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Reigning Champ Ringspun Jersey 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.


Oh Reigning Champ you really went for it, huh? I can’t discredit them for being cautious on this tee, but I can for a variety of other things. This shirt is easily the most “streetwear” of anything we tested, but that mainly meant the addition of a bunch of unnecessary and mildly irritating features.

By The Numbers

  • Made in: Canada
  • Postwash Fabric Density: 1.39g/LI (Midweight)
  • Postwash Total Weight: 109.25g
  • Construction: Flatlock side seams
  • Postwash Measurements (inches):
    • Front Length: 25.25
    • Pit to Pit: 22
    • Shoulder to Shoulder: 16.5
    • Hem Width: 21.75
    • Neck Width: 6.5
    • Sleeve Length: 8.25
    • Sleeve Height: 9
  • Sizing Recommendation: True to Size
  • Shrinkage: 2.02%
  • Weight Loss: 5.00%
  • Price Per Shirt: $50
  • Available for $50 at Mr. Porter

Fit

The fit of this tee is pretty much a standard, if not elongated, straight cut that only drops a quarter-inch from the pits to the bottom hem. It’s tight though. Looking at the sum of all the measurements alone, you might think this is one of the bigger tees in our test, but it doesn’t feel that way.

The body is tight and the body is long. It’s the second longest tee but has the third smallest shoulder to shoulder measurement, giving it a slight sausage tube feel.

The-Great-White-T-Shirt-Review-reigning-champ-front-back

I get that this is aiming for a more street vibe, but it’s in this awkward middle zone where it’s not really a tall tee, it’s just something that’s going to ride below the hem of any shirt or sweater you might want to wear over it.

Fabric

The fabric has a nice hand, as one would expect from a company that’s owned by one of the premier knitting mills in North America. And the knit is incredibly fine, so much so that it feels almost slightly synthetic with an abnormal amount of stretch.

It does decently on sheerness and you can only sort of make out our logo sticker.

Details and Construction

In this category, though, is where Reigning Champ really lets it fly. This shirt has not one, not two, but three separate tags on it! It has one large woven zig-zagged stitched in with black thread below the collar, another woven label displaying the size on the inside of the side seam, and yet another branded logo on the outside of the side seam. Did I mention it has a locker loop?

Construction wise, they did something bold and made nearly all the structural seams in this shirt flatlocked, which is like a more intense version of overlocking that makes all the seams lay flat. It’s a neat effect and I was happy to see someone try it on a t-shirt, but that’s where it probably should have stopped.

You typically find flatlocking on heavier and fluffier fabrics like fleece and terry knit, that way the stitching sinks in and lays below where your skin is going to touch the garment. Or if it’s on something lighter, like a waffle knit henley say, it’s done in cotton thread that won’t be as irritating to the wearer’s skin. Reigning Champ used a super light fabric with thick polyester stitching (I ripped out a piece and melted it), so this tight tee is a one-way ticket to Itch Town. These seams will be quite robust, though!

The Verdict

I really admire what Reigning Champ was trying to do here. And I’d much rather see something that’s ambitious and fail than milquetoast and succeed. Unfortunately, this effort fell into the former camp for me. The fit is weird, the details are overwrought, and the fabric is good but not great enough to make it worthwhile.

Consider if:

  • You used to have a streetwear brand that was homages to Jeezy Snowman graphic tees but now you’re “more into cut and sew”

Avoid if:

  • You’ve ever turned your socks inside out to avoid the itch of the toe seam

Available for $50 at Mr. Porter.


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.