The white t-shirt was conceived as a piece of underwear by the US Navy during the Spanish American War, but it has since become the most universal menswear staple and one of the best things you can combine with a pair of jeans. Unlike the world of denim, which is widely and openly debated in the denimhead community, the world of good plain tees is much narrower and more obscure.
At the moment brands like Japan’s The Real McCoy’s, Loopwheeler or Riding High and United Kingdom’s Eastman Leather Clothing are several good examples. But today we’re glad to introduce you to a new player in the high-end white tee game–the recently founded 100% Made in USA brand Lady White Co.
Lady White Co. is a Los Angeles based brand created by Phillip Proyce, 25, who previously worked under designer Mike Hodis at Rising Sun Jeans. Phillip saw a gap in the t-shirt offering, “I initially saw a big gap between the beautiful Japanese loopwheeled tees and your basic Hanes 3-Pack ‘made in China’.”
But that’s not the only thing. This business was also born from true passion for the product. Indeed, when asked why specifically white tees, Phillip’s reply was refreshing and almost as unexpected as when we didn’t know anything about jeans and asked our denimhead friend why he was so much into denim:
The T-shirt is the foundation of sportswear in my opinion. For both school athletics and military issued sportswear, the tee was always part of the uniform. I’ve always been drawn to the Tee in ways that many are drawn to denim; it becomes part of you in some odd way. The ability to manipulate the fit is a quality that many other garments don’t carry; but the T-shirt will always be something you can precisely reshape after a cold wash.
At the moment the brand is one core product, the tubular white tee, which will expand into several colorways within the next upcoming months. On the long term the brand should be expanding into a much larger offering of vintage inspired American athletic wear, but Phillip’s going about it methodically as his tees will set the tone for the rest of his adventure.
My plan was to first develop a well made basic white tee and use that as the platform for future garments. I’ve been working on the brand for the last year and showed it for the first time during Inspiration LA in February. I tried to make a company that can sustain itself while operating at a slow thought-out pace.
Lady White’s shirt is made in Los Angeles from start to finish and sold in a minimalistic two-pack for $90. Details include:
- Mid-weight tubular jersey (no side-seams)
- 100% unbleached cotton
- Cut/sewn in LA
- Ribbed collar, bound seam
- Vintage slim fit
- Standard sleeve length, higher arm holes
Where can you get it?
Even though Lady White’s still a fairly young brand, the response from markets in the US and in Asia has been very encouraging.
And starting from May 2015
- Brooklyn Circus (NY)
- Pronto Denim (Thailand)
- Radiance Blue (Beijing)
- Ingenious Aviator (Beijing)
- Green Angle (Tokyo)
- UR DOORS (Japan)
- Fred Segal (Japan)