The Highest Quality Men’s T-Shirts You’ll Love to Wear

Whether you are looking for a new t-shirt to wear or giving one as a gift, it is important that you know what makes a good men’s t-shirt. And believe me, I have some experience in this field. In another lifetime, all the way back in the year 2003, I started a company that would go on to sell hundreds of thousands of t-shirts. So I am well versed in the ways of cotton and other synthetic materials that the t-shirt industry has been using for decades when trying to perfect the art of the men’s t-shirt. Although this humble garment has its roots as a crew-necked, short-sleeved, white cotton undershirt to be worn under a uniform in the U.S. Navy, the mighty t-shirt has endured as a staple of fashion.

Finding the best men’s t-shirts means finding durable fabric, quality stitching, a fashionable cut and a reasonable price that won’t break the bank. Unfortunately, long gone are the days where you can find a high-quality men’s t-shirt for $15-20. Today’s premium plain t-shirts for men most often fall in the $40-80 range. But at this price level, you can expect to find stylish, durable and handsome t-shirts that you can pair with nearly any outfit, especially a great set of jeans or cargo pants.

The highest quality men’s t-shirts are made from 100% pure cotton or other materials such as Merino Wool without any synthetic fibre or other artificial material in them. You can expect your higher-quality men’s t-shirts to maintain their texture and colour even after being washed many times over many years.

Let’s look at all the attributes of what makes for an excellent men’s t-shirts.

MATERIALS OR FABRIC

The first thing you need to know about a t-shirt is that it’s made from one of three materials: cotton, polyester or wool.

Cotton

Cotton makes up the vast majority of the market share and has been used for decades to make durable fabric with pliable drape. Cotton is durable and lasts longer than other fabrics. It has natural breathability and cooling properties that other fabrics cannot replicate. Cotton will shrink both during the first wash and over time, but shrinkage becomes minimal after many washes.

Wool

Wool t-shirts are made from either pure wool or wool blended with cotton or polyester. These are often more expensive than cotton t-shirts but more durable. Wool is also an excellent choice as it maintains its texture and shape after being washed many times.

Polyester Cotton Blend

Lastly, polyester-cotton blends are the “casual” t-shirt material. It is a synthetic blend of materials that feels soft and thicker than a pure cotton shirt but doesn’t have the same breathability as natural fabrics. Polyester is a great fabric for t-shirts. It’s durable, water-resistant and will not wear out as quickly as cotton can in high friction areas where poly blends have been seen to last up 50% longer! The only downside might be that they don’t breathe quite like 100% cottons do, which means under hot conditions you’ll start feeling more uncomfortable in your t-shirt while wearing one made from this material. However, it should still give just enough stretch, so everything moves comfortably without being too tight.

Tri-Blends

Tri-blends are a blend of three materials: cotton, polyester and rayon. Rayon is the real magic here because it can feel like silk or wool, depending on how it’s manufactured!

Bamboo

Bamboo has natural antibacterial properties and can be found blended with cotton or polyester. It is less durable than cotton, so it may not be as long-lasting, but bamboo t-shirts are beautiful and great for the environment!

CONSTRUCTION

The construction of a t-shirt may seem simple, but there are many aspects of its production that can determine the final quality of the t-shirt.

Positioning of the Seams

A major source of unflattering wrinkles is the seams on your t-shirts. When you try a new t-shirt and notice that one shoulder or side seam has shifted, it will be more than just an annoyance; it will throw off the entire balance of the t-shirt.

Stitching

The general consensus is that when looking at the type and quality of stitching on a t-shirt, the simple rule is, more is better. Watch out for skipped stitches that are readily noticeable. These missed stitches will lead to durability issues and probably represent a fairly poor sewing process during the manufacturing of the t-shirt.

The Highest Quality Men's T-Shirts You'll Love to Wear

CUT

The actual cut of any t-shirt is often determined by the manufacturer’s desire to appeal to a particular type of consumer. Some t-shirts are designed to be slim and form-fitting, while others are designed to be baggy, extra-wide and loose. And while this may seem like an entirely subjective aspect of a man’s t-shirt design, there are more flattering cuts than others. The best way to determine whether a t-shirt’s particular cut will look on your body is to look for model photos of those t-shirts. Some forward-looking brands and retailers are now including model photos of their products being worn by different-sized men in order to illustrate how their products look on different body sizes and shapes.

How Did I Find The Best Men’s T-Shirts?

Simple. I bought fifty of the highest-rated, most well-reviewed, and in many cases, most expensive men’s plain t-shirts I could find and get shipped to my house up in Canada. Then I wore them all and quickly started to cut the ones that began to fail in several dimensions. Soon enough, I was down to a list of a bit under twenty of the best men’s t-shirts. And through a few washes, measurements, inspections and impressions, I, without further delay, present you with what I think is simply the best men’s t-shirts you can buy today. 


1. Taylor Stitch – The Merino Tee

Taylor Stitch - The Merino Tee

This t-shirt from Taylor Stitch is the perfect blend of formality and comfort. Made from merino wool, it will keep you cool on those hot days while still soft enough to lounge around at night! Its blend of materials guarantees a massive reduction of odours (because our process kills all smells), but also there’ll be no stains or wrinkles left behind either – thanks to its quick cleaning properties! You can wear this t-shirt as comfortably during your morning commute to work as when getting ready before going out later that evening.

This t-shirt featured a wide variety of features. Biodegradable and water repellent? Sure! Dries quickly so you can go sooner rather than later or after playing sports all day long? Sign me up for that one, too, because I’m always looking to cool down faster when it’s hot out. Plus, the UV protection will keep my skin safe. The mercerization process also bolsters durability by rendering this tee machine washable alongside stain-resistant properties ensuring your shirt stays fresh.

Key Features

  • Great moisture wicking
  • Merino wool construction
  • Tailored fit
  • Made in Turkey

Specifications

  • 95% merino wool
  • 5% lycra
  • Pre-shrunk

2. Bonobos – Forever Tee

Bonobos - Forever Tee

This amazing t-shirt from Bonobos is deceptively simple. But because it’s available in twelve colours and features a nicely sized front pocket, it’s a perfect casual t-shirt. With a very middle-of-the-road cut for a man’s t-shirt, the Forever Tee sits in the middle of trying to provide a handsome silhouette for most men. It’s soft, durable, and made of 100% cotton; it’s hard to go wrong with this medium-weight t-shirt.

Key Features

  • Available in sizes XS – XXL
  • Available in twelve colours
  • Front-pocket
  • Double-stitched neck
  • Printed label

Specifications

  • 100% cotton

3. Todd Snyder – Made in L.A. Premium Jersey T-shirt

Todd Snyder - Made in L.A. Premium Jersey T-shirt

The Todd Snyder, Los Angeles factory, is pumping out classic tees like it’s nobody’s business, and this one will be a year-round staple for any outfit. The premium cotton fabric makes the perfect blank canvas to showcase your choice of minimalist attire. Available in nine colours, the 100% cotton garment t-shirts is a high-quality option to casual down your wardrobe with a simple garment that fits well and will last for years.

Key Features

  • Available in sizes XS-XXL
  • Available in nine colours
  • Made in the USA
  • Bottom left-side branded tag

Specifications

  • 100% cotton

4. Buck Mason Pima Classic Tee

Buck Mason Pima Classic Tee

This breathable, super soft 100% Pima cotton t-shirt from Buck Mason is designed with a vintage-inspired straight hem. I guarantee that it will quickly become one of your new favourites in your closet that will feel just like old favourites did when they were made decades ago! Made using a tightly woven knit from premium long-staple cotton, this t-shirt from Buck Mason is one of the softest you’ll ever own, and even stands out in terms of softness levels from many of the other t-shirts on this list.

Key Features

  • Available in sizes XS-XXL
  • Available in seven muted colours
  • Woven cloth label 

Specifications

  • 100% cotton
  • 140 gsm weight
  • 1.5″ shorter sleeve and 0.75″ shorter than Buck Mason’s other signature curved hemed t-shirt. 

5. Mack Weldon Silver V-Neck T-shirt

Mack Weldon Silver V-Neck T-shirt

Even if you’ve never owned a Mack Weldon product, you’ve probably heard their name. Where? Probably on your favourite podcast. Famous for being a big podcasting advertiser, Mack Weldon continues their march towards becoming one of my favourite casual apparel brands. So it’s really no surprise that their Silver V-Neck t-shirt also rises to near the top of the pack as far as men’s t-shirts are concerned.

But what makes this t-shirt special? It’s all about Mack Weldon’s proprietary manufacturing process that weaves small amounts of actually silver amidst the Supima cotton, polyester and lycra. This process creates an incredibly anti-odour barrier that will have you wearing this t-shirt for longer periods between washes. This, of course, also leads to longer durability.

Key Features

  • Available in sizes S-XXL
  • Available in four colours
  • Anti-odour silver fabric
  • Slim fit

Specifications

  • 85% Supima cotton, 10% ionic + Polyester, 5% Lycra

6. CUTS – Crew Curve-Hem T-shirt

CUTS - Crew Curve-Hem T-shirt

The Curve-hem t-shirt from CUTS is a bestseller for a good reason. This shirt features a high-quality signature fabric, which was custom engineered to be work leisure friendly! With a curved hem, this popular short sleeve style offers what you need in an office environment: comfort and coverage without being too bulky or heavy on warmer days, with its lightweight construction made possible thanks to PYCA® Pro. That said, CUTS tees, in particular, this one tend to be a trim fit, so if you happen to be in-between sizes, I’d recommend sizing up.

CUTS is a brand that specializes in leisurely apparel and accessories for professionals. Their proprietary tri-blend combines the best qualities of three staple fabrics: all-day comfort from cotton, shape retention provided by spandex with polyester’s wrinkle-free durability as it wears over time to create what they call “Cuts Standard.”

Key Features

  • Available in sizes S-XXL
  • Available in seven staple colours and five seasonal colours
  • Slim fit
  • Pre-shrunk
  • Wrinkle-resistant

Specifications

  • 62% polyester, 33% cotton, 5% spandex

7. Wellen Hemp Tee

Wellen Hemp Tee

Wellen’s hemp blend fabric is hands down the nicest hemp-based tee I’ve ever had the pleasure of pulling on. So how do they do it? The company appears to source only high-quality, organic cotton and blend it with exceptional hemp to create a durable yet soft material that will last you longer than anything else out there. It’s no surprise that Wellen has such strong customer loyalty as people love feeling like they can make a positive contribution. If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly t-shirt with a flattering fit, you’ve found the right t-shirt.

Key Features

  • Available in sizes S-XXL
  • Available in six colours
  • Regular fit

Specifications

  • 55% hemp, 45% organic cotton

8. J.Crew – Broken-In Short Sleeve T-shirt

J.Crew - Broken-In Short Sleeve T-shirt

Running slightly small to size, J.Crew has had so much success with this t-shirt they have been selling it since 2004. That’s an eternity in the course of garment life. Available in three different fits, including classic, slim and tall, this shirt will feel like an old friend from day one. It’s been garment-dyed twice and specially washed to be soft, durable for your everyday wear.

Key Features

  • Available in three different cuts
  • Available in sizes: X-Small to XXL
  • Available in ten colours

Specifications

  • Cotton, polyester blend

9. Reigning Champ – Lightweight Jersey T-shirt

Reigning Champ - Lightweight Jersey T-shirt

Also reigning from Vancouver, Reigning Champ is a company making a name for itself in providing stylish t-shirts for men and women. The Lightweight Jersey t-shirt is available in nine stylish colours and features a fairly slim fit. It’s made from Pima cotton and features a rib-bound collar and flatlocked seams. And while it has a nice fabric tag near the bottom of the t-shirt, I wish the label was printed rather than a fabric tag. Albeit, this is a very comfortable and high-quality t-shirt you won’t regret picking up.

Key Features

  • Available in nine colours
  • Available in sizes XS-XXL
  • Set-in sleeves
  • Woven crest label
  • Made in Canada

Specifications

  • 100% cotton

10. Buck Mason – Slub Curved Hem Tee

Buck Mason - Slub Curved Hem Tee

You’re going to see the Buck Mason brand of t-shirts pop up a lot in this list; that’s because many of their t-shirts exhibited the same excellent qualities I’m always looking for in an excellent tee.

This slub curved hem tee is made from a beautiful, 100% cotton fabric. The slub has been created by low-tension looms, which creates an interesting texture with varying firmness for each thread in the weave to be offset from one another, resulting in something that feels more premium than your average shirt.

Key Features

  • Fits true to size
  • Curved hem for a slimming body contour
  • Flat stitch finish 
  • Sleeves are pretty close to the perfect length
  • Nice broken-in feel right out of the package
  • Slight marbled texture

Specifications

  • 100% cotton 
  • 145gsm thickness

11. Carhartt Men’s K87 Workwear Pocket Short-Sleeve T-Shirt

Carhartt Men's K87 Workwear Pocket Short-Sleeve T-Shirt

Carhartt is a brand that I’m still trying to understand. Yes, it’s a workwear brand, but at some point in time, it became a hipster brand that all the cool kids began to wear ironically. Now it’s everywhere, and they do create some of the best workwear in the world. Part of that heritage includes making their apparel on the larger side, which is definitely true of this t-shirt. It’s perfect for larger men and features a ton of quality features. The large size of this t-shirt that I sampled was by far both longer and wider than any of the other Large-sized tees I tried.

Key Features

  • Carhartt woven label logo on pocket
  • T-shirt pocket
  • Heavyweight thickness

Specifications

  • 100% cotton 

12. Proof – 72-Hour Merino Tee

Proof - 72-Hour Merino Tee

Is the softest, highest performing merino t-shirt on the market, also somehow, astonishingly odour-fighting? Yes! Does it have a stylish cut? Check. This tri-blend t-shirt isn’t just a high-performance garment; it’s also sustainably sourced, at least in part, from wool found on New Zealand farms. Thanks, kiwi sheep! There’s no question that Proof’s men’s t-shirt is one hell of a premium tee, and that probably justifies its premium price.

Key Features

  • Merino wool helps regular temperature
  • Merino wool does an excellent job of moisture-wicking
  • Odour-resistant

Specifications

  • 87% 16.5-micron merino wool, 13% nylon and polyester

13. Rockay – Tech Tee

Rockay - Tech Tee

If you’re looking for something far more technical as far as a men’s t-shirt goes, I can’t recommend the Tech Tee from Rockay more. This is a perfect t-shirt for all of your workout needs. Thanks to premium recycled polyester fabric, you’ll be able to enjoy the soft feel of a t-shirt without worrying about it chafing or smelling bad. Flatlock seams prevent uncomfortable rubbing, and odour control helps keep this t-shirt fresh for longer periods so that no matter what activity comes next, you’ll always be ready.

Key Features

  • Recycled materials construction
  • Reflective Rockay logo in the front shoulder
  • Reflective vent stripe on the back
  • Sweat-wicking mesh knit
  • Trim fit

Specifications

  • 50% polyester
  • 50% recycled polyester

14. Buck Mason – Avalon Knit Classic Tee

Buck Mason - Avalon Knit Classic Tee

Oh, look, it’s another Buck Mason t-shirt. It’s almost as if though this company has really figured out the art of making amazing t-shirts for men. But there’s something unique about this t-shirt. It features a sweater-like knit using a cotton-linen blend. The seams are linked by hand instead of sewn by machine, meaning it resists tears better. The ribbing on this t-shirt, on the collar and sleeves, is also interwoven with lycra to increase shape resilience, leading to increased durability.

Key Features

  • Unique knit feel
  • Lightweight blend of cotton and linen

Specifications

  • 88% cotton, 12% linen
  • Available in three colours

15. Uniqlo – Men Supima Cotton Crew Neck Short-Sleeve T-shirt

Uniqlo - Men Supima Cotton Crew Neck Short-Sleeve T-shirt

The Supima Cotton Crew Neck from Uniqlo is another solid, well-made, lightweight t-shirt for men that want a slimmer fit in a super-soft material. Available in a wide variety of subtle colours, my favourite part of this t-shirt is the price. I’d easily put it in the premium category, yet it costs a fraction of many of the other tees featured in this article.

Key Features

  • Available in 11 colours
  • Available in sizes XXS-3XL

Specifications

  • 100% cotton

16. J.Crew – Garment-dyed Slub Cotton Crewneck t-shirt

J.Crew - Garment-dyed Slub Cotton Crewneck t-shirt

These soft, comfortable tees are made from garment-dyed slub cotton. This means each one will have a rich and imperfect colour that softly fades over time! Kinda neat if you think about it, but it also means you’ll be getting a very soft t-shirt. Available in a whopping 18 colours, this t-shirt from J.Crew deserves to sit amongst the best t-shirts for men.

Key Features

  • Fits true to size
  • Front chest pocket

Specifications

  • 100% slub cotton

T-Shirt Size Comparisons

Below is a table that lists the size comparisons of all the t-shirts mentioned in this article. Note that these sizes are all PRE first wash. Most of the t-shirts here experienced about a 3-7% size shrink after the first wash. All measurements are in INCHES.

T-SHIRTSIZELENGTH WIDTHSLEEVE
LENGTH
Taylor Stitch – The Merino TeeL2920.58.5
Bonobos – Forever TeeL28.75258.5
Todd Snyder – Made in L.A. Premium Jersey T-shirtL26228.5
Buck Mason Pima Classic TeeL27.2521.58.75
Mack Weldon Silver V-Neck T-shirtL29208.5
CUTS – Crew Curve-Hem T-shirtL29208.25
Wellen Hemp TeeL2821.758.5
J.Crew – Broken-In Short Sleeve T-shirtL28208.5
Reigning Champ – Lightweight Jersey T-shirtL2921.58.5
Buck Mason – Slub Curved Hem TeeL27.521.58.5
Carhartt Men’s K87 Workwear Pocket T-ShirtL32.252510.5
Proof – 72-Hour Merino TeeL28.520.59
Rockay – Tech TeeL28.51713
Buck Mason – Avalon Knit Classic TeeL26.521.510
Uniqlo – Men Supima Cotton Crew Neck T-shirtL27.2521.58.5
J.Crew – Garment-dyed Slub Cotton Crewneck t-shirtL2921.58.5

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