T-shirts are just that, right? Nothing too fancy, just a clothing option that doesn’t involve a shirt (or tie, or blazer) on the weekends. Well, throw out your old college tees and your pre-conceived notions of everything you thought you knew about T-shirts in the spring and summer, because the recent crop popping up everywhere (but particularly from made-in-the-USA brands) feature slimmer cuts, nicer fabrics and, in some cases, a button placket that breaks things up visually. The key is to look for a style that fits trim, hits above the waist and possibly incorporates some other styling touches (which you’ll read more about below). Shop away and find some time to get yourself a few of these for the warmer months ahead.
United By Blue Standard Pocket T-shirt
The word ‘Standard’ in the description is a bit of a misnomer in this case — United By Blue as a whole is one company that’s anything but standard, what with the company’s mission to remove one pound of trash from the country’s waterways with the purchase of every product. The fact that the product in question happens to be a tailored pocket T-shirt made from organic cotton in a deep blue color is just secondary — but you should still pick it up if you get the chance.
Buy It Now: $36
Pistol Lake Short-Sleeve Henley
Alright, so option number two here isn’t exactly a classic crewneck or V-neck T-shirt. It is, however, one short-sleeve T-shirt that gives you some rugged versatility, especially in a faded black or olive color. The unfinished sleeves, which can be rolled up slightly for a GQ-approved styling touch, also lend a lived-in air. And the fact that it’s made in the USA and features double stitching at key stress points are added bonuses that support another company doing things the right way.
Buy It Now: $35
Buck Mason Navy Crew Slub Tee
It seems that the best T-shirts as of late are coming from counterparts to brands like Pistol Lake — that is, companies who are keeping their manufacturing here at home. Buck Mason is one such outfit that focuses on the essentials and throws in some unexpected details — like a rounded hem and a slightly wider neckline. Those changes make this one T-shirt that would look particularly sharp under a khaki blazer — or styled more casually, as in this post.
Buy It Now: $24
Club Monaco Jacquard Stripe Tee
Even retailers who focus more directly on continental styles (as evidenced by the breadth and quality found in its retail stores) are doing up the classic T-shirt with lux touches. But what’s so special about a striped tee? This Club Monaco option actually has a few things going for it, starting with the cotton-linen blend that’ll keep you cool and finishing with a visually pleasing pocket and neutral set of stripes that’ll pair seamlessly with slim chinos, a blazer and white sneakers on casual Fridays.
Buy It Now: $79.50
Apolis Global Citizen T-shirt
Graphic tees can sometimes feel a little middle school or high school-esque (or college, more likely). This is no basic tee with a logo splashed on it, though. Apolis is another clothing brand that, much like United By Blue, has an admirable mission paired with a sense of what just looks good on its buyers. This T-shirt brings together the brand’s purpose with a practical and well-fitting 5.5 oz. cotton jersey framework and a slogan that personifies its backstory — in three different languages, no less.
Buy It Now: $48