Custom Shirts, Shirt Printing

The Top 10 Best Shirts of 2022

Our clients' choices for their garments and why they chose them

Written by

Shirt Circle

Updated for 2022. 

Quality is subjective, the most popular list does not address quality, rather it objectively shows the shirts our clients have chosen most in 2022. What is better or best for your project depends heavily on how your art pairs with your choice of garment and print technology you choose; screen printing, DTG, digital transfer, etc. Below the most popular list, we’ve broken out some subjective sub-categories like best Wash Wear, Low Cost, etc.

If you’re looking for more in-depth info on shirt fabric type, we discuss the differences between them in detail here: Very Very Soft Prints

Most Popular Tees Overall

The Top 10 Best Shirts of 2022
Since American Apparel changed the shape and feel of the shirt in the early 2000s, 4.3 ounce ring spun combed cotton jersey and a fashion fit have been consistently the most popular style tee with our clients. That’s likely why these make up the vast majority of what we print on, and although they’re made in different factories and are different brand names, these shirts are interchangeable in my mind
(with one notable addition to this years list).

Cost – same.
Fit – same.
Wash and wear – same.
Printability – same.
Tear out tags – yes.
If you want a tee at a competitive price, that’s a cut above most in quality, these are all great options.
*The 3413 and 6010 are tri-blend fabric which are notably softer out of the box, but will pill after 7-10 wash cycles.  
New comer to the list, the 6th most popular choice - The AS Colour 5001 Staple tee - is a soft feeling heavy weight, regular fit tee that we’ve seen gaining ground on the historically trendy American Apparel shape / fabric weight. While younger audiences are leaning away from thin fabric / fitted silhouettes, this is not quite that, but a step or two in that direction.  Heavy fabric with a relaxed fit is gaining traction. Happy to see it make our most popular list this year.

Personal Favorite That Didn't Make the Most Popular List

AS Colour
Adjacent to the 5001 style above but a slightly lighter weight, a tear away tag, and a lower cost. Very nice tee I expect to see gain in popularity in 2023.

Lower Cost Versions of the Most Popular Tees

The Top 10 Best Shirts of 2022
On the surface the 202 (4.5 ounce 100% ringspun USA cotton) is nearly identical to our #1 and #2 most popular tees, however at 40% less you may see some quality glitches here and there, and a slightly less favorable wash and wear result. But if you want a nice tee at a great price this is a great option.
The 241 can stand up to any tri blend with respect to softness. Very soft tee at nearly 65% less is a deal worth considering. My thoughts - very thin tee which make it tricky to print when dealing with light inks on dark fabric.  If you want a bright looking / vibrantly colored print on dark, probably not the best fit here.  But if you want to lean into a vintage look, this shirt should be considered.

Wash and Wear Winner

The Top 10 Best Shirts of 2022

On whole this shirt shrinks slightly in the first wash cycle, but remains stable and new looking for what seems like forever after that. The only reason I retire one of these tees is if its stained by something that just wont come out.

Low Cost Winner


While the 64000 did have some supply issues in the thick of the ‘22 season, this tee is a great value that when our customers are  on a budget, but want a soft tee they chose this time and time again. It landed at #8 on our most popular list in 2022.

Softest Tee

White Shirt soft
I’ve intentionally left “softest tee” options off of this list. All the shirts on the list are soft. I’ve done this because soft to the touch is subjective and it’s enough of a conversation to be an article by itself. Example: I think the AS Color 5001 is softer than the Canvas 3413. My office-mate Jason disagrees. That in mind, you cannot go wrong with any of these if you want a soft tee.
For more of an in-depth discussion on Soft Tees, we discuss it here.
When you’ve chosen the shirt you like or if you’re still unsure what the best option for your project is, email us at for a quote.
The Top 10 Best Shirts of 2022
Editors note: This article was originally published in September 2019 and has been updated to reflect our latest recommendations.