If you’re in search of cotton undershirts, and curious how to track down the best ones, this article should help clear things up.
The email that inspired this article:
What do you think is the best undershirt in the world?
What about a Peruvian cotton undershirt? Egyptian cotton?
Do you like a high crew neck undershirt?
The Best Cotton Undershirts
Good to hear from you buddy and thanks for your question!
Well, I have not tried every single cotton undershirt in the world, so it’s hard to answer your question precisely (:
That said, I do keep a page where I list my favorite undershirts.
The three main types of cotton are:
- Upland cotton – about 90% of all cotton production uses this type of short/medium staple cotton
- Long staple cotton (LS)
- Extra-long staple cotton (ELS)
Most cheap cotton undershirts are made with Upland cotton. Those made with ELS cotton will cost a bit more.
Above photo: Pima Cotton for use in cotton undershirts
Types of extra-long staple (ELS) cotton:
- Peruvian cotton
- Egyptian cotton
- Giza cotton
- Sea Island cotton
- Pima cotton
- Supima cotton
You can learn a little more about ELS cotton here.
Not all Peruvian and Egyptian cottons are extra-long staple (ELS). They are just designators of where the cotton was grown. So, just because something is labeled as Peruvian or Egyptian cotton does not mean that it’s extra-long staple cotton.
To ensure you’re buying a Peruvian or Egyptian cotton undershirt with extra-long staple cotton, you’d have to see the product listed as Peruvian Pima cotton or Egyptian Pima cotton. The word Pima is the designation that the cotton is ELS cotton.
Supima, Pima, Giza, and Sea Island cotton are ELS cottons.
Since there are so many ways to process cotton into yarn, and then into fabric, it’s very possible for someone to experience both good & not so good versions of the same-named cotton.
Due to the above, I can’t say that I like a particular type of cotton, because it would still be too vague an answer.
That said, when a product is labeled as being made with Pima, Supima, Sea Island, & Giza cotton, it’s a safe bet that it would be softer than others that are not.
High Crew Neck Cotton Undershirts
Oh, and I don’t wear crew neck undershirts too often.
I only wear them when I wear a shirt+tie — which is almost never (:
Hope that helps!