Why I Swear By A White Tee, Even In The Winter

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I'm a Los Angeles-dweller (where I was also born and raised), so fortunately for me, winters are the opposite of brutal. Temperatures rarely dip below 45 degrees and a seasonal wardrobe is basically non-existant, so I manage to make warm-weather staples work year round. Case in point: My signature plain white T-shirts, which I'm able to dress up seamlessly even in the coldest of winter months. Yes, I'm a lucky lady.

Allow me to wax poetic on the sartorial love of my life. I have dozens of plain white tees, and refill my stock regularly (because I wear them to the bone, er, thread). Short-sleeved, long-sleeved, crew-neck, V-neck, cotton, pima cotton — you name the style and cut and there's a 99.9 percent chance I have a version in my closet.

I understand that a simple white T-shirt might seem flimsy and impractical in the chilly winter months but, thanks to the magic of layering, it can easily be just as valuable as a chunky knit sweater. It's all about being strategic with your outfit formula and making sure your outer layers are substantial enough to keep semi-icy temps at bay. Heavier fabrics like leather and wool balance out light and breathable cottons nicely. And in colder temps, extra layers in the form of cardigans, sweaters, and accessories are a must. Think of it as a balancing act.

The simple white tee is best known as a companion to the equally classic jean pant (all you Grease fans know what I mean), but I favor it for its slightly lesser-known ability to revamp an ensemble in the most unexpected ways. Layered under a sleeveless sundress, paired with a chic, formal maxi skirt, or worn with a cool monochromatic suit. So, to make a case for wearing plain white T-shirts in the winter, I'm breaking down a few outfits I swear by all year round. Now, I know that for those whose winter involves a polar vortex, these ensembles may not hold up, for those of us spending the next few months in milder climates, they'll do just fine. Now, let's raise a glass to the most basic piece in your wardrobe, that also happens to be the most valuable.

My winter office uniform consists of an elevated midi skirt, white tee, leather jacket, and some military boots. I like the juxtaposition of traditionally masculine pieces like boxy moto jackets and chunky boots with more streamlined silhouettes. You'll often catch me in some variation of this outfit throughout the colder months as it keeps me quite toasty when the temps dip below 60 degrees (I freeze below 70).

Justin Toth

For those days filled with meetings and events, I choose to elevate things a bit by sticking to neutrals. A white tee and faux leather pant combo looks great against a taupe topper, beige pumps, and ivory handbag. Bonus points if your outerwear is structured enough to pull off as innerwear. It's classic (and easy) without reading boring.

Angela Melero

I need a solid dose of glam in my life on the regular, and nothing delivers that quite like a faux fur coat — particularly one in a bold shade. My go-to topper for those days I wanna channel my inner Zsa Zsa Gabor is a vintage-style rose pink faux fur with a rounded collar and ivory buttons. Because the coat in itself is a bit over-the-top, I pair it with a white tee, straight-leg denim and white boots or pumps for everyday wear. Sometimes you just have to go big.