This tee’s soft feel and lightweight material makes it ultra-layerable, and it drapes in a very flattering way. Also available in white and black.

To buy: $29.50;

Uniqlo Drape Crewneck

Uniqlo Drape Crewneck

Flowy and feminine, this tee can easily be dressed up or down. Available in six other colors.

To buy: $15;

Hanes x karla The Crew T-Shirt

Hanes x Karla The Crew T-Shirt

Hanes are classic for a reason, and this collaboration with stylist Karla Welch created a white tee with a vintage-meets-boyish cut that still looks sophisticated.

To buy: $30,

Everlane Cotton Box-Cut Pocket Tee

Everlane Cotton Box-Cut Pocket Tee

The roomy cut hangs nicely and is made from a combed cotton that gets softer over time. Available in 11 other colors.

To buy: $16;