When it comes to basics, nothing beats a classic t-shirt. While its white counterpart often overshadows the humble black t-shirt, a great-fitting black t-shirt is one of the most versatile items a man has in his wardrobe. Throw it under a blazer at the office, lounge in it at home, use it at the gym, or spliff it up for a date.
Because basic shirts are so versatile, it's probably worth getting more than one in the same color. While a tee in a nice heavyweight fabric is great for your work wardrobe, you'll probably want a lighter-weight option for hitting the gym. To avoid staining and to wear out your favorite shirt, purchase an affordable multi-pack for sleeping, lounging, and working around the house.
So to help you find your perfect shirt, we're offering helpful tips on how to pick the right style and recommendations from top brands.
How to Pick a T-Shirt
With so many shirts on the market, narrowing it down to one can feel like a daunting task. To ensure you find something you love, you'll want to consider the following while you shop:
Determine Your Neckline and Sleeve Length
The first step in narrowing down your choices is determining your desired neckline and sleeve length. Are you looking for a classic crew neck or a v-neck? Short sleeve or long sleeve? The options are endless, so pick based on your personal preference and what fit looks best on your frame.
Identify Your Preferred Fit
Additionally, you'll need to choose between different body silhouettes: slim, standard fit, relaxed, oversized, longline.
Remember That Material Matters
When it comes to basic shirts, stick to cotton or a cotton blend. While they may feel soft, shirts that are primarily polyester or other petroleum-based synthetic fabrics won't be as breathable as natural fabrics and attract stains more easily.
Don't Skimp on Quality
While buying a cheap Hanes 10-pack of basic shirts may seem like an easy way to save money, they won't help your wallet (or the environment) in the long run. So instead of constantly replenishing cheap shirts, invest in a few high-quality shirts that will last longer and look better over time.
Details Make a Difference
Looking for something that isn't just your average tee? Pay attention to details like nice stitching, chest pockets, or brand logos that bring an elevated feel to a product.
The Best Black Shirts for Men
When it comes to basic shirts, Everlane is one of the best brands out there. Not only are their versatile tees affordably priced and built to last, but they're also transparently made using fair labor practices and sustainably sourced cotton. The style features a dropped shoulder, wide ribbed collar, and a slightly longer sleeve and wider body that give it a laid-back feel. It's made using 6.2 oz cotton that's thick, durable, and just structured enough to make the perfect cuffed sleeve. Trust us; once you fall in love with their Premium-Weight Relaxed Crew in black, you'll be back for every color.
Worth Investing In
Over the past few years, A-Cold-Wall's elevated basics have gained a cult following among streetwear enthusiasts and celebs alike, and for a good reason too. Thanks to high-quality cotton materials and craftsman-like attention to detail, the fit and feel of the fabric are unparalleled. While the product is certainly more of an investment than your average Hanes tee, the quality, longevity, and sophisticated look are worth every penny.
Best Athletic Shirt
While Alo Yoga's Airwave Tee is ideal for the gym, it's sleek enough to be worn almost any time and anywhere. Its simple silhouette has a standard fit with short sleeves and a classic crew neck. The soft tri-blend jersey fabric is lightweight, breathable, and stretchy so that it won't hinder your athletic abilities as you workout. Plus, the breathable mesh panel on the upper back helps keep you cool and dry as you're on the go.
Designer Shirt Worth the Splurge
Despite their loyal following of celebs and city slickers, Stone Island's specialty is sportswear and outerwear. Like the Long Sleeve Henley Jersey T-Shirt from the brand's Core Collection, every one of their high-performance garments is designed for maximum functionality and longevity. The relaxed crew neck shirt features long sleeves, ribbed cuffs, and the brand's signature compass logo patch. The soft, heavyweight cotton only gets better with age.
Least Boring Basic
Searching for a top that stands out from the sea of black shirts? Look no further than the beloved Heart Tee from Commes Des Garcon Play. The Japanese streetwear label is frequently worn by Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Adam Levine, Pharrell, and countless more suave celebrities. The quirky design and bright red color of the heart logo on the chest adds a playful, elevated feel without overpowering the simple silhouette of the top.
Best on a Budget
Sticking to a tight budget doesn't require sacrificing on style or versatility, thanks to H&M's affordable 3-pack of Slim Fit T-Shirts. The simple tees have a round neck, short sleeves, and fitted body that makes them the perfect choice for layering under jackets and sweatshirts. Choose between a pack of all-black or a mix of black and grey.