Tee Time: The Best Men's Tees on the Market Today - IMBOLDN
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A T-shirt is one of the most versatile and classic pieces in a man’s closet. Worn on its own or as a layer, it serves multiple purposes and is often the final choice when you need something just right for a casual occasion. In the world of enduring men’s fashion, the timeless tee earns style points for a lifetime. Of course, that doesn’t mean the ratty ol’ shirt you wore in college still suffices today. If your tee rotation hasn’t seen much action in a while, it’s time to update it with our picks of the best styles on the market today.

Embrace Old-World Americana

Stepping inside a Ralph Lauren store in, say, Italy is a true feast for the senses. Warm lighting strikes case after case of crisply folded dress shirts, while handsome wool blazers hang demurely in dim corners of the room. Yet Lauren is nothing if not versatile, and the label is easily one of the most synonymous with classic Americana style. The Classic Fit Pocket T-Shirt ($65) is emblazoned with a classic Polo logo, making it the ultimate partner for your favorite pair of well-worn jeans and work boots.

Ralph Lauren Classic Fit Pocket T-Shirt

Show Your Best Stripes

Prints can be tricky to pull off, especially if you’re generally more of a neutral guy. The trick is to stick with slender lines that don’t take away from the overall simplicity of the shirt. (You can always slip into bolder stripes if you prefer the vibrant look, natch.) This Theory Crewneck Tee ($85) captures the spirit of that effortless style, incorporating streaks of gray and blue over a crisp white backdrop.

The effect is nothing but pure and clean—perfect whether you’re slipping it on beneath a cardigan ... or pairing it with cargo shorts.

The effect is nothing but pure and clean—perfect whether you’re slipping it on beneath a cardigan for a little pop of interest or pairing it with cargo shorts on a sunny day.

A Little Pocket Love

And it has pockets!” Who knew we would all covet that one seemingly minuscule detail so much until it became such a thing? Now the pocket is the detail du jour, and it fits in nicely on Everlane The Cotton Pocket ($18), an effortless tee that beautifully rounds out a casual look and fulfills your need for a Top That Goes With Everything. A contrasting line at the rounded neck keeps it interesting, but won’t take away from the shirt’s overarching easiness. This is a good one to turn to when you want to throw on a blazer for a cool dressy-casual look.

Everlane The Cotton Pocket

Live the Luxe Life

When you can’t stop thinking about it, that’s when you know you need to have it. Such is likely to be the case once you glimpse the Balmain Button-Detailed Cotton T-Shirt ($350), a dreamy top that is destined to earn most-worn honors in no time at all. Could that be for its extreme versatility? With its long, lean sleeves and rounded neckline, it’s as classic as classic can be—but it’s also sharp, clean, and sleek thanks to the signature buttons that line a single shoulder. Consider it the ultimate transition piece, an easy way to move from balmy summer to crisp fall without a single hitch.

Get Yourself Some Linen

There’s a reason linen is so deeply coveted come summertime. It’s airy, lightweight, and so comfortable it feels like a second skin. Yet there’s more to it than sheer seasonal practicality. It also happens to look phenomenal, and just a touchy more fashionable than your standard cotton. Up your warm-weather style game in the Vilebrequin Linen Jersey T-Shirt ($135), which is packed with full-on classic details, like a rounded neckline and short sleeves. But it’s the ridiculously soft linen jersey fabric that truly wins the prize here (and maybe that tonal turtle embroidery, too).

Vilebrequin Linen Jersey T-Shirt

Savor Plain White Tees

It’s so easy to grab a white tee and go. It’s quite literally that top—the one you wear anywhere without a second thought, a smart choice when you don’t want to put too much effort into the whole ensemble. The good thing about the Reigning Champ Raglan Tee ($60) is that all of the hard work is done for you. It’s no ordinary white tee, after all. This is a tee with personality, thanks to those small details that make a big difference: visible topstitching at the arms, a demure logo patch at the bottom, and a slim fit to create a flattering silhouette.

Reigning Champ Raglan Tee

Take It Super Easy

Rewind a little. You’re grabbing the white tee, but you wish it had some color. Stop wishing and start snagging these J. Crew Mercantile Broken-In Heather Crewneck T-Shirts ($15), which are available in myriad hues that fit nicely into your well-rounded wardrobe. Effortlessly designed with a comfortable cotton/polyester blend fabric and ribbed trim, the shirt is an appropriate choice for daily wear, whether you’re slipping it on with board shorts or have more dramatic plans to throw on a wool cardigan on a breezy day. It’s beyond versatile, and you will never go wrong having such practicality in your closet.

J. Crew Mercantile Broken-In Heather Crewneck T-Shirt

Get a Little Graphic

You spot a graphic T-shirt and automatically remember your younger, perhaps slightly sullen self. As you brave the racks and consider the possibility of sporting, say, your fave band tee or a lively tropical print, remember that this is your opportunity to express your personality. 

The goal is to be yourself—don’t drop big bucks on a Poison tee if you can’t name a single Poison song.

The goal is to be yourself—don’t drop big bucks on a Poison tee if you can’t name a single Poison song, avoid wearing the jumbo surfer tank if your everyday look is a polo and chinos, and steer clear of shirts that don’t make any sense to you at all. 

KSUBI Vague Graphic T-Shirt

From a stylistic standpoint, it’s all about wearing it with confidence and having a sense of humor about it. This KSUBI Vague Graphic T-Shirt ($89) is fun on its own, but you can also layer a crisp sports coat on top to channel a hint of ‘80s-era fabulousness.