A crisp, classic tee can take you from athleisure to lunch. Our editors’ t-shirt picks are well-suited for every wardrobe
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Great t-shirts have always been a wardrobe staple — essential for staying fresh while working out, keeping cozy while lounging, and, now, making a fashion statement. Well-dressed execs are rocking Everlane’s Premium-Weight Crewneck with a suit, while hypebeasts sport Carhartt’s Heavyweight Short-Sleeve to showcase grail-worthy sneakers and accessories. Everyone seems to be upping their shirt game.
The best modern t-shirts are made with premium fabrics that stay comfortable all day, with flattering and stylish fits. But don’t count out that classic four-pack quite yet. When needing something fresh in a hurry, there’s nothing better than putting on a crisp Hanes white tee.
There is one downside to the meteoric rise of t-shirts: shopping for great tees is now a serious chore. To narrow the search, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite t-shirt brands below. With a range of brands like Everlane and Hanes, and almost every fabric, hemline, neckline, and fit you can imagine, a t-shirt should suit every need. From classic cotton tees to performance shirts you can wear to happy hour, here are our favorite tees to buy right now.
Best T-Shirt Brands of 2023, Editor’s Picks
1. Everlane The Premium-Weight Relaxed Crew
Everlane has taken the clothing world by storm with hyper-minimalist essentials for men and women. The brand’s Premium-Weight Crewneck T-shirt showcases Everlane’s understanding of what we want from 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 excellent with straight-fit jeans and sneakers. (Currently available in men’s XS-XL)
2. Carhartt Force Relaxed Midweight Tee
You don’t have to be a construction worker to rock a Carhartt T-shirt. Trendsetters are wearing Carhartt tees’ durable comfort and workwear looks and making a statement. The shirt is made of a cotton-polyester blend and features an oversized, slightly boxy fit, so consider ordering a size smaller than usual. (Currently available in men’s S-4X)
3. Lemaire Off-White Patch Pocket Tee
The European label Lemaire serves chic Parisian basics very well, especially regarding classics like this off-white tee. The oversized pocket dropped shoulder, and longer sleeves all add to this shirt’s appeal, giving you a boxier silhouette that pairs nicely with fitted slacks. Not to mention the beige stitch, which is subtle yet contrasting enough to give this shirt some added intrigue when up close. (Currently available in men’s XXS-XXL)
4. Fresh Clean Threads Crewneck Tee
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 incredibly 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. (Currently available in men’s S-3X)
5. Elwood Core Oversized Tee
Elwood Clothing is an excellent stop if you’re looking for some oversized tees. The LA brand is nailing the droopy, Nineties-inspired vibe right now, and they’re doing it in some versatile, unique colors too. Their Core tee comes in various muted, versatile colors — all of which have been hand-distressed for a soft, worn-in look. (Currently available in men’s XS-XL)
Best Price for Quality
6. Fear of God Black Bonded Tee
If there’s one brand that excels in high-quality basics, it’s Fear of God. Their essentials line is affordable and doesn’t compromise on quality, delivering you a high-end product for a fraction of the price. This mock neck bonded tee is great for transitional seasons, with longer sleeves vs. the traditional short sleeve and a higher neck that can be dressed up or down. (Currently available in men’s XS-XXL)
7. Calvin Klein Cotten Crewneck Tee
Calvin Klein has you covered if you’re looking for plain, no-fuss undershirts (that can also be worn solo). This pack of shirts from Calvin Klein includes three crewneck tees with a classic fit and a soft, plain cotton build. They’re a great simple basic – that’s precisely why they’re great. (Currently available in men’s S-XXL)
8. James Perse Combed Cotten Short Sleeve Tee
James Perse has been synonymous with upscale loungewear and basics since the brand started 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 uses Perse’s signature jersey fabric and a slightly relaxed fit for an almost too-comfortable T-shirt.
9. Under Armour Tactile Tech tee
Workout tees offer a considerable upgrade over regular cotton T-shirts for 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 chafing. (Currently available in men’s XS-5X)
10. Rhone Element Tee
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. (Currently available in men’s XS-XXL)
11. Hanes Ultimate Crewneck Tee
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 favorite is this Control 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 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. (Currently available in men’s S-3X)
12. Buck Mason Slub Classic Tee
We’ve tried several T-shirts that aim to mimic a vintage tee’s soft, “lived-in” feel, but we think Buck Mason does it best with this Slub Classic tee. The shirt is washed with enzymes and softener to give that ultra-soft feel. Better yet, Buck Mason created that thin look and lightweight feel that hangs better than stiff new tees. (Currently available in men’s XS-XXL)
Best Running Pick
13. Nike Park Short Sleeve T Shirt
Nike makes some of our favorite workout apparel, especially its running tops. If you’re searching for a breathable tee to wear running, look no further than this one. The mesh back panel adds breathability, while the Dri-FIT technology helps keep you dry and comfortable. It comes in a few colors, but nothing compares to a great black tee — it’s a staple.
14. Sunspel Classic Tee
Most modern tees come from young, trendy brands, but Sunspel differs. 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 Classic T-shirt is the evolution of Sunspel’s first tee in 1908, which they say was the first luxury tee on the market. (Currently available in men’s XS-XXL)
15. Outerknown Sojourn Tee
For sustainably-minded shoppers, we recommend this Groovy Pocket tee from Outerknown. The shirt is made from organic cotton grown without chemicals, and the material feels incredibly soft and comfortable when wearing it. It’s available in 10 colors, all complete with a surfer-inspired look (the brand is owned by surfing’s greatest, Kelly Slater). (Currently available in men’s S-XXL)
16. Velva Sheen Regular Tee
Velva Sheen is an excellent brand for straightforward tees. Their T-shirts come in stylish solid colors, such as the olive hue, but classic white seems to be our go-to. Order your normal size for a slim fit or a size up for a more relaxed fit. (Currently available in men’s S-XL)
17. J.Crew Broken In Short Sleeve Tee
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. (Currently available in men’s XS-XL)
Best Sustainable Tee
18. Kotn Essential Crewneck Tee
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. (currently available in men’s XXS-XXXL)
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