10 Best Cool Men’s T-Shirts: Your Buyer’s Guide (2018)

cool mens t shirts


Here’s to hoping that you’ve done at least the bare minimum to keep the bod in peak summertime shape. Because if there’s any time that’s perfect for cool men’s t-shirts, it’s during the summer.

Not that wearing a t-shirt means you’re going to be exposing more flesh. It’s just that wearing a t-shirt is an exercise in minimalism. There was a time when t-shirts were only worn under other shirts. They were sweat catchers, basically. But then fashionable evolution came along and turned the T into a prime time star.

As for the cool factor, some of the shirts in the list easily fit the definition just by the way they look. Others by some of the details. The most important factor, of course, is for you to supply the swerve. Your cool is the coolest.

We’ve picked out the best of 10 different categories. Take note, because there are other color options for each shirt and we’ve noted other options (different brands) for some of the categories.

What are the Best Cool Men’s T-Shirts?

1. Alternative Men’s Cotton Jersey Heritage T-Shirt – $13.40 and up (depending on size/color selected)

alternative mens cotton jersey heritage t shirt


Pros: Cons:
  • Soft Jersey Cotton
  • Garment Dyed
  • Contrasting Hem Stitching
  • Wash Separately — Garment Dyed Products Can Run

This is one of those cool men’s t-shirts that has an it must be his favorite shirt look to it right from the get-go. Alternative describes it as “extra soft for that perfectly worn-in vintage look.” It is 100 percent cotton jersey fabric.

This is a garment dyed t-shirt, which means the shirt was dyed after it was put together (as opposed to the fabric being dyed prior to production). That means that no two shirts are exactly alike.

The shirt features “blind hem” stitching detail throughout most of the shirt, except the sleeve hems and the bottom hem, where the stitch is clearly visible in contrasting white. That’s a great detail.

The crew neck is in the scoop neck style, so it’s more oval and looser than a straight crew neck.

The shirt is shown in “dark blue pigment” and it’s available in several different colors.

For another option in a classic t-shirt that also comes in a whole lotta colors, check out the incredibly popular Carhartt Men’s WorkWear T.

Buy the Alternative Men’s Cotton Jersey Heritage T-Shirt here.

2. Goodthreads Men’s Short Sleeve V-Neck Cotton T-Shirt – $12

goodthreads mens short sleeve v neck cotton t shirt


Pros: Cons:
  • 100 Percent Cotton
  • Available With or Without Pocket
  • Tag Free
  • Some Reviews Suggest Sizing Up

This is a very popular cool men’s t-shirt, with almost 200 reviews and a 4.3 out of 5-star rating average. Goodthreads is an Amazon brand so you’re getting a quality piece at an affordable price.

Shown in classic white, the shirt is available in eight different colors (color options change periodically).

The shirt has the classic ribbed V-neck, so it’s neither too big nor too small. The bottom hem of the shirt is straight so it will work great untucked. Goodthreads says (astutely) that the shirt works very well for layering.

You can get this shirt in all the available colors with a pocket on the left chest. You’ll find that option on the page when you click to make your pick.

Buy the Goodthreads V-Neck here.

3. Fruit of the Loom 6-Pack Men’s Stay Tucked T-Shirt – $13.99

fruit of the loom mens stay tucked 6 pack t shirt

Fruit of the Loom

Pros: Cons:
  • Great Price for 6-Pack
  • 100 Percent Cotton
  • Doesn’t Ride Up
  • Works as Undershirt or Wear Alone
  • Tall Men’s Sizes More Expensive
  • Color T-Shirts More Expensive

A great reason to include this one in a list of cool men’s t-shirts is because of its versatility. You can wear it as an undershirt or you can wear it alone. Part of the reason is because it’s got the classic crew neck.

The shirt is 100 percent cotton and we’re showing it in white. It is available in other colors, including denim, dark blue and navy. But the price does increase for the color t-shirts and size availability is very limited.

The price also jumps significantly — for the white t-shirt — if you want a tall men’s size. However, you might not need the tall men’s size if you’re just trying to make sure the shirt doesn’t come untucked. FotL calls them “stay tucked” shirts that won’t ride up.

Buy the Fruit of the Loom Six-Pack here.

4. Pro Club Heavyweight Crewneck T-Shirt – $8.62 and up (depending on size/color selected)

pro club mens heavyweight crewneck t shirt

Pro Club

Pros: Cons:
  • 6.5 oz. 100 Percent Cotton
  • Pre-shrunk
  • Extraordinary Number of Size Options
  • Some Colors Not 100 Percent Cotton
  • Double Check Pricing

For me, this would be the Holy Grail of cool men’s t-shirts. The reason is because I have always liked the heavier fabric t-shirt: it just feels more like a wear-alone shirt.

The 100 percent cotton in the men’s black shirt (shown in the photo) is a 6.5 ounce cotton. When you talk about the “weight” of cotton, anything over 6 ounces is considered heavyweight. (The standard weight of most t-shirts is 4.5 to 5.3 ounce.) Besides having the feel that heavy cotton gives, the shirt will also stand up over time to more washings.

This shirt, which is pre-shrunk, is available in sizes all the way from small up to 10XL. However, different colors (there are several available colors) may come in 50/50 cotton/poly or other blends. It’s all listed on the product page.

As for pricing, different sizes and different colors vary widely in pricing. For example, my size (XL) in the black shirt is $9.43 while a small is $11.34. The XXXL is around 14 bucks.

Out of more than 210 reviews, this shirt gets a very good 4 out of 5-star rating average. There’s an even heavier weight 100 percent cotton t-shirt available from Pro 5. It’s a 6.7 ounce cotton.

Buy the Pro Club Heavyweight T-Shirt here.

5. Jerzees Men’s Long Sleeve T-Shirt – $5.57 and up (depending on size/color selected)

jerzees mens long sleeve t shirt


Pros: Cons:
  • Moisture Wicking
  • Odor Control
  • Low Price
  • Cotton/Poly Blend

There are times when nothing works better than a long sleeve cool men’s t-shirt. This is a very affordable, very popular version, and it comes in plenty of colors.

Jerzees uses a 50 percent cotton, 50 percent poly blend on this (which might not be for some of you all-cotton purists). That means that you’re going to have virtually no wrinkles when you launder the shirt.

It’s got a “lay flat” collar, which means it doesn’t come too far up the neck. It is, basically, a standard crewneck t-shirt.

As for popularity, the shirt’s got more than 1,360 reviews and a 4.4 out of 5-star rating average. One of the reasons for its popularity could be the fact that the shirt comes in many different colors. It’s even available in two-packs and the sizes go from small up to 3XL.

The shirt is moisture wicking and Jezees says it features odor control capability, too. If you’re interested in a 100 percent cotton long sleeve t-shirt, Champion has one that comes in several different colors.

Buy the Jerzees Long Sleeve T-Shirt here.

6. Lucky Brand Men’s Venice Burnout Notch Neck T-Shirt – $28 and up (depending on size/color selected)

lucky brand mens venice burnout notch neck t shirt

Lucky Brand

Pros: Cons:
  • Broken In Fabric
  • Two Button Notch Neck
  • Wash Separately Instructions from Manufacturer

The notch neck is one of those details that takes a regular crewneck t-shirt and elevates it a bit. In this case, Lucky Brand’s two button notch neck has a really good looking classic fit (not a slim fit) with the tonal stitch.

The fabric is 57 percent poly, 43 percent cotton, so it’s not going to give you problems in the wrinkle arena after washing. However, Lucky does recommend washing separately (i.e., alone or with similar colors) so you do have to take a second before you just chuck the dirties into the washer.

Reviews talk about how soft the fabric is. Lucky calls it their “signature soft-as-hell wash” if that speaks to you. Lucky also says, astutely, that the shirt will work with jeans or chinos. To that we’d add shorts, whether they’re chinos or cargos.

Speaking of reviews, the shirt gets great reviews on both Amazon and Lucky’s website.

The shirt is shown in “port royale” and it’s available in five different colors (color options change periodically).

One more thing from Lucky…about the shirt name. They say the “Venice Burnout Notch Tee evokes true laid-back SoCal style from top to bottom.” They also call the fabric “burnout material.”

Buy the Lucky Brand Notch Neck T-Shirt here.

7. John Varvatos Star USA Men’s Short Sleeve Crewneck T-Shirt – $35.99 and up (depending on size/color selected)

john varvatos star usa mens short sleeve crewneck t shirt

John Varvatos Star USA

Pros: Cons:
  • Super Soft Material
  • Casual, On-Trend Look
  • Tag Free
  • You May Need to Size Up

I happen to own this shirt and I really do love it. Primarily because it’s got a great, soft fabric (65 percent poly, 35 percent cotton) and because of the hang. It’s almost an “unconstructed” style that almost feels like it ain’t there.

It is cut in a regular fit. That said, I recommend that you consider buying a size bigger than usual, especially if, like me, too much pizza last night has an impact on what you wear today. I have the XL and I like to make sure I’ve had a good food week before I pop it on. TMI, but we’re here to give you the deets.

Star USA, which is where this shirt comes from, is John Varvatos’s more “regular fit” line, as opposed to the slimmer European fit of his Varvatos Collection line.

This is a regular crew neck — a very small collar. The stitching is a great accent: it’s pick stitch at the shoulders and the bottom hem. The arms feature double stitching. All the stitching is tonal, in a slightly darker hue.

The shirt is shown in iris and it’s also available in Atlantic blue.

Buy the Varvatos Star USA Crewneck here.

8. Vetemin Men’s Short Sleeve Raglan Henley Baseball Shirt Tee – $17.99

vetemin mens short sleeve raglan henley baseball t shirt


Pros: Cons:
  • Low Price
  • Lots of Color Options
  • Size May Run a Bit Small

Our list of cool men’s t-shirts can, like t-shirt material itself, stretch a bit. We’re including this one from Vetemin, which has two unique aspects: it’s a Henley and it’s a baseball jersey style shirt.

It doesn’t have a ton of reviews (less than 25 as of this writing) but they’re stellar: a 4.5 out of 5-star rating average. A few of the reviews did mention that the shirt is a bit tight, so make sure to check the sizing chart before you buy. (Vetemin includes its own chart and recommends that you do not use Amazon’s fit guide.)

The shirt is 55 percent cotton, 45 percent poly and it is a jersey cotton, so it’s got that soft feel. The weight of the fabric is 5.3 ounces, so it’s right there in the ballpark (ha) for a standard weight t-shirt fabric.

The Henley collar features a three button placket. The crewneck is done in the same tone as the shoulder and arm fabric. Shown in gray/blue, the shirt’s available in eight different colors (color options change periodically).

Buy the Vetemin Men’s Short Sleeve Raglan here.

9. Arc’teryx Anzo T-Shirt – $48.30 and up (depending on size/color selected)

arcteryx anzo t shirt


Pros: Cons:
  • Good Technical Aspects
  • Unique Pocket Treatment
  • Color Availability May Be Limited

And this shirt is brought to you by a brand founded by mountain climbers. Arc’teryx, from Vancouver, BC, has been making mountain gear since 1989. Obviously, the company’s product selection has expanded significantly.

This shirt gets the nod as the best pocket t-shirt because the pocket is unique. First of all, it’s irregularly cut. Second, it’s laminated, which means it’s in a contrasting woven fabric. Both those features are little details that make this cool men’s t-shirt stand out.

As for the fabric, it’s Arc’teryx’s DryTech cotton blend (60 percent cotton, 35 percent poly, five percent Elastane, which gives it good stretchability). It’s a lightweight shirt that’s designed to wick away moisture.

The underarms of the shirt feature gusseting, which is simply an extra piece of material sewn into the structure of the shirt. Gusseting allows for more range of movement for the wearer. The cut of the shirt is in a relaxed fit.

Shown in black, the shirt is available in five different colors, although size availability in some colors is limited. The shirt feature’s the Arc’teryx logo on the left sleeve. (The company’s named after the first pre-historic reptile to develop feathers for flight.)

Buy the Arc’teryx Anzo T-Shirt here.

10. Carhartt Flame Resistant Cotton Long Sleeve T-Shirt – $54.95 and up (depending on size/color selected)

carhartt mens flame resistant cotton long sleeve t shirt


Pros: Cons:
  • Moisture Wicking
  • Odor Control
  • Flame Resistant
  • Higher Priced

Obviously, this shirt is made with some serious work-for-the-wearer in mind. It is flame resistant (complies with the National Fire Protection Association’s code 2112) so it’s very appropriate for guys who work in conditions that include the possibility of catching on fire. (Odd line to write, I recognize that.)

In all seriousness, this is a cool t-shirt that’s really nice looking. It is 100 percent cotton in a 6.75 ounce cotton, so it’s a heavy fabric. If you’re going to be wearing this in the summer, ya gotta get those sleeves up (hey…you look good, Forearm Guy!). It’s got double stitching at the bottom hem and ribbed cuffs on the sleeves.

Carhartt has designed the shirt to wick away moisture (Carhartt’s FastDry) and to fight odors (Carhartt Force), so it’s not just a pretty, fire resistant face. We’re showing the shirt in medium blue and it’s available in four other colors (color availability periodically changes).

The shirt gets great reviews: a 4.5 out of 5-star rating average.

Buy the Carhartt Long Sleeve T-Shirt here.

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