There are many pieces that cruise through the trend cycle every season, have their moment, and ultimately fall off the map (ahem,
paint-on skinny jeans). But despite the ever-changing fashion industry, the short sleeve black T-shirt always remains constant — that’s why they call it a staple, ya know. And given it’s classic, never-going-out-of-style nature, just about every brand under the sun has their own version of “the perfect one.”
really uncover the actual best black tees out there, diving deep into the top retailers’ consumer comments is often the best bet. So for this installment of Hype Machine, we did just that to find vetted options from fellow shoppers that reviewed T-shirts based on supreme quality, fabric, and shape. Ahead you’ll fine the crème de la crème that will not only become mainstays in your wardrobe, but are guaranteed to fit your style to a tee.
Welcome to Hype Machine, our hit-list of the top reviewed products across the web — according to a crowd of die-hard shoppers. Call this your 4-star & up only club, with entry granted by our devoted-to-the-goods shop editors. Reviews have been edited for spelling and grammatical accuracy only.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
The Boxy, Cropped Tee
If you’re going for that live-in look, Everlane’s boxy T-shirt is for you. The best part is it actually will get softer and more relaxed as you wash it thanks to the organic cotton fabric.
The Hype: 4.72 out of 5 stars on Everlane
What They’re Saying: “This is my favorite shirt. I’ve worn it twice this week, you could say I’m a little obsessed. Perfect cut, a little cropped but long enough to just cover pants without looking baggy. And it’s so soft. Get one! Or three!” – abcb1233, Everlane Review Everlane The Organic Cotton Box-Cut Pocket Tee, $, available at Everlane
The Made-For-Customers Tee
Amazon started with customer reviews and feedback to create their wardrobe essentials line, so it’s no surprise that most of the pieces in the offering are best-sellers — like this classic black T-shirt that’s comfortable and soft.
The Hype: 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon
What They’re Saying: “I absolutely love them. I had read a lot of reviews, but I was still genuinely surprised at the quality of the material as soon as I opened the package. The material has some weight to it — doesn’t feel cheap, thin or flimsy at all, and is soft to the touch.” – Vi, Amazon Review Amazon Essentials 2-Pack Short-Sleeve Crewneck Solid T-Shirt, $, available at Amazon
The Size-Inclusive Essential
For a little extra coverage and a sophisticated silhouette, Universal Standard’s must-have tee features a slightly longer length sleeve, slinky fabric, and comes in an extensive range of sizes.
The Hype: 5 out of 5 Stars on Universal Standard
What They’re Saying: “I love the narrow cut, it hugs but doesn’t cling to my body. The longer sleeve length is very neat. It gives it a mod-style sensibility. I will be wearing these under all of my sweaters all winter and as tees all spring. Bonus, cat fur does not cling to the fabric!” – Anonymous, Universal Standard Review Universal Standard Foundation Short Sleeve Crew Neck Relaxed Tee, $, available at Universal Standard
The Oversized Tee
As an update to a standard black T-shirt, this style features an oversized fit, slouchy sleeves, and a mock neck.
The Hype: 4.5 out of 5 stars on Free People
What They’re Saying: “Love this shirt!! It can be dressed down or up for the perfect t boho look! After I wore the first one I purchased I went back and purchased two more in different colors! It’s a MUST HAVE!” – Tasha, Free People Review We The Free Fearless Tee, $, available at Free People
The Investment Classic
This tee is made from 100% cotton and has a slightly loose fit, making it an investment t-shirt that is just the right balance of cool and classic.
The Hype: 4.1 out of 5 Stars on Revolve
What They’re Saying: “I wish there were more stars to give! This shirt is my favorite T-shirt ever. It’s soft and a quality material.” – Anonymous, Revolve Review Universal Standard Foundation Short Sleeve Crew Neck Relaxed Tee, $, available at Universal Standard
The Cropped Pocket Tee
Keep it cool with an A+ pocket tee that has everything you want — just the right crop, 100% cotton fabric, a scoop neckline, just-long-enough sleeves, and a classic pocket.
The Hype: 5 out of 5 Stars on Richer Poorer
What They’re Saying: “Most crop tops are still really revealing but these go well with all my usual high-waisted bottoms. They’re soft and the colors are crisp. I bought 5 because I wanted quality plain colored shirts and I’m really happy with them. Washing them didn’t destroy the color either, which I was worried about.” – Vennessa, Richer Poorer Review Richer Poorer Pima Boxy Crop Tee, $, available at Richer Poorer
The Perfect Plus-Size Tee
Featuring a lightweight 100% cotton and a flattering v-neck, this is the tee you can dress up with a skirt and jacket or down with jeans. You’ll live in it.
The Hype: 4 out of 5 Stars on Target
What They’re Saying: “Nice fitting casual top. Can be dressed up or kept casual and is super comfortable. Easy to wash and wear and great value for the price.” – Anonymous, Target Review Ava & Viv Plus Size Short Sleeve T-Shirt, $, available at Target
The Thick T-Shirt
The common thread throughout most of the positive reviews for this
Uniqlo U crew-neck tee is the thick fabric that holds up and doesn’t lose its shape.
The Hype: 4.8 out of 5 stars on Uniqlo
What They’re Saying: “Perfectly true to size, soft and substantial. Best T-shirts ever. Now I just need an oversized, cropped version for when I have a food baby.” – Emma, Uniqlo Review Uniqlo U Crew Neck Short Sleeve T-Shirt, $, available at Uniqlo
The Semi-Sheer Tee
Ideal for your off-duty life, this loose, semi-sheer T-shirt features a relaxed hem that’s a hit amongst reviewers.
The Hype: 4 out of 5 stars on Shopbop
What They’re Saying: “I have every color (almost) in these tops. They are lightweight and go with everything. Perfect for wearing alone or layering. A little pricey but worth it.” – StacLynn, Shopbop Review James Perse Sheer Slub Crew Neck Tee, $, available at Shopbop
The Performance Tee
Hanes is a poster child for the perfect basic T-shirt, including this popular performance tee you can layer or wear as is in extreme heat without having to worry about excess sweat.
The Hype: 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon
What They’re Saying: “I LOVE this shirt. This shirt keeps me cooler than any other shirt I own. It seems to dry almost as quickly as I sweat. I put this shirt through extremes, 90 degree weather with 70-80% humidity.” – Heather A., Amazon Review Hanes Hanes Sport Women’s Cool DRI Performance V-Neck Tee, $, available at Amazon
The Flowy Tee
As an update to a standard black T-shirt, this style features an asymmetrical hem and a billowy back for a flattering, non-clingy fit.
The Hype: 4.9 out of 5 stars on Nordstrom
What They’re Saying: “I’m always looking for T shirts that have a little more than your standard T. The detail on the back and the asymmetrical hem give this shirt a little more flattering shape. Not to mention, it is SO soft. Definitely buy it!” – Katherine203, Nordstrom Review Bobeau Butter Short Sleeve Tee, $, available at Nordstrom
The Elbow-Length Tee
For a little extra coverage and a sophisticated silhouette, LOFT’s must-have elbow-length black T-shirt is all you’ll want to wear.
The Hype: 4.7 out of 5 Stars on LOFT
What They’re Saying: “This is a great little tee to wear any time of year. The elbow sleeves can help to cover sagging triceps. The scoop neck is not too low. The material is a very nice weight.” – sunnyinstgeorge, LOFT Review LOFT Elbow Sleeve Tee, $, available at LOFT
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