In today’s world, when fast fashion is more available than ever at prices as low as a couple of dollars, it’s hard to fully understand what quality is. Especially when it comes to such widespread basics like t-shirts.
Can we actually expect longevity and durability if we paid next to nothing for it?
On the other hand, some brands offer great products at still affordable prices, and we don’t need to cash out a weeks pay to get a quality tee.
But what defines quality in a t-shirt, and how to recognize it? Keep reading to find out.
First of all, it truly matters what fabric is used to make the t-shirt.
One of the best and most popular fabrics for T-shirts is cotton as it’s soft, natural, breathable and durable. It needs to be high-quality cotton or cotton blend to have those qualities, though, but how to know which is which?
First of all, the t-shirt should feel smooth and almost silk-like to the touch.
It should also have some thickness, so you can hold it against a light source – it shouldn’t be too transparent and hold its shape and not feel flimsy.
Lastly, take a look at the textile pattern. A high-quality fabric has a regular pattern of smooth rows and doesn’t have any gaps.
The same tips can be applied to most other fabric types, including cotton blends.
The fabric colour
Besides the fabric itself, the fabric dyeing process also makes a difference. If the tee you’re looking at has uneven colour, it might be a sign that the quality is low unless it’s on purpose.
To ensure sustainability and longevity, we also recommend choosing organic cotton if your budget allows it.
And if you like a little extra stretch in your tees, opt for a high-quality cotton-poly blend like the high quality t-shirts from Fresh Clean Tees.
The second thing to pay attention to when looking for a quality t-shirt is to look at its construction – the seams, stitching and puckering.
To save on production costs, many producers compromise on their labour quality and put massive pressure on workers to produce as many products as possible or have low-quality machinery to do the job. That’s where the flaws start.
A badly constructed t-shirt fits poorly, and a good one looks like it’s been made just for you. It will also be much more durable.
So look at all the elements of the t-shirt – the shoulder seams, the collar and the sides.
The seams and the stitches
First, the shoulder and side seams should be straight and not drop or move forward when wearing a t-shirt. If that happens, it is uncomfortable and looks plain wrong.
Poor quality t-shirts often also have various defects, from skipped stitches to the non-aligned underarm seam that also doesn’t look good.
If you’ve never heard of puckering, you should take note – it’s when the fabric around the seams gathers instead of falling smoothly.
One other test you can put the t-shirt at the store to is to simply lay it flat on a surface. If it waves and is not smooth, it means its’s “waving” – something that happens with poor machinery work.
Lastly, don’t forget to check the edges. A good quality t-shirt doesn’t have uncovered or poorly covered edges that start fraying.
Once you’ve checked the fabric and the construction, don’t forget to check the overall fit. Even the best fabric can still look bad if the tee doesn’t look good on you.
A regular t-shirt should nicely hug your figure but not be too tight, the tee should not be longer than just below your belt, and the sleeves should cover not more than 2/3 of your arms.