Esquire: Who Makes the Best Undershirt? And the Winners Are…

News just in. The good fellows over at Esquire tested over 50 different undershirts and outlined their top 10 favorite undershirts in Kurt Soller’sWho Makes the Best Undershirt? An Investigation article.'s Best Overall Undershirt Winner: Alternative Apparel Perfect V-Neck ($36)

Who Makes the Best Undershirts? Esquire’s Top 10

  1. The Best Undershirt: Alternative Apparel Perfect V-Neck. I have heard great things about these, but they do come at a hefty $36 price point.
  2. The Best Value: Fruit of the Loom Premium V-Neck. Didn’t we just talk about FotL’s new premium undershirt program at Old Navy and JCPenney? Yup! Congrats to my friends over at Fruit!
  3. The Best for Shorter Men: Vince Favorite T-Shirt. Ah, finally a good recommendation for short undershirts. I also hear from another reader that ASOS, a company out of the UK, has some pretty great shorter undershirts.
  4. The Best for Taller Men: Tommy Hilfiger Classic V-Neck. Ok, let’s add this one to the list I’ve been keeping on Long Undershirts for Tall Men.
  5. The Best for Thinner Men: Ralph Lauren Classic V-Neck ($38 for 3).  Adding to this list of where you can buy Slim-Cut Undershirts.
  6. The Best for Bigger Men: 2(x)ist Essential Jersey V-Neck ($32.50 for 3).  Very interesting. Alternatively you can check out the list of Big & Tall suppliers here.
  7. The Best Non-Cotton Option: Ribbed Tee Retrofit V-Neck ($27.90 for 2).  Super lightweight and breathable 50/50 Cotton/Poly blend.
  8. The Best for Summer: Sunspel V-Neck T-Shirt ($56 for 1). Definitely been wanting to try out Sunspel undershirts for a long time.
  9. The Best Surprise: Mario Lopez’s Rated M Atelier V-Neck ($29.50). I broke the news of this line back in December. Good to hear this Modal/Cotton undershirt get’s props from Esquire.
  10. The Best Packaging: Bread & Boxers V-Neck ($28). Ok, I like the packaging too.

One other category was mentioned — it was The Biggest Letdown: Hanes Classic V-Neck ($20 for 3).

I am a bit sad about this because I do like the Hanes 50/50 Cotton/Poly blend undershirts. They fit and feel really nice and they’re priced pretty reasonably. My only nit with them is that mine started to look worn after my week+ long consecutive wearing and only a couple of washings.  I think I’ll be hearing some news from them pretty soon, so stay tuned.

What Undershirt Are You Wearing? What’s YOUR Favorite?

And, what do you think of it! I definitely want to hear from you guys (in the comments below, please)

13 thoughts on “Esquire: Who Makes the Best Undershirt? And the Winners Are…”

  1. I sweat too easily so I’m looking for moisture wicking and breathable. I’m also thin and need it to hug my body. I hate when even a small is too wide and has to be bunched up creating a bulk of fabric tucked inside the pants. I’m 5’10” and some smalls even are too long. Any suggestions?

    • heya ric,

      good to hear from you buddy and thanks for your question!

      you need to switch over to a “fitted” undershirt, but i do have some questions for you first:

      1. what kind/brand of undershirts do you currently wear
      2. why wicking? is it because you feel drier wearing something that doesn’t absorb as much sweat and dries faster?
      3. do you sweat through your undershirts, whereby getting sweat marks on your outer shirt?

  2. I am very surprised that Esquire named the Tommy Hilfiger Classic V-Neck as the best for taller men.

    I was excited to try some and when I received a few in the mail they were ok, but not ideal. After a few washes and dries they are terribly short.

    I’m guessing the reviewer didn’t factor that in.

    I wish I measured the shirts before I washed them, but I would say without exaggeration that they have shrunk at least four inches.

    Each morning, I put an undershirt on and go through a frustrating ritual of stretching the shirt so it will stay tucked in.

    I still have to retuck it a few times a day. I highly recommend steering away from these.

    • thanks for the heads-up doug!

      to be honest, 4 inches of vertical shrinkage doesn’t surprise me at all for a mass-market brand like tommy hilfiger. it’s unfortunate, yes — but not surprising.

      at 30″ in length, if the fabric shrank 10%, that would be 3″ of shrinkage. if the undershirt was longer, even at 10% shrinkage, that length would shrink even more in inches.

      now, any brand that is making thoughtful products would know how their fabric performs, and if the fabric really shrinks that much, would either preshrink the fabric or the undershirt before it got to the end-customer.

      the fact that they shrink up that much and they are too short after washing and drying, is simply a sign that the tommy hilfiger product managers in charge of their undershirt production don’t care enough about the consumer experience or the quality control.

      of course, they probably make a lot of undershirts & underwear, so mistakes can happen — but with the proper quality control measures in place, you really shouldn’t experience high shrinkage like that.

      i’d say look at any brand on my top 5 list, or even at the brands listed in this article:

    • heya peter, thanks for your question.

      tbh, over the last couple of years i have not recalled wearing any undershirt that had scratchy stitching or prickly labels. most undershirts i have tried have tagless care labels and i’ve noticed any of the stitching that has been irritating to my skin.

      if you’re super sensitive, just look for an undershirt that has flat lock stitching and a tagless care label. other than slix undershirts, i don’t know off hand which undershirts have flat lock stitching. i’d have to go through my inventory and check, but not sure when i could do that.

  3. From my experience the best damn undershirt is by Jcrew. They use premium pima cotton and the quality is amazing.
    I’m a big guy so I wear an XL and after 3 years of constant wear and wash then sorts retains it freaking shape at folds after a wash as if I had just bought it. My only grips is that is doesn’t run long so keeping it in is a pain in the ass.
    Also, another amazing undershirt is sold by JC Penny under their Staford line. Wow!!!!


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