Basic Training: The Best Striped Shirts

Some girls hoard shoes, some collect bags. At Refinery29, we stockpile striped shirts. From cheap thrills to investments that we’ll wear until we’re pairing ’em with dentures, the bateau-stripe tops that make up our wardrobe are appropriate for all four seasons, match any trend, and work for nearly every occasion (yes, we admit to wearing them out to cocktail hour). 

Believe us — we’ve got feelings about striped shirts, and know our way around ’em well enough to offer up expert opinions. Ahead, the eight best striped options out there, why we love it, and why you should, too.


“I bought a striped shirt at The Gap for $20 five years ago, and it remains a favorite. It has a great fit, has not stretched, a high-ish neck, and a slightly capped sleeve. I have a wide rib cage and don’t always look great in T-shirts, but this one is super flattering.” — Piera Gelardi, creative director 

“Gap’s Essential Striped Crew Tee is the softest best thing.” — Gabrielle Korn, beauty production assistant 

Gap Striped Shirt, $16.99, available at Gap.


“For most of my adult life, I was a loyal wearer of L.L.Bean’s bateau shirts in kids sizes…but when I discovered Edith A. Miller’s more feminine, form-fitting styles a few years ago, I was totally hooked. The thing about EAM’s designs is the sleeves and torso are a touch longer for Talls like me. Plus, the stripe combos are never ordinary, and make for great mixing and matching. They’re pretty much my favorite summer staple.” — Christene Barberich, editor-in-chief 

Edith A. Miller Mixed Classic Stripe Crew Neck, $72, available at Bona Drag.


“J.Crew vintage cotton striped tees — It’s the easiest thing to style with whatever, and has got that so-soft, worn-forever feel. Plus, you can usually score them on sale at the end of the season.” — Lisa Dionisio, production editor 

J.Crew Engineered-Stripe Indigo Top, $45, available at J.Crew.


“I have a million striped shirts now, but if I could only save one in a fire, it’s my Comme des Garçons Play top. I had my roommate pick one up for me when she visited Tokyo when I was broke and unemployed when I first moved to NYC, but every time I got tired of ramen breakfast, lunch, and dinners during those months of repentance, all I had to do was look down at that red heart. It fits like a dream, the cotton feels so thick and substantial, and the thickness of stripe feels just right — not too wide and not too skinny!” — Connie Wang, senior global editor 

Comme des Garçons Play Nautical Tee, $150, available at La Garconne.


“I bought this one last week and have it worn it every day since.” — Holly Thomas, Washington, D.C. editor 

Forever 21 French Terry Pullover, $24.80, available at Forever 21.


“I’m a lifelong Francophile with a history of failed Frenchiness. I have yet to smoke a Gauloise, to perfect my crème brûlée, or to properly remember my pronouns while speaking. But! I can at least make progress in looking vaguely French, as I am forever loyal to Saint James striped shirts. They’re thick and sturdy, built to last — and if they were good enough for Picasso and Chanel, they’re definitely good enough for moi.” — Annie Tomlin, beauty director 

The Saint James Meridien in white and navy, but the BOYS version!” — Jeanine Celeste Pang 

Saint James Naval II, $130, available at Saint James.


“Classic Uniqlo striped T-shirt has super-short sleeves and bells out slightly at the bottom. Not too stiff, not too drapey and it comes in classic striping as well as graduated versions — super cute!” 
— Willow Lindley, assistant fashion editor 

Uniqlo Striped Crew Neck, $12.90, available at Uniqlo.


“I have a Theory stand-by from a while ago that I love — though it was supposed to be a tight-fitting, natural-waist peplum, I went a few sizes up for a laid-back trapeze fit that’s still really flattering.” 
— Lexi Nisita, associate community editor 

Theory Panna Stripe Tee, $140, available at Otte.

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