Five Plus One is our weekly series of buyer’s guides. We pick a specific category and dig up five great options along with one that’s a little outside the norm.
Just because you are on the hunt for basic t-shirts doesn’t mean you have to settle for something boring. While all the brands on this list make some of the best essentials on the market all of them offer something a little different to help them stand out from the crowd. While there is certainly nothing wrong with spending less to get a barebones tee you can still splurge on something a bit different.
1) Freenote Cloth: Heavy Gauge Pocket Tee
Freenote Cloth’s Heavy Gauge Pocket Tee is, as its name implies, constructed from heavy gauge cotton yarn. That along with the fact that the fabric is loosely knitted results in a heavyweight fabric that drapes in a unique way. Each tee features a tonal pocket that is secured with contrasting bar tack stitches.
Available in six colors for $65 at Freenote Cloth.
2) Lady White: Clark Pocket Tee
All of Lady White’s t-shirts are phenomenal, which made choosing a single style for this list all the more difficult. In the end we had to go with their Clark Pocket Tee, a simple shirt designed to fit like the athletic tees of the 1940s. This style features a slanted, parallelogram shaped pocket based on the iconic “Brown’s Beach” pocket. This shirt is made from a medium weight fabric, thick enough to pair with only a light jacket on cooler days yet thin enough to keep you from overheating during the summer heatwaves.
3) The Hill-Side: Half-Stripe Basque Tee
The Hill-Side is known for two things: their fabrics and their bold, but not overbearing, designs. This season’s Half-Stripe Basque Tee highlights those two characteristics, featuring a slubby, organic cotton fabric paired with an eye-catching horizontal stripe pattern. The shirt is actually made from two fabrics, striped on the top and plain on the bottom, that are sewn together at the chest. This seam gives the slubby fabric an additional textural layer needs to be felt in person to be appreciated.
4) BEAMS: Heathered Crepe Pocket Tee
It is hard to be a classic heathered tee shirt, especially when it is done as well as BEAMS’ Heathered Crepe Pocket Tee. While some may prefer a slim fitting t-shirt, the block-y cut of this tee is sure to find just as many fans. The cut is quite generous, and the sleeves and pockets quite wide, but those details, in conjunction with the ribbed collar and straight-cut offset hem, come together to create a fantastic basic tee.
5) Left Field NYC: Hemp Tee
For many of us texture is the first thing we notice when we pick up a new article of clothing, especially when the clothing is as basic as a t-shirt. Left Field NYC’s Hemp Tee is all about texture, featuring 55%/45% hemp/cotton blend that creates a wonderfully slubby and neppy fabric. And how better to make a texture pop than with the natural color of the fabric? While this shirt might not look like much from afar you aren’t going to be able to stop from staring when you’re up close.
Available for $48 from Left Field NYC.
Plus One – Folk: Combination Tee
I never thought I’d find a t-shirt to be memorable, but Folk’s Combination Tee is one of the most eye-catching designs I’ve seen. I don’t know if it’s the textural contrast between the fabrics, the cotton/linen blend fabric, the zippered front pocket, the unique stitching patterns, or how everything comes together, but this piece is a true standout. While there is something quite perfect about the olive tones of this shirt I understand if you’re looking for something in a more basic color, and lucky for you this shirt comes in a range of different colors (just try not to buy one of each).
Available for $160 from Glasswing.