The 35 Best T-Shirts for Every Type of Guy

From heavyweight pocket tees to silk shirts, theses are the best t-shirts, period.

Updated June 12, 2023 9:23 am
a collage of the best mens t-shirts on a multi-colored background
There are thousands of styles out there, but only few warrant the mantle of the best men's t-shirt around.
InsideHook/Getty Images

Nota bene: If you buy through the links in this article, we may earn a small share of the profits.

It’s summertime and you’re an adult who’s worn clothes before, so we’re going to forego the tedious explanation of why tees are perhaps the most important article of clothing in your closet. After all, as anyone who’s seen Rebel Without a Cause or any Ryan Gosling flick — maybe even a forthcoming chef-forward TV show — it’s readily apparent what a well-fitting, classic cotton tee can do for your manly charm and overall appeal. However, we will reiterate that determining which of the best men’s T-shirts is right for you is fully worth the time and investment.

However, we get that you also have a life and probably don’t have the bandwidth to research, commandeer and test loads of T-shirts across dozens of brands. So we decided to do it for you. That’s right — over the past year, we’ve collected, wear-tested and ranked myriad tees from over 30 brands, and created a dedicated database for your referral. We’ve tried beefy tees, slim shirts, lyocell blends and $100 garms, from a variety of brands spanning Gap, Taylor Stitch, Everlane, Sunspel and many more. In the end, we’ve come up with whopping 35 men’s T-shirts that are worth considering.

First, some notes: we’ve included a few things to consider when looking for tees, from fit to material to price. Also, for the sake of brevity and our sanity, we’ve stuck strictly to short-sleeve t-shirts — no henleys, tanks or long-sleeves allowed — and as you’ll surely notice, most of them are cotton.

Things to Consider When Buying T-Shirts:

Fit: The fit of a tee is perhaps the most important factor — even a $100 designer tee is worthless if it doesn’t fit right. We’ve outlined a variety of fits for our top picks: slim, standard, relaxed, athletic and tailored — each with its own feel: for the rail-thin gentleman, opt for a slim or standard or else risk drowning in the tee, while the heavier set guy, relaxed weaves are a great way to dress to your shape. The most important thing, though is that you choose a cut that will make you feel comfortable and relaxed.

Material: T-shirts can ostensibly be made from virtually any material, but for our money, it’s hard to beat a 100% cotton weave. That being said, don’t always discount other styles: athletic blends (which typically include polyester or nylon) and various lyocell makes imbue stretch and durability into a style.

Price: There’s no way around it: the drastic increase in T-shirt prices is, in fact, totally crazy. We fully understand that the everyman probably doesn’t want to spend $120 for a single tee (to be fair, we don’t either), and even $50 joints might seems excessively pricey. That being said, we fully vouch for each and every pick and feel they’re worth their proverbial weight in gold. If we feel something is prohibitively expensive, we’ll note it in our review.

The Best Men’s T-Shirts for Every Type of Guy:

Material: 100% cotton | Fit: slim

Pros:

  • Ultra-soft
  • Slim and flattering, but not hugging
  • Often on sale

Cons:

  • Price

Coming in at number one, British heritage brand Sunspel takes the top spot with a deceptively simple cotton crewneck. It might seem plain, but this tee has it all — shape, comfort, cut, length, even armhole placement and collar width are perfect. Every little detail has been honed to perfection. Just what you’d expect from James Bond’s t-shirt purveyor, huh?

Material: 100% organic cotton | Fit: slim

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Made with soft, organic cotton

Cons:

  • Light wash shrinkage

Everlane’s Cotton Crew can do no wrong in our eyes (other than shrink a touch in the wash if you’re not being careful), with an excellent fit, soft cotton finish and palatable price tag, especially considering the quality you get in return. Even better, the San Francisco-based retailer is offering a 3-for-the-price-of-2 deal, meaning you can stock and save on these bad boys.

Material: 100% cotton | Fit: relaxed

Pros:

  • Ultra-affordable
  • Surprisingly durable

Cons:

  • Not as soft as others on this list
  • Unflattering fit for some

For $12 (currently $8 at Amazon), Hane’s beefy classic t-shirts are a steal. While they won’t match other selects in comfort or class, they’re durable, solid and most importantly dirt cheap.

Material: 50% polyester, 38% cotton, 12% rayon | Fit: standard

Pros:

  • Made in the USA
  • Classic James Dean fit — not too tight, not too loose
  • Slight stretch that retains its shape beautiful

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Color fades over time

Remember how we were talking about Ryan Gosling and James Dean? This Todd Snyder top is that vibe exactly. Crafted in Los Angeles from supple jersey material, Todd has struck gold once again with this tee: it hugs you in all the right places, accentuates your arms and generally makes you look like a million bucks — which explains the premium price tag.

Material: 96% polyester, 4% elastane | Fit: athletic

Pros:

  • Genuinely sweat-wicking
  • UPF 30+
  • Retains softness

Cons:

  • Looks like a workout shirt

We don’t want to spoil our review, but let’s just say that athleticwear retailer Vuori’s Stratos Tech Tee can handle a lot of perspiration.

Read Our Review

Material: 67% lyocell, 33% pima cotton | Fit: relaxed

Pros:

  • Heavy and durable
  • Fabric feels fresh and cool to the touch
  • More stretch and retention than your average cotton tee

Cons:

  • Expensive

So often, blended tees feel cheap and wonky, but we were instantly won over by CDLP’s hefty Heavyweight T-Shirt after just one wear. It’s ultra-soft and moves much better than other beefy tops. If you want the best of the best, this is it.

Material: 100% 145 GSM cotton-jersey | Fit: standard

Pros:

  • Hefty
  • Perfect pocket placement
  • Great vintage-wash colors

Cons:

  • Slightly short

A pocket tee is the muscle car to the cotton tee’s sedan, and Buck Mason’s suave version is even more Mustang than most. With a classic cut that would look perfect on Brad Pitt (or you), it’s an especially good addition to a causal arsenal.

Material: 100% cotton-jersey | Fit: standard

Pros:

  • Heavy
  • Perfect for layering
  • Amazing quality

Cons:

  • Huge price tag
  • Prone to stretching

A few T-shirt brands have earned cult status, some warranted and some…not (we’re looking at you, Comfort Colors). Lady White Co. falls into the former category, with quality USA-made tees stitched so well that they feel like something out of the 1950s. Yes, they are expensive. No, they’re not for everyone. But if you’re a real ‘head — and we’re guessing some of you are — we guarantee you’ll appreciate these sick shirts.

Material: 85% supima cotton, 10% ionic+ polyester, 5% lycra | Fit: slim

Pros:

  • Cool and breathable
  • Silver anti-bacterial material
  • Lots of colors

Cons:

  • N/A

Mack Weldon is revered for their basics, and the Silver Crew Neck stands up to its reputation: with anti-stink properties and a slim cut, it makes the perfect undershirt for any busy workday.

Material: 49% nylon,  43% recycled polyester, 4% elastane,  4% x-static nylon | Fit: athletic

Pros:

  • Can handle virtually any activity
  • Soft and durable
  • Oodles of colors

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Looks like a workout shirt

Sigh. As much as it pains us to say, this $78 (yes, $78) tee from lululemon has become our go-to over the past year: it’s unparalleled in its versatility, functionality and general get-shit-done-in-the-gym-ness. If that weren’t enough, the new, updated fit improves on the 2.0 model, which means we’ll be back for more as summer shows its sunny face.

Material: 8-oz. 53% upcycled cotton, 47% recycled polyester | Fit: tailored

Pros:

  • Hefty
  • Perfect for winter
  • Tons of colors

Cons:

  • Sizing can be difficult
  • Hard to tuck in

The heavyweight tee isn’t for all, but if you’re into a rugged, fitted took and extra durability from an otherwise innocuous layer, Taylor Stitch’s Heavy Bag Tee is a no-brainer. With loads of great colors and a chest-popping fit, it’s the brawny bro’s dream tee.

Material: 100% sustainably-grown French linen | Fit: standard

Pros:

  • Ultra-light
  • Worn-in feel

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Susceptible to wear and tear

Linen tees are great for summer, with their myriad benefits that range from natural breathability to odor resistance, and Alex Crane’s sleek french-linen number is the best we’ve tried. It held its form against standard linen wrinkledge better than the other linen styles we tested, and with a modern not-too-lose, not-too-baggy fit looks the part for any summertime getaway.

Material: 100% cotton | Fit: slim

Pros:

  • Made in the USA
  • Discrete logo
  • Tons of colors

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Too slim for some

Darling designer Brendon Babenzien and his brainchild Noah have all but cornered the trendy, skater-adjacent, prep-infused market over the past 10 years; their made-in-America Core Logo Pocket Tee, unlike other streetwear label’s loud and obnoxious offerings, is tastefully discrete, with Noah’s signature cross embroidered on an otherwise killer tee.

Material: 100% cotton french terry | Fit: tailored

Pros:

  • As warm as a sweatshirt
  • Retro look and feel
  • Tons of colors

Cons:

  • Not a traditional t-shirt
  • Impossible to tuck

We know that we said no exceptions at the top, but Champion x Todd Snyder’s blessed Short Sleeve Sweatershirt functions like a tee, despite its heavier weave and ribbed construction. Layer with some lightwash bootcuts or a full track look for serious ’70s vibes.

Material: 100% USA-grown Pima cotton | Fit: standard

Pros:

  • Cool to the touch
  • Snappy feel, especially for cotton
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Cut long
  • Expensive

We hadn’t heard of Canadian-based Robert Barakatt until recently, but the budding basics brand is the real deal…at least, if their eponymous tee is any indication. We were impressed by the cool, breathable tee, which has a snap and stretch reminiscent of performancewear, despite its 100% Pima cotton weave. Only time will tell if it holds up, but we’re expecting great things.

More Tees We Love:

One of the lightest tees we tested, the cool jersey of Reigning Champ’s lightweight t-shirts makes for a great undershirt…or an even better way to flex your hard-won biceps.

We genuinely tried to make a liar out of L.L.Bean, but the Maine-based brand was spot on with it’s “unshrinkable” claim — these tees wear in beautifully.

Velva Sheen’s Slub T-Shirts were one of the tees to pop up on the set of FX’s The Bear, meaning you know they’re gonna be good.

Japanese label Beams Plus nails the same bright, stripy look we loved as kids, without the associated immaturity.

Need a real man’s tee? We’re talking a hefty, chunky, rugged T-Shirt that’ll stand up to everything, from the DYI construction job to a big night out on the town. Try Carhartt’s relaxed, heavyweight tee — it’s appropriately brawny and a killer deal.

A relaxed neckline and Peruvian Pima cotton make Outerknown’s one of the comfiest on this list, and an abundance of light colorways offer a variety of wardrobe-bolstering choices.  

Madewell’s Garment-Dyed Tee looks loving broken in before the first wash and clings just right, delivering that years-old feeling without the associated wear and tear.

Kirkland Signature’s 6-Pack of white tees is perhaps Costco’s best keep secrets — other than the $1.50 hotdogs, of course. They’re chunky and thick, and less than $6 a pop.

We would never ask anyone to pay $94 for a tee we did not absolutely love, so hear us out — this Marine Layer Indigo T-Shirt hugs all the right places and feels like you’re wearing a freakin’ cloud. We get that the price is insane, but for those independently wealthy folk, we can’t recommend a tee more.

Myles Apparel Momentum Tee is branded as the most comfortable workout shirt in the world, and the brand has put its back into creating that reality. Oodles of tech — from a Polartec bi-component fabric to polygiene odor-resistant finish — makes front squats and coffee runs alike a smooth ride front start to finish.

Want to fit in on a ‘70s movie set? Look no future than Gap’s Heavy Pocket Tee. Knit, cut and swen in the USA since (you guessed it) 1920, this 5.6 oz. jersey knit drapes nicely and is surprisingly versatile even in warmer temps.

Made in the grand old US of A, Forty Five’s Supima Tee follows a very simple conceit — a durable, no-frills tee at and affordable price. We’re hard-pressed to argue with that.

When we said testing, we meant it — that is to say, that we can independently confirm that Proof’s  New Zealand-sourced, 16.5-micron merino wool really does keep you comfy and odor free for 72 hours. You might call it gross. We call it science.

Ten Thousand’s Lightweight shirt missed our best athletic shirt by a hair, but not for lack of performance ability — tested for over 10,000 anti-abrasion rubs and for over 100 pounds of pressure per square inch, the micro-seemed top features the same silver anti-odor teach as some of our favorite workout styles.

A fashion-forward cut for a fashion-forward clientele, this garment’s nicheness doesn’t impede on exceptional quality and styling for just $20.

Many tees claim to be “boxy,” but for a true square fit, turn to Outdoor Voices Everyday Shortsleeve. Made with 100% organic cotton the slightly oversized, slightly cropped tee is a fun fit for the freakiest of dudes.

Ask any menswear ‘head, and they’ll be sure to relay that 3Sixteen is the biggest and best name in independent denim, and that same care and quality extends to their heavyweight, American-grown, 160 GSM Pima tees.

Faherty’s Pocket Tee looks straight out of your local thrift shop, in the best of ways. Perfectly washed for that lived-in look, they’ve got a relaxed-but-tailored silhouette that we can’t get over.

We need a big boi tee, and RicherPoorer delivers.

If your last name happens to be Roy, consider Loro Piana’s otherworldly silk jersey tee. Handmade in Italy, it’ll surely be the nicest thing to ever touch your skin…just stay the hell away from mustard.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.