The best t-shirts in 2022 have become more elevated than any classic tee in decades past and that doesn’t stop at the best white t-shirts. Though we previously wouldn’t expect white t-shirts to be worn solo without being half covered by a flannel or fully covered in a sweatshirt, times have changed. Now, the deemed undershirt-esque white t-shirt is an iconic men’s classic to be worn whenever, wherever.
The best white t-shirts are a basic essential for any man no matter his style. But, anyone that’s ever worn a white t-shirt before knows that the style can be quite finicky. Food stains, yellowing, sweat stains, poor quality — all are obvious reasons why most would want to steer clear from the best white t-shirts. But, if we know anything, it’s that all white t-shirts aren’t made the same.
After testing around 15 of the best white t-shirts from a number of different brands, it’s safe to say that in 2022, white t-shirts are being created in ways like they never have been before. Quality, endurance, moveability, retention, you name it. Today’s white t-shirts aren’t your father’s white t-shirts and that’s something we know for certain.
After spending numerous days wearing, washing and living in white t-shirts from varying brands, we found 10 of the best white t-shirts to consider today. And, no, these aren’t tees you want to hide underwear a hoodie. Peep all of our favorites below.
The Best White T-Shirts for Men At a Glance
- Best Overall: Jockey Classic Crew — $8 On Amazon
- Runner Up: Fresh Clean Threads Crew Neck — $19 at Fresh Clean Threads
- Best Updated Undershirt: Untuckit UltraSoft Tee — $39 at Untuckit
- Best Athleisure: Vuori Tuvalu Tee — $58 at Vuori
- Best from Amazon: Amazon Essentials Crewneck T-Shirt — $5.70 on Amazon
- Best Sustainable: Tentree Classic T-Shirt — $35 at Tentree
- Best Deal: Everlane Organic Cotton Crew — 3 for $60 at Everlane
- Best Splurge: Robert Barakett The Barakett Tee — $70 at Robert Barakett
- Best Slim: Buck Mason Tough Knit Classic Tee — $45 at Buck Mason
- Most Surprising: Hanes Tagless Cotton Crew — $4 on Amazon
How to Style a White T-Shirt
The best white t-shirt for men is essentially a blank canvas. You can style it however you choose based on the situation in front of you. Generally speaking, you have two directions to take your shirt — casual or polished.
To achieve a casual look with a white t-shirt, begin with a comfortable pair of sneakers and work upward. To compliment the sneakers, look for either a pair of jeans or even an ultra-cozy pair of joggers and add then add your t-shirt. If you can find a pair of joggers with a stripe or some kind of texture, even better. Otherwise, break up the monotony of solid colors with a textured button-down shirt.
If you want to dress up a white t-shirt, begin with a nice pair of dark jeans. Dark jeans present a sharper, more polished look than medium or light-wash jeans. With your white t-shirt and dark jeans, bring in either a dress sneaker or a comfortable dress shoe. Many people eye shoes when deducing first impressions so the right shoes matter. To complete the outfit, throw on a tailored blazer, style your hair, and crack a winning smile.
Undershirts vs. Elevated Basics
The way men use their white t-shirts has transformed in recent years with the rise of tech-based offices and the athleisure clothing movement. This cultural fashion movement has got guys everywhere relaxing their collars, and in many cases, opting for a t-shirt instead of a button-down to go to the office. This has created a whole new category of shirts we call “elevated basics,” or t-shirts that are just a bit nicer.
The classic Hanes, Fruit of the Loom, and Jockey shirts you know and love are classic undershirts for men who layer them with a button-down shirt or a sweater. They tend to be a little rougher to touch and somewhat boxy. And that’s totally fine — it works well. But today, we’re seeing softer, thicker-but-malleable, eco-conscious fabrics being designed into slim-fit, hardy t-shirts that complement a man’s natural contours for solo wear. In many cases, these types of shirts are standalone pieces that look and feel great without any top layer.
Jockey is a brand you’re likely already familiar with in some capacity. As makers of some of the best men’s underwear though, you’d probably expect the Jockey Classic Crew to be nothing more than a casual undershirt. But we can promise you, the Jockey Classic Crew is way more than that. Through our testing efforts, we discovered that this crewneck shirt makes for the best white t-shirt ever due to its durable design, pure white color and affordable price. It’s designed for the kind of person that doesn’t want to spend an arm and a leg on a white t-shirt but doesn’t want to purchase something that won’t last them at least a little while.
After wearing and washing this shirt countless times, we haven’t found many flaws with it yet. The size has stayed the same and the pure whiteness continues to be, well, pure white. If you spill on this shirt, yes, it’s going to stain, but we were surprised to discover that sweat build-up and yellowing aren’t too terrible with Jockey. All in all, this makes for the perfect undershirt or solo shirt to wear in 2022.
- Perfect size
- The name might make people assume it’s not the best
While we do believe that Fresh Clean Threads makes the best t-shirt ever, we had to place Jockey in our first spot specifically due to that price. But, if you’re looking for the elevated white t-shirt of the century, look no further. You found it. Fresh Clean Threads is a t-shirt brand we’ve been testing in a multitude of colors for well over a year at this point and have found no issues yet. All shirts keep the same size after washing, the white stays white and it never looks dingy. This is the type of t-shirt that will make you rethink every other t-shirt you’ve purchased prior. We can’t get enough of Fresh Clean Threads and are sure you won’t be able to either.
- Great quality
- Price is no match to Jockey
The folks at Untuckit don’t do things without intent, and you know because it’s right in the name. They were one of the first fashion-lifestyle brands to bring guys a shirt that was meant to be worn untucked. With the UltraSoft t-shirt, we now have the best white t-shirt for men who are part of the untucked button-down world. This white t-shirt is cut shorter with high armholes and a contoured sleeve cap. That means it hugs the body slightly and won’t get in the way of whatever shirt is layered over it.
Even though this wasn’t worn with an Untuckit brand button-down, it still proved to do exactly what it says — layer comfortably. This white t-shirt stayed perfectly flush against my body and stayed hidden behind the bottom of my top layer. It was soft but thin, which provided all-day comfort and ventilation when it was needed most. At $39, it’s an expensive layering t-shirt, but because of the dimensions, and especially if you wear Untuckit shirts, one or two may be worth owning.
- Soft to the touch
- Light enough for heat
- Same look after three cycles
- Shirt tag said to flat-dry only
- Expensive for layering t-shirt
If you haven’t heard of Vuori yet, please let us introduce you. Vuori has been a rising star over the last few years in the athleisure space and has hit an incredible stride in the last 18 months. All of their joggers are winners, so we weren’t surprised that this t-shirt, a quality basic staple, made our list.
Vuori’s Tuvalu Tee is the best white t-shirt for men who have the luxury of a lax office. This white t-shirt impresses as the clean centerpiece of a polished athleisure office fit. It makes muscles look better and makes those of us who lack those muscles feel like we have them. It’s cut a tick longer for this purpose because the extra length makes it look more aesthetically balanced. This white t-shirt scored bonus points for extra creamy all-day comfort and for its ultra-luxurious touch.
If it only costs $58 to achieve the most enjoyable tingly nipple sensation, sign us up.
- Soft but thick
- Extra length
- Luxurious touch
- Tag needs to be cut but has washing info on it
- High price (justifiable)
Lots of folks might be a little apprehensive when purchasing Amazon-made clothing and we completely get it. But, in our experience, Amazon Essentials always comes through as a top-tier basics clothing brand that’s consistently full of surprises. The white t-shirt is one of the best due to its fit and feel. This is nowhere near a flimsy shirt, it’s durably made with a cut that looks great on many body frames. Because it comes in a two-pack, you essentially get two shirts for the price of one in this case, too.
We’ve washed and worn this shirt countless times and will say that it does start to lose its shape after a few washes. In addition, pit stains are not this shirt’s friend. But, when that finally occurs, this makes for a stellar undershirt for sweatshirts, dress shirts and more. Plus, it’s surprisingly super comfortable.
- Underarm stains
- Loses shape
Today, if you’re not at least thinking about eco-conscious practices, you’re doing it wrong. The apparel industry alone creates roughly 10.5 million tonnes of trash every year, but thanks to clothing brands like Tentree, solutions are in the conversation. For each item purchased, including this shirt, the brand plants ten trees.
Tentree brings us the best white t-shirt for men who care about sustainability in every corner of production. While the sustainability factor of this shirt made us feel good inside, we didn’t score for that. What we did score for was this shirt’s brightness, the high-level comfort, and the consistency after laundry cycles — highest marks in every category. Grab two of these and get some trees up.
- Pillowy soft
- Available in 18 colors
- The cork patch might be unnecessary
One thing we love about Everlane is their dedication to quality basics. With their Uniform collection, the brand has curated nearly every staple piece a guy needs to develop a functioning wardrobe, complete with basic tees, sweaters, shirt jackets, trousers, underwear, and more. What’s even better is that this t-shirt, as part of the Uniform collection, comes with a 365-day quality guarantee — freaking awesome.
After the first handful of wears, we have zero issues to report regarding anything we’re testing for. It’s stayed the same size after washing and drying, it’s still hella bright, and it still feels the same as the day we opened the package. Though the fabric is a little on the thin side, we’re dubbing this an undershirt, so that’s perfectly fine. To know it’s made from organic cotton with sustainable practices makes this worthw while. And if that wasn’t enough, you can bundle three tees and get them for $60, a hefty discount.
- Bundle and save
- Cleaner manufacturing processes
- Consistent sizing
- Tons of colors
- On the thin side
This is a heavy shirt that is made to last a lifetime, full stop. If you want to own one white t-shirt for the rest of your life, this is most certainly the one. Robert Barakett’s The Barakett Tee is a high-quality, exceptionally made t-shirt that’s designed to be worn alone and never under a sweatshirt.
We’re very back and forth on Robert Barakett’s The Barakett Tee. Why? Well, in our experience, it drapes over leaner figures quite nicely while looking a little frumpy on larger men. This could leave men feeling a little uncomfortable and somewhat naked in this shirt, but for smaller or more muscular guys, this is a great shirt for you.
- Very well made
- Super comfortable
- Lasts a lifetime
- Not the best looking on bigger men
- Very expensive
It’s so easy to fall in love with Buck Mason’s aesthetic — thick fabrics with neutral but manly tones and a slight chip of ruggedness. That’s why we opted for their Tough Knit Classic Tee. It’s got everything you want in an undershirt. It’s a soft, midweight fabric, and it’s “grown and sewn” in the US, which you don’t often find.
We learned that these shirts are hand-cut because the first one we received was considerably short for a size large. Fortunately, the sales associate at our local store was incredibly sweet and swapped the shirt after comparing it against another.
Wearing this shirt brand new felt like a dream come true. It was an exact fit, very soft against the chest, and makes you feel like somebody who offers to look under the hood of a car because you know what you’re looking for. After the third wash, however, we found that it did shrink up about half size. With that knowledge, we would absolutely advise sizing up with this shirt for the best fit.
- Customer service is A++
- Very comfortable first two wears
- Great length for layering
- First shirt was smaller than it should have been
- Shrunk a half-size after the third wash
Hanes doesn’t necessarily have the best reputation when it comes to quality — and that’s why we were so surprised when testing their Tagless Cotton Crews. These cozy undershirts are, well, undershirts, but they are the coziest and longest-lasting undershirts you can purchase. They won’t last you forever and they might begin to stain on the underarms, but it doesn’t really matter since these are primarily made for dudes looking to rock under a sweatshirt. So, if you need something you don’t mind rocking not solo, Hanes is made for you.
- Great undershirt
- Just an undershirt
- Won’t last forever
How We Determined the Best White T-Shirt for Men
For over a month, we’ve worn and washed the most popular white t-shirts for men we could think of to figure out which is the absolute best. And while we’re now fighting for storage space in our bedroom, we’re happy to do it in the name of the SPY readers.
To find the best white t-shirt for men, we considered these factors:
- Is it true white? The best white t-shirt for men better be true white. We’ve found that the “white” color some brands advertise isn’t that crisp, blank slate we look for in a t-shirt. We scored brighter white shirts higher.
- Is the shirt a close average size? Both of us authors here wear a size large t-shirt. While understanding that body types always vary, we determined the average size based on the way each individual t-shirt fit us during this test. We scored appropriately for shirts that skewed bigger or smaller.
- Does the fabric feel high quality? Though we found some t-shirts to serve different purposes, we agree that the best white t-shirt for men should not feel like it could easy fall apart.
- Is it comfortable? We were these t-shirts multiple times, brand new and laundered. We wanted to know if it remained comfortable even after a few washes. We scored higher for t-shirts that felt unchanged.
- Did it shrink? The worst feeling is finding your perfect-fitting t-shirt doesn’t fit after the first wash. After following tag-based instructions for laundering, we tested whether any shrinkage occurred. We scored higher for t-shirts that did not lose their shape.
- Did it discolor? After multiple all-day wears, we looked for any discoloration that may have been absorbed by the fabric, even after laundering. We scored higher for shirts that looked brand new.
- Is it flattering? Whether used as an undershirt or the top layer, we wanted to make sure each candidate looked nice. We scored higher for shirts that complimented our bodies.
Why Trust SPY to Find the Best White T-Shirt for Men?
Finding the best t-shirts is something SPY does best. We spend hours window shopping online and in brick-and-mortar stores to find out if the best of legacy brands can maintain consumer expectations and if new brands have what it takes to make it to the next level.
If that’s not enough, understand this — together, we’ve tested over 50 different types of styles in the last year and have narrowed it down to this group deserving your consideration as the best white t-shirt for men.
Aside from white t-shirts, SPY has reviewed multiple categories in the style space. Recently, we’ve reviewed the best t-shirt for men overall, the best hiking socks for men, and even our favorite pairs of underpants.If you’re interested, you can read more about How We Test Products at SPY.
About the Authors
Tyler Schoeber is the E-Commerce & Special Projects Editor at SPY. Based in Chicago, Tyler’s a proud Jersey native who loves good food, good wine, and good times. Recently, Tyler has written about the best backpacks, the best men’s sweaters, and even gift ideas for impossible-to-shop-for men.
SPY Reviews Editor, Anthony Mastracci, is a Los Angeles transplant by way of Boston who enjoys helping guys look and feel their best through outfit coordination. Recently, Anthony has written about his favorite prAna hiking pants and shared his entire beard regimen, developed over the last eight years.