What to Look for When Buying T-Shirts

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T-shirts are perhaps one of the most popular clothing items for men, women and kids alike. The reason for their popularity could be attributed to their versatility and durability. T-shirts can be used as undergarments or worn as fashionable outerwear.

Buying t-shirts can be a daunting process as the price and quality of the garments may vary greatly. So, what should you look for when buying t-shirts? Read on to find out.


When buying a t-shirt, select one that will keep its shape after being washed. There is nothing more frustrating than finding a t-shirt has become shorter or wider only after one wash. The determining factor is the structure of the knit. T- shirts with firm, even, close knitting are usually not only durable but also able to withstand multiple washes. Inspecting the knit structure closely should show you tiny loops that are plump and round, not stretched and pulled into long thin shapes.

Fiber Content

100% cotton t-shirts are perfect for hot summer days; however you may want to explore t-shirts made with different blend levels depending on your specific needs. While cotton provides absorbency and comfort, the addition of other synthetic materials, such as polyester, can enhance durability and decrease shrinkage. Addition of polyester fibers can also add wrinkle resistance to garments and allows them to dry more quickly than all cotton garments.

Shrink Resistance

If left unfinished, all cotton t-shirts may shrink up to five percent which is more than a size change. Whenever possible, try to buy pre-shrunk cotton t-shirts or cotton-polyester-blend t-shirts to maintain proper size after washing. Whenever in doubt, read the information given on labels to get information about shrink resistance of the garments.

Garment Cut

The fit of a t-shirt depends almost entirely on the cut. When buying a t-shirt make sure it is cut with the grain and the vertical loops are at right angles to the lower edge rather than slanted. The side seams should be in the right position rather than twisted to the front or back. An improperly cut t-shirt will not only look unstylish but will also be uncomfortable.

Some t-shirts are made without side seams as they are cut from circular knit tubes. While buying such shirts, you should check for evenness of “grain” and a straight instead of a twisted garment body. The sleeves should also not appear to be twisted in the armhole and must of sufficient size.

Garment Construction

Just like the garment cut, the stitching is equally important. When buying t-shirts make sure the stitches are smooth, even and not broken. Neckband and sleeve edge stitching should be smooth and even and not appear to be stretched.


The neckband should be a firm enough knit to stretch over the head, then return to shape. A firm knit ribbing is often used. A nylon blend ribbing gives extra reinforcement.

Style/Decorative Effects

There are countless varieties of t-shirts available to choose from. The color, style, transfers or print pictures and embellishments you choose depend on your personal choice. However, the choice of color, necklines, hem-length, sleeve length and cut should complement your body. Choose t-shirt styles that enhance your best features.

write by Leander

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