The No. 1 Wardrobe Item You Should Invest in: a Quality T-Shirt

Estimated read time 3 min read

Every day it seems like there’s a new wardrobe staple the internet is insisting you should have in your closet.

There’s a classic pair of jeans, a good button-down shirt, a blazer — the list goes on.

But Kenzie Welch, a fashion stylist and wardrobe consultant, told Business Insider the No. 1 item she always tells her clients to invest in is a great quality T-shirt. A long-lasting T-shirt is a versatile piece that can be dressed up for the office or down for the beach, and is therefore worth the investment.

The Atlanta-based content creator, who is known for sharing her tips with her hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram and TikTok, recommends the Tomboy Tee from Cuts Clothing, which normally retails for between $48 and $54. Cuts, which is based in Los Angeles, became a favorite among professional athletes, such as Patrick Mahomes, after it launched in 2017, Adweek reported.

“I have tried probably over 50 to 100 T-shirts just to test out the quality, wash them, dry them, see how well they hold up, and some of my biggest issues with T-shirts is how they get a shriveled-up neckline,” Welch said.

That has not been her experience with Cuts. She learned about the brand during a partnership two years ago.

“I’ve had mine for over two years, and it looks brand new,” she added.

Investing in quality pieces is the secret to building a more sustainable wardrobe

Fast fashion is an unsustainable model of consumption that contributes to millions of pounds of clothing going into landfills each year, BI reported in 2022.

Citing information from a 2022 Wired article, BI reported that the fast-fashion company Shein releases 6,000 new clothing styles daily, and there’s simply no way for everything to be purchased and worn.

While some young people are trying to avoid new-clothing purchases altogether, there’s also increased interest in learning about more sustainable shopping methods such as thrifting and the benefits of prioritizing having fewer, quality, higher-priced items over a vast quantity of cheap items.

“A lot of people think, ‘Oh, I’m spending $100 on a top. Oh my gosh,'” Welch said. “But think about it. If it’s a classic top that you’re wearing often, your cost per wear is going to be really low, and maybe in three months you’ve maxed out your cost per wear, and it’s paid for itself.”

Investing in higher-quality pieces, such as a well-made T-shirt, reduces the likelihood of needing to purchase them again, so you’ll spend less money in the long run.

“What I always teach to my clients and my community is that spending less money to have more things isn’t always the solution to having a wardrobe that’s sustainable,” Welch said.

“I do think that sometimes there’s some value in having less but spending a little more,” she added.

The key is not to be fooled by the price tag or brand name alone and always double-check for red flags that will help reveal the true quality of the clothes you’re interested in so you can get the best deal and value for your money.