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The Story of the Essential Tee

We believe the perfect wardrobe starts with the perfect tee.  That’s why we’re so excited to launch our first line of Essential Tees this week.  We’ve worked for months to perfect them.  You’ve given us your input and feedback along the way.  Tonight we’re excited to take a look back at the making of the Essential Tees, and share a sneak peek from our photo shoot with Kayte Demont of Mass Musings.

The Big Picture

We started Brass to help women like you build beautiful, high quality wardrobes.  We knew exactly what you were looking for in a clothing brand because we were you.  We had grown tired of crappy fast fashion.  We were sick of degrading quality.  We wanted a curated wardrobe full of well-made, versatile pieces.  We wanted beautiful style.  And we wanted to to look great everyday.

In short,  we wanted a closet that looked like this:

curated closet_brass

And to leave the house feeling like this:


We launched in September of 2014 with five dress styles.  We started with dresses because they’re an entire outfit in and of themselves.  Our line was built with you in mind. And you loved it.  Now we’re ready to move to the next step in your dream wardrobe: the Essential Tee collection.

The Dream Tee

As we see it, the perfect wardrobe starts with the perfect tee.  A well-made, quality tee can be one of the most versatile items in your closet.  A typical, everyday tee is casual and can look good with jeans.  But it has its limitations.  A beautiful, quality tee can elevate any outfit.  Dress it down with your boyfriend jeans and a pair of casual sneakers.  Dress it up with nice, black skinny pants or a flared skirt.  It’s the perfect base to any outfit, and it’s exactly what sought out to make.

We evaluated many luxury T-shirt brands over the course of production, and were shocked to see the prices women were paying for a high quality tee.

3 tees_brass

Rag & Bone, $85                      Monrow  Tee, $60                        Vince, $90

Brands such as Vince and Rag & Bone charge up to $120 for their T-shirts.  Yes, they fit beautifully and are made of soft, luxurious materials. But the truth is, these shirts cost around $10 to make and are marked up 8-12x by retailers.  We knew we could do a lot better.  With your help, we set off to create the perfect tee; a tee that is just as luxurious as the designers but without the excessive markup.

The Development   

If you’re a Brass Babe or have been following Brass for a while, you’ve probably seen our surveys.  You may have even contributed to the tee survey we sent in September.  Before we design any product, we always get input from customers to see what they want in a style.

Brass Tee Survey.png

We asked our Babes to choose their favorite neckline: crew neck, scoop neck, v-neck, boat neck and cowl neck.   We heard from almost 300 women and learned that 38% preferred v-neck, 26% prefer scoop neck and 16% prefer boat neck.  Crew neck was a close fourth.  Cowl neck came in last place.  With this information, we got to work with our factories to make our samples.

Besides the neckline, there were a few other key things we needed to get right in order for the tees to hold up to our designer competitors:

  1. Luxurious fabric: We chose the highest quality modal to make the tees ultra soft and comfortable. The fabric is lightweight, and great for layering.  Its high quality will hold up over time.
  2. Fit: The right fit will separate a good tee from great tee. A great fit will smooth and flatter, and it will elongate the torso.  We went through several design iterations to make sure the bodice of our tee was perfect.  The length of the tee is also very important.  We wanted to make a tee that hit the hip just right; long enough to cover the top of your pants, but not too long that the tee will bunch.
  3. Detail: We added a dart on the back to elevate the tee and allow it to drape beautifully.
  4. Color: We chose neutral, versatile colors: black, charcoal and light gray.  All of the tees can be dressed up or down with ease.

The Result: 

The Essential Tee collection is made up of the black V-neck, charcoal Scoopneck and light gray Boatneck.


A few weeks ago we showed you a photograph of the tees and asked which you would most likely buy.  We found that 48% of you said you’d buy the charcoal Scoopneck, 28% said the black V-neck and 24% said you’d get the light gray Boatneck.  Although the results varied from the original neckline survey (you had said V-neck as number one), they were as we predicted based on the final cut and color of the shirts.  

The Style 

The Essential Tees are the perfect base layer for any outfit, whether your style is a structured blazer and flats or a party skirt and pumps.


This week we’ll share our favorite ways to style the tees, including special looks (like those above) from one of our favorite babes, Kayte Demont of Mass Musings.  Keep an eye on your inbox, and if you don’t receive the Brass newsletter, sign up here.

If you’d like to start your perfect wardrobe with a free Essential Tee, you still have time to sign up here.

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