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T-shirts are a man’s true friend. What was invented as comfortable innerwear is now a fashion staple that’s so versatile it can be paired with almost anything from cargo shorts to dress pants. If you love wearing t-shirts but are often stuck with poorly made, ill-fitting tees in bad fabric, you probably need to get rid of your t-shirt collection and start over with grown-up tees that fit like a dream and will remain wear-worthy for at least a couple of years.
If you’ve been bulk-buying the same brand for years, you may have missed out on better options for lack of research. With a busy lifestyle, you’re probably hard-pressed for time to look for quality t-shirts. Here’s a quick and handy guide to help you learn how to spot a good tee among the scores of wannabes being sold online.
- The first rule to buying quality t-shirts is to stop settling for the average stuff and spend your money on the better tee. The hallmark of a t-shirt made with you in mind is that the maker pays attention to the minute details that are often ignored by mass producers of low-quality apparel. From the fabric and fit to the cut and color, a good t-shirt is designed for comfort, style, and longevity.
- Quality clothing is an investment rather than an expense, as it lasts longer and stays the same after multiple washes. Adam White, founder of Jasper Holland Co (https://jasperhollandco.com/), says that the best t-shirts have no obnoxious tags and have tight necks that keep their shape even after being washed. When shopping tees, look for a brand that uses quality fabrics that will retain their shape and color after prolonged use.
- Fit should be a top criterion when you’re buying clothes. The way a t-shirt drapes around your torso can make or break your look. Avoid oversized tees with sleeves sagging at the shoulder and extra fabric that makes one look large and sloppy.
- Similarly, avoid t-shirts that are too small or too tight for your frame—gone are the days when they were considered macho; these days they make most people (especially women) cringe. To play safe, opt for a classic fit that suits most body types.
- The benefit of buying well-cut clothing is that it’s made for real people and not for the runway. It drapes nicely around your body, eliminating the need to buy the wrong size to hide lumps. In addition, a well-cut t-shirt is comfortable to wear all day long as it neither smothers your body nor makes you look big.
- The comfort level of the t-shirt is largely dependent on the fabric. For all-day comfort, steer clear of thick fabrics that feel bulky to wear. Opt for fine tees in high-quality lightweight fabrics that feel like a second skin. While cotton is an all-time natural favorite, fine cotton blends are increasingly popular as they don’t shrink, provide stretchability and don’t wrinkle as easily as pure cotton.
- When choosing colors, make sure to have at least one piece in the classic colors of white, black, grey and navy blue. These evergreen hues are must-haves when you’re trying to build a dependable capsule wardrobe. If you also wear tees to work, make things a little colorful with different interesting hues.
- The neckline of your tee is another important factor that determines how it will look on you. While everyone can carry the standard round (crew) neckline, V-necks are a good option if you want to look taller as they tend to elongate the neck. On the other hand, the classic crewneck works well if you want to make your shoulders appear broader. If you have a long or narrow face, a crew neckline can balance out the proportions.
- The length of your tee is important, too. A long t-shirt on a short guy can make them look even shorter, and cropped tees are best left for college-goers. Ideally, your t-shirt should rest about three inches below the belt where it will conceal your stomach but not fully cover your backside. The sleeves should fit snugly around your arm and cover not more than half of your upper arm.
- When you find the perfect fit and style, buy more of the same t-shirt in different colors—it will save you time and help you build a basic wardrobe that’s independent of short-lived trends. Moreover, you won’t have to worry about frequent washing or running out of clothes mid-week.