Nautica’s Dark Secret. They Killed the Perfect T-shirt

Have you ever picked up a t-shirt that fit you just perfectly? That one that lasted and lasted, and got better with age?

Well for many, that was this t-shirt from Nautica:

Hey, Tug. Great site.

A few years ago, I bought some Nautica, black, v-neck t-shirts. They have been amazing.

Wash, wear, and hold up perfectly. The “v” is not too deep, outstanding fit overall. They have the Nautica logo on the bottom front right in white. I’d buy them forever.

Well, they have vanished. All new iterations over the past couple of years are wimpier with a ridiculously deep “v” and washing screws them up. And I am not alone in witnessing this…Please see this review and comments (link).


Rules to wearing undershirts

I’ve written and called Nautica, but they’re in denial or burying it, the phone service staff hasn’t been informed of the shirt’s history, and/or they think I’m nuts. I am not.

I wear a black t-shirt about every day, and I’m not alone. Can you get through to Nautica or get me/us some kind of answer.

We’d be forever grateful.

Thank you, Tug.


Wanting To Learn More

I’m always interested to learn about would-be quality complaints from readers, so I emailed Mike back with some additional questions.  He got back to me.

Hey, Tug.

Thank you for getting back to me.

So however I found you through Google, I was directed to a link to one of your posts from 2008. I’m thinking “Great, what are the odds this guy is still feeding posts to this thing?” Well, I am impressed. Here you still are. Awesome.

And I may have mislead you with the word “denial.” It was more their off-handed way of dismissing the issue, and me. Like I was the one with the problem. Right?

Anyway, the “good” Nautica shirts I have are at least three or four years old. They are amazing. A little faded maybe, but otherwise perfect and indestructible.

Regrettably, any semblance of a label is long washed away. I checked all eight I still have.

The “shit” Nautica shirts say this: Manufactured in India, RN # 67835.

There is such a difference.

After my call to Nautica got me nowhere, I wrote to them on October 16 via the comments box on the contact page of their site (see below my signature).

It wasn’t my best work, and I may have been drinking, but either way I did not receive a response.

Thank you for anything you can do, and please let me know if I can help.

Best regards,


— Mike’s Message to Nautica —

To Nautica October 16, 2015:

To whom it may concern:

Why did you remove something remarkable from the market and replace it with a product that is inferior in every way?

I speak of your men’s black v-neck t-shirts. I bought six of them three or four years ago, I wear one of them pretty much every day, and they are still in close to the same condition as when new. They are durable, hold their shape, have a respectable neck cut and length and are PERFECT. Now, they have been replaced with a version that more closely resembles an overly v-split sausage casing body skirt.

And I am not alone in my dissatisfaction. Check Amazon and eBay and the Internet in general and feel the grief and anger of the masses over the loss of that classic. (Search “Nautica old v-neck t-shirt” and the like.)

Read about the returns, the complaints, the blood vows never to patronize Nautica again.

Bring Back the Classic Black V-Neck Shirt Everyone Wants!

Thank you.

Nautica Killed the Perfect T-Shirt

If you scan through the Amazon review comments (link), it’s pretty clear people are unhappy with the current version (made in India).

The sentiments include

  • Tess are smaller / sizing is different
  • Sewn in logo is gone
  • Quality in general is down
  • Tees wear out faster

Sadly, I can’t say I’m surprised about this.

Brands regularly look for ways to reduce costs, and many times as a result, reduced costs result in reduced quality.

I did a little snooping around and found some other Nautica Black V-Neck T-shirts available on eBay, but they were manufactured in Egypt. It’s very possible a move from Egypt to India (allegedly to save costs) could result in different types of product quality.


That said, I know plenty of good products made in India, so I know good products can be made there. It’s not a generalization that you get lower quality products from India.

I’ve reported similar customer quality complaints from brands such as Nordstrom, Jockey, Gold Toe, Hanes, Lanesboro, Costco, and others.

Sometimes, the brands make it right. Other times they just ignore the issue, and move on.

I’m curious as to what Nautica might do.

Time will tell.

Burned By Nautica’s T-Shirt Change?

If so, tell me about it in the comments section below.


How to wear undershirts

8 thoughts on “Nautica’s Dark Secret. They Killed the Perfect T-shirt”

  1. O.k. I’m posting on a site about a t-shirt that hasn’t been sold in like…10 years, but this really was the perfect t-shirt. I used to buy 3 pack as Filene’s Basement (remember them?) for $16.99.

    The V on these were the only one that didn’t go along with the hipster “here’s all of my chest hair” V style at the time. The cotton was thick, but not too thick, the emblem was on the hem and they lasted forever.

    Then one day, they were just..gone.

  2. I too am disappointed that my favorite Nautica v-neck t-shirts are no longer available.

    My remaining stash of white Nautica t-shirts (with a slight “v”) are in desperate need of replacement.

    However, I cannot find anything I like as much. The new Nautica V-neck tshirts do not have the same fit or shape. And the “V” is much deeper.

    I will be perusing your site to see if you have any suggestions for anything remotely similar to the “OLD NAUTICA V-NECK T’s”.

    • heya kevin, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts about the nautica v-neck t-shirts.

      you may want to check out this article, that has a list of v-neck t-shirts, ordered by price:

      i can’t recommend a specific one, but you may want to experiment with some of them and see what you think.

      if you do, be sure to come back here and let me know which t-shirts you tried, and what you think of them (:

  3. My favorite undershirt is made by Nautica. I was surprised to see that the shitty ones you referenced had an RN of 67835, since that is what mine (I believe) says. But then noticed mine is made in Egypt, not India. I would send a picture of these tag, but don’t see an attachment option. Let me know if you find where to buy these

    • ha, thanks greg.

      we’ll see — there are some companies making quality products, but we may not see the big brands step up quality in place of keeping costs down.


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