How To Buy The Perfect Plain White T-Shirt

Mens Street Style White Tee

The white T-shirt is one of those staple items we all have in our wardrobe, but what makes the perfect plain white tee. We’ve created the definitive guide on what to consider when buying the best plain white T-shirts – and how to get the most out of them, especially if you’re buying a white T-shirt in bulk. 

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The Best White T-Shirts for Men

Some of the best quality white T-shirts on the market are a plain and simple white, and this is due to the fact they keep most of their organic properties and don’t need bleaching. However, the price of your perfect white tee can range heavily depending on where you are buying them from. For you, we’ve nailed down good quality T-shirts tailored to any budget.

Mid-Market Best Quality T-Shirts

Stuck on a budget but in need of a desperate refresh of your basics? While opting for a cheap white T-shirt can seem like an easy solution, they don’t always last. However, with a bit of a research (and a helpful recommendation by our buyers) we have devised our top picks for the whites on a budget.

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High-End Best Quality T-shirts

If you’re a man of quality over quantity, the brands such as Sunspel and YMC are an essential for the best plain T-shirts. Long-lasting with the right care, YMC and the progress of Hawskmill are versatile between layering and wearing alone.

camo bomber jacket white t-shirt black jeans mens street style
PHOTO CREDIT: The Idle Man

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What Makes the Best Quality T-Shirts for Men

Before you buy, you need to try. Our buyers and editors have nailed down on to what to consider when refreshing your T-shirt collection.

Length

Mid-Length

A perfect white T-shirt for men should generally graze an inch or so past the tip of your trouser waistband, not so much that it looks like you’re wearing a tunic, but enough so your stomach isn’t on show. If you can raise your arms without any tummy popping out to say hello, then you’re good to go.

the idle man mens street style white t-shirt overcoat
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Long-Lined White T-Shirts

Longer T-shirts offer a more alternative look, but need to be styled the right way. Personally, I would pair a longer white tee with a pair of black skinny jeans, as baggier trousers can just make you look like you’re wearing the wrong sized clothing. The dark against the white will also make your long tee stand out more, highlighting it as your statement piece.

Fit

The fit of your T-shirt is a particularly important aspect when it comes to the white tee, because it’s such a revealing colour. I don’t mean you’ll be showing a lot of flesh, but rather, because of its starkness, if a white T-shirt doesn’t fit well, it’s pretty obvious. A well-fitted white T-shirt will work with your shape. Make sure it’s not too tight, including on the arms. Squeezing your skin inside a tight wrapper isn’t pretty and it’s not fooling anyone – we can tell if you’re trying to make your guns appear bigger.

The Idle Man size guide tshirts cm inch fit
PHOTO CREDIT: The Idle Man

For a snug fitting T-shirt, make sure there’s at least a pinch or so of free material around your arms and waist.

Generally, T-shirts are short-sleeved, but long sleeved tees are not unheard of by any means. In my opinion, I prefer shorter sleeves, but that’s only because it gives me more freedom to layer an outfit. When trying on a T-shirt, you’ll want the seams of the sleeve to line up with the ends of your shoulders. If they sink further than this or fall short, you’ll know you’re wearing the wrong size. The ends of the sleeve should give you a few inches, falling about mid way down your bicep.

Best Quality T-shirts Fits

From what to do and not to, we’ve given you a break-down of the key fits of any T-shirt. Depending on your body shape, be careful selecting what is most fitting to your silhouette.

Slim-Fit: A flattering fit for a broader shoulder body type, slim-fit is the most popular amongst the basics category.

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PHOTO CREDIT: The Idle Man

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Skinny-Fit: Got biceps to show off? Slim-fit is tailored to more athletic figures. However, always consider quality before you buy. Too tight and too thin can create transparency within the fabric.

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Oversized Fit: A fit for the more fashion-forward. Oversized is famously worn along the likes of Kanye West & Jay-Z. Often designed with a fish-tail or long-lined at the hem, it’s an ideal throw on for your more casual days.

PHOTO CREDIT: Magic Fox

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Material

Having some knowledge on what your T-shirt is made from is also key. While this seems unnecessary, it’ll save you in the long run – from washing instructions to how to keep your tee in the best condition.

Cotton Tee Shirts

100% cotton is something to look out for, not only because it offers comfort, but also because it’s breathable fabric. Cotton is also great for workout clothes because smells don’t tend to stick to them as much as they do on synthetic fabrics like polyester. A polyester and cotton blend can also be a good option, as the combination should prevent your T-shirt from wrinkling.

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Neckline

White Crew Neck T-shirt

The crew neck is the most popular T-shirt neckline you’ll find. It’s also my personal favourite. The round neck highlights the shoulders and chest, making them appear wider, whilst slimming and narrowing the stomach, thus giving you that complimentary T-shape effect. Be aware though, that the crew neck can make you appear shorter, but it’s a great style for tall guys and those of you with longer necks.

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White V Neck T-shirt

The V-Neck is probably best suited to those with rounder faces, as it draws your eyes away from that particular area. It’s also the perfect tee for guys with shorter necks, as the V-shape elongates this part of the body. However, if you neckline dips low enough to see chest hair, then please don’t do it. Just don’t.

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PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

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How To Wear Your Plain White T-Shirt

The beauty of T-shirts is their simplicity – they’re incredibly versatile items. The plain white tee is great in particular because they match pretty much anything and allow for creativity elsewhere. The best plain T-shirts can be styled in a number of ways; and with such a variety of shapes and necklines available, you can be sure to find one that flatters you.

Casual

Especially for more the transitional months, play around with your T-shirt with layering and colour blocking – with a touch of athleisure styling. To tailor athleisure to the season, we recommend working your look around a tonal palette. This means tapping into your minimal basics with neutral shades of navy, beiges, creams, blacks and greys.

the idle man mens street style chinos sweatshirt layering ss17
PHOTO CREDIT: The Idle Man

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Casual

A staple look for your basics includes being adventurous and doubling up the denim. For a safe yet stylish look, opt for a black slim denim jean and a blue denim jacket. Always remember to be careful of the blues – so avoid acid wash and tired looking denim. This is completely versatile to whatever you do. If you are needing more of a smarter image opt for brogues, otherwise white trainers are the ultimate go-to.

the idle man mens street style denim jacket black jeans
PHOTO CREDIT: The Idle Man

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Smart Casual

Last minute plans? Why not pair your T-shirt with the staple pieces of your wardrobe. Take a biker jacket for example – layer your tee with a mixture of textures. An iconic look to the brand Schott, this is a timeless throw-together for the wardrobe which is sharp, defined and is wearable from the bar to the pub.

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Formal

While most formalwear can seem uncomfortable, especially if you have an all-day event to attend to, a white T-shirt can be a perfect alternative. This means ditch the tie and opts for your best. Fitting for the summer seasons, layering your blazer with a white tee still creates a fitted look, but with more a relaxed way of layering.

mens street style white tshirt blazer the idle man
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

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How to Buy the Perfect Plain White T-Shirt

  • Always keep quality in mind.
  • Before picking a fit, think about what would compliment your body shape most.
  • Experiment with you style – mix textures, colours and prints.
  • Look after you white T-shirt during washes – know your fabric.
  • Try wearing your white tee as formal wear right through to casual and get the most out of it

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On That Note

The T-shirt is a basic, but vital item to have. It’s versatility allows you to style and adapt it to a variety of different occasions. The best plain white T-shirt for men varies on not only your personal preference, but also what shape you are, as different styles compliment different figures. I think the most important thing to take away from this is, is that you’re comfortable in what you’re wearing. Yes, it needs to look great, but it also needs to feel great too. I think we can safely say the white T-shirt is a timeless, multi-purpose and essential item we should all have in our wardrobes.

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