How to choose the right T-Shirt?Matt M.
Haven’t we all done it? light but heavy, fitted but loose, soft but strong and all things in between. It can be painful, so we are here to help by sharing the road, on our endless journey to choose the perfect T-Shirt.
The sad fact is, we simply can’t have it all, and we have to compromise when choosing the perfect T-shirt. Actually, compromise is the wrong word to use, we have to list all the features that relate to a T-shirt, and then pick the ones which are most important to us in order of preference. Here is one way of isolating all the key considerations in a checklist that you can work through, if, like me, you feel that this stuff matters.
Fitted, semi-fitted, standard.
Broadly speaking we have three choices of fit to choose from, fitted, semi-fitted, and standard. Pretty self-explanatory, fitted is what it says, verging on the spray on. A limited market perhaps for the folks that lives in the gym, but if that is your market, worth a look. Semi-fitted, a contoured silhouette that just sits nicely, not too cling film, not too wavy. This would be my most commercial recommendation – you can’t please all of the people all of the time, but this will please most of the people. And standard, by which we mean a classic old school boxy fit. The sleeves on these can be longer, the body boxy – perfect for a certain very urban streetwear swag, but we must consider our market wisely. There are exceptions to the rule, but generally, the more fitted and semi-fitted T-shirt tends to be a lighter weight fabric, the standard T-shirt is more likely to be heavyweight. Fitted, semi-fitted or standard – which do we prefer?
What Weight – lightweight, mid-weight, heavy weight,
T-shirt fabric weight is measured in oz, where a lightweight T-shirt might be 3.5 – 4.0oz, a mid-weight 4.1-5.5oz, a heavy weight over 6oz. The lightweight with the odd exception as we mentioned above tend to be more fitted or semi fitted, and often with a neat, smart, narrow rib at the neckline. The heavyweight with a few exceptions are a boxier cut with a wider rib at the neck, to add stability for the heavier fabric. The lighter weights are very generally softer and more liquid in their movement, the heavier weights more stable in shape. Lightweight, midweight, heavyweight – how do you feel?
What Fabric to choose:
When it comes to fabrics there are many to choose here are some quick examples for you to think about.
Combed cotton: Fine brushes are used to eliminate short strands and straighten fibers, making the fabric stronger, softer, and smoother.
Jersey: A stretchy knit typically made from cotton or a synthetic blend, it’s very flexible and comfy.
Linen: Made from the flax plant, the textured weave dries quickly, making it cool to wear. However, it wrinkles easily.
Modal: A form of rayon made from plant fibers, it has a beautiful drape and a slinky feel. It resists shrinking but can be prone to pilling, so avoid the dryer.
Organic cotton: Cotton grown with minimal fertilizers and pesticides. Usually softer and more expensive than treated cotton.
Pigment dyed: A coloring process that coats the outside of the fibers, it can create a faded, worn-in look.
Pima, Supima: The highest-quality cotton. Pima is the generic form of extra-long-fiber cotton grown in the United States, Australia, and South America. Supima is the trademarked name for 100 percent American-grown Pima cotton. Both resist pilling, fading, and stretching and get softer with wear.
Polyester Maintains its shape well and resists shrinking and wrinkles. Not breathable.
Rayon: A breathable man-made fiber made out of trees, cotton, and woody plants. Has a silky hand, yet wrinkles. Also called viscose.
Rib knit: A ridged pattern that creates a thick, structured garment with a lot of giving.
The above is all very interesting, but what do I do next you might wonder. Grab the pen, paper, and list the above. Decide which order they come in for you, it can’t be perfect and there is the sacrifice, but list it as best you can. When we chat, you can then start with the top two and say ‘my priorities are fit and weight, and we will be well on the way to making the right recommendations.