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The 9 Very Best White T-shirts for Men

Best White T-Shirt for Men
Photo-Illustration: The Strategist

In this article

Buying a white T-shirt might seem like a simple choice, but when you take fit, weight, material, and price into consideration, you end up with limitless options. To make this decision a little easier, I spoke with a bunch of stylish guys and even tested some options myself to narrow down hundreds of choices. Below, you’ll find the best white cotton T-shirts (and one linen option for good measure), from heavyweight options with a pocket to celebrity-recommended tees to sustainable shirts from a closed-loop brand. And if you’d like to just skip to a specific spot, feel free to use our table of contents below.

What we’re looking for


All the T-shirts on this list are made from cotton, with the exception of one linen shirt. Cotton wears the easiest out of most other materials; it’s breathable, machine-washable, and durable, so you don’t have to replace them regularly. The linen tee works best for the summer or for those who want something as breezy-feeling as possible.


The material of a T-shirt determines its weight: A thicker weave results in a heavier tee, while thinner strands of cotton create a more lightweight shirt. Some men prefer lighter-weight T-shirts in the warmer months, so they own both types, whereas others stay loyal to a specific weight year-round. Regardless of what side you’re on, there are lots of options for all camps.


Fit comes down to personal preference. Because all the experts interviewed had different viewpoints on which fit is the best, I searched for a wide range of choices, including slim, oversize, and loose silhouettes. And for men who typically look for big and tall sizing, there are a few selects noted below for you, too.

Best overall white T-shirt

Material: Cotton | Weight: Medium weight | Fit: Loose fit

Strategist-favorite brand Buck Mason’s curved-hem white tee came as close as possible to a universal T-shirt pick because everything about it is a happy medium: the price, the weight, the collar, the sleeve length, the fit. I consider it a medium-weight tee with an average-size collar. The sleeve hits at the perfect spot on the bicep without looking too oversize, but it still offers enough length for those who like to roll their sleeves. And lastly, it’s not quite slim-fit but not quite boxy either. Carlos Huber, founder of Arquiste Parfumeur, says the versatile cut makes it perfect for the beach and even more formal settings. In fact, he and his husband both wore the shirt under their suits at their wedding. “The neck is especially well shaped, and the curved hem is a nice detail,” Huber says. And the tee also gets a stamp of approval from actor Cheyenne Jackson (who heard about it from Jesse Tyler Ferguson). You can purchase the top in a short or tall length without compromising the slub-style fit.

Best less expensive overall T-shirt

From $11 for 3

Material: Cotton | Weight: Medium weight | Fit: Slim fit

A tried-and-true classic: the humble Hanes tee. The low price ensures you won’t feel bad if you ruin one with pit stains or food splatters, and our experts say it’s surprisingly stylish. Alexander Chee, author of The Queen of the Night, appreciates the consistency of it, which he says brings him comfort in that he knows he’ll never have to search very hard to find it. Chee wears the tagless version as an undershirt, but they look refined enough to stand alone. (Note: The brand offers big and tall sizing for those who need a little extra room.)

Best lightweight white T-shirt

Material: Cotton | Weight: Lightweight | Fit: Slim fit

Queer Eye’s Tan France first put us onto this shirt when he mentioned it as an item he can’t live without. If you ever see him in a plain T-shirt, he says it’s most likely this one. It “feels so much softer than most other T-shirts,” France says, adding that it stays soft, especially after a couple washes. The shirt is very lightweight and hangs nicely, according to France, though he typically sizes down for a slim fit. J.Crew offers a tall size, too, for men over six feet.

Best heavyweight white T-shirt

Material: Cotton | Weight: Heavyweight | Fit: Loose fit

Supima cotton is a strong, thick material that won’t easily lose its shape. If you’re looking for a heavyweight tee, Uniqlo makes an excellent affordable option. Houston-based clothing designer Lawrence Oke buys the Uniqlo U crew-neck T-shirts because of their “quality feel, boxy fit, and relaxed silhouette.” Mickey Pangilinan, an art director at Apple, echoes that sentiment, calling out the thicker material as a plus.

Best oversize white T-shirt

Material: Cotton | Weight: Heavyweight | Fit: Oversize fit

This Heavyweight Collections tee first showed up on our radar when we rounded up the best white T-shirts for men. Production designer Greg Jackson, who prefers shirts on the looser side, likes the shirt’s perfectly oversize boxy fit and substantial 100 percent cotton material. “If you’re looking for that more fashion-forward, heavy-duty fit, but that’s still simple, then this is the one,” he says. If you’re tall and still want that oversize look, the brand also sells this in a tall version.

Best sustainable white T-shirt

Material: Cotton | Weight: Medium weight | Fit: Loose fit

If sustainability is a factor in your search, try For Days. Its tees are made from 20 percent recycled cotton and 80 percent organic cotton, and the brand operates on a closed-loop cycle, meaning that when you’re done with your clothing, you can send it back to the company to recycle in exchange for credit toward a new piece. According to former Strategist writer Chloe Anello, the shirt itself boasts a medium weight that still feels soft and airy. It has a loose fit without being oversize, and the pocket is a pleasant touch for a bit more style.

Best less expensive sustainable white T-shirt

Material: Cotton | Weight: Medium Weight | Fit: Loose fit

In search of more sustainable closed-loop cycle options, I turned to the Big Favorite. The brand initially caught my eye this summer for applying the approach to underwear and also noticed that it makes clothing basics. My boyfriend — who wears tees every day and can be particular about cut — and I tested out the shirts for ourselves. We both appreciate the loose fit without being too oversize (the sleeves hit just above the elbow and hem slightly below the waist). It’s buttery soft and midweight, making it a nice staple for wearing on its own or layered. As part of the brand’s closed-loop cycle, you can send the tee back once it’s worn out through this page or by scanning the QR code on the label. Once it’s processed, you’ll get a discount on future purchases. The company also offers an undyed version that’s a pleasant off-white shade.

Best linen white T-shirt

Material: Linen | Weight: Lightweight | Fit: Loose fit

Most men I know would never think to choose a linen T-shirt instead of a cotton one — linen is best known in the button-down world — but I think it brings an extra level of sophistication to a summer outfit. Linen also tends to be breezier than cotton, offering you plenty of ventilation in the hot months. New York City–based brand Alex Crane uses sustainably grown French linen and preshrinks all its shirts, so you don’t have to worry on laundry days. The shirt hangs nicely whether you have broad shoulders or not, and after a few washes using the provided instructions, it feels just the same as it did when it first arrived.

Best luxury white T-shirt

Material: Cotton | Weight: Lightweight | Fit: Slim fit

A prior version of this story ranked this Sunspel T-shirt as the best overall. However, it’s shockingly expensive, which made Anello rightfully hesitant to give it top billing again. To see what all the hype is about, she and her fiancé (who she says is “extremely picky” about his clothing) tried out the shirt themselves. Both came to the conclusion that while yes, it is very nice — soft and airy with solid craftsmanship — she couldn’t in good faith recommend it as the best overall. The shirt feels more like an undershirt because of how thin and lightweight it is. (It is actually very see-through, too.) But that’s exactly what industrial designer Marc Newson does: He layers it under other clothing, which he’s done for 30 years, buying 20 shirts at a time. Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski also believes it to be “perfect,” too, because “the collar is really nice and thin, the sleeves are just the right length where you don’t have to roll them up, and the proportions are perfect.” It is a luxury purchase to be sure (especially to wear just as an undershirt), but if that’s what you like, then you can take Newsom and Porowski’s word for it.

Some more men's white T-shirts we've written about

Our experts

Alexander Chee, author
Tan France, Queer Eye host
Sam Hine, fashion writer at GQ
• Carlos Huber, founder of Arquiste Parfumeur
Cheyenne Jackson, actor
Marc Newson, industrial designer
Lawrence Oke, clothing designer
• Mickey Pangilinan, art director at Apple
Antoni Porowski, Queer Eye host

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The 9 Very Best White T-shirts for Men