It’s only May, and we’ve already had two rounds of 95-degree heat waves. That means it’s time to refresh your collection of t-shirts — because there’s nothing like a crisp, clean, comfortable white tee to get you through the many coming days of blazing sun and rising temps. To that end, Hometown Pasadena’s resident shopper, Mary Jane Horton, put on her walking shoes and her favorite white t-shirt from last season and went in search of the best ones in town for this summer. The price range is considerable — in the higher end consider it an investment, a sort of summer uniform, and on the lower end an essential — and the designs varied. Unlike in Hometown Pasadena the book, we included a couple of chain stores, because what’s a review of white t-shirts with the Gap ?
Here are our picks, in ascending order of expense:
61 E. Colorado Blvd., Old Pasadena
Two great ones appear on the shelves this season, both of very soft cotton. The “Cuffed Tee Shirt” ($18.50) has a highish V-neck; it is fitted and short. The “Summer T,” also $18.50, is longer, has a tiny breast pocket, and is made of 100-percent recycled cotton.
3 W. Colorado Blvd., Old Pasadena
“The Perfect Fit” tee ($22.50) is tunic-length -—hitting at the lower hip — and very tight fitting. It’s 100-percent cotton, so it will spring back to shape after washing and never get that stretched-out look.
1007 Fair Oaks Ave., South Pasadena
From designer A to Z and made in Turkey, this 100-percent tissue-soft tee ($48) makes you feel as if you are wearing nothing. It has three-quartered sleeves and a boat neck, and is hip-length.
Paseo Colorado, 316 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
There were several choices here – but we picked a Michael Stars deep v-neck, $48. It has elbow sleeves (a bit longer than three-quartered) and is of heavy soft-combed cotton. With a fuller fit than many of the others, this one can double nicely as a swimsuit cover.
Paseo Colorado 340 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
Make a real statement with a short-sleeved Nation burnout tee ($72). (Burnout tees are 50-50 poly-cotton shirts that have been weathered to give a vintage feel.) This soft, comfortable shirt is see-through, so it needs to be worn with a tank underneath; wear a white one for the uniform effect, or a colored one to add some pizzazz.
2509 Mission St., San Marino
At DeVelle we found a Three Dot leaf-pattered burnout tee ($60) that fits like a glove. It’s a bright, bright white with capped sleeves, a scoop neck and a blend fabric of cotton, nylon and spandex.
One Colorado, 12 Douglas Alley, Old Pasadena
For cutting-edge style, try “T” by Alexander Wang ($81). Our only long-sleeved pick, this tee is dressier because of a wonderful modal, jersey material that gives it an elegant, draping look.
2513 Mission St., San Marino
The Majestic Paris tee ($108) is truly an investment — you can stimulate the economy and your wardrobe at the same time. This tunic-like shirt has an elbow sleeve, and the viscose material has elastic added to make it sleek and unstretchable. Throw it on during the day or dress it up at night with black pants.