Indigo-Dyed T-Shirts – Five Plus One

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.

I don’t know about you, but I get seriously bored of plain ol’ t-shirts. You know, white, grey, black, etc. The OG Three. I love them, but at the same time find myself yearning for a bit more character from my tees, especially in the warmer months when I’m in a tee most days. One answer to this conundrum of sorts is indigo-dyed t-shirts.

Whether yarn-dyed or overdyed, indigo-dye t-shirts age like no other by fading with wash and wear, creating a garment unique to its wearer. So if you like indigo dye and want to break from your tonal t-shirt chains, this edition of Five Plus One is for you.

1) RRL Indigo Cotton Crewneck T-Shirt


Indigo is part of RRL‘s DNA, with denim underpinning the Ralph Lauren sub-label’s collections. With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that RRL makes a lovely looking indigo-dyed tee.

This Indigo Cotton Crewneck Pocket Tee from RRL is crafted from an indigo-dyed slub cotton jersey, which has been rinsed to emulate the look and feel of a vintage ‘lived-in’ tee. That said, there’s still some fading to be had from this slim-fitting T-Shirt, which has a sewn-on crew neckline and singular chest pocket. Size up for a looser fit, or go true and show off that summer body you’ve been working on.

Available for $125 from STAG.

2) UES Indigo Pocket T-Shirt


If you want to start afresh with dark, unwashed indigo, look no further than the UES Indigo Pocket T-Shirt.

Coming in a slim fit with a singular chest pocket, the UES Indigo Pocket T-Shirt is made in Japan from indigo rope-dyed long-staple cotton. UES has used varying shades of natural indigo dye during the rope-dyeing process on this cotton jersey, a technique which will yield various hues of indigo and lighter blues as the t-shirt fades.

Sleeve cuffs articulate the fit further, while a bound crewneck means the neckline will keep its shape through years of wear. Happy fadin’.

Available for $90 from Redcast Heritage.

3) Pure Blue Japan Indigo Jersey Crew Neck S/S T-shirt – Middle Indigo


It would be weird if Pure Blue Japan didn’t make an indigo-dyed t-shirt, but they do, so everything’s okay here. The Japanese indigo aficionados are coming correct with this Jersey Crew Neck S/S T-shirt in ‘Middle Indigo’.

PBJ has constructed this t-shirt from a super soft 100% cotton jersey, loosely knit from indigo rope-dyed cotton yarns. That means the yarns have been bunched into ropes and dyed in an indigo bath — a technique typically used by Japanese denim manufacturers to create raw denim fabrics. The finished t-shirt has then been washed to create this gorgeous ‘Middle Indigo’ color that has given you a headstart in the fading department.

Each t-shirt is made holistically in Japan and features a trim fit, so size up if you want a regular drape.

Available for $142 from Blue in Green.

4) Japan Blue Recycled Denim T-Shirts


There’s a lot to be said about manufacturing ethics in the clothing industry. Fast fashion has reached a point of pure chaos, but thankfully our niche is full of makers who a) make smaller amounts of better clothes, and b) use mindful production techniques. Slotting into point b) is Japan Blue, who’ve produced some high-quality T-shirts using recycled denim.

Made from yarn-dyed knitted fabric that contains 50% recycled cotton denim yarns, this tee is a product that reduces fabric waste and comes in a range of beautifully speckled hues. We’re expecting this fabric to evolve with wear and subsequent washes, much like your favorite jeans. And thanks to the trio of indigo tones available, it’s easy to pair these Japan Blues tees with any shade of pants, from crispy raw selvedge denim to battered, faded jeans or even chinos/fatigues.

Each Tee is crafted in Kojima, Japan, and available at Red Cast Heritage Co. for $86.

5) Momotaro MXTS1006 Yarn-Dyed Indigo T-Shirt


If you liked the look of the aforementioned UES Indigo Pocket Tee (no.2 in this list), but don’t mess with slim fits – the Momotaro MXTS1006 Yarn-Dyed Indigo T-Shirt offers a similar package but in a relaxed fit.

Momotaro’s MXTS1006 T-shirt is made in Japan using a cotton jersey knitted from yarn-dyed Zimbabwean cotton yarns. Known for its soft and highly textured properties, Zimbabwean cotton is a mainstay amongst high-quality Japanese denim makers like Momotaro. The yarn-dyeing process gives rise to a deep, inky indigo colorway that will develop cerulean hues with wear and washing. This is as close to jeans as a T-shirt gets!

Available at Redcast Heritage for $130

Plus One – Studio D’Artisan 8056 Mt. Fuji T-Shirt


You can always count on Studio D’Artisan to offer something unique that champions age-old Japanese crafting techniques. In this instance, SDA stands out from the crow with its 8056Mt. Fuji T-Shirts.

Made in Japan, each Studio D’Artisan Mt. Fuji Tee is hand tie-dyed with indigo and discharge printed with Katsushika Hokusai’s “Under the Wave off Kanagawa”, an image that looks brilliant on a lush pallette of varying indigo hues. These mindful dyeing and printing techniques have been applied to a regular-fitting t-shirt, made from 100% American cotton and washed once to remove most of the shrinkage.

Available for $149 from Brooklyn Clothing.