Every guy wears t-shirts. That’s why I created The Best Men’s Plain T-Shirt Guide. I not only show you where to get the best plain t-shirts, but I show how the should fit, what colors to get, and how to wear them.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a high ranking CEO of a company or just an average Joe trying to make it, you have t-shirts in your closet. T-shirts are the most basic of attire and nowadays have become a fashion statement. T-Shirts now use special cotton to make sure they keep their shape and come in a multitude of colors. You like me are most likely to wear a t-shirt almost every day. Having a supply of plain t-shirts that look great at the ready only makes good sense.
Why Are Plain T-Shirts Essential for Every Man’s Wardrobe?
Ummm, they’re essential because we wear them every day. The one thing I want to make clear though is this article is not focusing on undershirts. The T-Shirt’s brother from another mother. Undershirts are normally thinner and are worn tighter so not to add bulk to a suit. The plain t-shirts are looser and made from thicker cotton and are made so they can be worn alone.
Plain t-shirts can also be worn with anything in your closet. These include:
- Dark Wash Jeans
- Wool Dress Pants
- Oxford Dress Shirts
- Denim Jean Jackets
- Bomber Jackets
This essential piece of attire’s main draw, basically, comes down to three main reasons why plain t-shirts are found in every man’s wardrobe. Plain t-shirts are versatile, classic, and comfortable.
Different Types of Men’s T-Shirts
A t-shirt is a pretty basic article of clothing. But in order for it to look right, you have to pay attention to small details.
Crewneck – Among the most common t-shirt types is the crew neck. These shirts maintain a close-fitting rounded collar and provide an excellent base for layering with other clothing or can be worn on their own. You probably have more of these than you know what to do with sitting in your closet as we speak.
V-Necks – With a V-neck t-shirt, you do not specifically have to be any particular body type, but it will help guys with shorter necks lengthen their look. Apart from the definitive V at the neckline, most t-shirts of this style are basically the same as the average crewneck shirt. Always make sure to stay away from deep v-neck t-shirts. This is one of my biggest style mistake pet peeves.
Long Sleeve – Long sleeve t-shirts technically do not fit into the t-shirt genre. They can be utilized in colder weather as a thin layer close fitting to the body. The main draw to this type of shirt is the material is the same as t-shirts, so it is an easy transition for those who are already accustomed to wearing a simple T. But for the purpose of this guide, I don’t consider any long sleeve shirts to be actual t-shirts.
Plain T-Shirts Dos and Don’ts
Even though you may feel as though you are already a t-shirt aficionado, there are some key things to remember about wearing them. Every piece of clothing has dos and don’ts associated with them and here are just a few things to keep in mind when choosing the right plain t-shirt for your outfit.
- DON’T wear t-shirts with logo’s plastered all over them – It is fine to have opinions about things or like certain brands, but here at muted.com we’re all about a clean minimalist look. Logos everywhere can get tacky real quick.
- DON’T tuck them in – You will not look more professional by tucking in a t-shirt. It creates unsightly bulges as these shirts are not meant to be tucked in and can make an outfit look messy. Keep them untucked, please.
- DON’T wear t-shirts with stretched out necks or worn material – Once a T-Shirt becomes worn or has holes in it relegate it to the clothes you wear for chores.
- DON’T wear t-shirts with deep V’s – A slight V is great, but when that V begins to reveal too much, it is unflattering. Leave this type of dress back in the 70s where it belongs.
- DON’T wear t-shirts made from shiny material – A t-shirt can be more of a background feature to an outfit, but if it is screaming out from shiny material beneath a jacket or right out in the open, it is not flattering. Keep it simple.
Today, we have become a spoiled society with t-shirts made from every material imaginable, but let’s face it, basic 100% cotton still reigns supreme. Keep it that way. 100% cotton is simple, understated, and always in fashion. Below are some other cotton materials to consider.
Long Staple Cotton – Before we get into types of cotton, one of the things you want to check for on the brand’s website is that the T-Shirt is made from long staple cotton. Long staple cottons feature a longer cotton fiber. This long fiber makes the fabric stronger, softer, and more durable than short staple cotton. The end result is a T-Shirt that frays less, pills less, wrinkles less, and even fades less than T-Shirts with short-staple counterparts. One of my favorite Plain T-Shirts made with long staple cotton is the one from Asket – The T-Shirt.
- Slub Cotton – This material has been less machined than standard cotton. Therefore it maintains small knots and imperfections.
- Organic Cotton – Cotton grown typically in subtropical countries without the use of chemicals or pesticides.
- Pima, Supima – Basically, this cotton is the same material Egyptian cotton is made from AKA, bath towels. Pima and Supima maintain a soft feel and are less apt to break than other materials. The difference in Pima versus Supima is that Supima is harvested in the US rather than other countries.
- Combed Cotton – Cotton fibers are treated before spinning for a softer finish.
Colors and How to Wear Them
A t-shirt can come in every color of the rainbow, but that does not mean that every color makes a good plain t-shirt for a man. You can get by with four simple colors, white, heather grey, black, and navy. If you need a little help on how to wear these colors, here you go.
White – Your personal blank slate! White virtually goes with anything. Whether you wear your white t-shirt with dark or light jeans or underneath a lightweight jacket, you can’t mess up an outfit with a white t-shirt. One thing to keep in mind, bigger guys may want to go with a darker color T-Shirt to hide that gut.
Heather Grey – Grey is just a step down from white and it goes great with either dark wash or light wash jeans, just like a white T-Shirt.
Navy – Navy boasts a unique opportunity to blend casual with more formal styles. A navy T-Shirt for any fall or winter wardrobe and goes great with dark wash jeans, boots, and Jean Jackets.
Black – Black T-Shirts are probably the least versatile of any of the colors. It does look great in some outfits though, especially when you go all out badass and pair it with black jeans, black boots, and a black jacket (either a bomber or a jean jacket).
Having a wardrobe full of plain t-shirts gives a man many options to choose from and an almost endless opportunity to bring a little casual into your formal gatherings. Take your time when shopping and find the right style, fit, and yes, color for your plain t-shirt.
15 Of The Best Men’s Plain T-Shirts
No matter your budget there is something for you in the list below. Whether you can spend $50+ and want a designer T-Shirt or just want something that’ll look great in the budget category we have something for you. If you’re specifically looking for long staple cotton offerings, I would check out the T-Shirts from Sunspel in the designer section and Asket in the budget section.
Designer Plain T-Shirt Options
1. Vince Crew Neck T-Shirt ($55)
2. Alex-Mill Standard Slub Cotton T-Shirt ($55) – Like with J. Crew, Alex Mill has chosen to utilize ultra-soft slub cotton in their men’s plain t-shirts, but the added bonus here is the many style choices for the t-shirt. The Alex Mill Standard Slub Cotton T-Shirt has been specially washed for softness. The standard style offers vibrant colors, while the heathered style offers a weathered look for more of a vintage look. Sizes range from x-small to x-large and durable construction offers a triple needle stitch rib at the collar for added strength where you need it most.
3. Filippa K T-Shirts ($65)
4. Sunspel Classic Cotton T-Shirt ($90) – Sunspel, established in England in 1860, is among the oldest producers of t-shirts still in production today. The original t-shirt was created in 1913 when the US Navy replaced the standard-issue shirt with a woolen cropped-sleeve undershirt. Sunspel perfected the art of making these shirts more comfortable than ever before.
The current Sunspel Men’s Class T-Shirt ($90) is made in England using long-staple cotton for amazing softness, lightness, and comfort. Of the T-Shirts in this list, the Sunspel is the most expensive due to the tedious process to create one of these shirts. The cotton is handpicked to ensure quality before being combed to remove imperfections. The fibers are then twisted together to create a strong, smooth thread. That thread is then double spun to remove any remaining imperfections. The effort is well worth it because the resulting product is one of the best if not the best on the market. The Sunspel T-Shirt is as cool today as it was back in the 50s.
5. Handvaerk Crew Neck T-Shirt ($95)
Budget Plain T-Shirt Options
1.H&M Crew Neck T-Shirt Regular Fit ($7) – Ok, I know a lot of the T-Shirts on this list are fairly expensive. So I wanted to make sure that I offered something for you guys on a budget. I think the H&M Crew Neck T-Shirt Regular Fit hits the spot. The average shirt costs just under $7 and is a high-quality shirt offered in four color options, white, black, navy, and red with sizes ranging from x-small to xx-large. It should be noted, that according to their style guide, the shirts fit slightly smaller than average. I have a bunch of these guys and they seem to be holding up nicely.
5. J. Crew Garment-Dyed Slub Cotton Crewneck T-Shirt ($27) – The J. Crew Garment-Dyed Slub Cotton Crewneck T-Shirt is a super soft t-shirt made from garment-dyed slub cotton. Each t-shirt will have a rich slightly imperfect color that will slowly fade over time. Because of the saturated color, J. Crew suggests washing these guys separately or with similarly darker shades to avoid color transfer. As with most J. Crew clothing, size options are x-small to xx-large.
6. Buck Mason Slub Cotton Classic T-Shirts ($30)
7. Unrecorded 180 Gram Organic Cotton T-Shirt ($35)
8. Drapeau Noir Pocket T-Shirt ($38)
9. Asket The T-Shirt ($45) – Comprised of 100% long staple Egyptian cotton, Asket, The T-Shirt is among the most comfortable and long lasting t-shirts on the market. This heavyweight cotton t-shirt is made from 180g/sqm cotton and features a ribbed neckline, twin-needle stitched hems, and eight different color options. Researching this list, I’ve seen nothing but great reviews for the Asket t-shirts.
10. Uniqlo Men’s Supima Crew Neck Plain T-Shirt ($9.90)
How to wear plain t-shirts
Plain T-Shirt Outfit With A Blazer
1. Navy Blazer: @bonobos Bonobos Navy Blazer
2. T-Shirt: @asket Asket Charcoal Grey T-Shirt
3. Chinos: @jcrewmens J. Crew LT Beige Chinos
4. Boots: @jcrewmesn J. Crew 1990 MacAlister boot in suede Anchor Grey
5. Belt: @jcrewmens J. Crew Classic Leather Belt
Plain T-shirt Outfit With Dark Wash Jeans
1. Jacket: J. Crew Denim jacket in washed black
2. T-Shirt: Asket charcoal grey t-shirt
3. Jeans: Rogue Territory Officer Stealth Jeans Black
4. Boots: J. Crew Red Wing Rover Boots Black
5. Sunglasses: ATTCL Aviator Sunglasses Black
Plain T-Shirt Outfit With an Oxford Dress Shirt
1. Shirt: J. Crew American Pima cotton oxford shirt – Tonal Blue ($50)
2. T-Shirt: Alex Mill Standard Cotton Jersey T-Shirt- Navy ($55)
3. Denim: Rogue Territory Standard Issue 15 OZ ($240)
4. Shoes: Nike X J. Crew Killshot 2 ($90)
6. Belt: J. Crew classic buckle belt ($45)
Plain T-Shirt Outfit With A Bomber Jacket
1. Bomber: American Trench Black Bomber
2. T-Shirt: Asket Black T-Shirt
3. Jeans: Rogue Territory Officer Stealth Jeans Black
4. Boots: Red Wing Heritage Rover boots
5. Sunglasses: ATTCL Black Aviator Sunglasses