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 stretch.
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 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 own your personal look.
When it comes to buying some 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.
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 the softness you feel in-store may diminish after a few washes.
- Those after quality should look out for 100% cotton tees, especially if you’re in the market for printed t-shirts, as the prints will tend to display better on them.
- 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 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 100% cotton doesn’t necessarily mean high quality as there is both low-end and high-end 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-sleeved summer number you’re after, you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for t-shirts in the 130-150gsm range, and these fabrics will be lighter and cooler.
Check The Stitching
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.
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 cotton t-shirts on the market today.
What color T shirts should a man own?
White, grey and black are three must-own t-shirt colours for men.
How many T shirts should a man have?
Men should have no less then five t-shirts in their wardrobe. They should be replaced every 12 months due to wearing and fading.
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 supersoft 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 fit too, the Element could be the only t-shirt you ever need.
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 jersey tee is a superb capsule piece.