Custom Shirts

The Top 10 Best Shirts of 2021

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

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Top 10 T-shirts of 2019

Updated for 2021. 

Here are the shirts our clients have chosen the most over the last 12 months.

We can’t really say any of them are better than the others on this list because the custom needs of each of our clients are subjective. What is better or best for you depends heavily on the priorities of your project. For that reason, we’ve broken down the choices into sub-categories like Most Popular Overall, 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 2021

Personal favorites of this category

The Top 10 Best Shirts of 2021
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 has become synonymous with quality.  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.
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-blends which tend to be a bit softer out of the box, but pill after 7-10 wash cycles.

Wash Wear Winner

The Top 10 Best Shirts of 2021

I’ve only recently discovered this soft, lightweight, relaxed fitting tee.  Prior to finding this unicorn I thought those qualities were mutually exclusive in a tee.  I bought one months ago and wear it regularly,  and its done very well in the wash.  I believe its the unique tri-blend jersey of 57% cotton, 38% polyester and 5% spandex.  No, it doesn’t wear like a pair of leggings, its actually very light and loose.  The spandex does not in the foreground at all.  It’s merely helping the garment maintain its shape in the wash.  Great tee for being active or hot weather.

Low Cost Winner

The Top 10 Best Shirts of 2021

Low cost tees have traditionally been made of an unrefined (carded open end) jersey which is not the luxe, soft, lightweight tee that’s been popular for so long.   This tee stands out in the low cost category because its not such an unrefined jersey, and it’s on trend with a relaxed, boxy fit.  Cost is at the top end of this low end category, but with tear out tags, the nicer fabric, and the on trend fit it’s a winning choice for start up streetwear brands and the like.

Lower Cost Versions of the Most Popular Tees

The Top 10 Best Shirts of 2021
The Cotton Heritage M1045 wash tested better than the Bella Canvas 3001 and cost is 20% less on average.
Gildan’s 64000 soft style tee is another good lower cost fashion soft tee. Cost is only slightly more than the Cotton Heritage M1045.

Softest Tee

I’ve intentionally left “softest tee” options off of this list. All the shirts on the list are soft with the exception of the low cost winner. 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. All that in mind, you cannot go wrong with any of these if you want a soft tee.
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 [email protected] for a quote.
The Top 10 Best Shirts of 2021
Editors note: This article was originally published in September 2019 and has been updated to reflect our latest recommendations.