Things I Bought That I Love: Kowtow Building Block Scoop Tee

Things I Bought That I Love highlights the (hopefully) rare, carefully considered new purchases that spark joy in this aspiring minimalist.

Kowtow building block scoop tee in navy and white stripe made from organic cotton, folded and displayed alongside succulent, Vancouver Candle Co. Mt. Pleasant travel tin candle, Madewell gold hexagon earrings, Asscher cut diamond engagement ring, De Beers half pave yellow gold infinity band, Danica Studio angle dipped coasters

When I first KonMari'd my life, I thought it'd be a one-and-done deal. The marathon tidying session would signal the start of a blissful stasis where I'd be perfectly content with my possessions, never feeling tempted to buy anything new again; however, reality is more nuanced than that. I've still been shopping here and there for new clothes, albeit much less than I used to and mostly replacing pieces that have worn out or don't fit anymore. However, my Kowtow Building Block Scoop Tee ($79) is not one of these conscientious replacement purchases. I have plenty of striped tees already, but I knew I had to have this one when I saw it on the sale rack at Still Life and I wouldn't regret it either.

One of the lessons I've learned the roundabout way is that cheap T-shirts are just not worth it. A couple of new T-shirts a year doesn't seem like much, but compounded over five years, ten years, a lifetime, they add up. Conventional North American fashion wisdom holds that for everyday basics like tees, it's best to just buy 'em cheap and toss 'em when they wear out, but I was sick of doing that and literally throwing money into the garbage, then spending eons hunting down the perfect replacement. The cheap T-shirt is the epitome of the expression "Penny wise, pound foolish."

Kowtow building block scoop tee in navy and white stripe made from organic cotton

I'm ashamed to say my twenties were a wasteland of semi-disposable cotton tees. As I hit my thirties I resolved to stop this vicious cycle and buy better, looking for thicker materials that would hold up in the wash, good stitching, and a price tag over $35. The Kowtow tee ticks all of these boxes, and even though this is the most expensive T-shirt I've ever bought ($79!) it's worth every penny.

I like how the sturdy organic cotton holds up in the laundry and doesn't feel wilted like thinner tees do if you wear it multiple days in a row without washing. (Sorry, was that TMI?) The torso of the shirt is generously cut—loose but not boxy, with drape and movement thanks to a wraparound bias seam and roomy shoulders. (This is a must as my tees and jackets always seem to stop fitting in the shoulders first.) And perhaps most importantly, it has that insouciant French-girl vibe we all hunger for when we buy striped tees. Did I need another shirt? Not really. But the Kowtow tee came into my life serendipitously and, fingers crossed, it'll stay there for the long haul.

Vancouver beauty, life, and style blogger Solo Lisa wears a blue sherpa-lined utility jacket with a fuzzy shearling collar, navy and white striped tee, blue skinny jeans, a gold and howlite marble necklace, red lipstick, and a vintage bag.

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