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American Apparel Fine Jersey Crewneck T-Shirt Review

This review is a piece of our  Great White T-Shirt Review series, in which we tested nearly two dozen plain white t-shirts to help you understand what’s on the market today. In it, we tested for qualities like fit, construction quality, fabric density, shrinkage, and see-through-ness, amongst many others.


American Apparel is likely the first “premium” t-shirt many of us had the pleasure of experiencing. I’m 29, and I remember stumbling across AA in high school and being in shock at how much better it felt compared to the Hanes Beefy Ts. I still wear a couple of their cotton/poly/rayon track tees I bought when I was 16.

This is not the t-shirt I remember, but a serviceable one nonetheless.

  • Fabric: 100% cotton
  • Made in: USA
  • Postwash Fabric Density: 1.44g/LI (Midweight)
  • Postwash Total Weight: 152g
  • Construction: Tubeknit
  • Postwash Measurements (inches):
    • Front Length: 24.5
    • Pit to Pit: 21
    • Shoulder to Shoulder: 17
    • Hem Width: 21
    • Neck Width: 5
    • Sleeve Length: 8
    • Sleeve Height: 9
  • Sizing Recommendation: True to Size
  • Shrinkage: 7.25%
  • Weight Loss: 1.3%
  • Price Per Shirt: $18
  • Available for $18 at American Apparel

Fit

The American Apparel is a straight fit tee but the brand also skews young, so even though there’s no drop from the pit to the hem, it’s not baggy.

The-Great-White-T-Shirt-Review-american-apparel-front-back

It has a decent length and even though the neck is a little tight, the collar has a lot of give, so it doesn’t feel it. The tee also overhung my shoulders just a tad and was a little big in the sleeve.

Fabric

AA jersey is midweight but has a lot of give. It’s stretchy to the point where it almost feels like a blend, but then it doesn’t pop back into place, reminding you that it is indeed 100% cotton. This tee also started to pill slightly after just three washes and dries.

It also shrunk the second most of any tee in the test at 7.25%.

In terms of sheerness, yep that looks like “Heddels” but it still leaves some hard edges to the imagination.

Construction and Details

So instead of “bacon neck” this tee has “bacon sub-neck”. The collar ribbing didn’t shrink but the fabric it’s stitched to certainly did, leaving intense puckering all around the throat. The culprit? The intense shrinkage. If AA went to the trouble of pre-shrinking their fabric prior to sewing, the final product wouldn’t look like a wrinkly mess.

The tee is tube-knit and the stitching itself is ok but it’s hard to tell because they’re all so puckered.

The only detailing is a couple of tags on the neck.

The Verdict

The AA of my youth is gone. Perhaps it’s because I’m no longer viewing their product as a regular wearer of Hanes, perhaps I’m subconsciously associating them with their former CEO’s history of sexually harassing his employees, or maybe the tees just got worse. But even though the AA offering is no longer a revelation, it’s still a serviceable tee at a decent price and your best value bet if your set on getting something made in America.

Consider if:

  • You need a tee that’s made in America and you only have $20
  • You have the foresight to know it will shrink in the wash

Avoid if:

  • You took this review to heart and just bought the Kirkland
  • The word “puckering” makes you uneasy

Available for $18 at American Apparel


As mentioned, this was just one of many other reviews of plain white tees. Have a look at the full comprehensive review including all the other t-shirts.