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9 Essential White T-shirt Brands for Women

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A crisp, simple white T-shirt is the ultimate summer closet staple for women. Whether paired as a casual classic with blue jeans or worn with work trousers or pencil skirts, a well-made white T-shirt is part of an effortless look.  

With seemingly every clothing brand carrying its own version of this essential piece, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when trying to narrow down a choice. Luckily, we’ve done the work for you. 

These 12 selected brands combine premium workmanship, flattering fit, and the best quality fibers—from Sea Island Cotton to Pima and silk—for the perfect white T-shirt that’s anything but basic. 



Origins: 1860

Based in: Nottingham, England

Highlight: James Bond style

The British brand Sunspel famously dressed Daniel Craig in the Riviera Polo Shirt for his first James Bond film, Casino Royale. Wearing the shirt was later described as “the easiest way to look like Bond without wearing a tuxedo.”

Founded in 1860, Sunspel has spent decades perfecting the feel of its Sea Island Cotton, known as the world’s rarest and finest cotton, producing quality clothes for both men and women. 

Sunspel is a supplier to the British court, and the only UK brand to make T-shirts in its own factory located in the same building it has occupied since 1937.

Merz b. Schwanen

©Merz B. Schwanen

Origins: 1911

Based in: Germany

Highlight: Reviving antique loopwheeler machines

Dating back to 1911, the roots of Merz b. Schwanen were planted when Balthasar Merz began operating a textile manufactory on the Swabian Alb in Germany. 

Production later shut down but was revived in 2011 when fashion designers Gitta & Peter Plotnicki came upon a 90-year-old Schwanen henley at a Berlin flea market. The shirt’s unusual construction fascinated the couple, who followed its trail to discover the brand’s long-discarded circular knitting machines. 

Reviving the traditional textile production method, the Plotnickis combine authentic clothing designs from the 20s, 30s, and 40s with a modern, sustainable sensibility.



Origins: 1871

Based in: Switzerland

Highlight: World’s finest underwear label

In the 1870s, Pauline and Johann Zimmerli were inspired to launch their own business by the hand-operated, single knitting machine invented by American Isaac Lamb.

Starting by using the machine to knit stockings and socks, the company has evolved its operations over the years, becoming an exclusive brand of luxurious underwear made with natural fibers and exacting craftsmanship. 

These days, the company has become a global leader in the sector thanks to the uncompromising quality of its garments.

John Smedley

©John Smedley

Origins: 1784

Based in: London, England

Highlight: Royal Warrant holder

Known for producing some of the world’s finest knitwear, British company John Smedley is a favorite of the Royal family. 

To produce its exceptional products, Smedley begins the production process early by sourcing the raw materials a year before crafting its garments. 

The brand’s signature Sea Island Cotton is grown under controlled conditions; it’s processed, spun, and dyed in-house at the factory. Each batch is rigorously tested to withstand the effects of wear and use, ensuring longevity for years to come. 

Petit Bateau

©Petit Bateau

Origins: 1920

Based in: Troyes, France

Highlight: Children’s wear 

Known for its quality children’s clothing, Petit Bateau is a favorite in France, worn by generations of French children.

In 1920, Pierre Valton was inspired by a nursery rhyme to create the Petit Bateau label. The firm continued to produce children’s wear in Troyes, France, later expanding to adult sizes. 

Today, Petit Bauteau’s premium Sea Island Cotton T-shirts are still made in the St. Joseph factory in Troyes, staying true to their reputation for silky softness and luxurious feel.

Le Minor


Origins: 1922

Based in: Brittany, France

Highlight: Nautical legacy

Taking inspiration from the nautical world, French label Le Minor has been manufacturing its clothing in the Lorient region of Brittany since 1922. 

Berthe Etui founded the company with the aim of producing sweaters from local wool to keep Breton sailors warm and comfortable at sea. The sweaters soon became a symbol of effortless French nautical style. 

Leminor’s products have expanded from knitwear to cotton garments, boasting the same uncompromising standards of quality and marine-inspired details. 



Origins: 1884

Based in: Liestal, Switzerland

Highlight: Archival designs

HANRO was established in 1884 in the Swiss town of Liestal by Albert Handschin and Carl Ronus, whose knitwear factory pioneered the craft of circular knitting on specially developed machines. HANRO’s archival designs still serve as an inspiration for the timeless styles it creates today. 

Combining tradition with innovation, the company uses the finest cotton fibers for its loungewear, daywear, and more, including Giza, Pima, Supima, and Sea Island Cotton.  

A special finishing process is used to create a shinier and more durable fabric, enhancing the cotton’s soft, silky texture.   




Origins: 2016

Based in: Kyoto, Japan

Highlight: Special cotton-silk blend 

Kyoto-based Japanese brand LOOK SEA harnesses the softness and lightness of silk for its foundational clothing pieces. 

With a unique protein composition similar to human skin, silk is a versatile fabric that provides breathability and moisture absorption, while also offering antibacterial properties

To fuse comfort with wearable design, LOOK SEA developed its original fabric, Dynamie Silk, making it suitable for daily wear due to its superior elasticity. 

The brand’s casual wear, including T-shirts, combines a cotton outer layer with a silk interior lining for a luxurious and stylish feel.  

The White Briefs

©The White Briefs

Origins: 2009

Based in: Sweden

Highlight: Scandinavian simplicity

Swedish brand The White Briefs approaches its clothing with the Scandinavian design sensibility—simple, minimalist design and exacting workmanship. 

The company was founded in 2009, with a goal to create durable clothes that combine daily needs with timeless style and premium quality. 

The brand’s crisp yet soft white T-shirts are made with organic Pima cotton, one of the natural fibers that align with the brand’s quest for a sustainable future.


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