I have been on the hunt for the perfect basic tee shirt for about a year. My go-to tee staple used to be Old Navy’s classic tee in an XXL tall but it’s been discontinued (at least for the moment). I’ve tried tees from all the usual places like Lands’ End and Target but was just given the chance to try a tee from plus size newcomer Universal Standard.
Out of the whopping three color choices, I chose Eggshell for some reason. It looks almost white in the pictures but it’s basically ivory. Due to the light coloring I do need a cami underneath when I feel I wouldn’t be needed had I gone with another color.
The fabric is probably the nicest I have encountered in a basic tee. It’s 48% Peruvian cotton, 48% Modal, and 4% Elastane, so it’s very soft with some stretch. The construction looks good although I’ve seen better. It’s hard to see in some of the photos but it has a shirttail/baseball hemline which I like, it adds a bit of visual interest to an otherwise plain shirt.
Universal Standard sizing is a bit different than what you’d find elsewhere so be sure to check out the sizing charts. I went with my regular size and found it true-to-size. The fit is fantastic and is exactly what I want: a longer length shirt that isn’t exactly a tunic. My fit experience is similar to the picture of the woman in the Driftwood shirt at the top of the post. It seems to be washing well although it’s only been washed twice. Before I forget, they recommend washing this shirt on the delicate cycle in cold water and lying flat to dry.
Universal Standards runs a great program where you can exchange a piece of clothing if it no longer fits. It’s called Universal Fit Liberty and it allows you to send back any piece from their core collection and exchange it for a new item that fits, all for free (within a year of purchase). They launder and donate the returns to women in need. Plus size clothing is one of the most-asked for items from thrift shops and charities so I think this is a fantastic idea.
Here’s the kicker: this shirt, this basic tee shirt that is the staple of so many wardrobes is a staggering $50. As much as I like my Tee Rex shirt, it ain’t worth $50 when Lands’ End shirts are very similar and can be bought for under $20. If this shirt were ever on sale for $25, I’d definitely consider buying more. I’m also not that thrilled with the color selection. Universal Standard has a minimalist/contemporary brand styling and Heavens to Betsey there’s a lot of black. If the cost would come down substantially and I could maybe get a shirt in navy or green, I’d buy these shirts in bulk. In the meantime, I’m going to continue my search for the perfect tee that doesn’t have an obscene price tag.
Disclosure: I was given a promotional code for a free Tee Rex. It was not in exchange for a review, it just showed up in my email one morning and I said, sure, why not. And here we are.