There’s something endlessly appealing about a great plain white tee, given that they add an elevated and timeless sense of style to pretty much any outfit you can imagine. Rightly considered a wardrobe essential alongside socks, pants or underwear, the plain T-shirt should never be tossed on without careful consideration of its merits.
Every guy worth his salt has got at least one white tee in rotation — some of us probably have many more than that that have been in the mix for longer than we’d like to admit… myself very much included — but that’s all the more reason to do your reading and research to ensure the next one you pick up is the right one for you.
That’s exactly why I felt the need to assemble this hands-on guide; so that I can save you the hassle of road-testing every single tee out there, helping you get the perfect one to your door ASAP. I’ve tried to answer your questions from all across the spectrum:
How will this tee fit around my shoulders, chest, and stomach? How does the fabric feel against my skin? Is it soft, thick or scratchy? How does the collar look? Will I be able to move freely when training?
You might think it’s too much to consider for a basic item such as the plain white tee; how much variation could there actually be? Quite a lot, it turns out, as me and the team found out the hard way. Read on for our full guide to the best white tees for men on the market.
- What We’re Looking For
- Our Selection
- Best Overall: True Classic Crew Neck T-Shirt
- Softest: Bonobos Soft Everyday Tee
- Best Quality: CDLP Midweight Tee
- Best Fitting: Rhone Element T-Shirt
- Best For Large Blokes: Everlane Essential Organic Crew Tee
- Best Value: Lululemon Fundamental T-Shirt
- Best Boxy Fit: Taylor Stitch Organic Cotton Tee
- Best Looking: Reigning Champ Lightweight Jersey Tee
- Best Curved Hem: Buck Mason White Pima Curved Hem Tee
- Most Sustainable: Pact Softspun Crew Neck Tee
- Best Feeling: Public Rec Go-To Crew T-Shirt
- How We Tested The T-Shirts
- Why Trust Us?
What We’re Looking For
Picking which tees deserved to be tried and tested for this article, as well as determining which of those would we rate most favourably and recommend to our dear readers, came down to a few specific but crucial criteria:
- Fabrics: How comfortable are the fabrics? How sustainable are they? How do they react with sensitive skin? Are they likely to get marked or stained too easily? This is a huge consideration for white tees.
- Design: While you’ll find little variation in colour or pattern, we have to ask if these tees offer a contemporary or flattering silhouette. Are the necklines well constructed and a suitable size? What design details do they offer?
- Comfort: How does the tee fit? Does it flatter the right parts of the body? Does it sit snug across the shoulders and chest while still leaving a little room in the belly for those who need it?
- Versatility: White tees are versatile by nature, but does their shape, silhouette, or detailing make them easy to mix and match with other pieces in your capsule wardrobe?
- Price: How much do they cost? And how much is too much for the perfect tee?
You’ll find some brands have been omitted from this guide. That’s not because they were bad, but because nobody on our team could confidently vouch for them. Uniqlo is a perfect example; a great brand and cheap but we were more focused on brands specifically known for their t-shirts.
For a completely impartial and authentic review, we had to go out and purchase each of these T-shirts ourselves and have them sent to the DMARGE office. Some of these brands we’ve tried and tested before; some we wear in regular rotation; others were put on our radar thanks to recommendations from friends and family that we thought needed to be put to the test.
We ordered every T-shirt in a Large size (although one arrived in a Medium, strangely) so we could compare the style and fit against the other brands directly and effectively, before disturbing them amongst some of the most style-savvy our team has to offer including Luc Wiesman — our founder with well over a decade in and around the style space — and Ben Esden, our resident white tee addict.
Best Overall: True Classic Crew Neck T-Shirt
True Classic Crew Neck T-Shirt
VERDICT: Best overall white tee that ticks a lot of the boxes when it comes to that classic look. The fit is snug and comfortable whilst the fabric feels high quality and durable.
- Soft fabric
- Good length
- Slightly thinner feel
The team behind True Classic set out with a very simple idea, to help the everyday guy look and feel good with a t-shirt that fits well, feels good and doesn’t cost the earth… with all the hype surrounding True Classic’s selection of T-shirts, this was the one I was keen to get my hands on the most.
True Classic Crew Neck T-Shirt tees hug all the right areas of the torso without that annoying pinching you get with some fitted tees. On reflection, True Classic delivered on its promise for the most part. The design sat comfortably on my shoulders and hugged my chest well without feeling too tight; it also fell neatly at the waist and left plenty of room around the belly.
Premium fitted crew neck t-shirt. Classic side seam for the best look & fit.
At around $32 per unit — True Classic loves to push its 3-pack but they’re available in single serves too — it’s a more than reasonable entry point for an everyday tee that ticks a lot of boxes. The only consideration is that the fabric, whilst soft, doesn’t feel the most premium and I wonder how long this would last after 3-6 months of consistent use. This may, however, just be a result of the slight stretch built into the fabric to accommodate the aforementioned smugness. Time will tell…
This certainly wouldn’t be something I’d train in, but it’s perfect for taking it easy for styling most casual to smart casual outfits.
Softest: Bonobos Soft Everyday Tee
Bonobos Soft Everyday Tee
VERDICT: Higher cotton count makes Bonobos white T-shirt the softest overall in the list. But where they’ve prioritised feel and comfort, the T-shirt feels like its lacking shape and style.
- Softest feeling
- Tagless branding
- Isn’t well fitted
Bonobos is an interesting option compared to the rest of the styles and designs here. Made using 100% soft cotton, this is undoubtedly the best-feeling T-shirt on the list, but it’s not necessarily the best fitting…
Where True Classic can boast it hugs the frame well, Bonobos would be improved if it was more snug around the shoulders and arms to sit better on my torso. You can see in the below image that the Bonobos Soft Everyday Tee felt a little slouched around the top half of my torso, failing to accentuate my very best bits. You need to consider which you prefer here, as I understand the looser look is preferable for some.
Our best-selling tee made with soft cotton for comfort & breathability.
A real brainwave of Bonobos is their tagless branding: whilst I’m sure it saves them a few dollars in production, it also provides extra comfort for the wearer who doesn’t have to deal with any unnecessary scratching, so that’s definitely an added win for someone with slightly sensitive skin like me. It also doesn’t take away from the overall quality at all, so it’s all upside.
This one is by far the softest and at $35 per piece, Bonobos represents a more affordable option for a comfortable everyday tee.
Best Quality: CDLP Midweight Tee
CDLP Midweight Tee
VERDICT: Certainly the best quality T-shirt available on orur list, CDLP’s superior GSM cotton count produces a premium feeling tee that’s durable, soft and stylish… but all that comes at a price.
- Premium look and feel
- 22 GSM Cotton Count
- Thicker collar
Made using a combination of Lyocell — a fibre derived from certified renewable wood sources — and Pima cotton — an extra long fibre — that pair together to form a premium silk-like softness for added comfort, breathability, texture and structure, the CDLP tee is undoubtedly the highest quality t-shirt here.
Available with a fabric weight of 20 GSM, CDLP follows a wider trend that we’ve seen in the T-shirt market over recent years: higher GSM results in a premium product that’s thicker, far more durable, and feels far more premium.
Our 220 gsm Midweight T-Shirt is designed with a regular fit and crew neck. Made of a unique Tencel™ lyocell and pima cotton blend.
The CDLP Midweight Tee mirrors this in the stitching of the seams, collar, and hems, which we suspect may be double-stitched for added strength and durability. Much like the fabric weight, this ensures that the heavier panels hold together stronger for longer, giving you a tee that stands up to wear.
Not only does heavier material allow it to withstand a lot more movement and weather than cheaper, thinner counterparts, but it also allows the tee to hold its shape for much longer, elevating both you and your outfits alike.
Of course, all this comes at a price — $140 to be exact — which still feels like a steep price point for just one tee. However, the CDLP white tee is undoubtedly the piece that will reward you in the long run.
Best Fitting: Rhone Element T-Shirt
Rhone Element Tee
VERDICT: Using Pima cotton sets the Rhone apart here, giving the T-Shirt a superior soft feel but without sacrificing any of the tyel and shape. Big winner here.
- Soft fabric
- Higher price point
Personally, I prefer a tee that’s fitted and hugs my frame whilst still giving me optimal movement and breathability. Of course, it’s a hard one to get right, but I felt that Rhone was without a doubt the best fitting of all the T-shirts we purchased and reviewed.
However, it’s important to point out that I received a medium in my order which is why it appears tighter compared to the other sizes. Naturally, this earns them something of a black mark against their e-commerce and customer service credentials; receiving the correct product is, we think, the minimum a customer should expect.
Made to be your favorite everyday tee, the Element Tee is made with organic Pima cotton and can be worn anywhere, any time.
Lucky for them, the Rhone Element Tee turned out to be an everyday tee that looked and felt great to wear, beating their path to redemption as a result. Rhone’s Element Tee meets a lot of the criteria we set out when reviewing this selection. Similar to CDLP, Rhone features organic Pima cotton for premium softness and texture but comes at a lower price.
At $105, this comes at a more reasonable price point compared to some of the other selections here and is a serious contender for the best overall; it’ll have to settle for best fitting for now.
Best For Large Blokes: Everlane Essential Organic Crew Tee
Everlane Essential Organic Crew Tee
VERDICT: Soft, breathable fabric that’s affordable and wearable. Although the thin feeling cotton could be an issue for some blokes.
- Wider fit
- Organic cotton
- Sustainable choice
- Feels slightly thinner
- Really slow shipping (30 days to Australia)
Produced in a wider fit, Everlane has updated its everyday tee selection with a higher cotton count and a number of cool sizing features on some of its previous iterations, making this tee the perfect T-shirt available for larger guys. If you’re a full-time gym rat with the boulder shoulders to prove it or just a proud dad working up the requisite BBQ belly, this is the one for you.
Made with 100% organic cotton, Everlane’s commitment to producing high-quality tees for the everyday guy shines through here, as do their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint at every stage of production, a mission that Everlane took up very early compared to the vast majority of menswear brands that have rightly if latently jumped on the bandwagon in recent times. All in all, it’s nice to know I’m not inadvertently contributing to the climate crisis with this tee.
Expertly crafted using 100% OCS-certified organic cotton, this timeless staple features an updated fit for enhanced comfort and style with the same soft yet durable feel that only gets better with wear.
A revised collar gave the Everlane Essential Organic Crew Tee a better shape around my neckline and shoulders, hugging the frame of my upper torso well without any unwanted pinching. At the hem, Everlane’s T-shirts are now less prone to shrinking compared to other products so you have more confidence in your fit.
At $54 – or three for $108 – Everlane’s Essential Organic Crew represents amazing value for money and could be a winner for the wardrobe.
Best Value: Lululemon Fundamental T-Shirt
Lululemon Soft Jersey Tee
VERDICT: Lululemon’s Fundamental T-Shirt represents the best value item on our list, with high-quality material and added specs suitable for active movement.
- Fitted but breathable
- Great value
- Stretchy makes it feel like a gym top
Lululemon’s cottony-soft Fundamental T-Shirt uses high-quality fabrics that are soft and comfortable to touch, which is why I was curious to see how it would match up with my active lifestyle. My curiosity was only piqued further after reading that their underwear came oh-so-close to the top of our best men’s underwear rankings, proving Lululemon’s credentials in the menswear space.
So the first thing I did was take this on a run. Overall, it was the best choice for training, which is a good thing considering the big claims Lululemon make on some of its products. Lululemon claims to have designed this product for people on the move, which is clear in its superior moveability and use of abrasion-resistant fabric treated with No-Stink Zinc™ technology to fight off bad odours… which after a run, we’re all a bit guilty of.
When tech and comfort collide. This wardrobe staple blends cottony-soft fabric with our abrasion-resistant technology for a classic tee that’ll last.
There’s enough room around the arms, shoulders and chest but without any sagging and the neckline is neat and tidy. The fabric also feels slightly stretchy, which gave me confidence when I hit the Bondi to Coogee coastal run.
At $58 USD (~$88 AUD) it’s certainly not sitting within the cheaper options on this list, but with all the technical features and overall high-quality of the fits, this represents the best value option.
Best Boxy Fit: Taylor Stitch Organic Cotton Tee
Taylor Stitch Organic Cotton Tee in Vintage White
VERDICT: Very boxy, the Taylor Stitch Organic Cotton Tee is better for bigger guys unlike my skinny ass.
- Organic cotton
- No pesticides
- No water waste
- Slightly boxy
Whilst I hadn’t heard much about California-based apparel brand Taylor Stitch before undergoing this review, I was pleasantly surprised to learn about its unwavering commitment to producing high-quality tees that puts responsible practice at its core.
From reducing water waste during production to launching recycling initiatives for tired items of clothing, Taylor Stitch embodies climate-conscious ideals that set out to protect the planet, which is certainly a win in my book.
Now, although I felt the Taylor Stitch Organic Cotton Tee was a good product, it did feel slightly boxy when compared to some of the other tees on this list. Not a deal breaker, but not usually one of the qualities I’m looking for in my tees. For some blokes, it’s an essential feature and suits certain frames.
Our ultra-soft Organic Cotton Tee has a classic crewneck design, vintage-style tailored fit and an ideal Goldilocks weight that’s perfect for layering or sporting solo.
The Taylor Stitch Organic Cotton Tee fabric was soft and comfortable owing to the 100% organic cotton and didn’t stick to my torso.
Overall, I felt like it was a good product that was backed up by Taylor Stitch’s many climate-conscious pledges, giving consumers peace of mind that they’re not inadvertently causing harm when buying this tee. At $45 it’s certainly one of the more reasonably priced pieces on this list and a solid choice for the everyday fit.
Best Looking: Reigning Champ Lightweight Jersey Tee
Reigning Champ Lightweight Jersey Tee
- Premium look and feel
- Value for money
- Slightly short
Canadian apparel brand Reigning Champ set out to produce high-quality fits for men to wear all year round. With a nod to its sporty roots, the Vancouver, BC-based outfitter took inspiration from the world of sports and the pursuit of success, utilising fashion ingredients of the highest quality to make tees and hoodies that blokes will actually wear.
Their Lightweight Jersey Tee arrived with a lot of hype; it’s a premium product without the premium price tag, so naturally, we were keen to check this one out. On first wear, it’s notably softer than a lot of the other products in this list, owing to the 100% Cotton that makes up this tee.
Our classic T-shirt is handcrafted in Vancouver from premium cotton with a versatile year-round weight. Designed with a trim athletic fit, a durable rib-bound collar, set-in sleeves, and flatlock seams.
Around the shoulders, the Reigning Champ fits neatly and falls neatly down my torso, whilst the arms are snug and a decent length; it’s certainly one of the better-fitted tees that we tried.
At $55 USD (~$83 AUD) it’s one of the pricier items that we bought for testing – but it also represents one of the better value options for your money. Sure, it’s not as cheap as the Taylor Stitch, and it falls under the same section as Lululemon, however where the Reigning Champ reigns supreme, is in its overall premium look and feel, which ultimately, should be the main reason we rock the tee in the first place.
Best Curved Hem: Buck Mason White Pima Curved Hem Tee
Buck Mason White Pima Curved Hem Tee
VERDICT: Premium, soft cotton with a storied heritage in American textile making, but a slightly boxy feel doesn’t give this product a great fit.
- Premium look and feel
- Too short
Boasting a respectable 140 GSM jersey knit, Buck Mason’s white long-staple USA-grown Pima cotton feels soft and comfortable compared to the other choices in this list and represents more than a century of textile manufacturing and millinery in Eastern Pennsylvania, dating back to 1873.
The style sits neatly on my shoulders which, as time went on, we noticed seemed to be the most inconsistent area of fit amongst all these brands, so this isn’t an achievement to sniff at. However, it isn’t well fitted around my chest at all, which represented something of a comedown after the ecstasy of sculpted shoulders. Nice stitching at the collar and cuff pretty much made up for this though.
Our signature curved hem tee in premium, long-staple USA-grown Supima cotton.
The White Pima curved hem is a nice touch but too short for my build and threatened to ride up every time I took a step, which isn’t the look I, or many other blokes, are going for. However, the brand does offer options for shorter or taller styles to fit your body type, so this may have been an ‘L’ on our part and one that we recommend you avoid.
At $45 USD (~$68 AUD) it’s certainly not a cheap option, but it certainly wouldn’t break the bank to get a couple sent to Australia either.
Most Sustainable: Pact Softspun Crew Neck Tee
Pact Softspun Crew Neck Tee
VERDICT: Climate-conscious fashion that sets the standard for carbon net zero businesses.
- Supports climate initiatives
- Organic cotton
- Feels cheaper
Made using Pact’s Softspun fabric that utilises organic cotton sourced from a Fairtrade-certified factory, Pact’s offering represents climate-conscious crews that don’t cost the earth. The only issue here, of course, is that the fabric doesn’t feel as premium as some of the other options I’ve tried on this list.
Pact’s mission is to put the people on this earth first, partnering with Fair Trade USA, Global Organic Textile Standard and SimpliZero to ensure that all their products reach the highest standard of sustainable practices to support the planet… which is good news for my conscience.
Made with Organic Cotton in a Fair Trade Factory.
While voting with my wallet in this way feels good at the level of ethics, things weren’t so rosy when it came down to Pact’s Softspun Tee aesthetics. The collar felt thin and flimsy, while the stitching made the already thinner fabric feel no stronger. While some people may love the lightweight feel, to me, it just felt like the tee would lack the durability required for long-term and high-intensity use, being an especially no-no for training or workouts.
Overall though, we don’t want to knock an eco-savvy brand given just how important that’s becoming as the days and weeks pass by. If this sustainable trailblazer can just up its product quality slightly, then it could be a game-changer.
Best Feeling: Public Rec Go-To Crew T-Shirt
Public Rec Go-To Crew
VERDICT: A good all-rounder, the aptly named Public Rec Go-To Crew feels and looks good but can’t claim to be the best in many categories.
- High-quality fabric
- Feels amazing on
- Good value for a premium product
- Not fitted around the chest
- Branding on the inside of collar may annoy some people
Public Rec’s aptly named Go-To Crew is a worthy addition to any wardrobe and fits the profile for an essential everyday tee. Made using an expert blend of Pima Cotton for softness, spandex for stretch, and TENCEL for durability, the Public Rec Go-To Crew Tee has that high-quality look and feel I usually go for while offering that additional level of mobility and durability that makes it absolutely perfect for those who keep moving during their day.
A relaxed, athletic tee designed to go with everything in your closet.
The style sits well on the shoulders but doesn’t fit very snugly at the chest, failing to give you that pumped-up look that so many men are chasing. However, the headroom in the chest does follow through to the belly, which is definitely a bonus, allowing blokes some much-needed breathing room. All in all, the fit of this tee wasn’t an instant deal breaker but I felt it was lacking the necessary shape that some of the others on this list had.
At $84, it’s at the higher end of the price scale. While the fit doesn’t exactly stand out compared to a brand like True CLassic, the elevated combination of high-quality materials makes the Go-To great value for money and a solid wardrobe addition.
UPDATE: We’ve been wearing this t-shirt for a week now and I must say it’s one of the best available. It has the perfect amount of stretch and it feels amazing on.
How We Tested The T-Shirts
We purchased and tested every single one of the t-shirts in this guide… as you can see by Ben Esden our model in the photos. He wore every single t-shirt for over 24 hours each, putting them through a series of tests based on activity levels:
He gave them a low-intensity test by wearing them to relax at home. He gave them a medium-intensity test by wearing them to and from work, including his daily commute. Finally, he fave them a high-intensity test by taking them for a workout, run, or powerwalk. (Yes, he really loves a powerwalk.)
The rest of our team in the office — including fashion veteran Fin — then also chipped in with their two cents on the look, feel, and design credentials.
Luc Wiesman then signed off on the final brands.
Why Trust Us?
- We have over 40 years of combined experience exploring the many options for “essentials” and “every day” styles to get the most out of our style.
- We purchased and wore every one of these pairs of white t-shirts. We have the receipts to prove it.
- Each product has been purchased, tried and tested, and our reviews are based on first-hand experience. None of these t-shirts were sent to us by brands for PR purposes.
- We analysed comments and data to understand the products and brands most popular and often purchased by our readers.