15 High-Quality T-Shirt Brands For Men Shopping On A Budget
The affordable T-shirt brands where you don't have to compromise on quality or budget.
As much as the fashion world goes through trend cycles, there are some staples that are timeless and trend-proof – none more so than the simple T-shirt. Every guy needs a solid rotation of tees, but there’s often a trade-off to be made when you’re adding to your collection, especially when you’re shopping on a budget.
With everyday basics, it’s tempting to go for the cheapest option you can find. Dropping a sizeable chunk of our disposable income on a luxury T-shirt is a hard sell when it’s just another a cotton crew neck. Trouble is, you often get what you pay for. Cheap tees can be thin and shapeless, they can wash badly and they’ll often lose their colour.
But there are labels out there that produce good-quality, inexpensive tees that you can buy in bulk. So to save you time, hassle and money we’re going to explain how to find the best affordable T-shirt brands, with no compromise on quality or budget.
What to expect from budget T-shirt brands
Whatever your budget or taste, the best T-shirts are the ones that fit well, feel great and go the distance. When you pay a lot for one, you’re usually spending on the quality of the material, where it was made or just hype branding and marketing.
So when you’re shopping for a budget tee, those factors aren’t always guaranteed. You’re unlikely to source top-of-the-line Pima cotton, for example, or splash luxury brand names across your chest. The shelf-life of a tee is more complicated, because it depends a lot on how you look after it, whatever the price.
You can still get great value, though. A growing number of premium basics brands are mastering well-cut T-shirts in flattering fits, a spectrum of colours and a variety of cloths, including heavyweight cotton or functional performance fabrics. You’ll also find details like Henley-style buttons, chest pockets, curved hems or textured fabrics at lower price points these days.
How to save money when buying T-shirts
Whether you’re scouring the web for stylish white sneakers or researching USA-made denim, good style at good prices usually comes down to being an informed shopper. To find the best affordable T-shirt brands, you need to know which corners of the high street to look at, which brand names are stocked on Amazon or other discounted retailers.
You’ll save money on tees by buying bundles or mix-and-match packets, which you can usually sort by colour, style or some combination of the two. Some T-shirt brands even offer subscription services, another way to save if you tend to wear tees frequently (all of us, then).
When shopping a new brand, you might find that introductory offers (for example, savings when signing up for an email newsletter) are up for grabs.
Another way to save money on T-shirts is to look after the ones you have. Once you’ve purchased your new tee, the real work begins. Slavishly follow all the washing instructions, and maintain a T-shirt rotation, to get the most wear out of your tee of choice – thereby saving some precious coin in the long run.
The best budget T-shirt brands for men
If you’re looking for quality on a budget, no matter the garment, it’s always wise to start with Uniqlo. Whether it’s a trench coat, stretch blazer, selvedge jeans or cotton chinos, the Japanese retailer doesn’t miss.
When it comes to T-shirts, the range spans everything from DRY activewear tees through to premium quality Supima cotton versions to summer-ready AIRISM technology.
They also come in a mind-boggling array of necklines, colourways and cuts, so there’s something for every body shape and dresser. Plus you’ll never find a design over $24.99/£19.90, with many of the basic styles on offer for $9.99/£9.90. Load up.
Even when you’re shopping for T-shirts on a budget, you’re going to find pieces that are worth a few more dollars. Think of it like investing in your future self, all the while opting for a difference you can feel.
ASKET has that notion down to a science, creating a menswear system that allows you to swap pieces in and out with ease (for example, one of its super-soft grey T-shirts wears well with its crisp field jacket).
But about those T-shirts: select from either lightweight or heavyweight options, all made from soft Egyptian cotton in eight easy-to-style colours.
COS makes it easier than ever to find the right T-shirt at the right price. Use the brand’s handy guide to select your preferred style (be it a Relaxed, Regular or Oversized fit) and then sort your way through more than 50 varieties.
We’d recommend keeping an eye out for its multipack of Extra Fine T-shirts. They come in a Regular fit, solid neutral hues and are priced at just $69/£45 for three.
There are more luxe knitted cashmere blends and casually rugged tank tops on offer too, but the Extra Fine variety offers a solid foundation to build from.
You’ve probably come across a (cringeworthy) True Classic ad on social media, but this is more than just a label that knows how to market a T-shirt – the fast-growing American brand also knows how to make them.
When it comes to the most important things in a T-shirt – from the flattering fit to soft, textured fabric and the ability to bundle your tees for added savings – True Classic might just have it all.
You can select from a dizzying array of bundle options, plus styles like pocket tees, V-neck tees and Henleys. You can also buy packs with as many as nine tees at a time, and the fit should suit your chest, shoulders and arms nicely.
Champion is among the original and best men’s T-shirts companies, using its prowess to design workout gear that transcended into the mainstream. It’s an iconic brand with staying power, which now lends itself to quite the extensive T-shirt line.
If you find yourself going through tees frequently every week – be it an athletic tee for a training session, a bold graphic tee for a night out, or a standard crew neck for a relaxing day at home – then finding that mix of quality on a budget is crucial.
Champion has a wealth of options, from T-shirts made from vintage-style 7oz. cotton to stretch poly sport tees to a tried-and-true 4.5oz. cotton version.
There are times when you’re wearing a T-shirt purely with functionality, not style, in mind. Training sessions lend themselves well to a T-shirt in the heat, sure, but gruelling DIY or garage projects also call for a tough, sturdy tee that can take a few punches.
The Carhartt ethos is one of rugged work and craftsmanship, and its hard-wearing T-shirts stand up to most common workwear tasks again and again.
Carhartt also makes performance tees these days, but its heavyweight designs, featuring a roomy cut for ease of movement, come in 10 colours and a range of fits for a sub-$25/£30 price tag.
A T-shirt is the backbone of many a casual outfit, but who says it has to be boring? The minimal menswear masters at Arket offer enough variety of affordable tees to please even the pickiest fashion aficionado, from vibrant blue and lime green to classic Breton striped options.
Add in a range of fits and silhouettes – crew neck/V-neck, short-sleeve/long-sleeve, classic cut/oversized – and the potential for finding your new favourite top increases tenfold.
The best starting point is the brand’s Midweight T-shirt, offered in solid, timeless colourways for $20/£17 a pop.
Wearing a T-shirt doesn’t need to be boring, and the world of basics is so much more vast than just classic black and white designs.
Enter Gap, which offers a range of playful and tasteful options incorporating graphic designs as well as neat colourways and patterns.
Of course, you can still get a helpful three-pack bundle of the retailer’s original T-shirts for a discounted price, but if you want something more vibrant, check out the brand’s fairly-priced organic cotton versions in hues like deep green.
You’ll also find relaxed fits, pocket tees and V-neck options to suit every style preference.
Dickies is another heritage workwear brand – fresh off its 100th anniversary – that gives Carhartt a run for its money if you’re looking for durability and toughness in your tees.
Like Carhratt, Dickies uses incredibly durable, thick cotton in most of its work T-shirts, which also come in a range of job site-ready colours.
The brand also make a cooling T-shirt from moisture-wicking fabric, but the OG Heavyweight Short-Sleeve Pocket T-shirt can stand up to challenging tasks and repeat wear.
Muji was once a hard-to-find, best-kept secret in the fashion world, but that’s not quite the case anymore. It’s easy to buy the brand’s minimal, well-reviewed basics online, and the Japanese retailer also stocks a dizzying array of lifestyle goods for use from morning to night.
Its T-shirts, though, deserve real consideration when shopping on a budget.
Using primarily jersey cotton in a variety of washes and weights (including heavyweight and slub jersey), you’ll find Muji tees in cool, bold colourways that stand out easily on their own. Better still is the fact that some T-shirts retail for not much more than $10/£10.
Count Everlane among the more modern of our picks for the best budget T-shirt brands. The label has a simple philosophy: T-shirts should be straightforward, made from quality material and easy to mix and match.
It falls right in line with Everlane’s Uniform Collection, which gives you the chance to build endless outfits with a few building blocks.
Its selection of tees are made transparently from organic cotton, and you’ve also got the option to bundle three T-shirts for a roughly 30% discount, too. For good measure, there are also Premium and Heavyweight designs, among other styles.
Fruit of the Loom
Fruit of the Loom offers the kind of brand history other T-shirt brands can only dream about. While they might have gotten a bad reputation as the sort of tee you pick up in bundle packs by the cartful, there’s more quality built into Fruit of the Loom T-shirts today (and yes, bundle options are still available).
The brand’s Eversoft fabric is certainly softer than in years past, the colours are richer and last longer, and there are more cuts designed to be worn on their own, aside from the brand’s timeless undershirts.
Don’t sleep on this longtime US label because Jockey can be trusted with the basics. Yes, the brand likely has helped you out with underwear on more than one occasion, but it’s well worth checking out what Jockey can do for your casual everyday wardrobe, too.
For starters, the brand makes a wildly affordable, USA-made tee at a price few other brands can even come close to matching, and it also produces 100% cotton tank tops.
Jockey’s sizing is inclusive and wide-ranging, and you can even buy Jockey T-shirts in bundles up to 12 tees at a time.
Los Angeles Apparel
When you set out to find a new T-shirt, you’ve got your basics in mind: a reliable fit, a colour that suits your style, quality fabric that lasts a long time, and perhaps additional interesting details (like a garment-dyed or textured finish).
To find all of these in a USA-made T-shirt is worth remembering (and worth shopping).
So you might want to bookmark Los Angeles Apparel. There are precious few T-shirts made in the US to this level of quality and these prices, including heavy combed cotton tees, poly-jersey blends and buttery-soft garment-dyed options.
Abercrombie might have been most notorious for its advertising campaigns at one time, but these days, the brand is going back to its roots with hard-wearing garments you can trust.
The company was originally an outdoor outfitter, after all, and while that more likely applies to rugged field coats and parkas, a good set of basics tends to follow.
The label has a great line of simple, subtle and soft T-shirts – like the wear-with-anything Essential Tee – plus vintage-inspired tees with a looser fit in dusty, earthy colours.
These tees come in a full spectrum of colours, and they’re also often discounted.