The Best Black T-Shirts Offer an Instant Hit of Leading-Man Cool

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If the plain white tee is the Pete Sampras of the menswear world—well-rounded, even-mannered, a preeminent champion—then the best black T-shirts for men are Andre Agassi. Black tees are sexier, sleeker, more direct. You wear a white T-shirt because it’s easy and goes with everything; you pull on a black one when you want to feel good. They give off Danny Zuko-y bad boy vibes with a leather jacket, bring an assassin-like precision to a dark suit, and just generally look smart and modern on their own. You’re never underdressed in a black T-shirt, and that’s why it’s important to find the very best black T-shirts for men for your tastes and needs—which, as it happens, is exactly what we’re about to help you do.

The Best Black T-Shirts Shopping Guide

The Best Overall Black T-shirt

Uniqlo U crew neck short-sleeve T-shirt

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Uniqlo U is a menswear cheat code. We’re not quite implying that this tee will give you an unfair advantage over unsuspecting pedestrians and fashion NPCs. (How nefarious!) We’re merely pointing out that it’ll get you where you’re trying to go, but with, like, a significant head start. $20 bucks a pop isn’t multi-pack cheap, but it’s certainly within the repurchase realm. And when you add in the fact that these Christophe Lemaire-designed crewnecks boast all the hallmarks of a counterpart quadruple the price—they’re cut relaxed from a hefty cotton and remain a total standout even in the most basic colors—the already-approachable asking price feels like a steal. 

The Best Value Black T-shirt

Kirkland Signature T-shirt (6-pack)

Kirkland Signature, Costco’s in-house clothing label , has been the subject of many a member’s-only fashion forum, discussed in hushes and whispers, far away from the prying eyes of Google. The consensus? It’s surprisingly good. Though not everything Kirkland puts its, uh, signature on is a hit, its tees are almost always stellar. They’re made from a combed cotton that weighs in at 205GSM (read: blissfully soft and satisfyingly beefy), and they’re cut with a classic, relaxed silhouette that won’t look like you’re aiming for the dead middle between Brando and Sandler. For around $25 for a pack of six, what more can you really ask for?

The Best Blanket-Soft Black T-Shirt

Sunspel classic cotton T-shirt

If hand-feel is your number one criteria, then Sunspel’s signature model is a runaway winner. All of the tees on this list are varying degrees of soft, but this one competes with newborn lambs and kitten bellies in the department. It’s cut from a crisp, luxurious long-staple supima cotton that drapes gracefully across the torso and feels like wearing a cool breeze. In post-pandemic times, it’s the kind of shirt that just looks so comfy strangers will be compelled to come up to you and ask if they can touch it—for better or worse. 

The Best Oversized Black T-Shirt

John Elliott Anti-Expo tee

Usually, calling something “rough around the edges” is a bad thing. But it’s the main selling point of this tee from John Elliott: the sleeves and hem have been left unfinished, lending the shirt a raw and punkish edge. Beyond that mild swerve, all the typical attention to detail and quality that earned Elliott one of our Best New Menswear Designer honors back in ‘16 are still very much present—it’s got a very-right-now oversized fit tailored from a just-right medium weight fabric.

The Best Eco-Friendly Black T-Shirt

Everybody.World short sleeve tubular Trash tee

Feels like everywhere you look these days, brands of all sizes—from the tiniest underground streetwear brands to the oldest European fashion houses—are rushing to develop sustainable practices, often in the form of T-shirts purportedly made from recycled materials. But nobody does ‘em better than the originators: LA’s Everybody.World, who launched their signature Trash tees back in 2017. The brainchild of American Apparel alums Iris Alonzo and Carolina Crespo, the shirts are crafted using the leftover cotton scraps from factory floors, but look and feel like the furthest thing from garbage. Instead, they’re buttery soft and perfectly roomy, the kind of tees you’d want to buy even without the added satisfaction of a clear conscience.

The Best Heavyweight Black T-shirt

3sixteen heavyweight T-shirt (2-pack)

3sixteen’s known for, among many things, tough-as-nails denim. So when the team behind the brand put their heads together to make a tee, they cooked up a beefy, double-patty version. The fabric is a custom-knit cotton jersey that’s dense but surprisingly smooth. You can tell they didn’t skimp on the collar, either, which miraculously keeps its shape through countless laundry cycles. And the cut is a spot-on classic silhouette you can wear true to size or go up/down for a slimmer/slouchier fit. We’ve put these hardy, American-made beauts through the wringer for years—and they still look and fit as great as they did on Day One. It remains one of our favorite heavyweight tees no matter which color you get.

Plus 17 More Black T-Shirts We Love

Lady White Co. Our T-shirt (2-pack)

Lady White Co.’s empire of esoteric knits has garnered the love of the fashion cognoscenti since the brand’s inception in 2015, largely off the strength of its meticulously constructed tees. It starts with cotton from North Carolina which is then processed, knit, cut, and sewn in Los Angeles to a degree that would make any machine operator giddy. They’ve got a fit that’ll flatter anyone, and they only get better with age.

Jungmaven Basic tee

A balanced blend of breathable and strong hemp fibers with ultra-soft cotton makes this Jungmaven T-shirt the perfect breezy option when the weather warms up.

Reigning Champ T-shirt (2-pack)

With a name like that, you’d be disappointed if Reigning Champ didn’t come out of the gate swinging. But true to its name, the brand consistently produces knockout garments with top-notch fabrics and stellar construction. Their flagship T-shirt is a shining example, thanks to the beefy collar and flatlock seams that keep their shape wash after wash.

Comfort Colors short sleeve tee

Comfort Colors’ extra-soft tees are beloved for their, you know, colors. But they’re pretty darn great in black, too.

Everlane premium-weight crew

So rock solid, it comes backed by a year-long warranty.

Buck Mason Field-Spec cotton heavy tee

You might know Buck Mason for its notorious curved hem tee, an apparently groundbreaking moment in the world of T-shirts. But allow us to turn your attention toward their Field-Spec tee. It’s certified Thick™, it’s got a luscious, brushed hand, and it fits like a dream (that is, boxy and juuust the right, ever-so-slightly cropped length).

Alex Mill standard pocket tee in slub cotton

Looking for a black T-shirt that’s not quite so pitch black? Alex Mill’s slubby, texture-rich tees are the way to go. 

Proof 72-hour merino tee

When you need to wear a T-shirt for three days straight without exposing those in your vicinity to rancid B.O., Proof’s signature merino wool version is the one to turn to. A wool T-shirt might sound like a nightmare, but Proof’s is surprisingly silky and not itchy whatsoever—and it naturally regulates your body temperature in the cold and heat, wicks away moisture, and defends against said dastardly odors. Winner winner.

Les Tien mock neck T-shirt

“GQ, help! What do I wear to my poetry reading??” 

Samurai Zero Fabric T-shirt

Samurai’s well-known for its next-level selvedge denim, but that kind of high-level micromanaging translates to the rest of its offering, too. It’s made using cotton that Samurai cultivated, planted, and harvested themselves over several years. Then, it’s bathed in a dye bath made of inky black soybean oil which results in a mesmerizing, mottled dye. If you’re one for extremely over-the-top tees, this is it.

Mooji Mooji oversized crop T-shirt

Did we just put an old-ass vintage tee on this list? No we did not. Mooji Mooji’s made-in-USA tees are artfully faded for a super convincing pre-worn look that would have anyone believe you found a glorious sunfaded tee in the vault of a high-end vintage store.

Merz. B Schwanen 2-Thread heavy weight T-shirt

If you were one of the fans of The Bear desperately seeking an ID on Carmy’s T-shirt, this one’s for you. No, he never wore a black T-shirt on the show, but he did wear a white version of this Merz. B Schwanen option, made using rare loopwheel knitting machines that imbue the fabric with an unparalleled density-to-softness ratio. All together now: yes, chef! 

John Smedley Lorca slim-fit Sea Island cotton T-shirt

What happens when you take the infinite wisdom of a master knitter and apply it to a T-shirt? Take a wild guess. (Answer: you end up on our list of best T-shirts).

Velva Sheen cotton-jersey T-shirts (2-pack)

Cut boxy through the body with shorter, bicep-popping sleeves—the way guys like Brando used to wear ‘em.

Dickies short sleeve heavyweight crew neck pocket tee

We spend a lot of time around here praising Dickies’s hard-wearing work pants, and not nearly enough celebrating their equally tough, affordable tees. As you’d expect, they’re burly and more structured than the average T-shirt. And with that relaxed fit, they’re a perfect companion to a pair of wide-leg pants.

Handvaerk pocket T-shirt

If we told you this fabric was made from space-age nano silk, you’d totally believe it. But no! This luxe tee uses nothing but 100% Peruvian Pima cotton that’s softer than you’re prepared for. That unbelievably smooth feel makes it a joy to wear as an undershirt, but it fits so well you’ll want to wear it all by itself.

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