The term ‘wardrobe staple’ is thrown around more times than a steak at a vegan party, but the best T-shirts for men is one item to which it can truly be applied.
A garment that started off as strictly underwear, developed into workwear and is now a definitive style essential, you would be hard-pressed to find a man who has never owned this 100-plus-year-old basic.
The T-shirt’s versatility has a great deal to do with its ability to outlast trends; it’s the only piece of clothing that can be worn for any occasion, from under a shirt, with a suit, to the gym, beach and to bed.
They are true commodities: we buy them in bulk, often from the same brand, and we don’t stop to think about them until they need replacing. But are we really making the most out of our basic T-shirts? To offer a shortcut around the hours, even days, it can take to find the perfect color, cut and style, here is the ultimate guide to the best t-shirts for men.
THE BEST T-SHIRTS FOR MEN: FIT
The way a T-shirt fits says a lot about its wearer. Unintentionally baggy, with sleeves flopping sadly from the shoulder and excess fabric creating a tent around your torso, gives the impression of a man who has given up. On the other hand, exploding seams and a stuffed sausage-skin fit sends the opposite message, of a man who can’t get his own reflection out of his head.
The perfect-fitting example emphasizes parts of the body you’re proudest of, without drawing attention to the areas you’re conscious of. Confused? Before trying one on, look at your naked torso in the mirror and ask yourself what your best attribute is.
Whether rolled or regular, sleeves should hit around the halfway point on your upper arm to show off your biceps, triceps, or any cool tattoos for men you might have.
Aim for a slim-fitting style that skims through this part of the body, leaving enough room for air to circulate.
Guys with bigger chests and/or narrow waists should look for tapered cuts that don’t drape around your mid-section.
If not entirely confident of your body – a feeling that affects many of us – or nothing stands out, opt for a classic fit. Don’t oversize in an attempt to conceal the lumps or buy smaller to exaggerate others features, no matter how much you want to show off the results of that arm workout. Equally, if you feel everything about your upper half is worth flaunting, well, first control the urge to go shirtless, then take up some of this advice that applies to all body types.
A classic T-shirt should finish around the top of your hips. This will ensure you can raise your hands without turning your tee into a crop top.
A Short sleeve t-shirt shouldn’t cover more than half of your upper arm and should sit as close to the skin as possible without stretching.
A perfect-fitting T-shirt isn’t restrictive, allows you to move comfortably, and should never feel tight (with the exception of performance attire).
Even in oversized or longline styles, the shoulder seams should ideally align with the point where the curve of your shoulder ends.