The plain white tee, a garment so ubiquitous in modern life and yet so difficult to get right. It’s everywhere you look – in every shop, in every wardrobe – and yet, the perfect one remains such an elusive beast.
The difference is, you know the perfect white T-shirt exists. You’ve seen it in movies and magazines. It’s out there somewhere. It’s just a case of finding it. That’s where we come in.
Finding the perfect plain white T-shirt has been a long and arduous journey. It’s taken us from high-street shops to boutique retailers, stopping off at every conceivable price bracket en route.
There have been blood stains, sweat stains and there may have even been tear stains if they were a thing. But it finally paid off, because we’ve found not one, but 10 white T-shirts that tick all of the boxes.
Comfortable, well-fitting, unshrinkable (within reason) and high quality, these are the best white T-shirts to buy in 2021.
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Armor Lux callac T-shirt
French label Armor Lux is probably best known for its nautical Breton tops and striped tees, but it’s no stranger to a plain white T-shirt either. The callac T-shirt is the label’s classic, regular-fit style and is a firm favourite at all of the UK’s hippest independent menswear outlets and now we’re pretty keen on it too.
The cotton has a weightiness to it which smacks of quality and the little anchor motif to the hem adds a subtle dash of colour. Plus, it’s made in France, which if nothing else, sounds pretty cool.
Sunspel riviera T-shirt
Sunspel is to plain white T-shirts what Rolls Royce is to cars. This is an English brand steeped in history and renowned for its premium wardrobe basics. Ask any seasoned menswear buff to point out the perfect plain white T-shirt and they’ll no doubt show you something with “Sunspel England 1860” stitched into the collar.
The quality is amazing, but it has a price tag to match. Still this is the gold standard where T-shirts are concerned. Just ask Daniel Craig, for whom this particular model was designed. Expect soft, almost-silken cotton and a fit that is second to none.
Asket white T-shirt
Swedish label Asket is built around the idea of a capsule wardrobe. For the uninitiated, that’s a minimalist concept that involves whittling it down to just a few key pieces that can work together to cover all bases. A good plain white T-shirt is the backbone, which is perhaps why Asket’s version is such a winner.
It’s made from heavyweight Egyptian cotton and has a classic straight cut. To us, the mid-range price tag belies the quality and attention to detail on offer here. We’ve tried T-shirts twice the price that were half as good, which is why this might just be your new favourite – it’s certainly one of ours.
Lyle & Scott plain T-shirt
Hailing from Scotland, Lyle & Scott has grown from golfing roots into a bona fide menswear brand in its own right. If you’re yet to sample the goods, this plain white T-shirt would be a good place to start. It features a classic fit – not too slim, not too loose – and has that herringbone taping thing going on on the inside of the collar, which always denotes quality where tees are concerned. Last but not least, it’s finished off with Lyle & Scotts iconic golden eagle logo to the chest.
Uniqlo 100% supima cotton T-shirt
When it comes to wardrobe basics at reasonable prices, Uniqlo is always our first port of call. The Japanese retailer has a few core items that have become the stuff of menswear legend thanks to their unbeatable bang to buck ratio. The supima cotton T-shirt is made from super-soft, low-nap cotton that is smooth to the touch and feels great against the skin, and at less than ten quid there’s no reason not to stock up.
Patagonia p-6 logo responsibili-tee
From spindly Californian climbers to style-savvy urbanites, Patagonia’s sustainable take on outdoor garb has earned it a loyal but diverse following. This simple T-shirt is one of the brand’s trans-seasonal staples and features a fairly long cut with plenty of room in the body. If you’re not a fan of logos, keep scrolling as this has a pretty large one on the back. But if all you care about is thick, recycled cotton and a loose, relaxed fit then this is the tee for you.
Nike logo T-shirt
It’s best not to overcomplicate the basics, which is exactly why we’ll always be a fan of Nike’s classic white T-shirt. No lofty prices, no technical-fabric funny business, just 100 percent plain white tee, served with a side garnish of swoosh.
NN07 pima tee
Those Scandinavians know a thing or two about low-key luxury and NN07 is further evidence of that. This Danish label has made a name for itself delivering premium essentials with a contemporary twist to the marketplace’s most discerning shoppers, and the plain white T-shirt is at the core of it all.
This one is made using pima cotton, which is famously soft and smooth. It has a regular cut to suit all builds and is the perfect blank canvas upon which to craft any number of looks.
Everlane uniform organic cotton crew
Everlane is an American brand that allows you to get top quality for less money by using a direct-to-consumer model. That means there’s no retailer in the middle driving the costs up. There’s also a focus on transparency. To the point that the website allows you to look at the factories in which each garment is made. This particular T-shirt is made from organic cotton and will leave you with change from £20.
H&M premium cotton T-shirt
There’s no shortage of cheap, low-quality T-shirts on the high street. In the short term, they might seem like an attractive option, saving you precious money. But in the long run, they’re likely to shrink and drop to bits, meaning you’ll need to fork out again.
H&M’s T-shirts, however, seem to be an exception to that rule. This premium cotton T-shirt is a step up from the brand’s cheapest £3.99 option but paying for the increased quality will serve you well in the long run.
The verdict: Men’s white T-shirts
It’s tempting to go for the cheapest option when it comes to something as basic as a white T-shirt, but you’ll end up paying more in the long run. That’s why we’d advise going for Armor Lux’s callac T-shirt. It’s thick, durable and while it’s expensive, it’s certainly not extortionate. We also loved the classic fit, which in our humble opinion was the best of the bunch.
For more things you need to add to your cart straight away read our write up of the best men’s jeans for every style and budget
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.