I’m Done with Hanes Undershirts

One guy over at Badger & Blade said that he was done with Hanes undershirts a while ago.

Done with Hanes undershirts? Wow, now that’s a pretty strong statement.

But one guy over at Badger & Blade said just that a while ago, and looked to the community for some alternate undershirt recommendations:

I remember when Hanes undershirts were dependable.

They kept their shape and the neck didn’t stretch out.

Now, they are horrible right out of the package.

The bodies are a lot shorter and the necks are huge.

The hem around the neckline is ugly, too. After a wash or two, they shrink.

But not a shrinking that you might expect. Oh, no. That would be too easy.

The bodies & arms get even shorter, while the neck opening gets bigger.

Guys, I need a new undershirt. I prefer white cotton crew-neck.

Don’t like them super-thick or tight. I wear a large under my buttondowns, despite the fact that my normal size (for “nice” t-shirts) is XL.

I don’t like XL undershirts because they bunch up and the neck doesn’t look good under a buttondown.

What are your favorite brands?

I’ve tried Towncraft, and those get too short after too few washes. Stafford undershirts are too thick.

I have some colored Jerzees that I like, but those are a bit pricey to buy in bulk, so to speak.

But I’m willing to bend.

I read through all the recommendations and here’s a summary of what the other guys had to say:

  1. Most concurred with the creator of the post, stating quality, size and comfort issues with Hanes undershirts (and underwear)
  2. Nordstrom house brand was a welcome suggestion
  3. CK was another recommendation, but since they have so many offerings, it’s hard to tell which one the reader was recommending
  4. I learned that the Costco undershirts are made by Gilden? Wow, that’s a new one for me
  5. The Marks & Spencer house brand of undershirts were another recommendation from a guy who had tried CK & Jockey
  6. I learned about a new site where you could by cheap undershirts for under $2 (JiffyShirts.com), but then there’s a ton of “bulk t-shirt” sites out on the internet
  7. The Nautica undershirts from Marshalls or TJMaxx got a good plug

But, the Undershirt that was the big winner in the forums was…Land’s End Undershirts!

I order mine from Land’s End now – medium weight soft cotton, nice neck hem, long tails, roomy in the arm pits, tags moved from neck area to near the bottom hem.

They don’t shrink, stretch out of shape, or pull up out of your pants.

There were a bunch of guys who endorsed Land’s End undershirts in the thread, so that’s a pretty good indication that they make a quality product.

So, I’m gonna get me some new Land’s Ends undershirts soon.

Who knows, maybe they’ll make my Top 5 Favorite Undershirts list!

Food for Thought…

You know, for some time I’ve been hearing this same general lack of quality theme about Hanes and my buddies over at Fruit-of-the-Loom.

As I’ve mentioned before, these companies offer a good overall value, but what good is that if people are growing continually dissatisfied with your products?

I’m thinking that either Hanes or Fruit-of-the-Loom ought to open up their wallets and acquire one of these up-and-coming undershirt brands that have a good product and good reputation and use their marketing power to introduce that brand to the masses.

Would you still recommend Hanes undershirts? Let me know!

35 thoughts on “I’m Done with Hanes Undershirts”

  1. I recently bought Fruit of the Loom type A undershirts size 2XL my usual brand for years. They have dramatically shrunk the size. If I could upload a picture I would. It’s unbelievable. What gives? Guess I have to buy another brand. Just like my Levi 505 jeans. Went from 7 belt loops to 5 belt loops. Now I buy Lee jeans. Real management morons that make these executive decisions.

    Reply
  2. Hanes are junk. They are all made in the third world and the sizes are way off.

    The cut is ODD, too tight in some areas – cutting into the armpits, too loose elsewhere, numerous sewing defects, poor quality collars, easily ripped.

    I bought some size M v necks, they were soft but too tight. Bought the same “model” in size L, they fit better but the cotton was ROUGH.

    I recommend and suggest Next Level CVC Crew Shirts which u can buy online.

    Reply
    • hey peter — good to hear from you buddy, and thanks for sharing your thoughts!

      with respect, i think you need to get your facts straight.

      while hanes undershirts, as well as many other apparel products are made in third-world countries, so is next level apparel.

      as of this posting, here is where next level apparel manufactures their goods:

      Fabrics are produced in China and the USA. Garments are assembled in China, Mexico, and Central America.

      you know why next level apparel assembles their apparel in those countries? likely because of cheaper labor.

      so, if you’re implying that good products can’t be manufactured in third-world countries, i’d humbly have to disagree with you.

      now, i’m not saying there aren’t problems with some hanes products, because i have seen some inconsistencies and quality issues in the past.

      but to simply state that hanes are junk as a result of being made in third-world countries, then in fairness, next level apparel would be junk as well.

      next level apparel t-shirts are pretty good, and have a good reputation, but only because the brand is doing a good job of managing the manufacturing partners.

      of course, you may have just wanted to post some hyperbole here so you could insert a link (which i’ve removed) to a wholesale apparel site that you’re either directly or indirectly associated with (this appears to be the case).

      regardless, i appreciate the opportunity to comment on manufacturing in third-world countries (:

      Reply
  3. Lands’ End used to make quality products, including T-shirts. No more.

    I havw worn their clothing for over thirty years, including T-shirts ( undershirts ) in XL. For the last five or so years, I have watched as the quality and fit of these undershirts has declined ro the point that I will no longer purchase them. The fabric quality is just slightly better than the sandpaper used by Hanes and other cheaper brands. The size specifications are a joke.

    I recently ordered 2XL undershirts from Lands’ End because my last order of XLs was smaller than previous ones. When I got the 2XLs, I took one out of the package and laid an XL on top of it. The shirts were identical in size except that there was a little more fabric in the torso. The shoulder seems measured the same 19.5″, and the sleeves – which seem to be getting shorter and shorter on all shirts – measured exactly 7.5″ on both XL and 2XL.

    I called Lands’ End to bring the problem to their attention, and they quoted me size specifications form a chart. I told them that it didn’t matter what the charts said, I just measured these with a tape measure! So, they sent me replacement 3XLs, telling me that they would have someone take a sample 3XL out of a package on the shelf to make sure that the measurements agreed with the chart. Right!

    Well, the 3XLs finally arrived ( by Pony Express ) today. Guess what? The shoulder seams and the sleeve length are the exact same size as the XLs and the 2XLs! Only, the 3XLs have a HUGE torso. When you put the shirt on, you look like a tent. Or a Christmas tree. The sleeves are too short, and the shoulder seam is not at the apex of the shoulder, it’s up on top. Clearly, no one at Lands’ End is paying attention to quality, and it seems, no one really cares anymore.

    I do use Duluth Trading T-shirts for everyday wear, and they are hard to fault. They run a little large in fit, and they are relatively expensive, but they are made of high grade fabrics, and the construction quality is superb. I wish they made a lighter weight cotton T-shirt that could be used as an undershirt.

    As for Lands’ End, I’m done with their stuff. They used to be excellent. Now, they are mediocre.

    Reply
    • I’ve been reluctant to buy anything from Land’s End since they were bought in 2002 by Sears Holdings–which is actually K-Mart. Last year Sears Holding spun-off Land’s End, but Sears Holding is still the parent company, and a simple walk through any given K-Mart or Sears tells me that’s not good. Low prices, low quality.

      Reply
      • you’re pretty spot on there brent. i’ve seen manufacturer’s selling wholesale tank tops (in massive quantities) for $0.78 landed here in the united states.

        if they can sell those at that price and make a profit, how much do you think it costs to make them?

    • heya gearld — thanks so much buddy for sharing your thoughts about lands end undershirts. that’s really interesting news.

      although i have not personally tried them, i have heard in the past that they were pretty decent. though, i don’t recall anyone ever raving about them. the one thing they have going for them is that offer “tall” versions, like medium “tall” and some thinner/taller guys really need that specific size.

      i’m just sorry to hear their quality has degraded so badly.

      the good news is that there are plenty of up-and-comers who are knocking it out of the parking making nice feeling and fitting undershirts. they aren’t cheap, but they aren’t terribly expensive either. so my friend, you have more undershirt options to choose from, than ever before (:

      Reply
  4. I’m still searching for a tight necked T-Shirt with no luck at all. I really like the crew neck to fit tightly around my neck and not “lay flat”. I just received my JC Penney Stafford Extra Long T-Shirts- but unfortunately they are too loose in the neck. BTW- their extra long really is extra long, I am 6′ 4″ and it was too long for me.

    Reply
    • I know this post is over a year but hopefully it helps someone.

      Mike I feel your pain. I struggled with finding a non bacon neck t-shirt for a lonnnng time. I’m 6-2 athletic build about 190 lean and I’ve struggled to find T-shirts that were long enough with out being huge in the neck and overly boxy in general.

      My recommendation for your is to try the American Apparel 50/50 Tee. It has a good snug neck that is much longer and has a slimmer cut than most standard Tees. Also when washed and dried it doesn’t shrink vertically, making the shirt even more boxy. The fit stays the same. It has been BY FAR the best T-shirt that I’ve owned. They are a little spendy at $20 but they seem to get better with age. I have a few shirts that are a year and a half and I love them.

      Do NOT by the 100% cotton ones. You will have the same problem as the Hanes. I wear a large in the American Apparel brand and medium if I’m going for that extra snug fit. You may require an XL or if you are slender, the large may work.

      On a side note…a few days ago for Christmas I received a Lululemon 5 yr. basic tee and MAN…I was impressed. I am actually entertaining the idea of purchasing more of these $60 tees. Snug in the chest and shoulders, slim but not tight in the mid section. Just as long as American Apparel and the feel of the material is unlike anything I’ve ever worn.

      Hope this helps!!

      Reply
      • hey jude,

        thanks for stopping by and posting your comments and recommendation for the american apparel 50/50. i’ve got one of those too and i agree, it’s pretty nice undershirt/t-shirt!

        though, i haven’t worn mine as much because i prefer something a little lighter weight normally.

        the thing about “bacon neck” or sagging collars is that the thing that really determines whether or not a collar will hold up or sag-out is the fabric quality & blend that is used in it. since the american apparel undershirt is a 50/50 poly/cotton blend, it’s most likely that the collar is made from the same blend, but just in a 1×1 rib instead of jersey like the body is. generally speaking, i think a blend will hold-up a little better than a standard lightweight 1×1 rib collar made from sub-standard/low-cost cotton.

        i know the topic of tight collars is a pretty popular one, so i’m glad you came here to provide an “endorsement” for the 50/50 from american apparel.

        btw — thanks for the info on the lululemon 5 yr. basic tee — very interesting product. though, based on some of the reviews, it just might not be as durable as they infer it to be (aka 5yrs):
        http://shop.lululemon.com/products/clothes-accessories/mens-tops-to-and-from/5-Year-Basic-Tee-459786

        be sure to keep me posted on how your lululemon basic tee holds up. thanks again for stopping by!

      • Aaaaaaah!!! I thought that I was the only person that cared about tshirt quality. Dude you are on another level and I love it haha!! Keep up the good work with the site and I will share it as much as I can.

        Yeah I haven’t worn that lululemon gift yet, I’ve just tried it on, so the long term durability is definitely still up in the air. I have however beat the crap out of the 50/50’s and swear by them.

        I am also a HUGE fan of the Eastbay Vapor (polyester spandex blend). Super affordable athletic wear (about $12 bucks) with a tight neck, longer length, and slim fit. I’m actually wearing one as I type this. The only negative that I have for the Eastbay Vapor is that the size tag, which appears to be a sticker, peals off of the inside over time (which doesn’t bother me).

  5. Hanes are junk. They are all made in the third world and the sizes are way off. The cut is ODD, too tight in some areas – cutting into the armpits, too loose elsewhere, numerous sewing defects, poor quality collars, easily ripped. I bought some size M v necks, they were soft but too tight. Bought the same “model” in size L, they fit better but the cotton was ROUGH. I’ve thrown out my size L because the scratch material isn’t fit for anything. I use the size M for waxing my car.

    Sportsman out of Montreal Quebec Canada makes really good stuff. Its not cheap, but not super expensive either. Best bet is to order through their eBay site, as their website is problematic. Or, order via the telephone. Their website is shopsportsman.com

    I am in love with their spandex tank top / athletic undershirts – snug fit where needed, yields beautifully to movement. Their spandex boxer briefs are awesome too. They really fit the North American male. Cost on ebay for the tank top undershirts is about $23 for a 3 pack plus shipping.

    I also have a few sets of their long sleave crew neck thermal undershirts – the lightwweight interlock variety and the matching long underwear for winter use. Very comfortable, superb fit and not too short.

    However, Sportsman really needs to fix their website – a case of a great product where sales are no doubt held back, way back, by a poor website. For example, if you try ordering via the website, the order won’t go through. Leave a flattering review and it becomes lost in cyberspace, never to be published.

    On ebay, do a search for Sportsman underwear and they should come up – they use the ebay handle of Pharmcan or something odd like that and they carry a line of body lotions etc. That is the best way that I have found to order their awesome undies. And yes, they make undies for the ladies and kids too.

    Reply
  6. Any one tried “Ralph Lauren” undershirts,can give a review about the product. I mean the 3-Pack in plastic bag sold at Marshalls and T.J-Max for $20.
    Thanks

    Reply
    • hey asaleh, i don’t have any standard ralph laren undershirts, but i did have a stretch one a while back and it was pretty nice and comfy.

      keep in mind that if a product is at tj max or marshalls, it’s been discontinued. so, even if you like it, it’ll be hard to find them again later. that shouldn’t prevent a purchase, especially if the product feels/fits nice, but i’m just letting you know.

      Reply
      • Thank you for the feedback. Actually this one in Marshalls is not the stretch one it is just regular Cotton and has very smooth and nice touch, that’s what I need, but I don’t know how it will be after several washes. Since I am traveling to a very hot place (110 F and up) so I care about the cotton itself not the size. Also, if you can help by recommending specific brand that suite hot places and sometimes in extreme sweat.
        Thanks

      • hey asaleh, thanks for the additional info.

        if you’re looking for some lightweight undershirts that wear a bit cooler in hotter climates, i’d recommend looking at the following products:
        1. airism from uniqlo – if you’re in the u.s., you can only get these in nyc. you might want to check ebay though.
        2. bdg from urbran outfitters
        3. retro fit from ribbed tee (the company is also coming out with a coolwear undershirt collection soon too)
        4. cellular cotton undershirt from sunspel – i think you can only get the cellular undershirts one on sunspel.com
        5. if the person wearing the undershirt is not a heavy sweater, a mesh/cellular wicking undershirt like exofficio or vdri might be a reasonable solution to look at.

        let me know what you wind up buying and what you think of it!

      • Thank you very much for your help, really the weight is very important, I appreciated.
        I am going to look for all these brands and pick a sample from each to try.
        Thnak you
        Asaleh

  7. I have had the same issue with the Hanes undershirts. I have noticed that the crew-neck undershirts have pretty decent length after a number of washes, but the v-neck undershirts shrink to the point where I can hardly tuck them in at all (I’m 6’2″ with a fairly slender build. I buy L undershirts).

    I recently ordered some undershirts from Duluth Tradind Co. They are supposed to be 3″ longer in the body to prevent things lke “plumber’s crack”. They are a bit expensive ($19.50 per). They should be arriving Thursday, I’ll see how they work after that. Hope they’re worth it. I also recently read about the new line of Fruit of the Loom undershirts that are offered at JC Penny. Any thoughts on those? I might pick up a couple to see how they are. I think they are only $15 for 2 shirts.

    Reply
    • hey nate, thanks for taking the time to post your comments. stay tuned here to my site because i think there’s going to be some new news coming out from our friends at hanes.

      as for the duluth trading company undershirt, i picked up one of those a long time ago and they were/are pretty long. my old large measured 30.5″ long. it’s a good undershirt and wears nice, but it was a bit boxy on me and i like my undershirts to fit close.

      i have been so busy that i haven’t had the chance to try out the new fotl, but i hear from the company that they feel they’ve really improved them with better length and fabric.

      keep me posted, ok?

      Reply
  8. I’ve found the opposite with the Lands End undershirts. They were great out of the package but after the first wash, they just didn’t work anymore. The length shrank dramatically, after following the care instructions, and were pretty much worthless after that. I’m 6’2″ with a gut and ordered an XLT. Can’t wear them anymore.

    Reply
    • Funny you mention the Lands End undershirt. After reading high reviews on this site I purchased a pack of XLT- I’m 6’4″. Their idea of long is a mystery. I have regular XL undershirts from Costco that are longer than the Lands End “long”.
      Speaking of Costco (Kirkland label), I’ve found that their collar most resembles the Hanes Classic of the old days- nice and tight around the neck with a wide ribbing. Their material is very thick though, actually just a little too thick.
      I’m still in search of the perfect replacement undershirt of the original Hanes Classic.

      Reply
    • hey guys, so this is pretty interesting.

      i took a look at the date that post on badger & blade was created and it originally started back in jan of 2010! i didn’t notice that originally when i created this post mid last year.

      one thing i’ve learned over the years, is that undershirt quality can be vastly different from year to year.

      some of it has to do with changing of manufacturing facilities, sourcing materials from different parts of the world, different knitting processes, etc. so it’s very possible (and likely) that something has changed over at landsend and that is why your experience with them is different than the guys over at badger & blade from a couple of years ago. it’s too bad too.

      the costco undershirts (made by gilden) have been a fan-favorite here for sometime. in fact, my father-in-law loves them too. while i agree the costco undershirt is a fantastic overall value, i find them too thick for my liking. i like very lightweight undershirts.

      have you tried the newer fruit of the loom undershirts? i had an exchange with some of the execs over there yesterday and they told me they had made many recent improvements including:
      a. perfected collar – lays flat
      b. extended length
      c. softened up the fabric

      these changes were fully implemented and released in late q3/early q4. i haven’t tried out their new stuff yet.

      question:
      out of all the undershirts you’ve tried lately, what’s your favorite?

      even if it’s not that “perfect” undershirt, what do you like most about it?

      thinking if there was an undershirt kinda designed like costco (slim cut with length), had minimal shrinkage, made with soft/smooth cotton, and priced fairly, that would be a pretty damn nice undershirt.

      what do you think?

      Reply
      • I’ve been on an undershirt buying spree of late, having tried Hanes, Nordstrom, Fruit of the Loom, Lands End and Costco. Of them all, the Costco is the best fit for me. Again, I may be different than most, but I like a tighter neck (not one that lays way below the Adams Apple) with a wider ribbing. The Costco negative is that the shirt is too thick (wearing it now and feeling too layered). The Lands End and Nordstrom are very comfortable, but Lands End “Long” is an absolute joke. They both have pretty good collars too, just not long enough for me. The collar of the Fruit of the Loom XXL I bought sagged way too low. As for Hanes, The “bacon” thing was not a problem for me. By the time I had a “bacon” issue, the undershirt was dingy and time for the rag pile anyway.

      • thanks mike. hmmm, maybe i should create an article that asks “what undershirt are you wearing today?” and what do you think of it?

        it’d be interesting to find out how people respond..

      • heya darren, good to hear from you again.

        i know i’ve posted about your bulk t-shirt/undershirt/a-shirt opportunities before.

        have the mentions on my site provided you with leads/buyers that have purchased your excess bulk goods?

  9. This thread is exactly what I needed to read. I’ve been buying Hanes “Classic” T-Shirts for probably 15 years at least. I loved their Tall Man, the weight of the material and the way it fit around my neck. I prefer a tighter collar as opposed to one that sits too low. I don’t know this for a fact, but it seems the “lay-flat” collar marked the end of the properly fitting and feeling Hanes T-shirt for me.

    Reply
  10. The problem with Lands End though is they don’t carry anything below a size M. Which sucks for, like, 40% of American men (I usually wear an XS).

    Reply
  11. I’ve also given up on Hanes tees for the reasons you mention. Even their “essential” tees that used to fit well are like blouses.

    Reply
  12. As you know, it’s all about price per unit and I bet Hanes doesn’t make their T-shirts in the USA. Quality control usually goes to HE-double hockey stick when a product manufacturing shifts overseas. Hanes and Fruit used to make good, middle of the road, reasonably priced underwear and on occasion really good stuff. Well overseas manufacturing does keep the price down for the corp. It doesn’t usually come back to the consumer in a reduced cost item. I’m afraid that when a large company like Hanes gobbles up a niche market company, the cost cutters usually come in and the quality goes down. Sad but true.

    Reply
    • yeah, i hear ya pat and generally agree.

      although, there are some bigger companies that acquire smaller ones and let them continue their operations without interference. they help that brand grow by way of cash, advertising, and national or global visibility. notwithstanding, at some point the smaller company could get absorbed into the parent, loose any and all of its original identity.

      no, hanes does not make their undershirts in the usa – in fact, there are only a small number of undershirt companies left that still do. and congrats to them.

      i’m not opposed to buying non-american-made products. after all, there’s just way too much shit made overseas nowadays to avoid it completely. but if i am going to by something made outside the u.s., i’d obviously want something of reasonable-to-good quality and affordably priced too. there’s no reason these companies can’t make good products, but i suspect they are finding ways to cut costs as much as possible to increase the profit margins and stay competitive with their value product lines.

      when paying a bit more, why not just buy american?

      Reply

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