Got this email a few months back from a reader in search of , what he feels is a “proper white t-shirt”:
Here’s what I’m looking for:
- A proper white t-shirt you’d wear as your outer layer (as in NOT an undershirt)
- Short in length, ending around the belt (American Apparel shirts are too long for me, I’m 5’9”)
- Most important: arm openings should hug my biceps instead of being loose and flaring out like a lampshade. I don’t even really have biceps, but I want it to hug my arms in a normal way (not a tight muscle guy at the gym way)
- Something inexpensive that I can buy a few of would be nice, as opposed to those $80 Icebreaker shirts.
My favorite tshirt has been JCP’s Stafford Essentials Classic but (1) they’re a bit long for me, and (2) JCP doesn’t make them anymore :(
Any advice is appreciated, thanks!
Proper White T-Shirts
good to hear from you buddy! thanks for stopping by my site and sending in your question (:
I don’t have a ton of experience with plain white tees, but the ones that come to mind are:
- banana republic
- next level apparel
- express cotton/spandex
I think 1, 2, 4 would be good starting points. If I recall correctly, the t-shirts from next level apparel (#3) are a little bit longer.
there’s also a classic “skivvy” tee from mister freedom in los angeles, but it’s much more pricey at $59.95 per t-shirt.
the round (crew) neck t-shirt from pima king is shorter in length at 27.5″ (size large) too, but that’s $40 per t-shirt.
hope that helps!
Plain White T-Shirts
In fact, there are a few articles about “short undershirts” that could be useful if you’re also looking for shorter (or proper length) white t-shirts, well, because many times “undershirts” can be wore alone as t-shirts.
It’s really a factor of fabric weight (opacity), fit, and length. While undershirts are generally thinner, longer, and more close fitting, some brands make them fit more like t-shirts being thicker, shorter, and looser.
There are also plenty of t-shirt blanks manufacturers, that make t-shirts — though I don’t know off hand the length of any of them.
Peter Manning & Shortwear.com are both brands that are focusing on the 5’8″ and under male demographic/market, so most certainly the t-shirts there will be shorter in length, though it’s not clear whether or not they normally carry white t-shirts or if they would be closer fitting around the arms. I have a sample Bella+Canvas shorter t-shirt from Shortwear.com, but the sleeves don’t fit close and the $38.99 price point might be a little out of reach for some. The T-shirts on PeterManning.com are currently $21 (normally $28).
My buddy Brock over at TheModestMan.com covers all things related to “short(er) men” so maybe he’ll be able to chime in here with some other ideas.
How To Locate A Proper / Plain White T-Shirt?
General rule of thumb — if you’re looking for a shorter t-shirt, you probably want something that is about 27″ long (in size large). For other sizes, just add or subtract about 1″ in length per size. Meaning, a shorter-in-length size Medium t-shirt should be around 26″ long.
Lastly, based on some fabric weight information I’ve been provided in the past, I’d say if you want something that has a little more weight to it, try to find a t-shirt that is at least 150gsm in weight, but not over 190gsm-200gsm, or it might be a little too heavy. You’ll have to email the company beforehand and ask them specifically to provide the GSM weight of the shirt.
Do You Have A Favorite Plain White T-Shirt (That’s not too long)?
If so, tell us about it in the comments section below