Trying to choose the best plain white t-shirt is like trying to choose the “best” bottle of red wine. What’s that even mean, when there’s such a dizzying number of variations? Buying a fresh one means figuring out how you feel about fit and shape and cut—and all sorts of smaller details, too. Do you want short guns-baring sleeves or bigger, boxier ones? A traditional straight hem or a curved hem for a less-basic untucked look?
There’s no unicorn “best” plain white t-shirt that tops them all (though if we hear otherwise, we’ll let you know). And to be honest, that’s a good thing. Plenty of variety means you can stock your drawers with the right plain white tees for all sorts of situations.
That’s why we’ve sifted through an endless piled of plain white t-shirts to turn up our 17 favorites. Slim-fit white tees, beefy tees, platonic-ideal pocket tees, everyday undershirt tees, and even a workout-ready white tee. Whatever your plain white tee preference, we’ve got you. So allow us, the sommeliers of plain white t-shirts, to guide you through our tee list.
Best Affordable Undershirt
Uniqlo Airism crew neck short-sleeve T-shirt
Uniqlo has the extreme seasons on lock, with both its Heattech pieces for winter and the company’s Airism technology for the sweaty days. You can easily toss this on as an undershirt —in fact, we’d recommend it, since this poly-spandex-blend crewneck is cool to the touch, wicks away moisture, and defends against dank odors. But the Airism tee can hang on its own if needed, because it lacks the glossy sheen of other synthetic shirts.
Best Tech-y Undershirt
Mack Weldon AIRKNITx crew neck undershirt
Mack Weldon’s tech-focused approach to basics yields the AIRKNITx undershirt, a top contender for both summer fits and general undergarment use. It combines a blend of lightweight microfibers, a dollop of stretch, and a breezy mesh construction to let your vapors evaporate. This is how you keep your button-ups free of sweat stains. (Though if you need more undershirt options, we’ve got you covered.)
Best Bulk Buy
Kirkland Signature men’s crewneck T-shirts (six-pack)
Kirkland Signature’s multi-pack tees are how you get the most bang for your t-shirt buck. Their thick, peachy-soft fabric is made from 100 percent ring-spun cotton. And like some of the more expensive tees on this list, the straight, slightly boxy silhouette comes without fussy side seams.
Lady White Co. tee (two-pack)
The knitwear gods at Lady White Co. built their brand on a plain white tee. The midweight cotton is sourced from North Carolina and has a sturdy feel that gets better with age. Plus the seamless body makes it a comfy wear. They’re only sold in packs of two—handy for upgrading your tee drawer that much faster.
Hanes short-sleeve pocket Beefy-T (two-pack)
Hanes has served up more than a billion Beefy-Ts since debuting it in the 1980s. The secret to the tee’s popularity is simple: it’s a classically trim cut with a soft but substantial, all-cotton jersey fabric, at an affordable price.
Best Boxy Tee
To put it simply: this is the ideal boxy t-shirt. Where too many tees are overgrown, slouchy, or over-long, Entireworld’s is wide and cut just right, so it doesn’t look like a jersey night gown.
Best Slim Tee
Velva Sheen plain tee (two-pack)
We love Velva Sheen’s tees as an OG brand, but they also win us over for their slim cut. They’re super flattering, regardless of when you last did a chest day. And, unlike other tees, you don’t have to size down just to get the slim silhouette you’re after.
Best with a Suit
Sunspel Sea Island cotton T-shirt
Rocking a tee beneath a suit jacket is a style move that’s more advanced than you’d think, with a handful of pitfalls. Perhaps the most important detail is the neck—the Sunspel Sea Island’s crew neck doesn’t sit too high, nor does it slouch like a boat neck. Plus, the cound collar construction means the collar lays flat and holds its shape, with no worry about bacon neck after a few washes. Plus, Sunspel’s Sea Island tee can hold its own when the suit jacket comes off, thanks to its luxuriously smooth hand, slight sheen, and classic trim fit. But
Best for Working Out
Our favorite gym-ready tee can handle the most intense workout you throw at it. It’s a true multi-hyphenate that’s odor-resistant, moisture-wicking, sun-blocking, and quick-drying. And we’ve got a few more options if you’re looking for the best workout shirts (and don’t need them to be white).
Best Pocket Tee
Lady White Co. “Clark” pocket t-shirt
Yes, this is our second Lady White Co. shout-out, and for good reason. The Clark tee may not be the conventional pocket tee, but that’s why we like it. The vintage-style chest pocket uses the same bound ribbing detail as the neck, so it won’t ever stretch out.
Best Hard-Workin’ Tee
Carhartt force cotton Delmont short-sleeve T-shirt
Like all of Carhartt’s goods, this tee is tough but comfy, with a hardy cotton-blend fabric that keeps you cool while you work—whether that’s in Zoom meetings or the garage. It also won’t restrict your range of motion thanks to the roomy cut and raglan sleeves. And the cherry on top? The fabric is also stain-resistant.
Best Investment Tee
3sixteen heavyweight T-shirt (two-pack)
Need more beef from your tee? 3sixteen’s heavyweight t-shirts are some hefty boys, made of a custom-knit all-cotton jersey that’s simultaneously soft and impressively dense. While there are heavier t-shirts out there, 3sixteen’s stays just this side of sweatshirt territory—a balance of heft and comfort, like a cozy weighted blanket.
Best Super Soft Tee
Goodlife classic supima cotton blend crewneck T-shirt
When you combine extra long-staple cotton and impossibly soft modal, you get the silkiest tee out there. Just note that, if you and the gym aren’t on speaking terms, modal has a tendency to hug the body.
Best Eco Tee
Everybody.World scour classic trash tee
This is a tee you can feel good about: made from recycled scrap cotton, and free of harmful chemicals. By leaving the cotton in its natural, un-dyed state, Everybody.World doesn’t need harmful dyes or bleach, resulting in tee that’s both earth-friendly and skin-friendly.
Best Curved-Hem Cut
Buck Mason slub curved hem tee
All those untucked tees with the curved hem you’re seeing these days? That’s because of Buck Mason. They hit the nail on the head with their original curved hem tee, sparking a new style that look good hanging free or buckled up.
Best Something-Extra Tee
Everlane organic premium-weight slub crew
For a t-shirt with a little something extra, go with Everlane’s slubby tee. The uneven, slubby texture of the all-organic cotton jersey fabric gives it substance and texture that makes other plain white tees look, well, plain.
Best for Screenprinting
Gildan Ultra cotton T-shirt (two-pack)
If you’re looking to jumpstart your streetwear brand, you’ll need a graphic tee and you’ll need to do it on a Gildan. Gildan’s been the canvas for some of the most iconic graphic tees in history, including many a Supreme tee (and a Frank Ocean name check). Maybe a year or two from now, we’ll be name-checking your label.