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Search For The Perfect T-shirt, 2012 Edition

Posted: Wednesday, Apr. 11, 2012

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Rachel Sutherland

Rachel Sutherland has been a professional journalist for 14 years, most recently as the Style Editor for the Charlotte Observer. Her writing and styling work has appeared in newspapers and magazines across the country. She is often a featured guest on syndicated radio programs The Matt & Ramona Show and The Satisfied Life. Find her at www.rachelsutherland.net or email her: rachel@rachelsutherland.net.

In the grand scheme of things, my inability to find the perfect T-shirt is relatively low on the list of world’s problems.

But, let me just say it is hella frustrating. I’ve been whining and writing about this personal drama since at least 2009 (that was the first time I put it on paper, I don’t doubt that I had been verbally complaining to anyone who would listen years before that).

Since then, I’ve adjusted my expectations. I buy shirts where I can with little thought these days. My criteria is rather short: V neck, full sleeve, 100 percent cotton. I don’t expect shirts to last more than a season. If they do, bravo. I also don’t expect to be able to find them again once I’ve purchased.

It was in that frame of mind that I snatched up two organic cotton Ts from Zara during a recent trip to Atlanta — one black, one white — without even trying them on. At $9.90 each, it was a fashion risk I was willing to take.

For those not in the know, Zara is fast European fashion for adults, and the chain is considerably more grownup than H&M (and stores are a lot less disco, which is a good thing). In New York City, Zara is nearly as ubiquitous as Starbucks, seemingly on every corner, but I’ll take fabulous fashion over bitter coffee any day.

But back to the shirts. I’m almost nervous to say it, but I think I’ve found my perfect T: opaque enough to wear without a tank underneath, flattering cut that hugs curves and the shirt is blessedly long — no riding up or having to layer for coverage. Did I mention it’s less than $10?

The only downside is there is no Zara in Charlotte, but thank goodness, we can order the magical shirts online.

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