T-Shirt Showdown: LOFT Vs. James Perse



A few of you lovely Mamas recommended LOFT's Sunwashed tees.   I had been hearing good things about them…and Jordan (from Ramshackle Glam) swears by them.  It turns out that the shape of the Sunwashed Tee is reminiscent of my current favorite – the Casual Tee by James Perse – so I thought it would be a fun little exercise to compare the two.  Basically, we're comparing a $20 tee to a $50 tee.  




I was surprised by how nicely the LOFT tee fits through the shoulders.  So often the cheaper tees don't fit quite right, or the sleeves wing out all huge.  The capped sleeve is another nice touch.  The neckline is one obvious difference between the two (personally, I find the LOFT neckline a touch too high, and the James Perse a touch too low)…but the biggest difference to me was the fabric.  The James Perse tee draped so much better than the LOFT tee.  You can tell above — see how the fabric of the James Perse tee drapes gently in at my waist?  While the LOFT tee obscures it?  That's the main difference between a $20 tee and a $50 tee.

But the drapiness (at least for the James Perse Casual Tee) comes at a price:  The James Perse tee is sheer.  It's not show-your-belly-button sheer, but if your bra is any other color than your skin, it will show.  Also?  The James Perse tee runs a tad shorter than most, which may be a problem for really tall Mamas.


Now.  LOFT Sunwashed Tees are best when you go up a size or two for extra drape.  So let's go up one more size and see how things look….




Wow.  When going for the over-sized, drape-y look, fabric matters.  And the James Perse, with the smoother, drapier fabric, is so much more flattering.  Even though it's over-sized, the James Perse just looks drapy, not obviously too big, like the LOFT tee.

But here's the thing:  my James Perse tees have been washed (and nursed in) and washed and nursed in and washed and nursed in to death.  They are starting to develop little tiny holes in some areas.  Which, OK.  They've been hard workers for almost two years now.  The LOFT tees, on the other hand, have been washed once.  I suspect that these tees will soften up with wear.  My biggest issue with the LOFT tees is that darn modest neckline.  I think I'll like them better once I stretch it out of shape a little bit.  And since LOFT is always running some fabulous promotion, you can almost always get these tees for less than $20.  I snagged them at 40% off…which is a pretty great deal, considering how well they stand up against my $50 James Perse tees.  

The LOFT tees are not going to be the sexy little tees I reach for on date night, but for a lower cost, everyday, run around with the kids kind of tee, they really aren't bad.  The James Perse tees, despite the hoochie-mama neckline, are still my *current* favorites…but they can be beat.  Have I found my perfect tee?  Nope.  

Back to the drawing board….





  1. I think its funny that you like the lower neckline – for me, the Loft neckline is perfect. I always feel like those lower-neckline tees falls down and shows my bra (and entire chest) if I bend over at all. Plus, I am fairly tall (5’8″) and I appreciate the length of the Loft top.

  2. I see C & C all the time at my Nordstrom Rack, fyi. I don’t know if yours would have it, buttttt yeah. Excellent place to find $50 t-shirts for the $20 budget. 🙂

  3. Ok, walk do not run BACK to Loft and grab up one of their V necked t-shirts. The fit almost exactly like the sunwashed t that you tried, but there is a sexy low V in the front. I have two of them (bright pink and navy) and I’m obsessed with them.
    They’re here: http://www.loft.com/loft/product/product%3A303879/LOFT-Style-Closet-tees/V-Tee/303879?colorExplode=false&skuId=13333249&catid=cat1340028&productPageType=fullPriceProducts&defaultColor=1232

  4. I have a few of those as well and for the price I love them, they do get pilly in the wash, but for $8 I can get 2 or 3 new white tees every spring and they make it thru til fall, then I wear them under everything in winter and get new ones again next year. Wasteful? Maybe, but I’ve never had a white tee survive the stains of children (or me!) so I need to replace them anyway.

  5. I would love to wear white Ts, but between my grungy self and my grungy kids, it ain’t happening. And um…sweat stains…yep. I always have to opt for gray.

  6. Great comparison! I love this series.
    I liked those LOFT tees, especially for the price, and bought a bunch — but the little holes and crumpling underarms happened incredibly fast. Like, after a couple of months maybe. Unacceptable! Now I’m back to square 1. Everlane is great but selection is so limited. Trying Aerie next. Planning to go to James Perse as soon as I convince myself it’s worth it…and the fact that yours lasted 2 years makes me think it’s coming time!

  7. That’s why I love Old Navy – I can replace clothes without feeling guilty! Glad to hear I’m not the only one 🙂 I would even consider replacing more expensive tees when they get grungy, if not for the cost, so this solves that problem.

  8. My two go to tees are a James pierce and splendid both gifts! I have been coveting the anthropologie raw edge v neck tee but since I have never spent that much on a tee I am still holding out! Fabric does matter where drape is concerned and I am loving this series!!!

  9. Okay, so…weird. After reading this post I found myself wishing I wouldn’t have ordered the Loft tees during 50% day (enabler*cough*) b/c I, too, like a little hoochie in my neckline and it looked pretty high in the pics. (Hey, I’ve got the baby boobs, why not flaunt em a little, right?) Lo and behold they arrived today and…not high at all? Not as low as the JP, but much lower than in the pics. Confused, but at twelve bucks or whatever, pretty happy. Not perfect, but not bad at all.
    Now I need deets on the lippie. Loving that bright coral color, so dish PLEASE!!

  10. Darn it Maggie!! See….this is what I hate about the big box retailers:  lack of consistency.  UGH.  The neckline looks nice and low on some of LOFT's own photos…and then higher on others.  Sigh.  I'll bet I just happened to get high-necked ones.  Now I wish I had picked my own up in-store, rather than order online.   
    But my lipstick is J.Crew's Poppy King.   I don't know if it's available anymore, but the Face Stockholm for JCrew ones look close (the orangey one).  Or Ebay.  🙂
    Shana Draugelis, Ain't No Mom Jeans
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  11. I just thought I’d let you know that I found the James Pearse t-shirt at Marshall’s today for $20! After reading this post, I tried it on and sure enough, the drape is perfect and the cotton is so soft! This will be my new favorite t-shirt! They also had James Pearse tanks…

  12. At the risk of sounding totally fashion-dumb, could you do a post about how to wear these t’s with jeans because you are making these simple shirts look ridiculously good. Do you always do the belt with slightly asymmetrical tuck in and drape thing? I bought two of the LOFT t’s after reading this (big chests love the higher neckline). Thanks! I LOVE your blog! It is very inspirational 🙂

  13. This might sound lame, but I just discovered Sonoma Everyday Tee at Kohl’s for $6.99. They are made of pretty sturdy fabric so I don’t feel like everything shows through. The V and scoop necks are best. The crew is pretty high. I haven’t washed them much yet so I don’t know how well they hold up or wash.

  14. Don’t laugh. JCP…..I said it. JCP. They are cheap and look as good as(maybe better than) the $30 Boden T I just got. The white is a bit sheer, but the other colors seem to do well.

  15. I just got those $20 Loft sunwashed tees in a 40% off sale for less than #12, and noticed that they have a preggers style to boot. . . .and they come in great colors.

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