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Best White T-Shirts for Men, Tested and Reviewed

Best White T-Shirts for Men
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Our evaluations and opinions are not influenced by our advertising relationships, but we may earn a commission from our partners’ links. This content is created independently from TIME’s editorial staff. Learn more about it.

Updated December 20, 2023

Basics like white tees are the very building blocks of a wardrobe, but it can be astonishingly difficult to find one that does exactly what you want it to. There are just so many variables: You find one that’s beautifully soft and perfectly fitted, but oh look, instead of sleeves, someone appears to have added a pair of pteranodon wings. Hey, this one’s just the right length, the sleeves cuff nicely, and—nope, it’s so thin, I’d be more covered up if I was wearing sheer lingerie. To help narrow down the field, we’ve compiled the best white t-shirts for men, so come on—let’s get back to basics.

What to consider when buying white t-shirts for men

Material

The majority of white t-shirts worth buying are going to be 100% cotton, making them light, soft, and breathable. There are plenty of polyester options available, but while this tends to be more durable and will stand up better to frequent washing, it’s also prone to clinging, and is more likely to trap heat in warmer weather. In terms of the cotton options, some may prefer a cotton blend, including a small amount of materials like spandex to add a little extra stretch and comfort.

Fit

This is down to personal preference, but it’s smart to have an idea of what you want before you start shopping, as it’ll help whittle down the options. Are you looking for something long and airy? Baggily oversized? Figure-accentuating? Perfectly fitted? It’s best to consider what sort of outfit you’ll be wearing it with and go from there.

Occasion

The biggest question is likely, where are you going to be wearing this? Your needs for a good pajama t-shirt vs one that you’ll wear on a night out are vastly different, so buy accordingly. Obviously, if you’re primarily looking at it as loungewear, go soft and baggy. If it’s for layering, choose something thin and fitted. If it’s to be worn by itself, maybe opt for something a little more visually interesting, like a henley, or one with an eye-catching cut or contrasting pocket.

Our picks for the top white t-shirts for men

Best budget white t-shirt: Amazon Essentials Slim-Fit Short-Sleeve Crewneck T-shirt

You don’t expect much from a t-shirt that comes in a pack of two for a little over ten bucks, but Amazon’s Essentials tee still surprised me with its solid construction, softness, and excellent fit. There were some rougher edges at first—I could feel every seam for the first hour or so—but after using it as a pajama top for a couple of nights, I’d completely forgotten about that until I checked my notes later. It’s not completely opaque (if even the suggestion of a nipple outline bothers you, this might not work), but it would look totally fine under, say, a denim jacket. And for around five dollars apiece, that’s pretty good.

Specifications:

  • Sizes: XS - 2XL
  • Material: 100% cotton
  • Fit: Slim
  • How it feels: Soft, fitted
  • Price on publish: $11.18 (pack of two)

What we liked:

  • Great fit
  • Well constructed

What we didn’t like:

  • Despite the laundry tag suggesting to tumble dry on medium, I noticed significant shrinkage even after drying on low

The bottom line:

An extremely cheap t-shirt that feels much more high-end than it is.

Best budget white t-shirt
Amazon Essentials Men's Slim-Fit Short-Sleeve Crewneck T-Shirt, Pack of 2, White, X-Small

Amazon Essentials Men's Slim-Fit Short-Sleeve Crewneck T-Shirt, Pack of 2, White, X-Small

Best cotton white t-shirt: The Great Men’s Slim Tee

Not all your t-shirts need to be a bright, snowy white—sometimes, you want a shirt that looks, if not vintage, at least nicely worn-in. That’s what The Great offers with their slim tee, with the 100% cotton garment designed to look and feel like you’ve already owned it for years, even on the first wear. Somewhat fitted up top but fashionably long, hanging right down to the hips, it’s a cool, slouchy-ish tee that’ll just get more comfortable with age.

Specifications:

  • Sizes: XS - 2XL
  • Material: 100% cotton
  • Fit: Slim
  • How it feels: Worn-in
  • Price on publish: $95

What we liked:

  • Vintage-inspired design
  • Slightly fitted while still being casual

What we didn’t like:

  • Expensive

The bottom line:

A new t-shirt that’s designed to feel like slipping on a trusty old standby.

Best cotton white t-shirt
The Great Men’s Slim Tee

The Great Men’s Slim Tee

Best heavyweight white t-shirt: Buck Mason Field Spec Cotton Heavy Tee

Everyone raves about Buck Mason tees, and after trying one out, I can see why. Substantial, soft, and sturdy, it’s a great option for a thick, heavyweight tee that also looks like a high-end style choice. As with all of the options I tested, I wore the medium (I’m 6’2” and 175 lbs, just for reference), and it fitted amazingly well—I’d have preferred it a touch longer, but it sits so perfectly under a denim or bomber jacket that I can’t complain. It’s completely opaque, and the sleeves stay cuffed, too. Honestly, I just wish it was light enough to wear year-round.

Specifications:

  • Sizes: XS - 2XL
  • Material: 100% cotton
  • Fit: Slim
  • How it feels: Durable and comfortable
  • Price on publish: $55

What we liked:

  • Excellent fit
  • Completely opaque
  • Sturdy

What we didn’t like:

  • Would have liked a slightly longer option

The bottom line:

A thick, durable, heavyweight tee that looks amazing, too.

Best heavyweight white t-shirt
Buck Mason Field Spec Cotton Heavy Tee

Buck Mason Field Spec Cotton Heavy Tee

Best sustainable white t-shirt: Pact Softspun Crew Neck Tee 

Between the environmental impact of fast fashion and the horrendous working conditions of far too many factories, it’s always a relief to find an item of clothing you can feel good about buying. Pact’s semi-fitted tee is produced in a GOTS-certified (that’s the Global Organic Textile Standard) and Fair Trade certified factory in India, and made from 100% organic cotton, grown with only natural pesticides and fertilizers and a focus on water conservation. Oh, and the t-shirt itself looks great, too.

Specifications:

  • Sizes: S - XL
  • Material: 100% organic cotton
  • Fit: Semi-fitted
  • How it feels: Soft and comfortable
  • Price on publish: $22

What we liked:

  • Ideal for layering
  • Inexpensive
  • Eco-friendly

What we didn’t like:

  • Shrinks after its first wash (intentionally so, at least according to the shirt’s product page), so you may have to order a size up

The bottom line:

An environmentally friendly, Fair Trade certified t-shirt that also looks and feels good.

Best oversized t-shirt: Carhartt Loose Fit Heavyweight Short Sleeve Pocket T Shirt 

Did someone say oversized? Well, I wore the medium, and was almost literally swimming in it. If that’s what you’re going for, you’ll be delighted with this shirt, which is thick, soft, and feels insanely durable. Out of over 6,500 customer reviews, more than 5,200 are of the five-star variety, so clearly there’s a lot of love out there for it—just don’t expect to layer it under anything fitted.

Specifications:

  • Sizes: XS - 5XL (regular), L - 4XL (tall)
  • Material: 100% cotton
  • Fit: Oversized
  • How it feels: Rugged
  • Price on publish: $20 - $25, depending on size

What we liked:

  • Thick
  • Sturdy
  • Comes in regular or tall options

What we didn’t like:

  • Might be a little too oversized for some

The bottom line:

A super baggy, thick, and durable shirt, designed to last practically forever.

Best oversized t-shirt
Carhartt Loose Fit Heavyweight Short Sleeve Pocket T Shirt

Carhartt Loose Fit Heavyweight Short Sleeve Pocket T Shirt

Best white t-shirt for bigger guys: Good Counsel McLain S/S Henley

It’s tough to beat a henley for smartening up a casual look, and Good Counsel’s neat, comfy offering does the job perfectly. While I found the medium to be a touch too baggy, the range of size options for larger-framed dudes (up to an 8XL) and the flattering, airflow-inducing side vents make it a great choice for people wanting a roomier, but still super-smart white tee.

Specifications:

  • Sizes: M - 8XL
  • Material: 100% cotton
  • Fit: Loose
  • How it feels: Soft, airy
  • Price on Publish: $70

What we liked:

  • Soft
  • Comfortable

What we didn’t like:

  • Not entirely opaque, but far from see-through—again, it’s more just a suggestion of what lies beneath, but it’s worth mentioning for those who want to avoid that

The bottom line:

A soft, neat henley with a great range of larger sizes.

Best white t-shirt for bigger guys
Good Counsel McLain S/S Henley

Good Counsel McLain S/S Henley

Best pocket white t-shirt: Penguin Chambray Trim Pocket Tee

I love a pocket on a t-shirt—even if it’s not in a contrasting fabric or color, it still adds an extra, more visually interesting element that many plain tees can lack. This option from Penguin keeps things mostly simple, with a single accent line at the top of the pocket and their small (adorable) logo perched on the top right. The shirt itself is fitted and extremely soft. It definitely suffers from being a bit too see-through on the non-pocket side, but worn under a light jacket, this a perfect tee.

Specifications:

  • Sizes: XS - 2XL
  • Material: 100% cotton
  • Fit: Slim
  • How it feels: Thin and very soft
  • Price on publish: $20 (worth noting this is a pre-Black Friday sale, normal price is $49)

What we liked:

  • Very soft
  • Fitted
  • Subtle pocket accents that enhance without distracting

What we didn’t like:

  • Would have preferred a longer option
  • A little thin

The bottom line:

A cool shirt (in both senses) with a simple, timeless design.

Best pocket white t-shirt
Penguin Chambray Trim Pocket Tee

Penguin Chambray Trim Pocket Tee

Best linen white t-shirt: Sandro Clash Linen Tee

Taking a brief departure from all that cotton, this 100% linen tee is, per all customer reviews, absurdly soft and comfortable. Designed for a slimmer fit (for a more classic fit, order a size up), it’s lightweight and breathable. It seems unlikely to be as non-see-through as the product shots appear, but if you’re okay with that, this is an elegant and luxurious option you’ll likely want to live in.

Specifications:

  • Sizes: XS - 2XL
  • Material: 100% linen
  • Fit: Slim
  • How it feels: Incredibly soft
  • Price on publish: $175

What we liked:

  • Luxurious
  • Extra soft

What we didn’t like:

  • Hand wash only
  • Expensive

The bottom line:

A pricey but beautiful linen tee, as lightweight and soft as you could want.

Most comfortable white t-shirt: Goodlife Tri-Blend Classic Crew

If you’re looking for a perfect cold weather layering piece, this tee from Goodlife has you covered. Made from a cotton, polyester, and rayon blend, it’s silky-soft, and has enough stretch to remain as comfortable under the bedcovers as it is under various sweaters and coats. It also washes well, without shrinking or losing its shape. Out of 519 customer reviews, this boasts 479 with five stars, so I’m clearly not the only one who loves this shirt.

Specifications:

  • Sizes: S - 2XL
  • Material: 38% cotton, 12% rayon, 50% polyester
  • Fit: Fitted
  • How it feels: Exceptionally soft and comfortable
  • Price on publish: $60

What we liked:

  • Soft
  • Stretchy
  • Lightweight

What we didn’t like:

  • A little see-through, so best used as a layering piece

The bottom line:

A ridiculously comfortable t-shirt that’ll slip under a sweater or shirt like a second skin.

Most comfortable white t-shirt
Goodlife Tri-Blend Classic Crew

Goodlife Tri-Blend Classic Crew

Best white henley t-shirt: Bonobos Pima Performance Short Sleeve Henley

As mentioned earlier, a henley is such a simple and effective way of adding a little extra style to your outfit, even if you choose to go loose and baggy with it. This option from Bonobos provides both slim and standard fit options, and combines a buttery-soft feel with a simple, clean look that could easily be dressed up with a smart bomber jacket, or dressed down with shorts and slip-ons.

Specifications:

  • Sizes: XS - 2XL
  • Material: 50% Pima cotton, 50% Drytex Acrylic
  • Fit: Classic
  • How it feels: Super soft and airy
  • Price on Publish: $65

What we liked:

  • The Drytex fabric is moisture-wicking and provides UV protection
  • Airy
  • Soft

What we didn’t like:

  • Will be a little too see-through for some

The bottom line:

An exceptionally soft, light henley with a crisp, clean look.

Best white henley t-shirt
Jetsetter Performance Short Sleeve Henley

Jetsetter Performance Short Sleeve Henley

How we tested and selected the best white t-shirts for men

I made my selections through a combination of rigorous testing and thorough research. The shirts I tested personally were worn, washed, and worn again, to ensure comfort, durability, and fit. The shirts I didn’t personally try, I picked after scouring customer reviews to ensure that all of my selections have had overwhelmingly positive feedback.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Which brand is best for t-shirts for men?

This is going to be a recurring theme throughout this FAQ, but a lot of this will come down to personal preference. If you like heavyweight, oversized t-shirts, Carhartt will likely be a good starting point. If budget is your primary concern, it’s tough to argue with Amazon’s Essentials range. Those wanting something super soft should look at brands like Bonobos and Goodlife. In short, decide what you want out of a shirt, then look for brands who specialize in those qualities.

Which white shirts are not see-through for men?

It’s really, really tough to find a white tee that’s not at least a little bit see-through. Of the shirts here that I tested personally, I found that the options from Buck Mason and Carhartt were the only ones thick enough to be entirely opaque. I did, however, consider the options from Amazon, Good Counsel, and Penguin to be on the less see-through end of the spectrum.

Which type of white shirt is best?

As with any kind of clothes, be it the best t-shirts for men, the best dress shirts for men, or anything else, it really depends on the occasion. Cold outside? Choose something soft, warm, and thick for layering under a flannel and a jacket. Hitting the beach bar? Pair a thin, longer tee with a pair of cut-offs and some white sneakers, and off you go. If you want something to wear under a bomber jacket, get something fitted, maybe with a chest pocket as an extra detail. A white tee is rarely the focal point of an outfit, but you still need to choose carefully to make sure the outfit hangs together.

Do men look good in white t-shirts?

The short answer is, yes, of course, men and women can look good in a white t-shirt (it’s why our team also compiled the best white t-shirts for women). But, there’s also stuff you can do to make it look its best.

“The best way for a guy to make a white t-shirt look good is to make sure it fits right by complimenting the silhouette he has,” advises Charles Fratto, style director for ILOE Studios. “The fabric should also be made with a quality knit fabric, one that will keep its shape and stand up to multiple washes. Not all white t-shirts are patterned and sewed the same and the general belief is the more simple the design, the more you need to concentrate on the material and construction to make the garment look its best. Bonus points if you iron your t-shirt, too. Ironing a white t-shirt might seem odd at first, but this little detail will take you so very far.”

How do you care for white t-shirts?

According to Angela Brown, host of the Ask a House Cleaner podcast, t-shirts yellow over time because residue from deodorants and body lotions react with the natural oils and sweat produced by your body and the shirt’s fabric. Over time, these reactions can oxidize and become yellowish, particularly in areas where the material comes into contact with your skin, such as the collar and underarms.

“The key to keeping white shirts white is to wash them in a load of laundry with nothing but white clothing,” says Brown. “You can break down the enzymes of the body oils and sweat with a quality laundry soap. I recommend pre-treating them by soaking them in a sink full of hot water with 1/4 cup of OxiClean Stain and Odor Remover, to break down the enzymes and bleach the fabric before washing.”

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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