The Luxury T-Shirt Brands That Will Upgrade Your Everyday Wardrobe
Great fit, superior fabrics and brand cachet - these are the labels crafting the most sought-after tees today.
On the surface, there doesn’t appear to be much to designing a T-shirt, but as anyone who has ever had a favourite tee will testify, there’s something uniquely special about the great ones. A balance of cut, fabric and creative design, together with a sprinkling of brand equity, are the ingredients of a great T-shirt.
What started out as a garment of pure utility nearly two centuries ago has evolved to become a barometer of personal taste, wealth and cultural clout, as well as a metaphorical megaphone for projecting one’s persona.
From slogans to graphic prints to logo heavy, without forgetting the simple plain ol’ tee, there isn’t a wardrobe in the world that doesn’t have one.
The modern T-shirt has also become the gateway into luxury – a relatively affordable entry point at which to dive into more expensive designer goods. Some T-shirt brands define luxury by the fabrics they use, while others use design and cultural hype as their tickets to high demand.
Either way, below you’ll find the high-end brands doing solid work in the premium T-shirt space right now…
Luca Faloni was founded on the philosophy of slow fashion; creating designs that will never fall out of style. The Italian brand offers a permanent collection of wardrobe staples in premium quality materials and a minimal palette, allowing them to be mixed and matched on a daily basis with very little thought.
The T-shirt falls directly in this remit, with Faloni offering up two exceptional styles that are perfectly suited for hot Mediterranean climes: an exceptionally soft silk-cotton blend design and a lightweight linen jersey version.
Both come in six versatile colourways, cut in a slim, tailored fit with a crew neckline that allows them to be dressed up or down for any warm-weather occasion.
Hamilton and Hare
If you’re not a fan of the T-shirt as a fashion statement, then there’s a small but perfectly formed outfit based on London’s Chiltern Street that you should check out.
Hamilton and Hare started out making luxury underwear and has since expanded its range, applying its talent to a number of high-end wardrobe staples, of which T-shirts take centre stage.
Super soft and constructed from various weights of BCI (Better Cotton Initiative) cotton, Hamilton and Hare’s tees are more than just ‘essentials’ or ‘everyday basics’. They’re also blessed with a special treatment that has been shown to extend the garment’s life by 25%.
The Resort Co
This luxury resortwear label creates everything you need for a stylish capsule wardrobe on a week’s stay on the Cote d’Azur. Naturally, that includes T-shirts – good ones, too.
Climate control is a particular focus, with cotton-linen crew necks offering lightweight ventilation and lyocell blends that even feel cool to the touch.
For the evenings, it has knitted tees that will work with anything from shorts to tailoring.
Tailored for Mediterranean lifestyles, Aurelien fuses traditional menswear shapes with modern ideas of luxury.
Its T-shirts are decidedly classic, with only crew-neck styles on offer, but they’re rendered in some of the finest fabrics sourced from across the globe, including 100% linen, Egyptian cotton and terry towelling.
Being minimalists at heart, the only bit of detailing you’ll come across is the odd well-placed chest pocket, while the palette spans summer-ready pastel shades through to timeless, versatile neutrals.
Having made its name making undergarments since 2016, it was only a matter of time before CDLP would start causing a stir in the T-shirt market. The Swedish label’s aesthetic is devoid of branding and very minimal, focused on a tight colour palette that is worked into an innovative array of fabrications such as pima cotton and lyocell.
These are tees for guys who expect the greatest level of style and comfort.
Lover of minimalism and all shades of grey, Los Angeles native James Perse has been producing a truly excellent collection of luxury tees since he launched his eponymous brand in 1994.
Perse’s tees are not flamboyant or emblazoned with graphics or logos – instead he produces classic plain T-shirts constructed from myriad fabrics, such as his ‘Elevated Lotus Jersey’ sourced from Japan.
These are elevated essentials if ever we saw them.
The designer’s designer, Raf Simons seems to have the Midas touch wherever he goes and never fails to create a buzz with his collections.
For 2023, his tees are mostly black with an abundance of gothic/thrash metal/rock ‘n’ roll influences in the graphic treatments and prints, all of which will add a dark edginess to your streetwear looks.
Swedish brand Acne Studios rarely sticks to the rule book, taking classic menswear silhouettes and giving them its own inimitable avant-garde twist. But it does ‘normal’ too – its T-shirts are a great case in point, with simple plain tees in a variety of pastel tones and cuts, constructed in soft organic cotton and with minimal logo detailing.
Acne also produce a number of louder options, featuring the label’s trademark cool graphic prints.
Despite the shock passing of creative polymath Virgil Abloh, Off-White – the luxury streetwear brand he founded – is still one of the most innovative labels in the space, with its iconic cross logo turning up in the coolest of places.
As ever, Off-White delivers bold graphics, sly logo tweaks and slogan-heavy designs, perfect to add to wardrobes that lean into a high-end streetwear aesthetic.
You can’t talk about iconic contemporary T-shirts without mentioning Palm Angels, the LA-based brand that is instantly recognisable for its broken teddy motif.
From a spray can over-logo design to the aforementioned decapitated bear via a Warholian take on a banana and numerous logo styles, there’s plenty for T-shirt heads to get excited about.
When you’re a vertically integrated fashion giant like Zegna, you’ve got a world of incredible cloths at your fingertips. Which is why the Italian brand’s T-shirts are quite unlike any others.
From high-performance wool to the label’s excellent Techmerino via the super-fine (and super expensive) 12 micron wool tees (finer than Vicuna and cashmere), as well as the occasional cotton and cashmere blends, Zegna’s tee collection represents the very pinnacle of luxury fabrics.
Founded by Alexandre Mattuissi in 2011, AMI has become an ever dependable destination for super-slick, minimal menswear. The Parisian brand is known for subverting traditional elements of tailoring with cropped trouser lengths and fluid jacket silhouettes, while blending in a sophisticated take on streetwear, which is where the label’s tees come in.
Adorned with the now instantly recognisable ‘A’ logo, AMI’s relaxed-fit tees are cut from mid-weight cotton, while the subtle yet noticeable logo treatment adds a touch of fashion cachet.
There’s only one reason why you would buy a Gucci T-shirt, and that is to be seen in it. Creative Director Alessandro Michele’s maximalist creations are not designed to be hidden beneath a jumper – with vibrant colours and dramatic prints, Gucci’s tees are meant to be seen and heard.
Logomania isn’t everyone’s cup of tee but there’s plenty to drink down in the Italian luxury house’s seasonal collections.
The King of Solomeo in Italy, Brunello Cucinelli never does things by halves, using exquisite natural fibres in almost everything he does. Hence his T-shirts rarely disappoint.
Predominantly logo-free and coming in a versatile neutral palette, Cucinelli’s tees are constructed from a soft cotton-jersey fabric with a brilliantly smooth finish that you can wear casually or use to dress down tailoring in that typically Italian way.
There is a seriousness about Saint Laurent that can sometimes spill over into the ridiculous – and in fashion one should never take oneself too seriously. That said, Belgian-born designer Anthony Vaccarello has played into Saint Laurent’s noir-ish aesthetic beautifully with overwhelmingly black tees in slim fits, punctuated by a louche rock ‘n’ roll vibe.
Great to wear as a grungy element with black tailoring or black jeans.
Casablanca made a huge splash a few seasons ago when it hit the market with a stunning array of summer-ready graphic silk shirts, and it has continued the vibe with an array of T-shirts that evoke a cheery, upbeat look.
This season the Parisian brand has produced an array of pastel tees featuring colourful motifs and logo treatments, all in 100% organic cotton. Perfect for injecting some life into a stale wardrobe.
Whatever you think about Balenciaga you can’t deny that it garners attention. Is it all just hype and cheap image subversion? Well, maybe, but people are tripping over themselves to own it.
Whether Creative Director Demna Gvasalia is a genius or fraud is a matter of personal opinion, but either way, he has produced an array of logo-subverting tees that have become essential luxury streetwear fodder.
Although Riccardo Tisci is departing British luxury house Burberry, to be replaced by Daniel Lee, the Italian’s influence has been plain to see.
Tisci has cleverly incorporated the brand’s heritage with a modern approach to streetwear and everyday style, producing a seasonal collection of tees replete with bold graphic treatments and clever subversions of Burberry’s iconic check motif and logo.
Alongside Zegna, Loro Piana is widely regarded as the industry’s premier fabric specialist. So it only follows that the luxury Italian brand’s T-shirts should be constructed from a plethora of fine cloths.
Cashmere, fine merino, heavyweight cotton and silk blends are just some of the fabrications on offer, all designed to make you feel supremely comfortable and stylish (while burning a huge hole in your pocket).
The Row has garnered a dedicated following of staunch minimalist lovers, thanks to its preference for muted tones and pared-back silhouettes, in spite of the brand’s nose-bleed prices.
And yet there is method to the mad money required to own The Row, namely the quality of the fabrics. The T-shirt collection comprises a number of different high-end cotton cloths, such as its knitted ‘Munza’ design, as well as its super-soft cotton jersey options.
Every T-shirt is also made with the brand’s trademark seam running down the centre of the back (IYKYK).
Founded in 1860 by Thomas Hill in Nottingham, England, Sunspel’s proclivity for producing superb T-shirts has never diminished. It’s widely believed that Sunspel was one of the very first producers of the humble tee, so it has bona-fide heritage.
Needless to say, the brand knows what it’s doing – producing a range of different fits in some of the best-quality cotton and cotton blends you’ll find anywhere.
Founded in 1971 by the enigmatic Fred Prysquel, Vilebrequin has become synonymous with vibrant prints, bold geometric patterns and a kaleidoscopic colour palette that’s not for the shy and retiring.
The brand began life in St. Tropez, which must in some part account for its well-heeled international clientele (and why you’re very likely to spot Vilebrequin clothing in the world’s finest resorts). It’s T-shirts, then, are ideal for hot weather, crafted from premium quality 100% cotton and available in a variety of vacation-ready shades like cobalt blue and sunshine yellow, as well as eye-catching prints that reference the French Riviera.
The perfect accompaniment to the brand’s luxury swimwear.
Although the ‘NN’ part of NN07 stands for ‘No Nationality’, this modern label was founded by a group of friends in Denmark in 2007. And it has since developed a cult following thanks to a unique blend of Danish and Japanese menswear aesthetics crafted from stunning natural fabrics.
And fabrications are where the Copenhagen-based brand really shines. Expect heavyweight cotton Tencel blends, super-soft 100% Pima cotton, breathable linen and super-absorbent terry cloth options in a wide range of natural colourways that would instantly upgrade any casual wardrobe.
The designs are just as wide-ranging, with classic pocket tees, slouchy drop-shouldered takes and printed logo options all up for grabs.
Unsure where to start? We’re big fans of the heavyweight modal T-shirts.