Don’t let its simplicity fool you:
There are few pieces of a man’s wardrobe more versatile, timeless or essential than a perfect tee.
In the warmer months, rocking the plain t-shirt look with a good pair of jeans or khakis can take you damn near anywhere.
And during colder months, your tee provides a warm base layer that’s perfect for wearing under everything from a cozy shawl collar sweater to a bad-ass leather jacket.
The only problem?
The fashion industry tends to take things that are essential and make them ubiquitous.
In recent years it’s started to feel like there are hundreds of different brands cranking out tees, and it’s not always easy to tell which brands use high quality materials.
To help you get the most bang for your buck – and your base layers – in this post we’ve rounded up the best t-shirt brands that offer good quality, sharp style and great value.
Where to Buy the Best T-Shirts for Men
Breaking Down the (Absolute) Best T-Shirt Brands for Men
Overall Best Quality T Shirt Brand ↓
We named Public Rec the overall best athleisure clothing brand, so it’s no surprise that they also top our list:
In my humble opinion, they make some of the most high-quality t-shirts on the market.
They’ve been my personal preference for comfortable t-shirts ever since I tried their stylish, stretchy and sweat-wicking stuff a few years ago.
They have a pretty good selection of both crew neck and v-neck t-shirts, all of which come in a wide range of colors, and are available with either long sleeves or short sleeves.
But the big advantage with Public Rec is the performance fabrics their stuff is made from.
They’ve somehow managed to create a blend that gives you all the lightweight, sweat-wicking advantages of gym clothes, without the nylon-looking sheen that usually accompanies them.
The result is a stylish, soft material that looks like organic cotton but performs even better, especially during the hot and (at least in my case) particularly sweaty summer months.
Western Rise makes some of the best tees for guys who want something simple, stretchy and timeless.
Their X Cotton Tee is made from a blend of 60% cotton, 35% polyester and 5% elastane.
That combination makes for a perfect midweight tee with a soft feel, which also happens to be moisture-wicking, odor-resistant and stretchy enough to look good on any body type.
It’s available in five different colors, all of which are neutral and easy to pair with the rest of your casual look, making Western Rise one of the best brands to turn to for a high-quality basic tee.
Olivers’ is a great brand that makes some of the best men’s t-shirts on the market.
Which makes sense, since they exclusively specialize in well-made staple pieces and essentials.
Their Convoy Tee is a great t-shirt with perfect proportions, which comes in a dozen different colors.
Made from 100% merino wool, it has a vintage look that perfectly straddles the line between modern style and classic timelessness.
In addition to being stylish, soft t-shirts with a great fit and a ton of color options, they’re also backed by Olivers’ 12-month guarantee:
The brand will repair or replace any faulty products (not counting normal wear and tear) within the first year of purchase.
Overall Best Fitting T-Shirts ↓
Goodlife offers a wide range of well-fitted tees with a stylish look, including everything from plain white t-shirts to tank tops, v-necks and long-sleeve t-shirts.
What I particularly like about Goodlife is that their shirts are cut a little more slim.
They hug your body nicely, as opposed to billowing out the way a classic fit often does.
And contrary to popular belief, you don’t need an athletic or muscular body shape to pull off a slimmer t-shirt style.
For skinny guys, a slimmer cut is the perfect fit because it hues closely to your body, which helps prevent you from looking like a little boy who borrowed one of his dad’s shirts.
But a slimmer cut can also be a great option for bigger guys who usually prefer the slightly relaxed fit of basic t-shirts.
As long as you get the size right, wearing a well cut shirt that hugs your shoulders and arms nicely can make a little extra heft look strong and masculine, rather than round and pudgy.
Goodlife has a pretty handy “Find My Fit” tool that goes beyond the typical sizing chart, which should help you find the right fit.
But if you’re a big guy who’s somewhere in between a smaller size and a larger one, opt for the bigger size.
(Otherwise you run the risk of looking more like a stuffed sausage than a stylish guy with great t-shirt game.)
Mott and Bow
Mott and Bow make some of my all-time favorite jeans, but their line of soft, comfortable and well-cut tees is equally as impressive.
In addition to super soft fabrics and a wide assortment of colors, the best part about Mott and Bow is that they offer a number of customization options.
Once you decide which style of tee you want to go with, you can then choose the neck line (crew neck or vee) and the bottom hem (straight or rounded), so you can create a number of different looks from the same basic template.
Their Driggs tee is one of the best-quality t-shirts I’ve ever owned, and comes in a damn-near perfect cut that provides a comfortable fit while still offering a sharp, modern look.
Tomorrows Laundry Co.
Tomorrow’s Laundry bills their Classic Essential Tee as “possibly the world’s best tee,” which is crazy, because that’s a pretty bold claim.
But what’s even crazier is that, hyperbole aside, they might actually be right.
The aptly named Classic Essential is a timeless blank tee with the kind of quintessential, relaxed t-shirt fit that never goes out of style.
It’s available in 15 different colors and made from ultra soft cotton that was milled in Peru, where they’ve been perfecting the art of cotton milling for a damn long time.
Whether or not these are the world’s best tees is a subjective question that will differ depending on your particular tastes.
But objectively speaking, it’s safe to say that these are great tees, and a perfect choice if you’re looking for the kind of blank t-shirts you can keep wearing for years (and with great care, quite possibly even decades) to come.
Check Out Tomorrows Laundry Co. ➤
Best Mens Pima Cotton T Shirt ↓
California-based Richer Poorer specializes in comfortable loungewear like classic white tees, hoodies and sweatpants offered at fair and affordable prices.
Their classic fit pima cotton tee tends to be a popular choice among everyone from skaters and surfers to streetwear enthusiasts.
It’s the perfect t-shirt for lounging around the house on a lazy day or pairing with looser-fitting clothes for a laid-back – and dare we say, perhaps even dadified – look.
Activewear brand Myles Apparel is all about clothes that are easy to move in, and their Everyday Tee is perfect for guys who like to get outdoors.
It’s made from a sweat-wicking blend of recycled polyester and organic cotton, allowing it to dry four times faster than plain cotton, and comes with a polygiene odor-resistant finish that keeps it smelling fresh.
Plus, it provides UPF 30+ sun protection, and comes in a stylish cut that’s pre-shrunk, so you don’t have to worry about ruining the size when you run it through the wash.
Easily one of the best men’s activewear and casual brands of the past decades, Rhone makes a wide variety of soft, stretchy and stylish staple pieces.
They offer a huge range of short sleeve shirts in a wide range of colors and fabrics, all in classic cuts that will flatter most body shapes (and basically never go out of style).
Smartwool specializes in merino wool, which makes their tees stand out from a lot of the basic cotton/poly blends you get from the rest of the t-shirt world.
Merino is both lighter weight and more form-fitting than other materials, resulting in some of the best quality t-shirts on the market.
Case and point:
Smartwool’s merino crew neck not only makes a fashion statement, but breathes better and provides considerably better performance than your standard type of t-shirts.
Lululemon is a personal favorite of mine, and with good reason.
In addition to having a wide range of colors, sizes and styles of tees – including crew neck, v-neck and collared polo t-shirts – they also offer a wide range of fabrics and blends.
As a result, they’re kind of a one-stop-shop for everything from graphic tees that can serve as a statement piece to sweat-wicking performance tees you can rock at the gym.
Buck Mason somehow manages to perfectly blend modern style with classic masculinity, making it a great place to turn for staple pieces like tees, shirts and sweaters.
They tees in a range of fabric weights that run the gamut from lightweight slub cotton and pima to their heavyweight, rugby-inspired “field spec” cotton.
In terms of style, they forego the graphic t-shirts and hand-drawn designs you see from a lot of brands these days, opting instead for the kind of manly, classic neutrals that never go out of style.
Brooklinen is best known for making super soft bedding that they bill as “the internet’s favorite sheets.”
But they’ve since expanded their offerings into include a range of comfortable loungewear, including their popular Prospect Tee, which is made from super soft jersey cotton and comes in a classic, casual cut.
More recently, they’ve also introduced a new Pocket Tee, which has the same classic cut, but comes with a front pocket that makes it a little more practical (and arguably a little better for wearing outside of the house).
Best of the Rest ↓
The dozen brands listed above represent our top picks for the best overall t-shirt brands for men, but they’re far from the only options on the market.
Depending on your tastes, style and budget, each of the brands below offer a range of t-shirt styles and price points that could work just as well for you.
Fruit of the Loom
The North Face
Ash & Erie
Ministry of Supply
Check Out Ministry of Supply ➤
U.S. Polo Assn
More Resources ↓
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📷 Banner image: Goodlife Clothing | Illustration: Irreverent Gent