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ISO The Perfect Long Sleeved Tee..The Epic Journey

November 05, 2017

I like adventure.  
I like to head out into the unknown and fill my pockets with all my findings.  Like, this weekend I've gathered acorns and leaves and prickly things that I don't know the name of, but will display in a bowl on the table like the good southern girl that I am.
I like a quest.  For instance,  junking in search of something truly unique to add just the right touch for a favorite spot in the house or an event. 
For two years I've been on an adventure, of sorts.....a quest if you will, but not for the good stuff.  I've been searching for the perfect long sleeve t-shirt to wear under regular t-shirts, for fall and winter layering.  
You see, many moons ago, Target introduced us to the "tissue tee" and we bought them by the droves and we washed them a thousand times and they were the most loyal layering long sleeve t-shirt in the history of forever and always.  But just like all good things it seems....they disappeared.  Poof.  Never to be found again.  Good thing I bought like a dozen back then, but it had to have been 10 years ago and 2 seasons past.....my tissue tees disintegrated like abandoned curtains in a guest bedroom.
When I needed to replace them, imagine my shock when I couldn't find them anymore.  Not only could I not find "them"....I couldn't find anything that remotely compared.  I searched haphazardly, making due until finally, I just stopped layering my tees.  Sigh.  What kind of savage world is this?
Then....well, I started a t-shirt company and fall was upon us and do you see my conundrum?  I needed layering tees like Prince needed crushed velvet.  T-shirts are my wardrobe y'all!!  
The quest was on.  I was officially ISO the perfect layering long sleeve t-shirt.  The following qualities were a must:
*snug but not constricting so that the top shirt fits seamlessly
*crew neck
*sleeves long enough for my monkey arms
*fabric that stretches and breaths that also fits "afternoon Shawn", the same way it fits "morning Shawn" ("afternoon Shawn" cannot have a panic attack that requires scissors in order to remove "morning Shawn's" shirt)
I'm busy like the rest of you...I don't have time to go to a dozen stores looking for long sleeve tees.  I grabbed what I found at Target, TJ Maxx, and Costco and ordered the rest online from Soffe, Lands End, and Amazon.  I was now prepared with over 15 shirts to test (which also included washing and drying).  This is what I discovered.....
First, I'm just going to be honest and let you all know ahead of time, there is no replacement for Target's tissue tee of a bazillion years ago.  The mystery of why, deserves a 20/20 episode.
Second, you should know now, that means nothing is even remotely in it's league, so that you are not disappointed at the end of this blog.
HOWEVER, I did find a few that I can live comfortably with this season. 
By now you guys know that I am all about the positive, so you will not see me bashing anyone's shirts in this blog.  But, I will tell you these things about a few that just did not work at all for ME and why....just in case I might save you the trouble if you are looking for my dream long sleeve tee for yourselves!!
J. Crew Women's Long Sleeve T-Shirt was the most expensive one I purchased at nearly $30 and was my biggest "no go" because the fit was very much like a unisex shirt so it was simply too bulky and the cotton was a very, well, standard.  
HIYIN Women's Fitted Long Sleeved T-Shirt I purchased off of Amazon for $15 was WAY TOO SMALL .....like I wear a small and I don't think if I got an XL it would have fit me.  The fabric had no stretch at all, so I couldn't even begin to get an arm in it, lest the panicking occur!!!
NOW....for the ones I actually chose as keepers, here you go...and you are welcome.
Targets new brand, A New Day has a delightful and very affordable long sleeve tee (like 10 bucks!!).  The fabric is incredibly soft, arms are nice and long.  I do recommend a size down if you are using it to layer.  I have broad shoulders and typically wear a small, but an X-Small ended up being the better fit.  The only problem with this shirt....THE ONLY THING keeping it from old Target Tissue Tee gold star on the chart rankings, is the thickness of the fabric.  It makes for a warm wear if you are menopausal and/or in the south in the fall.  I'm sure in the depths of winter I'll be mucho happy!!!  And bonus.....just gets softer when you wash it!!!  ALL KINDS OF COLOR OPTIONS!!!!
Next....and I do love this shirt.  Actually, I ordered it on Amazon and it was called The Mogan Women's Basic Plain Crew Neck Long Sleeve T-Shirt.  I'm not sure why it was called the Mogan because it's actually Zenana Outfitters on the label....which it turns out, was the same shirt I had picked up at TJ Maxx.  First....I love the weight and fabric of this shirt.  It fits perfect and is loosely snug (without suffocating you) and easily slips under even a very fitted tee (it is the gray shirt under You Inspire Me in a previous picture above!).  What's really great about this tee is that it runs about $6 on Amazon and at TJ Maxx, so, who's not happy about that?  Washes fairly well, though, I can see that it likely won't be good for more than a season or two if worn and washed weekly....which will happen here.  I have only seen this tee in off white, black, and granite, but, that works for me!!!
My third choice out of 15 is the Adar Women's Comfort Long Sleeve Fitted T-Shirt, which I also purchased off Amazon.  This is actually a brand made for the medical profession and these shirts are intended to be worn under scrubs.  I tried several "scrub" tees, but this was the only one that made the cut.  Here's what I loved....it fits like a performance tee, but made of a cotton blend....so it breaths and doesn't feel constricting to me.  Sleeves were good and long, shoulders not too narrow, it fit true to size and I could wear a small.  And somehow, without smothering me....it also trimmed my middle-aged, currently a work in progress, mid section up nicely.  Which I gotta tell you is not something I hate.  Price was great at around $15 and I can tell this shirt is made very well and will last.  My only dislike was the lack of color choices.  I got this khaki color, which I  couldn't find in any other shirt, so....it's all good!!!
I should mention two other shirts that ONLY didn't make my cut because they were not crew necks, but instead "scoop necks" so that made them a completely no go for layering underneath.
HOWEVER, if they'd had a crew neck, they would have been at the top of the list.  
32 Heat I found at Costco for about $8.  I think most people use them for lightweight type "long johns" for skiing and other wintery outdoor activities....but it's a super comfortable tee that should not be shoved to the side.  WARM but so crazy thin!!!!
This OThread Women's Plain Basic Spandex Long Sleeve T-Shirt FEELS SO FREAKING GOOD!!!!!!!  $15 on Amazon and feels amazeballs on your skin!!!  We need more of these in our lives, but with a traditional crew neck!!!
Both of these shirts found a place in my wardrobe because they work perfectly under our Your God and My God and Pumpkin Essence Long Sleeve Slouchy tees. These are made of a thin comfy cotton that have plenty of extra room for layering underneath if needed.  They also have wide scoop necks so it makes them perfect compadres with the above two tees!!!
Well.......that's it.  For this season, my long sleeve t-shirt quest is complete.  Hopefully, the leg work I put in saves someone out there a few minutes from their day that could be used for better things like.....spreading a little love!!!!
*Fancy bloggers would have provided you with links to each product discussed.  I however, am not a fancy blogger.  I'm a new blogger with few technical skills.  One day.....one day.



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