The Best Men's T-Shirt for Women
As a woman who prefers to wear men’s clothing, I am constantly on the hunt for men’s styles that will fit my body... and it’s hard to find, man! Body types vary enough amongst female-bodied humans. Now, imagine shopping when every shirt and every pair of pants you pick up off the rack were manufactured for another gender. The shoulders are always too broad. The chest area is too big. And there is never any extra room in the waist for the slightest of hips.
I am also quite particular about my clothing. I like soft fabric. I like high-quality pieces that feel like they are well-made. Things that “bring me joy” (Thanks, Marie Kondo).
Inspired by minimalists who wear the same thing every day, I recently asked myself, “What if I could find the perfect men’s t-shirt for my body, once and for all? Then, I could just buy like 10 of them in different colors. And get rid of 10 shirts I own now that don’t fit me perfectly.”
So I decided to embark on this experiment… as a first step, I googled “best men’s t-shirts” and did my research. From there, I went and ordered a plain, white t-shirt from Eddie Bauer, Alternative Apparel, Mack Weldon, Target, Everlane, Uniqlo, The Gap, and J. Crew. And when they all arrived in the mail, I tried on each shirt and felt the fit. I took careful note of length, waist room, shoulder width, and sleeve length. I also considered the fabric of each shirt and whether it felt thin and cheap vs. well-made. I took price into consideration as well. There is nothing designer here because a basic t-shirt shouldn’t break the bank.
What I was looking for: narrower shoulders, tighter arm holes, more room in the hips, soft, slinky cotton (but not so slinky it’s clingy), and a soft fabric that isn’t too thin or transparent (because, hey, bras are a thing). Medium length. Solid ribbed crew neck. Well-constructed.
Also to note, all the shirts I tried on were a men’s size small.
Here is my personal rating/review of 8 men’s t-shirts (for women), from worst to best:
*Note - if you are a man reading this, I hope you find this info helpful in choosing a shirt to fit your body type too. I’m going to provide notes on dimensions, so if you happen to be short, or prefer shirts with larger arm holes, you can gather that info here.
Alright! Let’s do this!
Review: This one felt the most “manly” and unrefined of all the shirts. It’s big and wide with large arm holes. Fabric is thick and starchy. Shoulders are wide. Not slinky-feeling at all. Feels cheap and heavy-duty at the same time.
Sleeves: Large arm hole, Long sleeves
7. J. Crew
Review: The worst part about this one is that the shoulders are extremely wide and the seams stick up in a way that makes the shirt appear unfinished (not to mention it gave it that “wire hanger” look). Overall, I found this shirt to be awkward and boxy, though the cotton was soft and had a nice feel. This shirt would probably be best for a short, muscular man with broad shoulders (makes sense why this is Matt D'Avella’s go-to tee).
Sleeves: Large arm hole, Medium-length sleeves
Price: $18.99 for a 3-pack
Review: This is the only shirt I tried that came in a value pack and I gave it a chance because it said “Premium.” Fabric was soft and thin but not as see-through as other value pack t-shirts. Still felt like an undershirt to me. And it’s narrow and long - feels like it needs to be tucked in.
Sleeves: Medium arm hole, Shorter sleeves
Review: I had high hopes for this one because Mack’s website does a great job of advertising it as a luxury shirt. They claim, “every detail matters” and it’s slim fit with a softening enzyme wash, recovery collar, and strong ladder stitch. Pima cotton is a higher-grade cotton to boot, and the shirt scored 141 near-perfect reviews. But in person, the cotton feels too thin and slinky to the point that it’s clingy (it even has a slight sheen). I will say that this shirt had the nicest packaging of all the shirts - it was a treat to open. But not a winner for me.
Shoulders: Medium-length (the slinky fabric helps them to not stick out)
Review: Very nice Supima cotton. Definitely a great price. I could be crazy but when I measured, it seemed like this shirt was cut in a very slight V shape, broader in the shoulders and narrower in the hips. So not ideal for most women.
Sleeves: Medium-length and medium-wide
Review: I love Alternative Apparel and so I was excited about this one. Overall, a decent shirt. The cotton was a bit thin, but also comfortable and soft. I especially liked the extra-tailored look of the crew neck and sleeve edges/seams.
Sleeves: Shorter-length and medium-wide
Shoulders: Less wide
Review: Very good fit overall so I decided to model this one myself. The cotton is soft and a bit thicker than the others. However, fabric feels like it might pill after multiple washes.
Sleeves: Shorter-length and narrower
Review: The winner! Softest, most comfortable fabric. Slinky enough, but not too thin or clingy. The slinkiness of the shirt makes the shoulders sit well. And it’s a good price point. I returned all the other shirts from this review and purchased the Everlane crew in several other colors.
Sleeves: Shorter-length and narrowest of all
Shoulders: Less wide
I hope this review was helpful for you in your shopping journey. I will continue to maintain the philosophy that everything you own should make you feel great about yourself, regardless of your body type or style preference.
Please comment below with any feedback, or let me know about your favorite products and brands for women who aren’t girly.
Ciao for now.