What makes the perfect fitted tee?

white t-shirt

What is better than slipping on a plain white T-shirt? It should be a staple in every man’s or woman’s wardrobe — the style piece for every occasion. Day or evening wear, as long as worn with the right pair of jeans or smart shorts. 

Simple and stylish. The t-shirt is the default item of apparel for most guys whatever the occasion. Bought in bulk, often from the same brand we faithfully return to time after time. The long-term favourite tees last longer and have more sentimental value than most of my relationships.

Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando in Streetcar named Desire (1951)

T-Shirts have come a long way since being handed out as part of the US Navy uniform, becoming popular in mainstream culture in the 1950’s thanks to Marlon Brando. With the introduction of screen printing not long afterwards, personalisation and design came into play. But the plain tee will never go out of fashion, the style lasting a lot longer than the clothes. But why is this?

It seems some brands have started to focus more on making a profit than good quality clothes. Producing the tees on the cheap and relying on the brand name is sell them is fine if you are Primark. But when paying £30 for a new tshirt, people are right to expect a level of quality. From a lot of brands, customers are reporting purchases are falling apart quicker, or losing the shape. Some even are developing holes around the seams. 

So if you are looking for something new, we can help. Let us explain what makes the perfect fitted t-shirt. When buying a new t-shirt, then pay attention to these crucial things – fit, fabric, feel, colour, style, and function.

You want your fitted tee to hug your body like a beer-jacket on a cold night. The best ones show the muscles but hide the sins. If you can get it right, you will look like you frequent the gym more than the pub.

core white tee
11 Degrees Core White Tee

100% Cotton sounds excellent, but a 10% Polyester mix keeps the shape better, making the fabric more durable. The stretch is ideal for those who work on sculpturing their bodies and want to show it off. In the urban wear fashion scene, curved hem tees tend to come as part of the core collections. The logo is either colour matching or contrasting.

Most brands tend to keep the core range consistent, so are the safe colours of white, black, grey, blue, green, or red. For 2018 we saw summer floral patterns, and in 2019 it was stripes. There are always the usual attempts to be stand out; with flowers, birds, tie-dye, moths or skulls designs. Mostly these bold designs can rarely pass as evening wear.

There is often resistance to spend £30 on a t-shirt when the high street can offer them for a bargain price. But these mass-produced tees rarely hold shape and falls apart after a few washes. Wearing a well-made tee that lasts for years make you feel a million dollars.

The curved hem tee fit might not be for everyone, so let’s detail some other styles.


What is a distressed Style?
The practice of intentional distressing clothes, to make them appear worn and torn. Popular in the 1970s with jeans in the punk movement, blurring the line of fashionable and being mistaken for homeless. Generation Z may think they are the coolest people on the planet, but they are dressing from their parents and grandparents generation. Want further proof fashion goes in cycles? Skinny jeans were first popular in the 1950’s rock and roll era, so not just for the modern fashionista.
What is the difference in Straight vs Curved Hem?
It’s all about the bottom hemline. A curved hem tee, has a rounded hem-line. A straight hem t-shirt, is your standard straight hem.
What is a longline t-shirt?
A Longline t-shirt is longer than usual sizing, but the rest of the fit is the same. If you are below the average height you might want to try this on first as might give the appearance you want. The style is extra long, and not to be confused with an oversized style.
What is an oversized T-shirt?
Stating the obvious, it’s big all over. Where the longline is just extra length at the hemline, oversized means it’s extra in inches for all of the design bar the neckline. Think baggy all over, including the arms and chest size.
What is a drop shoulder t-shirt?
The standard t-shirt sleeve comes halfway down the bicep. A drop shoulder means the seem is lower so it completely covers the bicep.
What is a raglan sleeve tee?
A Raglan sleeve is where the sleeve colour normally contrasts to the body.

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Chloé Safilo
Chloé is our resident Fast Fashion Expert for the UK Urban and Streetwear scene. Her eyes have been constantly glued to social media for the last five years giving her an insight that is unrivalled. In her spare time she likes shopping and lying in the sunshine. Each year makes a pilgrimage to Ibiza. Chloe lives in London where she has recently completed her journalism degree at the University of Roehampton. She lives in Putney with her boyfriend Christian, and their French Bulldog Coco.