The last tees you’ll ever need to buy?

Despite being a wardrobe staple for most of us, the humble t-shirt receives relatively little love. Lots of us indiscriminately grab a cheap tee because, well, it’s cheap — so what if it isn’t soft or shrinks in the wash? It’s just a t-shirt.

There are a few problems with this approach.

First, a t-shirt shouldn’t cost $7. Think of everything that went into it: growing the cotton, transforming it into fabric, the labor required to cut and sew it into a shirt, transporting the tee, marketing it, and getting it onto our torso. To do all of that for $7 and still make a profit means that somewhere, someone’s not being paid a fair wage.

“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”

Secondly, the more we get used to cheap stuff, the less we value quality. (Or, as Ben Franklin said more eloquently, The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.) A poorly made garment is less likely to look good on us, and it’s certainly not going to last very long.

I think these problems explain why so many of us have tons of tees, yet it often seems like we don’t love any of them. The t-shirt, then, becomes sartorial shorthand for uninspired, lazy, couldn’t-care-less.

All of this is why I am an enormous fan of Pickwick & Weller, a line of men’s and women’s tees. First, the garments are made in Los Angeles (and unlike American Apparel, P&W doesn’t have skeevy, sexist ads). Secondly, a V-neck tee is $28 — and yes, this is more in line with what an ethically made tee should cost if nobody is being exploited. Besides, I think it’s better to have one excellent shirt than four not-so-great shirts.

But most importantly, these shirts are AMAZING. Pickwick & Weller is an online-only deal, but there’s a by-appointment showroom in San Francisco. (And let me tell you, it feels luxurious to have a private shopping appointment.) There, you can try on the different fits (slim, boxy) and lengths (regular, long) before having your order shipped home.

Quality over quantity, fair labor, and one hell of a nice shirt.

Anyway, these tees are luxurious. The ribbed tank top, for instance, feels almost silky and has just the right amount of cling — not too tight, not too flouncy. The Harlan tee (which I’m wearing in the slideshow and, okay, I did buy it because of the Raylan Givens factor) drapes beautifully. The men’s offerings get an enthusiastic thumbs-up from future-husbo Dylan, who says, “They’re soft and they’re long.” He speaks softly and wears a u-neck shirt.

When my order arrived, I was inspired to donate all of my not-quite-right shirts. Now I have only one white tee, one black tee, and a black tank. They all fit perfectly. They all make me happy. Think quality over quantity, fair labor all around, and one hell of a nice shirt. (Now if P&W would just expand its size range.)

IF you want to check Pickwick & Weller out, here are a few disclosures. First, I bought everything with my own money, which I think is important for you to know because I’m so enthusiastic about the shirts. Secondly, I didn’t know it when I found P&W, but I used to work with one of the co-founders, Ryan Donohue. (Nice guy!) Lastly, if you use this affiliate link, you get $15 off any order $50 or more and I get a $15 credit, too. But if you prefer to order without all of that, here’s the non-affiliate link. Happy shirting.

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  • missjen

    Thanks for the tip!

    • Annie

      You would love these. Especially because they’re available in long lengths for tall ladies.