6 T-Shirts You Never Knew You Needed for Winter

Most people don’t think of a T-shirt as a winter staple. After all, we’re talking about the season of puffer coats and toasty boots. But we’re here to tell you great tees are just as important during the winter as they are in the warmer seasons of the year,as they play an important role in your layering game.

Ahead, we’ve rounded up a variety of great tees you never knew you needed for winter. Many of them are useful base layers for keeping warm when the weather is cold. (Translation: they may never see the light of day, but they sure will keep you toasty.) Others are perfect for making a casual style statement. Still others take advantage of the useful properties of natural fibers that you might not usually think about wearing during winter.

No matter which way you look at it, T-shirts are a surprisingly useful category of winter clothing. Check out our picks ahead. We promise there’s a style that will change your idea of T-shirts for good.

1. The cashmere tee

Theory cashmere tee

A cashmere tee is a luxe winter staple | Saks Fifth Avenue

One of the most-overlooked T-shirt styles that’s perfect for winter is the cashmere tee. Cut in a trim and classic silhouette, it’s a no-brainer addition to your closet if your style veers toward preppy. But in a neutral like black or grey, this style is also a great fit for anybody who wants a luxe and warm base layer. You can wear one under looser layers or trim knits alike, or pair it with a blazer or chunky cardigan for an extra dose of warmth.

Theory’s Tolleree Cashmere Tee, for example, is constructed of pure cashmere. It features a rolled edge at the neckline, sleeves, and hem. And while it may look just like a normal tee at first glance, we promise it feels way more luxe. 

2. The marinière

Petit Bateau marinière

A classic marinière is a versatile addition to your winter wardrobe | Amazon

A marinière is about a lot more than just classic nautical style (though it definitely gets some points for that). A striped tee from a classic French brand like Saint James, Armor-Lux, or Petit Bateau will be made of a heavyweight cotton. The material is perfect for keeping you warm on chilly days, whether you want to layer it under a pullover sweater or cardigan, or wear it on its own. Petit Bateau’s round-collar shirt, in white or in navy, is a perfect example of the style. This tee looks great worn with a wide variety of different outfits and styles, and it’s also a pretty versatile layering piece. 

3. The merino tee

Lafayette 148 New York merino tee

A merino wool tee is an investment piece that you can wear year-round | Nordstrom

Merino wool doesn’t seem like the most logical material for a T-shirt, but you’ll never look back once you’ve tried one. Merino is great at keeping you warm when it’s cold outside (and, conversely, can also keep you cool when it’s hot, which makes this style a year-round staple). Surprisingly enough, this type of wool is also great at minimizing body odor. So, a merino tee is a great choice when you’re running around the city or rushing through the airport. We particularly like Lafayette 148 New York’s Scoop Neck Merino Wool Top, which is crafted of fine-gauge Italian wool. It’s an investment piece for sure, but it’s a comfortable base layer that you can wear year-round.  

4. The silk tee

Eileen Fisher silk tee

A silk tee may not be on your radar (yet), but it’s a great piece for staying comfortable in the winter | Macy’s

Silk is a natural fiber that’s pretty often overlooked, especially in the winter. But for days when you aren’t planning on going to the gym, silk can be a great choice. Just like merino wool, silk wicks moisture away from your body, helping it evaporate faster. Plus, who doesn’t like the feel of silk? Check out Eileen Fisher’s Silk Jersey Top. It’s offered in a wide array of sizes, so you can find your perfect fit. 

5. The thermal tee

PJ Salvage thermal tee

A thermal tee is a perennial winter favorite, and is the perfect layering piece | Nordstrom

Everybody knows about thermal tees and long underwear for winter, but did you know thermal tees are offered in a wide variety weights to accommodate different temperatures and layering styles? PJ Salvage’s thermal henley tee is the perfect top for lounging at home or layering with other warm pieces when you venture out into the cold. It’s constructed of a 55% cotton and 45% modal blend, which means you can throw it into the washing machine with your other winter staples. 

6. The turtleneck

Splendid turtleneck tee

You can’t beat a turtleneck tee for keeping your neck warm in the winter | Nordstrom

No matter your preferred fiber or the kinds of colors you like to wear, you’re almost certain to find a turtleneck tee a comfy and useful addition to your winter wardrobe. Whether you’re commuting on foot or just taking a lap around the block to shovel snow, you’ve probably noticed your neck can get cold, even with a cozy scarf wrapped around it. Up your chances of staying warm with a turtleneck, which will automatically protect your neck from cold air and bitter wind. Splendid’s turtleneck tee is constructed of 50% pima cotton and 50% modal. Its trim silhouette is classic and flattering, plus layering-friendly. Also, this tee is made in the U.S.A., which is increasingly rare these days.