If you enjoy wearing basic T-shirts under jackets, or with jeans, skirts or casual pants in the Summer, go for it. They are comfortable, affordable, robust, easy to launder, and very casual. Some are roomy and fluid, and others more fitted. Here’s a collection that shows what I mean when I talk about a basic T-shirt.

If you don’t enjoy wearing a basic tee, but want a similar degree of ease, comfort and casualness in a knitted top, try one of these options. They are better than basic, and in some cases a lot more structured. They’re made of jersey, or a very lightweight sweater yarn. Fibres are natural or blends. 

1. Cotton, Linen & Silk Sweaters

These pullovers can be cool and breezy in ultra lightweight gauzy fabrics and fluid silhouettes, in open weave knits, or when they’re sleeveless. The heavier versions make sense on cool Summer days, at the beach at night, when you run cold, or if you work in arctic air conditioning.

2. Styled T-Shirt

Styled T-shirts have fun design details that make them look more interesting than a basic silhouette. Think wraps, ruching, front knots, woven insets, eyelet insets, gathered sleeves, fluttered sleeves, ruffles, flounces and cold shoulders.

Boden
Short Sleeve Wrap Top
View Info
Top Pick
5
Boden
Short Sleeve Wrap Top
View Info
Top Pick
3
Boden
Margie Jersey Top
View Info
Top Pick
2
Boden
Cressida Jersey Top
View Info
Top Pick
3
Boden
Ayla Jersey Top
View Info
Top Pick
6
Boden
Frill Jersey Tank
View Info
Top Pick
6

3. Knitted Boho Tops

Knitted boho or boho-lite tops are made of jersey so that they feel like a tee, but look like a woven blouse. They are prettier than basic tees, fluid over the midsection, and lovely if you enjoy a ‘70s vibe.

4. Body-Con Tops

Body-con knitted tops are back as a nod to the ‘90s trend, especially in very fine cotton-rich rib knits. They’re tight and fitted, so ignore them if you don’t like tops that cling. They are extremely useful to combine with voluminous skirts, wide crops, palazzos, paper-bag shorts and tops, or to layer under jackets. They semi-tuck well too.

I don’t feel fabulous in T-shirts, so I don’t wear them. I wear lightweight cotton pullovers, body-con tops, and styled T-shirts as my casual alternative. Or breezy woven blouses, which we’ll cover another time. Here are my knitted alternatives to Summer T-Shirts from my wardrobe. I have duplications of the white.