Nothing quite says menswear essential like the humble t-shirt. You could have the world’s best collection of jeans, for example, but they’d be nothing without a suitably stylish t-shirt to pair them with. The versatility and relative affordability of t-shirts means they can be worn in countless ways, and in virtually any scenario, although the cocktail dress code may be a bit of a stretch.
With 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 have solid foundations for a versatile wardrobe, being able to pair them with just about anything from jackets to knitwear to hoodies to blazers to collared shirts. Once you’ve nailed that you can start playing around with prints, patterns, detailing and materials to really establish your own personal look.
When it comes to buying t-shirts, however, it’s not just as simple as going into a store, picking some up and walking away. At least, not if you don’t want to have to keep making repeat trips due to your chosen t-shirts not being of good quality, or the correct fit.
Signs Of Quality T-Shirts
With most brands from budget right through to designer labels sourcing their t-shirts – or at least, the cotton to make their t-shirts – from China and other major regions of clothing manufacture, determining the quality of your t-shirts isn’t always the easiest of tasks.
Fortunately, you have DMARGE on your side, and here are our top tips regarding what to look out for next time you go t-shirt shopping.
Feel The Fabric
- A t-shirt’s softness will be indicated by the number of natural fibres used. This information can usually be found on the label. Obviously, you can just feel the t-shirt, but let it be known that a super soft t-shirt in-store may diminish after a few washes.
- Those after quality should lookout for a 100% cotton tee, especially if you’re in the market for printed t-shirts, as the prints will tend to display better on them.
- A jersey t-shirt is also a fantastic option. You’ll guaranteed stretch and comfort, as well as breathability with a jersey t-shirt.
- Blended synthetic tees (usually those on the more budget end of the scale) 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 moisture-wicking sweat from your body and breathability on the whole. They are, however, better for water resistance, so choose materials based on your requirements.
- Bear in mind that a 100% cotton t-shirt doesn’t necessarily mean high quality as there is both low-end and high-end cotton; try to go for organic cotton, Supima cotton, cotton jersey, or slub cotton.
Check The Weave
A tighter weave will mean your t-shirt will last longer, being able to retain its quality following multiple wears and washes. One misconception of a tighter weave is that it will equate to a heavier t-shirt, yet this isn’t the case, as a t-shirt’s fabric density is independent of the t-shirt’s weight or thickness.
With regards to the weight of a t-shirt, this information should also be displayed on the label, and will most commonly be measured in ounces (Oz) or grams per square metre (GSM). The higher the number, the heavier the t-shirt, with the heaviest weight you can expect to find being around 300gsm, making it more suitable for colder months.
If it’s a short sleeve t-shirt for Summer you’re after, you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for t-shirts in the 130-150gsm range, as these fabrics will be lighter and cooler.
Check The Stitching Quality
Stitching quality is a tell-tale sign of a t-shirt’s quality. Look out for any loose threads as a sign of poor construction. A higher stitch count also means the garment should be stronger and will last longer. Stitching at the seams is also an important factor to consider when it comes to the amount of stretch your t-shirt is able to undergo.
If you want a t-shirt to have some stretch to it so that it feels more comfortable during wear, then the stitching will also need to stretch with the fabric. You don’t want to be in a situation when you need to swing your arms, for example, and find that the stitching holding the sleeves to the main body prevent you from achieving your full range of movement.
Different Fits And Styles
There’s an array of fits and styles of men’s tees, but the most classic style is a slim fit crew neck t-shirt. However, you can get a relaxed fit if you want something super comfortable. You can get a regular fit if you’re uncomfortable with having a t-shirt cling to you like a slim fit, but you don’t want it to swamp you like a relaxed fit.
If you’re not fond of the crew neck t-shirt because it feels restrictive around your neck, you can go for a scoop neck or a v neck. You can also get a pocket tee if you like having a little extra storage for your everyday essentials. We recommend getting short sleeves but also at least one long sleeve tee, so you’re covered for cooler weather.
The best men’s t-shirt is what you feel comfortable in; so decide what style you like best in terms of both comfort and aesthetic. Whether you’re looking for a crewneck tee, v-neck tee, or scoop neck tee, long-sleeve t-shirt or short sleeve t-shirt, these are the brands for men to know if you want the best t-shirts on the market, in your wardrobe.
Men’s T-Shirt FAQ
What are the best men's T shirts?
Everlane, James Pearse, and Orlebar Brown make some of the best men's tees on the market; whether you're after a cotton t-shirt, jersey t-shirt, a cotton jersey blend, a crew tee, or a pocket tee, these brands are the place to go to find the best t-shirt for your needs.
What colour T shirts should a man own?
A white t-shirt is a must-have in a man's wardrobe, but grey and black are also t-shirt colour staples. The best men's wardrobe would ideally consist of white, grey, black, navy and one 'fun' bright colour for optimal versatility.
How many T shirts should a man have?
When it comes to shirts for men, they should have no less than five t-shirts in their wardrobe. They should be replaced roughly every 12 months due to wearing and fading.
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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. We can personally vouch for the quality of their Air t-shirt, with its perfect cotton crew neck.
Premium athletic wear specialist Rhone is a brand all modern professional gents should have on their radar. The brand puts a strong focus on sourcing and developing the finest fabrics that feel super soft on the skin and help you perform to the highest level. Rhone cuts clothing magnificently, so you'll find their garments fit perfectly.
Away from its gym and athletic range, Rhone also has a collection of everyday clothing, which includes the Element Tee. Available in crew and v-neck styles, the Element is made from a soft and highly durable Pima cotton and benefits from SilverTech to help banish odour, meaning you can wear it multiple days in a row. Cut to a perfect slim fit too, the Element could be the only t-shirt you ever need.
Ministry of Supply
You don't typically think of 'science' when you're clothes shopping and yet, science drives everything Ministry of Supply does. They use science and engineering techniques to create garments that are comfortable, breathable, stretchy, sweatproof, are easy to care for, and will give you a full range of motion.
Their range of t-shirts include merino knits for ultimate softness, and coffee-infused tees to absorb odour. All of Ministry of Supply's will make an excellent addition to any wardrobe.
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, the best t-shirt for any casual affair. If you're after a pocket tee, Outerknown has a wide range as well as classic tees.
Tommy John is known for comfort. While it may predominantly be an underwear brand (and you really should check out their boxers and briefs) the same commitment to quality fabrics has been applied to other areas of clothing too, including t-shirts. The fabric blend used for the t-shirts comprises, pima cotton, model and spandex for ultimate comfort. All t-shirts are also wrinkle-resistant, unshrinkable and fade-free, so will basically look like new their entire life. There's literally not a bad word to say about these slim fit cotton crew neck t-shirt.
San Francisco based clothing brand, Quince is relatively new to the clothing scene, but aims to shake things up by offering luxury quality and rock-bottom prices. Just one look at the company's website and we're inclined to agree, with t-shirts being made from 100% Pima organic cotton that is sourced from Peru, which is also where the t-shirts are made. And, being a direct-to-consumer brand, the prices can be kept incredibly low, to the point where we wonder how they even make a profit. Their t-shirts look, feel and fit fantastically, so be sure to stock up your drawers on these shirts for men.
Frank And Oak
Canadian retailer Frank And Oak was founded in 2012 with one clear mission: to offer men a complete collection of capsule wardrobe essentials that do more good than harm for the environment, yet exude the highest possible quality. The company's t-shirt range encompasses plain and patterned styles, as well as a variety of fits and fabrics, including a cotton blend that helps to regulate your body temperature. The company cuts clothing beautifully, and make some of the best t-shirts on the market.
Effortlessly cool US designer, Todd Snyder makes essential wardrobe pieces incredibly well. More premium than the average high-street store yet not quite venturing into truly luxurious territory, Todd Snyder is a brand that professionals really need to consider stocking up on.
The label's Made In L.A. t-shirt, is as the name suggests, made in the Californian city. Fabricated from a premium cotton jersey, Todd's tee lends itself to being dressed up or down, depending on the situation you find yourself in. Available in a multitude of colours, this cotton jersey tee is a superb capsule piece.
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. We highly recommend their cotton crew short sleeve tee range.
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.
For outright quality you simply must check out American Giant. The US clothing brand produces its entire catalogue of clothes in the US, which means you can be assured of receiving items that will last.
The brand's premium slub cotton t-shirt is made from a slub cotton jersey fabric that is the result of a year's worth of development. Incredibly comfortable and offering up what could be considered a perfect fit, it could well become your new favourite; honestly their range are some of the best t-shirts available.
Always thought of wool as being a material for colder temperatures? Think again. Unbound Merino, a Canadian company specialising in the use of Merino wool, has produced a collection of t-shirts that can be worn all year round. Taking advantage of merino wool'
s natural properties, the brand's t-shirts are odour resistant, moisture wicking, and highly breathable, so will keep you cool and dry incredibly quickly. Three major boxes ticked for t-shirts.
These cotton crew tees look great too, and are available in the essential colours.
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; this is where you can find that pocket tee, curved hem, longer sleeve tee, or whatever unconventional style you're after.
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're guaranteed to find the best t shirt for your wardrobe.
Orlebar Brown is famous for making swim shirts that are 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 slim fit, regular fit, crewneck tee and v-neck t-shirts that match the quality and style of their shorts.
Reiss is the epitome of high-quality British menswear. While you can find prints within Reiss' collections, you're more likely to find simple, minimalistic pieces in a range of colours that will allow to you create a myriad of outfit combinations. At Reiss you'll get a 100% cotton t-shirt that's soft and high quality.
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. This is probably one of the best places to get that classic white tee.
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.
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, like the ever so humble cotton t-shirt, look fantastic and will last you a lifetime.
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 best t-shirts when it comes to comfort.
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. These shirts for men are all relaxed; no slim fit here. Another one of the best shirt brands for a modern, edgy look.
Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo is a must-visit shopping destination for well-made, well-fitting menswear essentials, but without the price tag of some more premium clothing labels. Uniqlo u offers both short sleeve and long sleeve t-shirts, in regular fits and playful fits such as a curved hem, or a pocket tee; but it's the Supima cotton range that has us giddy with excitement. Supima cotton is superior to regular cotton as it exhibits greater strength, colour retention and softness.