For years, I relied on American Giant T-shirts as daily wear. A few years back, however, American Giant changed their premium line of tees and in my opinion, quality suffered. Since then, I feel like quality has only continued to roll down hill and I’ve decided to check out the market once again. Here’s what I’ve found:
- J.Crew Garment dyed Slub Cotton Tees. On sale these can be found for as little as $20 and because of this, these have become my goto tees. The regular fit is true to size, but they are also available in both slim and tall and in a large variety of colors. Unfortunately, they are not made in the USA… BUT, the quality is on par with American Giant and the fit is much better. As a value proposition, these are hard to beat right now.
- Todd Snyder Homespun Slub Pocket T. These are very similar to the J.Crew tees, but they are made in the USA. Unfortunately, however, they are priced at damn near $80 each. I just couldn’t justify that…
- 45 Slub Pocket Tee. The Huckberry house brand… Made well in Peru. These fit great and feel fantastic, but the collar gets a little weird (wrinkles) in the wash. If you can live with that though, these are a pretty good value at $35 each. I would have considered these as a top pick if only they were available in more colors.
- Everlane Premium Crew. These were recommended by just about everyone in the game. They are obviously made well (Viet Nam), but they don’t feel great. I would compare these in fit and finish to a nice Gildan. To me, the value just isn’t there.
- Buck Mason Slub Tee. This shirt is most consistently on everyone’s favorite list, but it’s not on mine… They are made in the USA, fit well, and cost an almost reasonable $38. However, after one wash the collar shiners and wrinkles and the tee becomes unwearable for me.
At the end of the day, none of these tees are as good as the original American Giant tee… which is a damned shame. I think my favorite of the bunch tested right now is the tee offered by Todd Snyder. However, the $80 price removes it as an EDC option. The J.Crew shirt doesn’t seem quite as well made, but it’s close… and costs $60 less per unit. So, that’s what I’ve been going with this year.
I wear a tee just about every day and will continue to keep you updated on my findings!