The Best White T-Shirts for Men of 2019

  1. Editors' Choice

    Everlane The Premium Weight Crew

    Skip to the full review below
  2. Editors' Choice

    Goodfellow & Co Men's Standard Fit Short Sleeve Lyndale Crew Neck

    Where to Buy
    Skip to the full review below

Other Favorites

  1. Fruit of the Loom Men's Dual Defense White Crew Neck T-Shirts, 6 Pack

    Skip to the full review below
  • Everlane The Premium Weight Crew

  • Goodfellow & Co Lyndale Crew Neck T-Shirt

  • Fruit of the Loom Men's Stay Tucked Crew T-Shirt

  • How We Tested

  • What You Should Know About White T-Shirts

  • Other T-Shirts We Tested

  • More Articles You Might Enjoy

EverlaneHeavyweight
Credit: Jackson Ruckar / Reviewed
Best Overall
Everlane The Premium Weight Crew

This 100% cotton, solidly constructed shirt from Everlane aced our tests. Our wear testers awarded this shirt high marks for comfort and used adjectives like “quality,” “sturdy,” and “thick” to describe the experience. One reviewer wrote that the shirt felt like it “would last a while.” Our tests back that up. Everlane scored high on both the shrinkage results and visual evaluation at the end of our laundry cycle marathon.

Direct-to-consumer brand Everlane launched in 2010 with a promise they call “Radical Transparency”—their term for sharing information about their supply chain and materials pricing. This particular shirt is made in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam (you can see information about the factory on their website) and claims, in their description, that they “made these tees to last.” That claim checks out. According to our testing, Everlane is a brand you can trust.

GoodfellowCo
Credit: Jackson Ruckar / Reviewed
Best Value
Goodfellow & Co Lyndale Crew Neck T-Shirt

This shirt is a favorite of TJ Donegan, Reviewed's executive editor for core categories. “I’ve found the Target Goodfellow brand has consistently great values and okay-to-excellent quality,” he shared. “In particular, the T-shirts are thicker than the other cheap shirts I've owned, with a fabric that doesn't seem to shrink or get wrinkly even when I inevitably leave it in the dryer an extra day.” Goodfellow & Co is a house brand available only at Target.

One major aspect to note, which may take this choice off the table for some people: This was the only shirt in our testing that was a cotton blend: 60% cotton, 40% polyester, to be precise. (When we were selecting shirts to test, Target did not have a 100% cotton shirt available.) This shirt scored well in our shrinkage tests, which is to be expected: Polyester, as a fabric, doesn’t shrink like cotton. While this fabric blend may be responsible for its superior measurement results, it also received top marks in our shirt survey, with one reviewer noting “this is the one I've liked the most so far” and another writing it was “definitely better than Hanes.”

We debated knocking it out of the running due to its polyester construction, but decided to include it in our final ranking due to its combination of performance score and low price. If you prefer a 100% cotton undershirt, we recommend the more expensive Brooks Brothers, our fourth-place finisher.

Where to Buy
FruitOfTheLoom
Credit: Jackson Ruckar / Reviewed
Best Bulk Buy
Fruit of the Loom Men's Stay Tucked Crew T-Shirt

Sometimes you just want a durable, reliable, undershirt that keeps most of its shape after a ton of washes and doesn’t cost more than $2.50 per shirt. You’re in luck. The Fruit of the Loom Men’s Stay Tucked Crew T-shirt was our favorite of the shirts in this category. While our testers judged this shirt to be stiffer and less comfortable than shirts more than quadruple the cost, the measurement and wear testing results—and the dirt-cheap price—proved this shirt to be the best you can buy from a bag.

How We Tested

The Testers

We’re Megan McCarthy, the executive editor for growth, and Kyle Hamilton, a product test technician here at Reviewed. We are both people who wear clothing, and are both fond of T-shirts. Megan selected the shirts, designed the tests, ran the measurement tests before and after the shirts were washed and worn, and lead the visual tests. Kyle ran the laundry tests—every wash and dry cycle—ensuring that each wash was the same exact procedure each time.

The Tests

It’s a minor scandal when a celebrity repeats an outfit, but everyday Americans don’t have to walk the red carpet on a daily basis. According to educator and textile expert Deborah Young, the assistant chair for textile science at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM), most people wear the same 18 garments over and over again in any given month. So, if you’re an average American, you likely wear the same shirt about two or three times a month. Because we wanted to evaluate our picks based on how these shirts would look after six months of regular wear, we designed our tests to evaluate how well these T-shirts hold up over 15 wash and dry cycles.

The shirts: We decided to test the best T-shirts for men and the best T-shirts for women together. We chose our contenders based on suggestions from our product experts, Google search rankings, Amazon results, and other publication’s best T-shirt lists. For consistency, we ordered all the shirts in a size Large. Between the two lists, we had a total of 18 shirts, which ranged in price from $2.50 per shirt from both Hanes and Fruit of the Loom to $350 for a shirt from The Row, a fashion brand founded by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.

Measurement testing: Cotton shirts are going to shrink, there’s no way to avoid it. What sets a quality shirt apart from a terrible garment is the amount of shrinkage. According to Young, acceptable shrinkage for knits is 5%. We measured the shirts when they were brand new to get our base measurements and after weeks of wear and wash testing, we measured the shirts again to see the differences.

To get our base figures, we used a flexible tape measure to measure four points on each shirt: 1) The length of the back of the shirt, from the back of the center neckline to the center hem, 2) The length of the front of the shirt, from the center neckline to the center hem, 3) The width across the front of the shirt, from armpit seam to armpit seam, and 4) The length of the arm, from the sleeve seam to the hem of the arm, along the seam. We also weighed the shirt using a Sartorius AY501 scale. Once the wash and wear tests were completed at the end of the month, we repeated the measuring and weighing process with each shirt. We calculated the differences between the before and after numbers to measure the shrinkage of each shirt, and compared the results among the contenders.

Wash testing: We always washed all 18 shirts together in one load, with two white towels added to the drum as ballast. We washed each load in a LG WT7300CW Top Load Washer on the delicate cycle, which used cold tap water. We used an exact measurement of 46ml of Persil liquid laundry detergent, the winner of our Best Laundry Detergent roundup, as the cleansing agent for each wash. When the wash was done, we dried the shirts in the delicate cycle using a Samsung DV431AEP/XAA Dryer. Each shirt was washed after it was worn, and every shirt went through a total of 15 wash and dry cycles.

Wear testing: We anonymized all of the shirts, to the best of our ability, by striking out the brand name with a Sharpie laundry marker and writing a number on the inside back neck of the shirt. We asked our Reviewed co-workers to wear a random shirt for a few hours around the office, and then answer a short survey ranking the shirt for comfort, style, and overall experience. A total of 12 Reviewed employees participated in the anonymous wear testing. This testing phase went on every work day for two weeks in mid-September.

Visual tests: Once the wear and wash testing phases were completed, we hung the shirts on our best clothes hangers and visually evaluated each shirt on a three-point “rattiness” scale. A shirt received 3 points if it looked fairly new and kept it shape, 2 points if it looked well-loved but lived-in, and 1 point if it was beat to all hell.

What You Should Know About White T-Shirts

Ever since James Dean skulked onscreen in a white T-shirt, blue jeans, and an attitude, T-shirts moved from military-grade undergarment to a Hollywood-approved staple of the modern uniform. The T-shirt is likely the most popular piece of clothing in the average American closet, and, odds are, you might be wearing one right now.

Traditional white T-shirts are 100% cotton, although the type of cotton can differ among shirts. Standard cotton is a short staple cotton called “upland cotton.” Higher-quality cotton, like pima or Egyptian, is known as extra-long staple cotton. (You may have also heard of Supima cotton. Supima is the brand name of a nonprofit organization that promotes pima cotton and licenses that name to different manufacturers.) The difference between a short staple and a long staple is right there in the name. The fiber in standard cotton is about 1 ¾ inches long, while pima is 2 ½ or 3 inches. This fiber length is essential in ensuring a smooth finish in the fabric. As FIDM's Young puts it, “the shorter the fiber, the more ends you have sticking out.”

T-shirts are also differentiated by the type of knit. The typical men’s T-shirt is a jersey knit, which provides a comfortable amount of drape and doesn’t stretch out too far. (Rib knit, another popular option, is stretchier and results in a more fitted look. Due to the fitted nature, rib knits are more popular with women’s styles.)

But What About Pit Stains?

Yellow discoloration in your armpits isn’t the fault of your T-shirt. Blame the combination of your sweat with the aluminum from your antiperspirant for those awful shirt-killing stains. While the weight of a shirt can help prolong the stains from forming for a bit—thinner white shirts will show stains on the outside faster than thicker shirts—most stain prevention is best accomplished by pretreating your shirt before you wash it or switching up your deodorant to one without aluminum. Another trick to keep shirts pristine and white is somewhat counterintuitive: Go easy on the bleach. According to Young, overbleaching your shirt can cause the entire garment to yellow.


Other T-Shirts We Tested

BrooksBrothers
Credit: Jackson Ruckar / Reviewed
Brooks Brothers Supima Cotton V-Neck Undershirt - 3 Pack

These shirts came recommended by Dave Kender, Reviewed’s editor-in-chief. These 100% Supima cotton shirts are, in the words of one of our testers, “less soft and more...slick?” They scored high on wear and tear tests, and scored high on our visual evaluation. It was also the only non-crewneck shirt we tested for men, which was a plus for some people. “I like the classic V-neck look to it” one tester wrote.

If you’re looking for an undershirt that’s thinner than our Best Overall, but still 100% cotton, this should be your choice.

MackWeldon
Credit: Jackson Ruckar / Reviewed
Mack Weldon Pima Crew Neck T-Shirt

Mack Weldon is a startup focusing on men’s basics, and this was an early favorite among our testers. Michael Shepard, Reviewed’s logistics expert, served as our male model for this roundup, so he had the luxury of trying on every single one of these shirts for both the before and after photos. When we began testing, he was a vocal fan of the Mack Weldon shirt—even asking if he could take it home after the testing was completed. He described the initial experience of wearing the Mack Weldon shirt “like living your life sleeping on 200 thread count to one day figuring out that 700 thread count exists.” When he took the “after” pictures, though, his opinion dampened. After 15 washes, the shirt still felt “definitely better than Gildan or Amazon Essentials” he said, but less amazing, and more “like any other cotton shirt.”

GuildanMensCrew
Credit: Jackson Ruckar / Reviewed
Gildan Men's Crew T-Shirt (5-Pack)

You may be familiar with Canadian brand Gildan if you’ve ever bought a band logo T-shirt at a concert: It’s the go-to source for bulk orders of screen-printed shirts. If you follow fashion industry news, you may have also heard about the company when it bought beleaguered brand American Apparel in 2017. Beyond those two scenarios, you can be forgiven if the name Gildan has never crossed your radar. Like the brand itself, this no-frills crew performed perfectly adequately, if not memorably, in our tests, scoring average marks throughout the testing. “The most basic of T-shirts” wrote one reviewer.

TheRow
Credit: Jackson Ruckar / Reviewed
The Row Ed Cotton Jersey T-Shirt

We couldn’t resist testing this $350—yes, three-hundred-and-fifty-dollar—shirt from fashion brand The Row available on Mr. Porter, the men’s offshoot of luxury clothing site Net-a-Porter. While we attempted to anonymize all of the shirts in our testing rotation, it was pretty obvious that this shirt was a level of quality far beyond most of the others. Its construction and manufacturing was smooth and detailed, and the seams were sewn finer than any other shirt in our tests, or, frankly, any other shirt most of us had ever seen. It was also the heaviest shirt we tested, weighing in at 224.8 grams.

As you would hope for a shirt more than 1000% more expensive than our budget buy, this shirt won high praise from our testers for comfort. “It was one of the softest T-shirts I've ever worn and it was the perfect amount of thickness,” wrote one tester. Samantha Gordon, Reviewed’s e-commerce editor who served as an opacity model for the women’s T-shirts, called it “stupidly comfortable” when she tried it on for a photo. Its excellent construction and comfort, however, didn’t prevent it from showing signs of wear during our testing. While the Everlane shirt held its shape well in our post-washing measurement and visual tests, The Row shirt appeared a little more beat-up.

If you have an abundance of cash, want the softest shirt money can buy, and don’t plan on wearing it more than five times, you may be interested in this. For people who want to invest in a wardrobe that lasts, however, we recommend you spend that money on 12 Everlane shirts instead.

AmazonEssentials
Credit: Jackson Ruckar / Reviewed
Amazon Essentials Men's 6-Pack Crewneck Undershirts

There is really not much to say about this selection beyond “it was fine.” It scored a solid “meh” across our testing results, and no tester felt compelled to leave a comment about its experience. It scored solidly in the pack for our wash and wear tests. And at $3.75 per shirt, it’s statistically significantly more expensive than both the Fruit of the Loom and Hanes offerings, which knocked its ranking down a peg.

GapClassic
Credit: Jackson Ruckar / Reviewed
Gap Classic T-Shirt (2-Pack)

This 100% cotton shirt from the Gap was not a favorite among our testers. “It felt sort of stiff to wear” said one tester, who scored it the lowest possible score for comfort. Another tester was underwhelmed by the shirt, calling it “basic” and awarding it middling marks.

Where to Buy
Hanes
Credit: Jackson Ruckar / Reviewed
Hanes Men's ComfortSoft Crewneck Undershirt 3-Pack

“It is an exceedingly average shirt, with rough stitching and cheap-feeling fabric,” ranted one tester. “The material felt thin and less soft than I prefer,” chimed in another. These scores, in addition to its high shrinkage, landed Hanes in last place.

Meet the testers

Kyle Hamilton

Kyle Hamilton

Product Tester

Kyle Hamilton is a product tester at Reviewed, specializing in home appliances and technology.

See all of Kyle Hamilton's reviews
Megan McCarthy

Megan McCarthy

Executive Editor, Growth

@megan

Megan McCarthy oversees lifestyle and emerging categories at Reviewed as the Executive Editor, Growth.

See all of Megan McCarthy's reviews

Checking our work.

We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.

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