Welcome to the first in a series of articles we will be writing that are meant to walk you through finding the most comfortable t-shirt possible. We will break down brands, materials, write a guide for caring for your favorite t-shirt, and more.

T-shirts are one of the most common items of clothing around. It’s always easy to slip on a T-shirt for almost any occasion, but it can actually be quite difficult for people to find the ideal piece of clothing for them.

There are so many different choices under so many different brand names that the average shopper can struggle to make the right purchase. To make matters more complicated, the average prices of T-shirts are rising each year. Today we’ll be taking a look at the world of T-shirts and offering some advice to help you find the right one for you.

The Origin of the T-Shirt

T-shirts originated over one hundred years ago and were much more functional items of clothing than they are nowadays. They were worn by men in the Navy and subsequently became popular with manual labor workers. Over time, T-shirts started to become more of a fashion symbol, thanks in no small part to Hollywood icons like James Dean and Marlon Brando.

Nowadays, it’s impossible to step out onto the street without seeing dozens of people walking around in T-shirts. The average American owns about 15 T-shirts according to the latest statistics and young people in particular are buying more of them each year.

T-Shirt Brands and Styles

Clearly, T-shirts are a huge part of the clothing industry. Tens of billions of dollars are handed over by shoppers each and every year for these clothes in the US alone. At the same time, countless clothing brands from Gap to Old Navy are constantly working on improving their designs and marketing their products to capture a greater share of the lucrative T-shirt market.

Each of these brands has also followed the latest trend of having their one flagship style of T-shirt. These are usually known under the name of “Ideal”, “Essential”, “Everyday” or another similar word. Others are labelled with terms like “Perfect Fit” to encourage shoppers to try them out.

If the names of these sorts of T-shirts sound similar, their prices can actually be wildly different, ranging from anywhere between $10 and $200 or more. The differences between the T-shirts at these price points can actually be quite important, so it’s always important to shop around in the hunt for a comfortable item of clothing.

Fashion designers are always working on ways to make their T-shirts provide a comfortable fit and plenty of aesthetic appeal. There’s also the matter of personal taste to take into account; certain people prefer baggier T-shirts that have a more relaxed feel while others enjoy crisper fabrics that hug the body more tightly. Every individual needs to identify their own preferences and focus on buying that style to avoid wasting money.

Designers nowadays have highlighted the main factors that need to go into the production of the ideal T-shirt. These factors are the thickness of the fabric, the drape of the shirt, its fit and finally its capacity to keep its shape after repeated use. As a general rule, you’ll find that these qualities are easier to find in the most expensive T-shirts.

Using Price as an Indication of Quality

If a T-shirt is too cheap, it usually means that the manufacturer has had to make some sort of sacrifice in the production process. At the same time, some brands simply charge extortionate fees without actually using the finest materials, so buyers should still be wary about overspending on clothes that don’t offer great value for money.

Usually though, the best way to find a comfortable T-shirt is to spend a little more than you normally would. Shirts that retail for a few dollars aren’t going to contain the best quality materials like high-twist yarns and mercerized cotton, nor will they have been produced with the most effective techniques like double-chain stitching. All of these things help to make a long-lasting T-shirt that fits perfectly and retains its form over time.

If you’re on the lookout for a top-quality T-shirt, check the labels and details to find the best cotton types like extra-long staple, combed, Supima or ring-spun. These cottons will be more resistant to repeated use and exposure to the elements, keeping your T-shirt looking great for longer.

These sorts of good quality shirts will also be able to withstand repeated washings. Weaker T-shirts will lose their integrity after a few washes if their yarns haven’t been sufficiently twisted or they don’t contain enough stitches. Some washing machines or washing styles are also quite harsh on the delicate fabrics used in T-shirts, so some manufacturers recommend hand washing instead. To help your clothes remain comfortable for longer, avoid putting them in washing machines on fast cycles and high temperature settings.

Overall, finding a comfortable T-shirt is a very personal process. Everyone has their own individual tastes and preferences. Some people may even simply prefer the feel and drape of a cheaper product and find that they experience discomfort in more expensive clothes, while others will greatly appreciate the various high quality fabrics and techniques used to create the most expensive clothes.

Designers will continue to work on developing more and more comfortable T-shirts, so shoppers simply need to test out multiple styles and be sure to read the label before making any purchases.