A good t-shirt is the crux of any respectable summer wardrobe. But not every one of them is capable of shouldering that weight. From fit to fabric to weight, t-shirts vary as widely as any garment of clothing — and their differences are known to inspire loyalty and respect among the discerning wearer. Which is why we asked five menswear experts to share their favorites.
A.P.C. Jimmy T-Shirt
“A good set of tees will change your life. Why? Because they pair well with any pant or short and can be dressed up or down — something I believe worth investing money into. A lot of the higher end brands’ tees don’t fit me as I’m 6’3″ and pretty lanky. But A.P.C. makes an XXL, which pretty much sits in-between L and XL. I got a $100 [gift card] to A.P.C. and a tee was all I could buy with it. I’ve since bought four others from them and they just seem to hang off you and wash better. Each season they stay relatively consistent with the colors and fits. If you’re at the stage where less is more, their tees are for you.” — Damien Fahrenfort, Cofounder of General Admission
3Sixteen Heavyweight Plain Black Pocket T-Shirt
“After years of bouncing between brands and cuts, I’ve landed on New York’s 3Sixteen brand and their plain Heavyweight T-Shirts — with and without the pocket. The fit and cut are perfect for me: as a stocky and average-height guy, most shirts are either too snug in the chest or too long on the hem. 3Sixteen gets me perfectly with a Made-in-the-USA heavyweight cotton t-shirt that just works. Highly recommended.” — Jeff Carvalho, Managing Director of Highsnobiety
Los Angeles Apparel 6.5oz T-Shirt
“I have always tended to gravitate towards heavier t-shirts. I don’t like when a T is too clingy — a good drape and shape is what I am looking for. The classic 50/50 cotton-polyester tee is solid, but when I discovered Los Angeles Apparel’s 6.5oz, I knew I had found my perfect one. These shirts fit well, have a good amount of heft and hold their shape really well. They’re all I’ve ever wanted in a shirt. If they keep making them, I will keep wearing them, indefinitely.” — Michael Williams, Founder of A Continuous Lean.
Lady White Co. Crewneck T
“I have been wearing this t-shirt for a year now. One of my former employees designs the line and produces it in LA. It’s the perfect t-shirt. The fit is spot on — a bit more roomy. It’s a t-shirt that can stand on it’s own. The fabric is perfect as is the neck binding. It’s a tall order to tick this many boxes.” — Todd Barket, Cofounder of Unionmade
Merz b. Schwanen 2-Thread Heavy-Weight T-Shirt
“My favorite t-shirt of the past year is Merz b. Schwanen’s high-end two-needle version of their basic t-shirt. The fabric is unreal, and I don’t think most people realize how nice a t-shirt fabric can be until they handle one of these. It’s made of organic Greek cotton on a vintage loopwheeling machine in Germany. Fit is perfect, slim, and it has no exterior branding. I own multiples in nearly every color they’re made in.” — Kiya Babzani, Co-Owner of Self Edge