This $65 striped T-shirt is the perfect summer wardrobe staple

Yahoo Canada Shopping Editors
Courtesy Tradlands
Courtesy Tradlands

Over the past several months, I’ve been trying to think more consciously about my style choices.

Its a two-pronged approach. First, I’ve been toning down my wardrobe: trading, selling or donating a lot of my overly-trendy clothes in favour of more classic, timeless pieces. Second, after really digging into how fast fashion is damaging our planet, I’ve been trying to make more ethical, sustainable decisions on the items I do purchase new.

While some parts of my wardrobe have been easy to overhaul with more sustainable basics, I’ve really struggled with finding a sustainably made everyday T-shirt that doesn’t break the bank.

For years, I’d buy T-shirts in bulk from H&M, Zara or Old Navy. Because really, at $6 a pop, I felt like I could wear them — and when they inevitably stretched out or faded after a few wears, no harm done.

But as I transitioned my denim, outerwear and shoes to be from more sustainable fashion brands, I couldn’t help but feel like I was being a bit of a hypocrite for continuing to buy fast fashion T-shirts made in poor work conditions and negatively impacting our environment.

Courtesy Tradlands
Courtesy Tradlands

Enter Tradlands. I stumbled across this sustainable brand on Instagram, and my interest was piqued.

Since the brand was founded in 2012, they have focused on perfecting essentials for women, “inspired by thoughtful tailoring, expert details and quality fabrics,” and “creating pieces you can wear with everything and live in for years to come.”

Plus, co-founder Sadie Beaudet’s thoughts on the fast fashion world sounded a lot like my own.

Courtesy Tradlands
Courtesy Tradlands

“I spent my early 20s buying from popular stores and wearing clothing I was uncomfortable in. When it came to wearing those garments on repeat, they fell apart after a couple of washes, often with seams stretched and fabric pilling. The items I loved were usually vintage, thrifted from the men's section and resized with my sewing machine at home,” she wrote on Tradlands’s site. “Like many women I tired of chasing the churn of fast fashion styles. Staying on top of trends was exhaustive and expensive.”

At $44-49 USD (just under $65 CAD), their T-shirts aren’t cheap — but I figured that if I was buying a high-quality, sustainable basic I could wear for years, it would be more than worth it. But was it?

I purchased the Box T-shirt in striped in a size XS. I usually wear an XS if I want a tight fit and a small foot a larger/more comfortable fit, and I found that the XS from Tradlands still offered plenty of room, since it’s the brand’s version of a boyfriend fit. If you want a tighter fit, I would suggest sizing down one or two sizes from your regular size in the Box T-shirt, or alternatively trying the Girlfriend Fit style for a more tailored silhouette.

The T-shirt is made of supersoft, mid-weight cotton and feels incredible on — it hugs your body in the right places without declining or being too tight, and has a tiny bit of stretch without stretching out. I’ve worn it about 10 times so far and it looks exactly the same as the day I received it.

Tradlands Baja T-Shirt Dress
Tradlands Baja T-Shirt Dress

At first, I paired the tee with high-waisted jeans, since warm weather was not in a hurry to arrive in Toronto. But now that summer is finally here (hello, heat alert), I’m wearing it with high-waisted short and denim skirts — proof that it’s an effortlessly chic look no matter the weather.

Tradlands also makes a number of other stunning basics, from easy T-shirt dresses (I love this sienna colour for summer) to a timeless fisherman knit (which will be restocked for fall/winter in both a cotton and alpaca blend option) that almost has me wishing for cold weather already.

Tradlands Modern Fisher Sweater Shell
Tradlands Modern Fisher Sweater Shell

As I mentioned, these items aren’t “cheap” by any means — but they’re absolutely affordable, especially when you think about the cost per wear. The Box T-shirt is the perfect wear-with-everything tee for summer, worth every penny, and I know this high-quality basic will last me for years to come.

Would you try this T-shirt? Have you considered making more sustainable choices when it comes to your clothing? Let us know what you think by commenting below and tweeting @YahooStyleCA! Follow us on Twitter and Instagram.