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The difference between a t-shirt that fits well and a fitted t-shirt is significant. T-shirts that fit well are a basic necessity in a wardrobe. Fitted t-shirts hug and highlight one’s assets. They tow the line of a tight fit without being shapewear, play up musculature and downplay any style inhibitions. They’re flattering, as long as you find the right one.
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Fitted t-shirts are tight, so they’re easy to layer underneath jackets, flannels, button-downs, or even other t-shirts as a way to manage wear. They make more of a statement than the average tee, so they’re better suited for date night than the office.
There are a multitude of options on the market for fitted tees, and while some exude sophisticated confidence, others can look trashy in the wrong outfit. Avoid light-wash denim, anything with holes in it, and pairing an ultra-tight tee with tight pants. Tight clothing will reach a point of diminishing returns faster than you think.
What the Experts Say
“The fitted tee, in particular, has always been the staple silhouette,” says Linder. “While fits and proportions have changed over time, the slimmer fitting tee has stood the test of time and taken a role in defining modern masculinity over generations.”
Linder added that while he tends to gravitate more towards relaxed fits, “I think our fitted tees offer guys the perfect combination of cool, casual, and put together.”
Todd Snyder Made in L.A. Premium Jersey Fitted Tee-Shirt
Buy Now $68.00
Designer can sometimes mean paying for an overpriced brand name, but that’s never the case with Todd Synder who continues to make extraordinary quality goods like this fitted shirt. Made in Los Angeles from all-cotton Jersey fabric, it looks just as premium as it feels. With a multitude of colorways and that premium construction, this is a tee well worth investing in because it’ll be a consistent part of any person’s wardrobe.
Corrigan calls it “The ultimate basic. [It] pairs just as perfectly with a pair of jeans as it does with a suit.” The fit is slim without being too skinny and isn’t oversized like some shirts currently on the market. In short, it’s a perfect execution of a simple staple that will be easy to wear time and time again.
Taylor Stitch Heavy Bag Fitted Tee
Buy Now $50.00
Why It Stands Out: “It’s durable and has a flattering fit, you can’t beat it,” says Corrigan. “I honestly have these in over ten different colors.”
Made For: Those who want a slimming but not slim fit. The classic style silhouette flatters the muscles and torso without feeling like shapewear.
ROI: The 8-oz weight of the tee makes it extremely tough and will therefore last for a long, long time.
Calvin Klein Cotton Slim Fit 5-Pack Crewneck T-Shirt
Buy Now $48.65
Why It Stands Out: Sometimes, buying a multipack of tees means there’s a compromise on quality. That’s certainly not the case with these shirts from Calvin Klein, which are extremely well-made and fit great.
Made For: Those who want to buy one and be done.
ROI: “A perfect fit for every day of the workweek,” says Corrigan. You’ll definitely get a lot of use out of these.
Banana Republic Rugged Slub Crew Neck Fitted T-Shirt
Buy Now $50.00
Why It Stands Out: Construction is the name of the game here. BR’s tee is broad through the shoulders and tapered through the chest and waist. This gives it the illusion of tailoring without the extra trip or bill for the alterations.
Made For: Those who want a vintage tee without the hassle. “It’s soft enough to layer, but with that subtle slub texture of made-to-last vintage styles,” says Corrigan.
ROI: The sturdy cotton, tailored fit, and pocket make it look like it’s a tee that’s easily double the price.
ZARA Basic Slim Fit Tee-Shirt
Buy Now $19.90
Why It Stands Out: “Unlike many other shirts that fit tight around the chest and arms, Zara’s Basic Slim Fit t-shirt is actually comfortable to wear,” says McMillian.
Made For: Larger, more built and muscular guys. McMillian adds that “Zara’s fitted T-shirts are designed to provide a sleek and flattering look, even for individuals with a larger build or more muscle definition.”
ROI: This t-shirt gives a great fit at an even lower price than other options.
Mack Weldon SILVER Crew Neck Fitted T-Shirt
Buy Now $42.00
Why It Stands Out: This tee is made with an antimicrobial material called SILVER that’s designed to help one look and feel fresher while wearing it.
Made For: Those looking for a post-workout shirt that doesn’t look sloppy. “You had me at both slim fit and anti-odor,” says Corrigan.
Hot Take: This shirt could be worn to the gym to lift in. It’s not the most athletic, breathable option but it’ll highlight ever flex.
J.Crew Broken-In Short-Sleeve Fitted Tee-Shirt
Buy Now $36.50
Why It Stands Out: Corrigan notes this t-shirt is “perfectly broken in” for an “effortless style.” The tapered fit through the body is trimming without being too slim, and it feels like it’s been worn a dozen times already.
Made For: Those who hate a stiff new t-shirt.
ROI: A shirt that feels and looks this good should be a lot more expensive than it is, so those who buy this will get great use out of it in short order.
Bylt Drop-Cut LUX Fitted Tee
Buy Now $35.00
Why It Stands Out: “[This is] a fantastic option for those seeking a fitted tee with exceptional durability,” McMillian states.
Made For: Those who want an all-in-one tee. As McMillian also says, “Its versatility allows for effortless transitions from office wear to nights out.”
ROI: “This shirt doesn’t shrink or fade over time and features breathable fabric with an ultra-stretch property,” McMillian adds. The durability and adaptability are a winning combination for ROI.
Frequently Asked Questions About Fitted T-Shirts
How Do I Find the Best Fitted T-Shirt For Me?
Corrigan recommends a little research to figure out what “brand is best suited” for an individual’s frame. Some are better for beefy, muscular men while others are more subtle, and flattering for slimmer body types.
How Should a Fitted Shirt Actually Fit?
Aim to find a shirt that feels tailored, which is to say, not too skinny but not too big either. The goal is to feel like it’s a shirt that’s personalized to your body type. It should fit comfortably around the chest, armpits, and across the back. If it’s a little breezy through the body, that’s cool, but a fitted shirt should aim to fill out the chest.
Will I Look Like a Tool Wearing a Fitted Shirt?
Not unless you pair it with equally tight pants and a shiny belt. Let the shirt speak for itself as the focal statement piece of the outfit. Too much noise and you risk looking like you’re trying too hard.
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