The T-shirt had humble beginnings. It started as the standard-issue undershirt of US soldiers, buried beneath the military overshirt. Then, after WWI veterans returned from abroad, the tee moved outward, being worn not as undershirt, but as a garment independent of an outer layer. By the ’50s, the white tee had become mainstream and iconic: think Henry Winkler or Marlon Brando.

The classic endures today. Our picks preserve the original T-shaped design, with several updates agreeable to modern sensibilities. Comfort is key; pre-washing and shrinking ensure it. Small luxuries include hand-cut patterns and hand-sewn stitches, and remember: simplicity is still striking — no overshirt necessary.

Additional contribution by John Zientek.

Natural Pima Crew Tee by Buck Mason $28

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Original Hemp Tee by Jungmaven $35

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Garment-Dyed T-Shirt by J.Crew $45

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Cotton-Jersey T-Shirt by Reigning Champ $50

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Everyday Tee by Folk $55

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Crew Neck T-Shirt by James Perse $55

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Standard Short Sleeve Tee by Alex Mill $55

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Crew Neck Jersey Tee by RRL $65

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Niels Boucle Tee by Norse Projects $69

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Mercer T-Shirt by John Elliot $80

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