The versatility of the simple T-shirt allows it to be worn almost everywhere – be it a party, or a rally or even a meeting. However, not all T-shirts are made alike and it is important to understand the differences between them. Given below are the simple and yet effective factors which will allow you to select the right T-shirt next time you step into a store to purchase one.
The most preferable choice seems to be 100% cotton. Cotton blends are also a good option. While cotton-polyester blends crease much less and are easier to maintain, those with a moderate amount of elastane retain their shape better. Check the label on the T-shirt to find out the composition used. Some of the more common fabrics are:
- Strong, smooth and soft, combed cotton is made by fine brushing to remove short strands and straighten the fibers.
- For those concerned about the environment, organic cotton is material made from cotton grown with minimal or no chemical fertilizers and pesticides. However, they are more expensive than treated cotton.
- Pima with its extra-long fibers is the highest grade cotton that you can get. T-shirts made from Pima cotton are resistant to stretching, pilling, and fading. Another quality of this fabric is that it gets softer with each wash.
- Slightly expensive, T-shirts made from bamboo are extremely soft and breathable.
- The perfect choice for those who travel, a 100% Merino wool T-Shirt can be worn numerous times before needing a wash. However, this would probably be the most expensive T-Shirt in your wardrobe.
- Flexible and comfortable, Jersey, a stretchy knit fabric, is generally made from cotton or a synthetic blend.
- Looking for a T-shirt that resists shrinking and wrinkling while also maintaining its shape – Polyester is the fabric to choose. While T-shirts made from Polyester are light and dry quickly, they are not breathable.
- Made from wood pulp, Rayon, also known as viscose, is a man-made fiber. While T-shirts made from this feels smooth, they tend to wrinkle easily.
Fabric structure and construction can affect pilling and shrinkage. Most people have faced the nightmare of a new T-shirt going out of shape after the first wash. Fault in the fabric construction causes the overstretched fibers to shrink to their un-stretched position when washed; thus resulting in a wider and shorter T-shirt. Look at the fabric structure when buying a T-shirt. The knitting should be round and relaxed; not overstretched. However, remember that cotton fibers are prone to shrinkage. Check the label to find out if the fabric is marked as pre-shrunk. If not, you may want to take a T-shirt that is one size bigger. One of the biggest problems with cotton T-shirts is the neck stretching and going out of shape. If you are buying a 100% cotton T-shirt, ensure that the neckline has a stay tape around it to prevent overstretching.
The choice of fabric will also depend on the purpose and occasion where you will be wearing a T-shirt. While, it can be safely assumed that you would not be wearing one to a formal closed collar occasion; however, the occasion where you wear one, to quite an extent, dictates the fabric. A 100% Merino wool T-shirt or one made of Pima cotton is something that a guy can wear on a casual first date without looking overdressed. T-shirts made from natural fibers can be worn at a get-together, an outing and at home – any place where you want to be relaxed and comfortable. Polyester T-shirts are best for sports – a time when you are likely to perspire and want it to dry quickly.
Everyone has their favorite color, but you should have a few of the basic colors in your wardrobe.
- The classic white has to be a part of your collection. Worn with denim and a pair of boots – a look that has stood the test of time. White compliments all skin tones and can be matched with any color.
- Available in shades of varying degrees, gray will enhance your body shape. However, you need to watch out for sweat marks in the darker shades.
- Like white, black is another very versatile color that can be paired with almost all other colors and outfit combinations. However, it can be a little too overpowering during hot days out in the sun. Black also tends to fade faster than other colors.
- A more suitable choice than black for a hot day in the sun, navy and its various shades create great tonal shades when worn with jeans.
- You could find T-shirts of every color from the entire spectrum. Experiment with different colors but ensure that it doesn’t clash with your skin tone.
The most popular style features short sleeves and a crew neck. However, there are numerous other styles that are also popular. An extremely popular garment, T-shirt styles are constantly evolving, as are the different combinations when wearing it. The style of the T-shirt and the way of wearing it depends on the individual fashion style and comfort.
The Bottom Line
Always read the care label on the garment before you purchase it. Not only does it tell you about the fabric composition; it also provides information on the care of the garment. Fabric proportion, weight, and maintenance are all indicated on the label. Fabric weight is generally indicative of durability. T-shirts with higher GSM are likely to shrink less than those with lower GSM.
For those who do not wish to spend too much time on ironing, a blended T-shirt will be a better purchase option than a one made from 100% cotton. If you are purchasing printed T-shirts, remember that you will need to exercise caution when washing and ironing them. Printed T-shirts should be hand washed to prevent the colors from fading and should be turned inside out before ironing. This is especially true of T-shirts with vinyl prints.