Why are my t-shirts so sheer?

overly sheer t-shirt
A tissue tee, available for $62. Photo from Shopbop

I just had to throw out yet another t-shirt that I bought last summer. It had small holes in the sleeves and had lost its shape, especially in the collar. I didn’t think much about it when I bought it–it was $5 at a sample sale. I don’t think I even bothered trying it on.

It was a tissue tee.

Tissue tees, which have other names like slub-knit, are really common in the women’s apparel market today. You’ve probably seen them at retailers ranging from Old Navy to Neiman Marcus. They’re thin, flowy shirts with a loose shape that hang off your body a little.

Even though these tees come in every color, all of them tend to be pretty sheer–even in black. One of the other tees I got rid of, also purchased last year, is a dark grey. Somehow, even that shirt is sheer. I was frustrated and talked about this with my dad, who has worked as a vendor in the garment industry for 35 years.

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What this is

Welcome to Garb Guide!

This is a place to learn about clothes – how they’re made, how to buy and take care of them, how to style them.

Not all of us have well-dressed French grandmothers to teach us these things. But if you’re here, you do have the Internet!

Perhaps like you, I struggled for a long time with figuring out how to dress well and appropriately for my body and my lifestyle. I did eventually figure out how to dress appropriately, and am at a point now where I feel good with the clothes I own and wear.

Unfortunately, most of that learning was by trial and error, and looking pretty meh for most of my 20’s. I wasted a lot of money, time and resources that I’ll always feel guilty about. Hopefully I can help you avoid or stop doing that!

Garb Guide also discusses a lot about the specifics in manufacturing. My dad has been working in the fashion industry for 35 years in various roles, and can provide some technical knowledge and tell us about the realities of making garments. Most people don’t realize what a precise, difficult science garment manufacturing it is, so I hope this can provide some knowledge about what goes into creating our clothes and how they’re made.

I made this website to be your guide to all things clothes. I look forward to sharing my knowledge and for learning even more from you!