2(x)ist Basic Cotton Tee Undershirts – Same Shirts – Different Fits? WTF?

2xist-basic-cotton-teeI have been exchanging emails with this reader who has been a loyal follower of the 2(x)ist cotton basic tee up until they moved manufacturing from Thailand to India.

Hey guy,

I’ve been wearing the 2xist basic cotton tees for 11+ years, and love ’em. Or loved ’em :(
They moved production from Thailand to India. Nice cotton, but now the fit suks!
I wear a Large in the Thai version (40-41R).

The Thai shirts fit tight in chest, shoulders, and arms, with a bit of room in the torso, not too long – redneck style.

The Indian version (Medium size) is 3-4″ longer, tight in the torso, bit more room in the chest, shoulders, arms (WTF!?!) – EMO style :((

Jeans and black tees are practically my uniform, so this is very unwelcome.
Now, I either get to search for Thai larges still in stock, or start testing other brands -after wash/dry/shrink :/


Sweat Proof Undershirts

—- Email #2 —-

Hi Tug,

Cool. I just found some of the Thai shirts still being sold retail. Though they have labels screen printed onto the inside of the shirt -instead of tags. Unfortunately they fit similar to the others. Apparently the cut on all the plain black & white tees has been changed. The quality & quality control on the Thai shirt is better than the Indian shirts.
I tried on 3 washed indian shirts. All fit slightly differently :/ (yikes!!!)

Now I’m going to have to undergo the hideous process of buying various brands, washing/drying, trying, donating losers to Salvation Army…. :x.

As long as I’m bitching…
One other tee item you may find worthwhile.
I’m sure you know the controversy about the behavior of the CEO of American Apparel.

I’ll confirm the guy is a narcissistic-sociopath-douchebag. I meet him about 4+ years ago…[rest of the email removed]

After some additional email exchange, this reader sent the following update:

Ok, this should be conclusive.

I’ve got about 20 tees by 2xist – these are their basics which I’ve worn since 1997. Most bought over the last year plus. These were typically tight in the shoulders, chest and arms. Boxy and looser fitting in the mid to waist. The last shirts I bought which I liked were late last year. Large size, made in Thailand.

In February I bought two packs of large – washed em in cold dried em in hot (several times). The fit was horrid. These were made in India. Contacted 2xist. Had an email conversation. They told me the Indian shirts had nicer cotton, and maybe the fit changed. So I decided to try a Medium in the Indian shirts. Still weird. First, all 3 shirts in the pack fit slightly differently. They are tight across the chest, mid to waist, longer and not as tight in the shoulders and arms. In fact the cotton puckers in the shoulders. I’m 5’9″ 178lbs, fairly lean, I train 3 days a week. (Shoulder presses with 40lb bbs). I don’t see myself fitting into the shoulder on these shirts unless I want to up my training to say 65lb bbs – which I don’t.

2xist sent two packs of tees. These were made in Thailand, size Medium.

They fit well before they are washed maybe a bit too tight after washing. But the fit is obviously a different cut. It is far more look at me! Nightclubbin! The older cut was just a more natural (not tryin too hard to impress) everyday fit.

As for quality of cotton – very hard to tell the difference.

With the new cut I’m probably somewhere in size between a medium and large. Wearing a large just looks dopey. But wearing a medium looks like I really want attention.  A little attention is fine, but giving the appearance I need attention it is not.

Bottom line. The Indian cuts are bad (for me) in any size. Quality control is lacking. If I can find Medium Thai shirts I may buy and own another pack or two. But I’ll probably just start sampling other brands now. I hope Salvation Army is not going to get a lot of rejected tees. I’d rather not have to go through the expense and hassle.

Hope that helps!

Thanks! That does help a lot and I’m sure my readers will appreciate the intel.

You know, after reading through your experience a couple of times, I think I know why you experienced different undershirt fits between the Thailand made undershirts and the ones made in India.

As you are probably well aware of, all clothing is made from patterns (clothing templates). If the 2(x)ist manufacturing plant in India used the exact same undershirt pattern as the Thailand plant, then you’d expect the fit to be the same. This would be generally true if you compared the dimensions of the shirts directly out of the packages before washing. So, if you lay an India made 2(x)ist undershirt over a Thailand made undershirt and find they are identical, then they used the same pattern. Otherwise, they changed the pattern. Seeing that you said they were 3″-4″ longer, at a minimum they changed the pattern to lengthen their undershirts. I would be interested to know whether or not there are any other measurement differences between the two.

The other factor in the final fit is the fabric that is used. As you noted, the 2(x)ist Customer Service agent said the India made undershirt had “nicer cotton”.  It may not be all that apparent, but cotton can be manufactured (knitted) to varying specifications. This simply means that even if you put two undershirts side by side and they look pretty much the same, they will likely not respond the same to repeated washing and drying. This is why some undershirts shrink and others do not shrink — it’s all controlled by the way the fabric was created.

So, one of the above reasons (or possibly both) is probably the cause of what you experienced in the different fits of what is supposed to be the exact same basic cotton tee undershirt.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do as consumers to know about those kind of changes unless of course the manufacturer is kind enough to offer up some indication on the product packaging such as “new fit”, “softer cotton” or something similar.

Please keep me posted on what new undershirts you try and let me know if you find anything you really like!

Thanks for reading!


How to wear undershirts

3 thoughts on “2(x)ist Basic Cotton Tee Undershirts – Same Shirts – Different Fits? WTF?”

  1. After reading your review on the 2(x)ist 100% cotton undershirt I decided to give them a try. I also read the post about the inconsistent fits. With this in mind I went to the store and specifically looked for the ones made in Thailand vs the ones made in India. The store happened to have the shirts on display (so as to keep people from opening new packages), both the ones from Thailand and the ones from India. One of the things I noticed immediately was that the one from India had seams along the sides, whereas the one made in Thailand was seamless. Maybe this has something to do with the fit inconsistency? Other than that the shirts ‘seemed’ to be the same but based on the post I went with the ones made in Thailand. So far I’m happy with my purchase. The fit is just right out of the package, not too lose, not too tight. They seem to be very well constructed. The V-neck isn’t too deep, who wants to look sleazy showing off too much chest hair, lol. Anyhow, thanks for the info on where they are manufactured. I would have ruled the 2(x)ist brand had I purchased the ones from India not knowing the fit had changed.

    • hey byron, thanks for your comments and for pointing out that the ones in thailand have no seams on the sides. that’s a great observation. i totally agree with you both about this particular 2(x)ist undershirt from thailand being a great undershirt. coincidentally, i pulled my 2(x)ist v-neck out last night to wear to bed and discovered it was the seamless one from thailand. i REALLY like this undershirt, and if you noticed, it’s the one on myFaves top 5 list as well (i just updated the link so that it shows it’s the seamless one from thailand).

      this undershirt is super soft, lightweight, made well, has a lot of stretch to it even though it’s made of 100% cotton, and is one of the best fitting box-cut undershirt i’ve worn in a while. a reader recently wrote in wondering what undershirt is good to sleep in and i have to give this one top marks. i normally wear t-shirts to bed, rather than undershirts, but i put my 2(x)ist on last night for be and i really like the way it feels and keeps me cool and comfortable at night. i’ll likely be sporting this one every night when i hit the sack! two thumbs up from tug on this undershirt.

  2. Just wanted to say that I agree with the original poster. Same t-shirt needs (I couldn’t have described it better myself) same experience with the change at 2(x)ist. Damn fine to hear that I am not the only one. Has the OP had any luck finding a suitable replacement?


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