I've culled quite a lot of tees/knit tops this year. Some went into the rag bag, some went into the loungewear drawer. Most of them had small holes, fraying sleeves or threadbare elbows, and one had an unfortunate run-in with some hot glue. Post-cull, I've noticed that I don't have a lot of great options to wear underneath sweaters, cardigans, and other wool toppers. In order to wear animal fibers, I need a long sleeve underneath, otherwise I get a rash on my inner elbows. Ditto the backs of my knees -- no merino tights for me, or unlined trousers.

Over the past couple of years, I've worked hard to build up a turtleneck capsule (I have three now), but I don't always want to wear a turtleneck! Sometimes, especially now that my hair is longer, they feel too covered up. I also have three bretons; they could be layering tops in theory, but all of mine have fairly loose/wide sleeves which don't sit nicely under a lot of sweaters, and two of them are somewhat boxy/oversized. They are good with some jackets/blazers, and I do wear them that way, but it is not much of a blazer year for me.

I'm specifically talking about standalone layering tops here, things that can be worn on their own if you take the sweater off -- not thin, clingy baselayers like Heattech, Capilene or silk. Close-fitting cotton tees with crewnecks/high v-necks and long sleeves are a pretty boring thing to buy, but I've managed to find a few I like. I'm up to three now, and counting my three turtlenecks (plus one sage green henley), I think I'm in a pretty good place layering-wise. The rust v-neck is from an outdoor-casual company called Toad & Co; it's a cotton/tencel blend. I picked up the short-sleeve version as well because I couldn't resist the olive stripes. The other two striped tops are from Boden and Everlane, respectively. All of these move me towards my goal of soothing light-but-earthy colours.

I'm also waiting for this Everlane ribbed crewneck in "heathered fatigue" to come back in stock, and might order a black one as well. After that, I think I will be all done buying layering tops for a while!

I'm curious -- is this an important essential for other YLFers? I know nemosmom was on a quest for long-sleeve v-neck tees not too long ago. I'm also realizing I could probably do without short-sleeve tees altogether, since I usually reach for tanks/sleeveless in the summer and really need the long sleeves the rest of the year. But there are so many nice tees in the world, and short-sleeves are more likely to feature irresistible graphics or prints.

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