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The Best Heavyweight T-Shirts for Bulking Up Your Wardrobe

Weight makes a shirt drape differently, which is why a heavyweight tee looks so different than a lightweight one.

best heavyweight tees

When buying sweats or a new coat, weight matters. The heavier, the warmer, we assume — a big, weighty jacket works better than a windbreaker, for example. And that's often true, but when it comes time to buy our basics — T-shirts, underwear, etc. — we often emphasize the opposite qualities: designs that are lightweight and form-fitting.

So, are heavyweight T-shirts counterintuitive or even wrong? Subversive or sloppy? No. While the additional weight might limit how often you can wear it during T-shirt season (summer), it helps the tee take on a new role within your wardrobe. Sure, you wear it the same way, but it looks entirely different, especially if you typically wear synthetic performance shirts.

How Heavy Is a Heavyweight T-Shirt?

Nowadays, most T-shirts are pretty damn light. That's going to make a "heavyweight" tee feel, well, weighty. In reality, though, because there's no real definition for "heavyweight" versus "regular" tees, the shirts below weigh anywhere from 6 to 13 ounces. 6 is a widely recognized threshold, but some "regular" weight tees weigh the same, meaning there's little consensus on what makes a medium-weight tee different from a heavy one.

The T-shirts that push 10 or even 12 ounces, though, are heavy — there's no doubting that. They'll be roughly two times the weight, which means they'll drape better, be more structured, and, best of all, last longer. True Classic Tees are 4.3 ounces, for example, and they feel cheap — and are nearly translucent.

How to Style a Heavyweight T-Shirt

A heavyweight T-shirt works beneath a bulky zip-up hoodie or an oversized flannel, or, as I prefer it, on its own with regular-fitting jeans or chinos. With the additional weight often comes a regular, straighter fit, which is contrary to most slim-fitting releases out right now.

In fall and winter, you'll be a little warmer in one of these than you would your usual lightweight tee, which means it could make for a nice base layer beneath a bigger parka (if you don't want to try a thermal tee or knit sweater). In the summer, it'll be hard to wear one of these without sweating through. I nearly melted in Buck Mason's Field Spec Tee, for example, but it was also black and I was in Pittsburgh (where 90 percent humidity days are commonplace).

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Best Overall Heavyweight T-Shirt
Taylor Stitch The Heavy Bag Tee
Best Upgrade Heavyweight T-Shirt
Buck Mason Field-Spec Cotton Heavy Tee
Best Affordable Heavyweight T-Shirt
Carhartt Loose Fit Heavyweight Short-Sleeve Pocket T-Shirt
Best Faded Heavyweight T-Shirt
Freenoth Cloth Shifter Tee
Best Performance Heavyweight T-Shirt
CDLP Heavyweight T-Shirt
Best Slim-Fit Heavyweight T-Shirt
Mott & Bow Heavyweight Pocket Carlton Tee
Best Legacy Heavyweight T-Shirt
Standard & Strange Wakayama Special Loopwheel Tee
Best Multi-Pack Heavyweight T-Shirt
3Sixteen Heavyweight T-Shirt (2-Pack)
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