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Great T-shirts have always been a staple in every wardrobe. Essential for staying fresh while working out, keeping cozy while lounging, and, now, making a fashion statement, the best t-shirts are more useful than ever. Well-dressed execs are rocking premium tees with a suit, while hypebeasts sport plain white T-shirts to showcase grail-worthy sneakers and accessories. In short, everyone seems to be upping their T-shirt game.
Now that tees are such an important garment, many guys are ditching their regular six-pack of undershirts for something nicer. The best modern T-shirts are made with premium fabrics that stay comfortable all day, with flattering, stylish fits and features such as anti-stink technology. We can’t promise that you’ll look like James Dean or Marlon Brando — but you might feel like them.
There is one downside to the meteoric rise of T-shirts: shopping for great tees is now a serious chore. To help narrow down the search a bit, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite T-shirt brands for men below. We’ve selected a range of tees with almost every kind of fabric, hemline, neckline, and fit you can imagine, so there should be something for everyone.
From classic cotton tees to performance shirts you can wear to happy hour, here are our favorite tees to buy right now.
Everlane has taken the clothing world by storm with hyper-minimalist essentials for men and women. The brand’s Premium-Weight Crew T-shirt showcases Everlane’s understanding of what we want out of our basics. Boasting a durable, dense cotton construction, the tee feels and looks like a high-quality piece of clothing. It blends right in with designer slacks and dress shoes for the office, but also looks great with straight-fit jeans and sneakers.
The name gives it away: Fresh Clean Threads promises high-quality, no-frills essentials, and they deliver. Specializing in a fitted look, the brand’s t-shirts are especially flattering — whether under a button-up or solo. You also get a huge range of color options, so we suggest picking up a few if you like the fit.
If you like to tuck your tees in (or find your belly poking out), try this Modern Essential tee from Tomorrow’s Laundry. The hem is slightly longer than standard tees, ensuring that it stays in place when tucked and doesn’t pull up to expose your midriff. But, if you wear it untucked, the tee doesn’t look too long (like some undershirts). Plus, Tomorrow’s Laundry uses a thick, high-quality cotton build that looks and feels substantial.
James Perse has been synonymous with upscale loungewear and basics since the brand started back in 1994. James Perse’s T-shirts are one of their best-sellers, because they balance laid-back and high-end, with tees that work for everything from a beach stroll in Malibu to a boardroom meeting in Beverly Hills. This shirt below uses Perse’s signature jersey fabric along with a slightly relaxed fit for a T-shirt that’s almost too comfortable.
If you’re looking for plain, no-fuss undershirts (that can also be worn solo), Calvin Klein has you covered. This pack of shirts from Calvin Klein includes three crewneck tees with a classic fit and a soft plain cotton build. They’re nothing special – and that’s exactly why they’re great.
You don’t have to be a construction worker to rock a Carhartt T-shirt. Some trendsetters recently discovered that Carhartt tees’ durable comfort and workwear look is great on normal folks too. The shirt is made of a cotton-polyester blend and features a large, slightly boxy fit, so consider ordering a size smaller than usual.
Workout tees offer a considerable upgrade over regular cotton T-shirts for any form of exercise. Good examples, such as Under Armour, effectively wick sweat and fend off BO for a cleaner, less smelly workout. This tactical tee also has a flatlock seam construction that prevents chaffing.
With this Element tee, Rhone marries everyday style and exercise gear. The shirt utilizes SilverTech threads that keep BO in check while you’re running errands or jogging. Rhone is a go-to brand for workout basics and for good reason – their shirts keep you feeling fresh and moving comfortably all day long.
Linen is having a moment right now, and Alex Crane masterfully incorporating the fabric into tees. This Sun tee from the Brooklyn brand uses French-grown, Portuguese-knit linen that’s been washed to become one of the softer T-shirts we own.
Vintage pocket tees such as this one from Buck Mason are a great addition to off-duty outfits, loungewear and casual office wear. This tee is made of loose-knit, textured “slub” cotton that’s as soft as it is good looking. The shirt is also conveniently pre-shrunk for a consistently great fit and features a modern curved hem.
Most modern tees come from young, trendy brands; Sunspel is different. The high-end English retailer was founded in 1860 but still competes with the new guys (think: quality materials, better construction, and a tailored — but not tight — fit). This cotton-jersey T-shirt is the product of three decades of work to make the best high-end tee, and the work certainly paid off. Sunspel makes great elevated polos, long-sleeve tees and sweaters too.
For sustainably-minded shoppers, we recommend this Groovy Pocket tee from Outerknown. The shirt is made from organic cotton that’s grown without chemicals, and the material feels extremely soft and comfortable when you’re wearing it. It’s available in 10 different colors, all complete with a surfer-inspired look (the brand is owned by surfing’s greatest, Kelly Slater).
Velva Sheen is a great brand for straightforward tees. Their T-shirts come in stylish solid colors, such as the olive hue seen here. Order your normal size for a slim fit or a size up for a more relaxed fit.
Gap is synonymous with classic, All-American basics, and you can’t go wrong with this classic T-shirt. Whether you need a cozy tee for a day at the beach, or you’re trying to nail the Fifties punk look for a night out, this white tee is a great option. The tee features a straight fit, sits right at the hip and uses 100% cotton.
Another great stop for simple, no-frills tees is J. Crew. The brand has a great selection of T-shirts, such as this broken-in tee. The shirt comes off the rack looking and feeling like your favorite old tee thanks to extra garment dying and a special wash. J. Crew also offers multiple fit options including slim, tall and classic, so pick whatever works for your style — and body shape.
You can’t have a T-shirt roundup without mentioning Hanes, and we’ve been surprised at how the venerable basics brand has stepped up its offerings in recent years. Our current fave: this Performance Crewneck Tee, which features the same comfort you know and love from Hanes but with the company’s “X-Temp” technology keeping you cool, and their “FreshIQ” technology working to minimize any odor-causing bacteria. All the fancy lingo just basically means you get a trim, comfortable T-shirt that won’t stink or cause you to sweat profusely, even when working out or out in the sun.
Mack Weldon’s known for designing well-made basics and wardrobe essentials, from underwear to button-ups. But it’s this best-selling tee you’ll want to buy multiples of to wear throughout the week. The company used 100 percent soft pima cotton for the tee, and it’s a great top for wearing on its own, lounging around the house, or even under a jacket on cold, fall nights. It comes in five different sizes and 15 stylish colors.
Nike makes some of our favorite workout apparel, especially when it comes to its line of running tops. If you’re searching for a breathable tee to wear running, look no further than this one. It’s constructed with recycled polyester and has a soft, lightweight feel. Plus, the top wicks away sweat to help keep you dry during your workouts. Bonus: There are reflective details to make you more visible when you’re running at night or early in the morning.
What is it about KOTN’s crewneck T-shirt that makes it just so perfect? It might be the silky-soft Egyptian cotton the brand uses, that’s sustainably-sourced and ethically-made (it’s OEKO-TEX-certified in case you’re wondering). Or maybe it’s the way the shirt hangs just right, relaxed enough to not feel constricted but not so boxy that you feel like you’re drowning in fabric. Or maybe it’s that the slightly longer sleeves and the hemline cut expertly at the hip make this shirt as great for a casual stroll as it is with trousers for a fancy night out. No, what makes KOTN’s T-shirt so perfect is all of the above.
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