Our household owns an obnoxious amount of American Apparel t-shirts.  Granted, most of the tees are in the same style–tri-blend and boy beaters for me; gym tees and leisure shirts for my husband–which can be chalked up to the fact that we both wear fashion uniforms that can be easily replicated morning after morning, or replaced when the pieces wear out.

Obviously, we’re in a rut.

In an attempt to branch out, here are four other t-shirt resources for quality, affordable, on-trend basics:

alternative-apparel-echo-park-heather-burnout-deep-v-neckAlternative Apparel

The name is such a nudge at American Apparel that you have to laugh.  AA (the alternative one) is aiming their gaze squarely at AA’s market, taking the extra step of actually clothing their models and making their tees softer and less prone to shrinkage than their American Apparel counterparts.  Shirt for shirt, Alternative Apparel’s Echo Park Heather Burnout Deep V-Neck is so sharp and sexy that it sears the competition.  More expensive than American Apparel, but worth it.

jcrew-twisted-slub-jersey-tankJ.Crew

Regardless of whether the Crew is your style, their t-shirts–which often go on big, big sale, and can be found at their outlet locations–hold their shape and last forever.  I actually own a maroon tank top from 2001 that, hand to God, is still wearable, if it weren’t for that huge bleach stain on its front.  (I sleep in it now.  Sexy, I know.)  Try the Twisted Slub Jersey Tank and the Tissue Boyfriend V-Neck Tee.

old-navy-rib-knit-racerback-tankOld Navy

Don’t scoff; for those of us who can’t run in to a Uniqlo or H&M for a t-shirt fix, Old Navy provides a decent selection of wear-it-for-one-summer-then-toss-it basics.  At the beginning of the season, I buy a stack of white tanks, then discard them when summer shreds them to yellow, smelly pieces.

americas_basics_tight_t_shirt_scoop_neck_with_cap_sleeveHonorable Mention:  America’s Basics

While I haven’t personally worn anything from this line, their prices are certainly cheap enough to give the brand a try.  You could easily build an entire t-shirt wardrobe for around $50.