Most important criteria in buying a T-shirt

Most important criteria in buying a T-shirt


Juan Gonzalez

I think most everyone I know has a T-shirt story to tell –  a favorite t-shirt and a story to go with it. Even your t-shirt can tell you the one – a very fascinating story of an underdog starting out as underwear and then going on to superstardom as a coveted outer garment – the stuff blockbuster movies are made of.

A T-shirt can adapt itself to any situation, be it a political rally or disco party or as a corporate uniform – the versatility of a t-shirt needs not much validation. An affordable good quality t-shirt is the go-to clothing for a lot of people around the world.

But not all T-shirts are made alike. Some are more equal than the others – How to know these differences – What do you look for when you buy a T-shirt? This post aims to look at these simple but effective factors.

Fabric type

Choosing the T-shirt according to the fabric and the fiber content is number one on my considerations list.

T-shirt fabrics are usually 100% cotton or a blend of cotton and synthetic fibers or 100% Polyester or a mix of synthetic fiber, and cotton and rayon; For thinner cheaper t-shirts a jersey material is used, for thicker t-shirts, a sweatshirt jersey is used; for more drapey and costly t-shirts an interlock fabric is used; Cotton spandex is also used for stretchy t-shirts.

Interlock knit (double-knit fabric) is densely made, durable, and will not curl as a jersey knit t-shirt would. Jersey fabric is thinner and not as durable.

So, How do you know if you have interlock fabric or jersey fabric – Interlock will have Two series of knitted loops per course whereas Knit fabric would have only one series of loops. Interlock fabric will look more or less the same on the face and back of the fabric whereas jersey fabric will look different on the face and back if you look carefully.

Printed Designs

The designs printed on the t-shirt can sometimes take precedence over even the fabric type or anything else. The artworks, cool texts, quotes, etc on the t-shirt fronts are usually what attracts you to one in the first place and all other considerations can pale and fade away if you have fallen in love with one. The above t-shirt is worth its weight in gold for my husband.   

Size & Fit

I once read of a trend among women to go and shop in the young teen section – apparently, those impossibly small clothes made them look fitter or whatever. Size and fit are important to some more than others. If you belong to the latter category, just select one in the same size as the one that you wear all year around.

Otherwise, you can go to the shop and try them one by one. But this becomes a problem when you are buying online. The size will vary between brands. The best thing is to take a measuring tape and measure your shoulder width and chest size and then double-check the measuring chart given for each brand. 

Another thing to note is that cotton shrinks so a t-shirt with more of cotton fibers will need a larger size to account for future shrinkage.

When measuring the chest, measure around the fullest part of the chest under armpits keeping the tape flat across the back.

General T-shirt sizes for men.

Chest 76/79 cms ( 30 -31 inch)  – XS

Chest 80/88 cms ( 32 -34 inch)  – S ( same as a 36″ shirt)

Chest 89/97 cms ( 35-38 inch)  – M ( same as a 38″ shirt)

Chest 98/106 cms ( 39- 42 inch)  – L ( same as a 40″ shirt)

Chest 107/115 cms ( 42- 45 inch)  – XL ( same as a 42″ shirt)

Chest 116/124 cms ( 46-49 inch)  – XXL ( same as a 44″ shirt)

Chest 125/133 cms ( 49 – 52inch)  – XXXL ( same as a 46″ shirt)

Women’s T-shirt sizes

Chest 30 -32 inch  – XS

Chest 34 -36 inch  – S

Chest 38 -40 inch  – M

Chest 42 -44 inch  – L

Chest 46 -48 inch  – XL

Chest 50 -52 inch  – XXL

Chest 54 -56 inch  – XXXL


I am talking about the purpose of you wearing a particular t-shirt – though even before this, the occasion is a consideration. You will not usually be wearing t-shirts to formal events. But where you are wearing one, the type of occasion matters. A trip to the gym or playing a game of football or a night out with your friends – all need different considerations.

For sports, you need t-shirts that will disperse perspiration and dry quickly. A 100% Polyester with these properties is used for Football Jersey t-shirts. For relaxing in your home this may be uncomfortable – you will be more comfortable in a t-shirt made of natural fibers. For winter outings you need a long-sleeved t-shirt or even one with a hoodie or even may layer more than one t-shirt. 


03 May

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