The Playbook For The Modern Man

16 Men’s T-Shirt Brands For Those Who Want To Be The King Of Casual Cool

There’s more to this classic staple than you think.

The humble t-shirt is a staple of every man’s closet. The versatility and relative affordability of them means that they can be worn countless ways for almost any situation, except maybe for a cocktail dress code.

With all that said the rules of how to wear t-shirts are rather simple. Start with the basic colours like white, black, grey and navy and you’ll be able to pair them to just about anything from jackets to knitwear to blazers to collared shirts. Once you’ve nailed that you can start playing around with prints, patterns, detailing and materials to really own your personal look.

Signs Of Quality T-Shirts

With most brands from budget right through to designer labels sourcing their t-shirts from China and other major regions of clothing manufacture, it’s not the easiest to determine a quality t-shirt these days.

There are quick and simple ways to do it though.

Feel The Fabric

  • A t-shirt’s softness as this will indicate the amount of natural fibres used. The label is also a no brainer.
  • Those after quality should opt for 100% cotton tees as prints tend to look better on them.
  • Blended synthetic tees have the issue of ageing at a different rate to pure 100% materials and this may tarnish the look slightly.
  • Full polyester t-shirts on the other hand will be terrible for wicking heat and breathability. They are however good for water resistance so choose based on your requirements.
  • Bear in mind that 100% cotton doesn’t necessarily mean high quality as there is both low-end and high-end cotton.

Check The Weave

A tighter weave means that the t-shirt will last longer. One misconception of the tighter weave is that it will equate to a heavier t-shirt. This isn’t the case as varying fabric density is independent of the t-shirt’s weight or thickness.

Check The Stitching

Stitching quality is a tell-tale sign of t-shirt quality. Look out for any loose threads as a sign of poor construction. A higher stitch count also means the garment is stronger and will last longer.

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ASOS Design

Since becoming one of the most successful online fashion retailers, ASOS have introduced their own line of clothing – ASOS design. Since they offer a large selection of the worlds best clothing brands on their website, they can draw inspiration from all over to create eclectic designs of their own. This applies to their t-shirts which come in an enormous selection of affordable styles.

ASOS Design Organic T-Shirt with Crew Neck in Black
Organic T-Shirt with Crew Neck in Black $12


Topman is a British menswear brand that has been around since 1978. They have a large selection of good quality, affordable t-shirts available in an array of colours, fabrics, patterns and cuts. Finding a tee to suit your needs should be a piece of cake.

Topman White and Navy Striped T-Shirt
White and Navy Striped T-Shirt $18


Originally an assignment at the Stanford Business School, Bonobos creates high quality, wearable and comfortable basics for men. They employ a range of high-quality fabrics and revolutionary cuts to create the perfect basics.

Bonobos Soft Everyday Tee
Soft Everyday Tee $25


Everlane is a clothing brand for the modern era and focus heavily on ethical and sustainable manufacturing processes. Their t-shirts are made in Vietnam in a hand-picked factory from a variety of high-quality cottons.

The Premium Weight Crew
The Premium Weight Crew $28

Flint & Tinder

Flint & Tinder is a small subsidiary of Huckberry which draws its designs from traditional, hardwearing American looks. All of their items are made in the USA to extremely high standards. Their t-shirts are no-frills, practical and stylish.

Flint and Tinder Heavy Slub Tee
Heavy Slub Tee $38


J Crew’s ethos is to make timeless clothing that lasts a lifetime. They have an expansive range of t-shirts, available in modern cuts, trendy colours and timeless designs so you can find your perfect tee.

J.Crew Essential crewneck T-shirt
Essential Crewneck T-shirt $38


Founded in Amsterdam, Unrecorded came about in an attempt to put up a front to fast fashion. As a result of this, all of Unrecoded’s clothing uses high quality, durable fabrics, sustainable production processes and timeless designs that are immune from the coming and going of fashion trends. Whilst basic, their t-shirts are made from organic cotton and feature a timeless, elegant cut.

Unrecorded Black Classic T-Shirt
Black Classic T-Shirt $45

Saturdays NYC

Saturdays NYC was started by a group of friends in New York City who shared a passion for surfing and coffee culture. Their appreciation of these and the aesthetic lifestyles associated with them is the source of inspiration for the label. Their tees combine modern cuts with cool, minimalist designs that ooze urban cool.

Saturdays NYC Gotham Chest Raised T-Shirt, Cobalt
Gotham Chest Raised T-Shirt, Cobalt $48


Started by the world’s most dominant competitive surfer ever, Kelly Slater, Outerknown is his own brainchild and legacy. The brand employs sustainable practices to ensure the planet and its fruits can be enjoyed for generations to come. Outerknown’s tees are clean-cut and basic, perfect for any casual affair.

Outerknown Sojourn Tee
Sojourn Tee $48

Todd Snyder

After successful stints at the likes of Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs and The GAP, Todd Snyder opened his label to focus on his own style and taste in clothing. He has a range of unique, high-quality clothing and has had collaborations with the likes of Champion and Red Wing. His t-shirts feature a modern cut and are available in a selection of great fabrics.

Todd Snyder + Champion Basic Jersey Tee in Black
+ Champion Basic Jersey Tee in Black $50

Paul Smith

Famous for his unique and interesting designs, Paul Smith knows how to make clothing that is in the moment but not of the moment. His selection of t-shirts are crafted from organic cotton and are available with patterns or in plain.

Paul Smith Navy Organic-Cotton Zebra Logo T-Shirt
Navy Organic-Cotton Zebra Logo T-Shirt $85


Unbeknownst to many, Sunspel is one of the finest manufacturers of wardrobe basics. They’re so good, they’re even the choice of basics for Daniel Craig’s 007. Designed and made in Europe from ultra-high quality fabrics, Sunspel’s basics look fantastic and will last you a lifetime.

Sunspel Striped Cotton-Jersey T-shirt
Striped Cotton-Jersey T-Shirt $96


Outlier creates clothing with the aim of helping people with the freedom to do whatever they want, without being restricted by their clothing. Above all else, they focus on functionality to help empower the wearer. Their t-shirts are the embodiment of this ethos and are the creme of the crop when it comes to comfort.

Outlier Ramielust T-Shirt
Ramielust T-Shirt $125


Founded in 2012, Wahts has created premium menswear staples with premium fabrics and designs to present a contemporary athleisure aesthetic. Their t-shirts are high quality and have a sleek, modern look.

Wahts Pure White Dean T Shirt
Pure White Dean T-Shirt $125

Orlebar Brown

Orlebar Brown is famous for making swim shirts so cool and sophisticated that James Bond wears them. Alongside making the world’s best ‘shorts you can swim in’, Orlebar Brown has a range of t-shirts that match the quality and style of their shorts.

Orlebar Brown Ob-T Linen Pewter/Cloud Tailored-Fit Crew Neck T-Shirt
Ob-T Linen Pewter/Cloud Tailored-Fit Crew Neck T-Shirt $175

Acne Studios

Acne Studios was originally a subset of Acne, a Swedish brand that focused on graphic design, film production and advertising. Since then, Acne Studios has taken off to become one of the most influential designer brands. Their t-shirts pair ultra-high quality with distinct, modern designs.

Acne Studios Oversized T-Shirt Black
Oversized T-Shirt Black $300

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