Back to Basics: Know Your T-shirt and Jeans

JanetFashion7 Comments

James Perse Slub V-neck Tee and Paige Verdugo Cropped Jeans

When surveyed, the vast majority of men said that they preferred to see women in jeans and a T-shirt over any other outfit. Indeed, T-shirt and jeans is a classic combo that every woman can wear. It’s a simple style that you don’t have to overthink. However, there is a fine line between looking fashionable versus frumpy. If you’re model tall and skinny, practically any type of tee and pair of denims will look great on you. However, for the rest of us, we know that not all types of T-shirts and brands of jeans are created equal. It’s important for the style to appear effortless, but put-together at the same time. So, yes, a little thought and effort has to go into it.  


Currently, it’s all about the slub T-shirt. Slub cotton is cotton which contains slight lumps and imperfections. The slub is an extra fat lump in the cotton yarn. Historically, it was caused by poor control of the manufacturing process and by flaws in the fiber cleaning process. These days, the slubs are either left in the fabric on purpose or, more commonly, created deliberately. Slubbed cotton is a very popular trend right now, as it gives the tee a rough, uneven, and more casual look.

Whether in style or not, I really like slub T-shirts because they tend to be light and airy, non-restrictive, and very comfortable. Because the fabric is more sheer, I also think it’s more flattering for petites than the heavier, thicker cottons, and especially those mixed with spandex or lycra. Smaller frames, go for less material.

James Perse Slub Cotton V-neck Tee in Black

James Perse Slub Cotton V-neck Tee in Black


It’s also important to consider the neckline of the tee.

Crew neck or round neck is the most common. It falls at the base the neck, providing the most modesty. It may not work well for those with short necks or double chins. It can also feel tight and restrictive, depending upon the fabric.

Boat neck creates a horizontal line, emphasizing the width of the shoulders, upper chest, and bust. This is one of the least flattering for plus-size ladies.

Scoop neck has the most variation. The scoop can be deep and narrow like a U shape, or shallow and wide to fall below the collar bones. This wide, skin-baring option is great if you want to dress up the look with a statement necklace.

Vee neck is very popular because it’s universally flattering, whether you’re petite or plus-sized, and small-chested or busty. For those with shorter frames, choose a longer vee length, as the extra skin exposure can elongate the neck length and add height. For women with full cleavage, opt for a shorter vee length for more modesty.


The length of the sleeves and the overall length of the shirt are also important considerations. Cap sleeves are very popular during the hot summer months, but they hit most arms at or near their widest points, drawing attention there.  If you have full arms, here’s the counterintuitive sleeve tip: sleeveless tops and garments often work better than cap sleeves or short sleeves. However, the advantage of sleeves is that they are generally more dressy than sleeveless attire. Either way, it’s a misconception that you have to have toned arms to wear either cap or short sleeves; it’s all about finding the right one for you.

Finally, we often make the mistake of opting for long-length T-shirts that help cover our stomach or waistline. While it’s true that you want a little extra fabric in the midriff for comfort and concealability, you don’t want a T-shirt pulled down past the hips and buttocks, as this will actually make you appear larger and frumpier.  For petite women, long tops also cut across the length of your body, making you look shorter. Again, it’s about finding clothes that fit your body well. Embrace your curves with a well-fitted shirt and pair of jeans, instead. Long tops may pair well with a pair of shorts or leggings, but not jeans, for most women of average height and size.  


I’m wearing this James Perse Slub Cotton V-neck Tee. I’ll admit, I’ve walked past these tees a dozen times in the past and thought to myself what makes these tees so darn special to be priced so high? Well, once I finally tried them on, I understood the obsession. As the brand touts, their high-quality basics are a seamless blend of luxe and casual.  The fabric is so comfortable and breathable, and the fit is so flattering.

It’s a perfect fit for petites. The sleeve length is just right for short arms, and the total tee length is a mere 24”, which falls just below the waist. There is not all that extra, unnecessary fabric that comes with most T-shirts, which can run 27 – 28” in length. A well-fitted tee can makes all the difference for this casual style. I tucked my tee a little bit in the front, and added a slim belt for a simple, chic look.

Today, Nordstrom’s annual sale begins, and various colors of this James Perse Slub Cotton V-neck tee are currently 40% off!


James Perse Slub V-neck in White

James Perse Slub V-neck in White


Jeans, jeans, jeans.  How many jeans have we all tried on? Finding the perfect pair can be so difficult. Here are the very basics. Take note of the wash, the height of the rise, and the cut of the leg.  

Besides fit, wash is what defines a pair of jeans. Dark wash is the most classic and flattering. Dark wash jeans give a slightly more polished look than medium or light washes.  The darker coloring also has a slimming effect. Choose jeans with a uniform color and pattern, rather than a faded or distressed look, which work best for most body types.

Know your rises. Go into your closet and grab your best-fitting jeans. Lay it flat and take out a measuring tape. Measure the “front-rise,” the distance from the top of the waistband in the front to the crotch seam, and the “back-rise,” the distance from the top of the waistband in the back to the crotch seam. These measurements are often listed in the online description of jeans. So whether you have a short crotch length, or an ample derriere, knowing these measurements will help you find the right pair of jeans.

Mid-rise is the most popular. It sits at the top of the hips and is the best fit for most body types. Low-rise can help lengthen shorter torsos, but be careful as it can accentuate the hips and pinch the midsection, creating a tummy and love handles.  High-rise jeans can serve as a “tummy tuck” and help lengthen shorter legs, but may not be best for those with shorter torsos.  

In terms of cuts, slim-fit and straight-legged are the classic cuts that fit best for most women.  A small boot-leg flare may help balance a curvier woman, and when worn over any shoes with height (heels, boots, wedges), it can give length to a shorter woman.  However, avoid the extremes of very big flares, which can overwhelm petite frames, or very tapered skinny ankles, which can give the illusion of wider hips.

James Perse Slub V-neck Tee and Paige Transcend-Verdugo Cropped Jeans

James Perse Slub V-neck Tee and Paige Transcend-Verdugo Cropped Jeans


I’m wearing these Paige Transcend-Verdugo Crop Skinny Jeans.  Paige denim is definitely one of favorite brand of jeans.  The performance-fiber denim provides a hint of stretch with incredible shape retention wear after wear.  They specifically carry a petite line, with jeans available in sizes 23 and up and with shorter inseams. Launched in 2005 by Paige Adams-Geller, the only female founder in the denim industry, these wonderful jeans are made right here in the U.S., in Los Angeles.

These jeans are so comfortable and soft on the skin that they can easily be worn from morning to moonlight. They are just as comfortable as yoga pants, but of course more stylish.  While I appreciate that Athletica and Kate Hudson’s Fabletics have created a line athletic wear that they state can be worn everywhere, I say leave the yoga pants at the yoga studio.

You don’t need 10 pairs of jeans in your closet, just one that fits you just right. In the perfect pair of jeans, a woman should look and feel her best.



The shoes are Tom’s Leather Espadrille Slip-On.  They stretch and conform to your feet, and are absolutely comfortable to run around in all day.

James Perse Slub V-neck Tee, Paige Verdugo Cropped Jeans, Tom's Leather Espadrille Slip-On

James Perse Slub V-neck Tee, Paige Verdugo Cropped Jeans, Tom’s Leather Espadrille Slip-On




A flattering tee and a pair of well-fit jeans should be part of every woman’s capsule wardrobe.


Please leave a comment and tell me what is your favorite brand of T-shirt or Jeans!

7 Comments on “Back to Basics: Know Your T-shirt and Jeans”


    I loved this blog! Great advice, especially for those of us that are both short AND curvy. I agree with your ideas on denim and v-necks! One thing I’ve noticed for myself, though, is that a more fitted tee works best for my body. It’s also best when it hits my waist-hip area. Anything longer looks sloppy. Finally…a small detail….but I love that you have on a belt! I feel that’s an accessory that is often overlooked. Makes outfits look so much more “polished”!! Keep doing what you’re doing, Janet!!

    1. Janet

      Thanks for reading the post, Dee Dee! I’m so glad you liked it. It’s definitely not easy to find the right tee and jeans when we’re short, but I’m glad you have your favorites that you know work for you! Yes, belts are so often overlooked these days! 🙂

  2. Nurse Uyen

    Great blog, Janet! This one caught my attention because I really do like the simplicity of jeans and a t-shirt! These tips are so helpful. I never gave much thought about adding a belt to a pair of jeans or tucking the shirt in the front to highlight the belt. Now, I see how that could really add to the overall look. Love it! And, I really want to run out and get that pair of Toms too! Before I go anywhere, I need to hit Orange Theory first lol 🙂

    1. Janet

      Thanks for reading, Uyen! I’m glad you found the post helpful! The belt definitely gives it a pulled-together look. And yes, the leather Toms are super comfortable.

  3. Pingback: Fall Basics with Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale | Petite Chic Mom

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