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What has happened to the classic white tee shirt? I seem to recall there was a time when you could pick up a white shirt and wearing it would not mean your skin tone would shine right through as though you weren’t wearing anything at all. There used to be a point where I could wear one without having to layer something over it, but no more.

Like most good things, the effort to cut costs and make a bigger profit margin has ensured that each and every white cotton shirt sold these days is essentially useless. This is very frustrating for someone like me, who seeks items like this out as a wardrobe staple. Because I bought a lot of my clothes from stores like Old Navy and New York & Company, I considered that I may have to spend a bit more to get the quality I was searching for.

So, when I was out at T.J. Maxx, which admittedly is not necessarily any better, I came across a lovely Cynthia Rowley white tee shirt, which would be perfect under a navy scarf I had picked up. In the shop, I couldn’t see my hand through the fabric, so I thought I would be good. Sure enough, I go home and try the thing on (after removing the tags like an idiot of course!) and the dark shadow of my belly button shone through the sheer fabric. There was no way I could wear this out without layering it, and that totally defeated the purpose I had bought it for.

I had read somewhere that the Olsen twins’ label began with a similar search for the perfect white tee shirt. However, theirs retails somewhere between car payment and health insurance premium so that’s totally out of the question. Honestly, the first and foremost easiest piece to fabricate is a tee shirt, yet somehow no one has yet to get it right. Instead we have millions of variations of skinny jeans and Ugg boots, and the science has been abandoned for the basic fashion staple. Perhaps NASA should get involved, since we clearly need some higher math to get this task accomplished.