The Most Sought-After Streetwear T-Shirt Brands For 2023
Big logos, big graphics, big looks. These are the labels producing the best and most-hyped tees right now.
Emerging from subcultures like skateboarding, hip hop, punk and surfing, ‘streetwear’ is a messy umbrella term that means lots of things to lots of people. But one thing most of us agree on: streetwear T-shirts are the punchy, poppy heart that brings every drip-worthy outfit together.
Streetwear turned the T-shirt from a humble background staple into the main event of your look. Featuring bold prints, patterns, colours and fits, the best streetwear T-shirts bring pop culture to everyday fashion with street art, music, film and more all emblazoned across the chests and backs of the designs.
It also turned the labels themselves into mobile marketing departments: T-shirts with proud logos and slogans look like wearable billboards, but it’s also a way for a brand’s fans to show their love.
Today, all the world’s best streetwear labels produce tees in this vein. All you have to do is work out which ones are for you. Below, you’ll find what you need to look for from the brands who do it best.
What makes a great streetwear T-shirt
How it fits
With its roots in skatewear, hip hop and other subcultures, the default size for streetwear T-shirts is oversized. Go big or go home. That means dropped shoulder seams and greater width across the chest and body.
The length isn’t usually as exaggerated and you should still have a snug fit at the neckline. Sleeve-length varies, but it should hit mid-bicep at the very least.
Branding and logos
Ever since the 80s, streetwear has been about repping the brands you love as loudly and proudly as possible.
Trailblazing labels like Stussy and Supreme turned logos and branding into a fashion statement and the best streetwear T-shirt brands all produce designs with their own iconic logos splashed across the front.
As well as logos and branding, streetwear T-shirts brought something else to fashion: pop culture. Everything from graffiti art and cartoonish illustrations to photography and music references, streetwear reps the subcultures from which it emerged with large prints and slogans on the front and backs of its tees, sweatshirts and hoodies.
Work out what you like and you’ll find a way to work it into your streetwear fits.
Colours and patterns
Streetwear is about statement dressing, so as well as shouty logos and prominent graphics, look for bold designs, colours and patterns.
Primary and neon colours are common, alongside statement black or white tees, while patterns like wavy tie-dye and camo designs will also help you stand out (ironically, in the case of the latter).
Cotton and cotton-jersey are the standard fabrics for streetwear T-shirts. They carry prints and slogans well, they’re comfortable and, when rendered in heavyweight cotton, they drape beautifully with streetwear’s oversized fits.
Some luxury brands will also be at pains to tell you where they source their cotton from and how it’s put together.
The best streetwear T-shirts for 2023
Often cited as the daddy of streetwear brands, founded in 1984, Stussy is the creation of former surfboard manufacturer Shawn Stussy.
Many of the hallmarks of streetwear – big logos, graffiti-style lettering, neon colours – originated here and the label was quickly taken to heart by subcultures beyond surfwear, such as hip-hop and skateboarding.
Like all the best streetwear T-shirts that took inspiration from Stussy, the label’s current collection sticks to the formula: huge logos, wild graphics, oversized fits and comfortable, lived-in construction that will last for years.
Founded by Brendon Babenzien, former Creative Director at Supreme and current Creative Director at J.Crew, Noah certainly has good genes when it comes to streetwear. Fortunately, it also has the clothing.
Consciously and imaginatively designed with references that span skate, surf and music culture, Noah is something of a thinking man’s streetwear label.
Its T-shirts are colourful and just bold enough, with big branding and eye-catching illustrations – but ones that don’t overpower the design (or your look).
This British streetwear label started life as a college project as one of the brand’s founders looked to sell his artworks by screen printing them on T-shirts.
Fast forward a decade and the label is still producing luxury streetwear tees, meticulously made and still boasting bold graphics, big branding and oversized fits.
Want a tee with a great white shark on the front? Of course you do.
It began life as a sneaker brand, whose design ethos brought together Scandinavian and Japanese minimalism. But the success of Axel Arigato over the past decade has seen it grow into a fully fledged streetwear and lifestyle brand.
In keeping with the label’s roots, its streetwear T-shirts are designed with a little more restraint than some on this list, but you’ll still find impactful logos, eye-catching graphics and soft organic cotton that already feels like it’s been washed 50 times.
A Bathing Ape (BAPE)
It’s turning 30 but iconic Japanese streetwear label Bape shows no signs of growing up. Its camo prints, pop culture references and the titular moody primate on the logo are still very much present – both in the brand’s collections and wider streetwear culture.
Collabs and cross-branding remain a cornerstone of the brand, too, with everyone from NFL teams to Hello Kitty getting a look in on the tees.
Aime Leon Dore
Nostalgic NYC brand Aime Leon Dore finds its own take on streetwear by mixing in preppy staples alongside throwback urban and sportswear references. The overall effect is more tailored than a lot of other streetwear brands, but ALD’s designs maintain many of the hallmarks of the best streetwear T-shirts.
There are prominent logos (all the better for being spotted on the street and the ‘Gram), plus illustrated graphics, sporty references and bold colours. There are also rugby shirts, polos and a pleasingly refined vibe to the collection, too.
Fear of God
Under the direction of designer Jerry Lorenzo, Fear of God has become one of the most sought-after luxury streetwear brands in the world. With inspiration coming from high fashion, as well as streetwear and military garments, the label seamlessly mixes grunge with high-end tailoring.
Like the rest of the label’s output, its tees are more minimally designed than a lot of brands on this list. Stripped back colours, sumptuous cottons and generous fits are all part of the DNA but big logos and slogans aren’t out of the question.
Check out its Essentials sub-brand for more affordable options.
Founded by American footwear and clothing designer Ronnie Fieg, Kith is something like the archetypal modern lifestyle brand.
It started as a small boutique in New York stocking curated pieces from Fieg’s favourite labels. Now, it’s a streetwear giant, with its own in-house collection and even its own restaurant.
As well as its own take on grungy streetwear, it also stocks lots of other brands, making it a good destination to help refine your taste.
Founded by celebrated Japanese designer Jun Takahashi, Undercover makes some of the most hyped graphic T-shirts in the world.
Influenced by everything from punk and cinema to Japanese streetwear culture, its tees include stills from Hitchcock movies, hand-drawn illustrations and nods to bands like Pink Floyd.
Grail-friendly collabs with the likes of Nike and Supreme keep the hype at fever pitch.
Created by a collective of artists and designers, Brain Dead produces some of the best streetwear T-shirts at slightly more economical price points.
With a focus on post-punk culture, comic book art and skate culture, its tees are visually arresting, with wild graphics, slogans and logos.
The collection is huge and the creative collabs keep coming too, from The North Face to Jeff Goldblum.
Idiosyncratic skatewear brand Palace has become one of the world’s most hyped streetwear brands. Get its distinctive triangular logos somewhere on your outfit and you’ll get quiet nods of approval in virtually any city in the world.
It does simple white or grey marl tees but Palace’s best streetwear T-shirts tend to be louder: think psychedelic graphics, bold colours or massive photos of Whitney Houston.
Does a fast-fashion retailer qualify as streetwear? It does when you look at Uniqlo’s approach to branded tees. Its rolling catalogue of partnerships brings in everything from fine art to cult cartoons, nerdy sci-fi to big slogans.
It means you can usually buy a T-shirt that proudly displays your cultural tastes, which is sort of what streetwear is all about.
Bold, comfortable and easily the most affordable on this list, Uniqlo’s tees are always a good idea.
One of the originators of streetwear T-shirts as a form of collectible and luxury fashion, Supreme led where many of the brands on this list followed.
Its tees feature statement photography, ironic slogans, graphic prints and patterns, plus every other kind of motif you associate with streetwear.
The label, founded as a skate shop in 1994, turned into one of the most hyped labels in the world and one of the pioneers of drop culture. It’s also done more collabs than we can count.
Get your hands on the right tee and as well as turning heads, your chance of making money on resale sites is extremely high.
Get the badge in. Which of course refers to the way that fans of cult Italian luxury label Stone Island will twist and contort their bodies to make sure the brand’s distinctive patch is in every fit pic.
If streetwear is all about proud and prominent branding, Stone Island is one of the originators.
Whether you associate it with football casuals, or luxe Italian streetwear, if you’re wearing Stoney, everyone notices.
Whether you’re brandishing the famous three stripes or Adidas’ iconic trefoil logo, the sportswear giant is one of the few in its category that successfully crosses over from performance wear to must-have fashion. (Partnerships with the likes of Gucci and Stella McCartney will attest to that.)
To nail the streetwear vibe with the brand’s T-shirts, look for big branding, bold colours and looser fits over bicep-hugging performance tops.
For some of the loudest and most sought-after streetwear T-shirts, check out the brand founded by the guy Virgil Abloh considered a colleague. Heron Preston’s multi-hyphenate background – creative director, DJ, artist, writer – feeds directly into his eponymous brand’s youth culture-focused designs.
Its oversized tees feature a mix of graphics, photography branding and appeal directly to the generation brought up on social media.
One of the hype labels of the last few years, even though it’s been around since the 80s, Kapital is based in Kojima, Japan. There it produces its own distinctive take on classic Americana.
Using age-old techniques and giving each piece a handcrafted feel, the brand’s style is textural, outdoorsy and hippy.
Its T-shirts are very much in this vein with tie-dye, 70s-style logos and slogans and dropped-shoulder seams that make them drape and stand out from other oversized fits.
Created by skateboarder Keith Hufnagel, Huf reflects its founder’s experience growing up in the gritty New York skate scene before moving to the west coast.
Now based in Los Angeles, the brand has retained its identity as an authentic (and affordable) skate brand, even as it’s become popular with a much wider crowd.
A large range of colourful tees include lots of big and bold graphics, plus the occasional collab with brands as diverse as Goodyear and Marvel.
After making its debut in 2014, luxury streetwear collective Vetements has become known for its combination of serious construction and playful design.
As streetwear T-shirts go, the aesthetic swings from grungy anarchist to perky colour-pops with lots of irony-laden slogans to broadcast on your chest.
The brainchild of British designer Samuel Ross, A-Cold-Wall* is a luxury streetwear brand on the rise.
Renowned for its industrial and futuristic take on menswear (plus a dedicated approach to materials), its T-shirts usually come oversized with cool, distressed graphics and relatively sober branding.
The brand’s prices are very much at the luxury end but to sample its designs for less, look for collabs with the likes of Converse.
Workwear and streetwear have merged in recent years, with brands like Carhartt becoming a badge of honour for people who want to be seen wearing practical, durable clothing (even if their actual job is spending eight hours a day behind a laptop screen).
As well as Carhartt’s simple and sturdy work tees, look to its trendy sub-brand Carhartt WIP for a huge range of bolder options, including streetwear T-shirts with big branding and colourful graphics.
The label also does a fine line of knitted polos and rugby shirts.