Thursday, April 27, 2006

The ultimate t-shirt

For the past two or three years, I've been looking for plain V-neck t-shirts. J. Crew and Eddie Bauer used to make these; they were like men's gym shirts, in a variety of colors.

But in recent years, all the things called t-shirts have cutesy little cap sleeves, cling like girdles, and the V neck plunges below my bra. Worse, the material is no longer normal lightweight cotton. It's either a heavy jersey with lycra or a limp, featherweight ribbed knit that alternately clings or bags. To add insult to injury, the price for one of these V-neck t-shirts runs from a semi-reasonable $24 up to an absurd $38.

Big yuck.

I've scoured websites -- Norm Thompson, Orvis, L.L. Bean, Eddie Bauer, J. Jill, even the well-made but dumpy clothing at Land's End -- to no avail.

A few days ago I was reading a personality profile about a flamboyant entrepreneur who heads a company called American Apparel that makes trendy, affordable t-shirts in hip styles and colors. Oddly, American Apparel had never come up when I Googled "V-neck t-shirt." As it turns out, the American Apparel site did, indeed, have dozens of t-shirt styles in great colors, including the Fine Jersey Short Sleeve V-Neck. The price was beyond right, it was $15 a shirt!

I am writing this wearing my American Apparel t-shirt, in a very trendy slate gray. It is lightweight, non-clingy cotton, with generous sleeves and a moderate V neckline. At last!

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