I think I'm basic AF.
Thanks to the internet, this is now a bad thing. For those living under a rock, one of the quickest ways to insult someone is to call them "basic." It's a way to slam someone deemed so utterly mediocre and non-special that a simple term that used to be neutral and maybe even slightly scrappy is used to encapsulate that person's entire being. Way harsh, Tai!
This quietly brutal term is overused now, but I really just refuse to let it happen and continue to use the word "basic" in the way that still encapsulates me: non-frilly, easy, scrappy, etc. In terms of fashion, for me, "basic" used to stand for the essentials, the quintessential closet items that every person should own — like a t-shirt.
One of the toughest things to find that works for my body these days is a well constructed, quality t-shirt. Sure there are cheap avenues for a shirt, like Target and what not for when you just need a t-shirt for sweaty endeavors like cleaning your toilet or pulling the weeds in the yard, but what about when you want a t-shirt for work or even something dressy?
I know the famous twins behind The Row claim to have designed the "perfect basic t-shirt" with exceptional luxury materials like silk and cashmere and smart tailoring and seams and probably endangered unicorn hairs woven in, but at $300 a piece I'm pretty sure that's as unrealistic and a mistake in the making — like my Gucci Princetown furry loafers.
So now what? I've tried other acclaimed brands like ATM, that at first seem to have nailed the whole basic t-shirt situation, only to find out the paper thin $85 shirt I bought at a snooty place stretched out two sizes and is now so sheer that it is basically relegated to elegant sleep pajama top. Super. Lame.
Ok, so really then, what now?
I'm lucky enough to have a blog that I can post to whenever I want to speak into the void about fashion and design, and sometimes people actually listen. Kit and Ace listened and without even asking me just sent me one of their cashmere, cotton, drapey shirts. I know, #humblebrag, but my point with this entire point is not to pander to this company that gave me free shit, but mostly to tell you that Kit and Ace is worth a try.
They sent me their Linden tee in a size 6 and it says it's valued at $78 retail. The fit is absolutely lovely. The cotton is opaque enough not to show my bra, but still breathable and soft to have a significant drape. I love the oversized fit and I think the tailoring is very nicely thought out. I loved my new t-shirt right out of the free box it came in but was a little concerned when it said it contained 85% cotton and 11% cashmere (the other 5% is spandex). I thought, Great, here's to ruining another t-shirt in the wash. So I washed it per the instructions and it still retained all the amazing qualities that compelled me to post about it here.
Look, I know we can't all have the luxury of a free sample of what is essentially another $80 shirt, but I know that money is frivolous matter and that quality is still important to conscious fashion-loving shoppers. So I think if you're willing to try, give it a shot. The last thing I'll say is that in terms of size, I'd probably order a size 4, not a 6, moving forward. While the size 6 works great for the style I got (oversized, drapey, etc.) I will want a slimmer fit for a more traditional crew t-shirt.