There’s nothing like an old, faded, incredibly comfortable T-shirt. It carries years of stories in its washed-out threads. While it takes years to get there, the process is well worth it.
The best T-shirts are uncomplicated, but because of their simplicity, the smallest details have substantial effects. The material, the knit, the seams, the silhouette, the hem, the neckline — all these parts (and more) come together to create a garment that transcends social and economic divisions. So if you invest in a quality tee now — our favorites are below — you’re sure to be rewarded in coming years, as the garment will just keep getting better.
Best Overall T-Shirt: Los Angeles Apparel 6.5oz T-Shirt
Made in Los Angeles, this shirt has a 6.5-ounce American-cotton fabric that is garment-dyed with natural enzymes — that means it’ll feel broken-in from the first wear. It features a generous fit and high neck line.
Best Upgrade T-Shirt: Outerknown Groovy Pocket Tee
Made from organic cotton, this shirt is loosely knit for an airy feel which goes well with its relaxed silhouette. The garment-dye process also gives the tee more character.
Best Affordable T-Shirt: Hanes Beefy T
Hanes has been serving up the beef for decades and you'd be hard-pressed to find a better tee for the price. It's super soft from the get go and has just the right weight to wear as a year-rounder.
Pro Club Heavyweight T-Shirt
As far as multi-pack t-shirts go, Pro Club’s sit in a class where few others do. The all-cotton fabric is substantial, yet comfy and the price is tough to beat.
Uniqlo U T-Shirt
Uniqlo’s U sublabel is a style hack for fashion fiends. And among the lot of Christoph Lemaire-designed basics, the t-shirt stands out thanks to its thick cotton jersey, bound collar and impeccable fit.
KC Jacks Foundation Shirt
With the backing of military-grade fabric and construction behind it, KC Jacks’ Foundation Short Sleeve Shirt is ready for heavy duty. The collar stays close to the neck, it’s long enough to tuck in, it comes in a range of colors and it’s made right here in The States.
Everlane Organic Cotton Pocket T-Shirt
This shirt features a midweight cotton knit that is certified organic by the Global Organic Textile Standard. Made in Vietnam, it has a slim fit and single chest pocket.
Forty Five Supima Crew Tee
Made in the USA, Forty Five's entry into the tee market uses premium Supima cotton to knit its luscious jersey. It features a classic, vintage-style silhouette and a range of garment-dyed colorways.
Buck Mason Slub Classic Pocket Tee
Buck Mason's made a killing with its line of quality tees. Though the curved hem tee is a huge boon for the brand, we prefer the straight-hemmed Slub Classic Pocket Tee. It has a great hand and tons of slubby texture to distance itself from the undershirt fare. It's made in LA and comes in the requisite black and white options, but be sure to look out for its seasonal colorways, too.
Noah Recycled Cotton Tee
Noah's premium tee eschews new cotton in favor of a 100% cotton jersey. It has a decent heft and a buttery hand feel to match.
Velva Sheen T-Shirt
Made in America with traditional vintage construction, this t-shirt has a classic silhouette and ribbed neck. The style runs small, so order up one size when purchasing.
3sixteen Heavyweight Plain T-Shirt
This shirt is cut and sewn in San Francisco and features a triple-needle coverstitched collar. According to the brand, the shirt will shrink 1 inch in the chest and 2 inches in the length after the first wash — size accordingly.
Jungmaven Jung Tee
Made from a 5-ounce blend of hemp and organic cotton, this shirt is textured and drapey. The garment-dyed style features a classic fit and relaxed neckline.
Lady White Co. T-Shirt
Cut, sewn and knit in Los Angeles, this pre-shrunk shirt has tubular construction (so there are no side seams). It is made with American cotton and features a double-needle binded collar.
Reigning Champ T-Shirt
Made in Canada, this shirt has a classic fit and ribbed crew neck. Of note: subtle branding on the left size seam and exposed seam stitching.