Buying a t-shirt: what do you pay attention to?

T-shirts are available in numerous brands, colors, shapes, qualities and prices. But what should you pay attention to? For example, what is the difference between Classic, Regular and Slim Fit? We list it briefly.

1. Cotton, Polyester or Triblend

T-shirts are made in three types of material: 100% cotton, a combination of cotton and polyester, and Triblend.

Triblend is a combination of cotton, polyester and rayon. Rayon is a (synthetic) replacement for silk and ensures that a T-shirt feels extra soft .

With regard to cotton, a distinction is made between ring-spun ('ringspun' in English) and carded ('carded'). Both terms refer to the spinning process, where ring-spun produces a softer, more refined fabric than the carded process.

Carded cotton is therefore cheaper than ring-spun cotton.

Ring-spun cotton provides better and more durable wearing comfort than carded cotton or a combination of cotton and polyester. The disadvantage of 100% cotton is that it absorbs moisture very easily , and is therefore less suitable for sports; that is why most sportswear is a combination of cotton and polyester.

Another distinction is between combed and uncombed cotton. In combed cotton, the fibers are selected by length, removing short fibers. This strengthens the fabric, unevenness disappears and therefore feels extra soft.

Combed cotton is therefore suitable for sensitive (er) skin types.

2. One or two halves

A T-shirt can be made in one piece or a front and back. In the latter case, both parts are cut to size and sewn together.

A side seam T-shirt has a better fit and is also more expensive than T-shirts made in one piece.

3. Density determines quality

The density determines the quality of a T-shirt. ' Density ' is expressed in ' singles ': the more the fibers are twisted during the spinning process, the softer a T-shirt feels. Cheaper T-shirts have 18 to 20 singles; more expensive and better quality T-shirts start from 30 singles.

It is often assumed that the weight of a T-shirt (expressed in grams per square meter) determines the quality: that is not correct. A light T-shirt can indeed be of a better quality than a heavier T-shirt.

Weight says more about the way you wear the T-shirt: indoors or outdoors, in hot or cold weather.

4. Fit

There are different names for fits, which are also used as synonyms for each other. Below the most common fit designations.

Classic / traditional / natural / straight fit

These T-shirts are suitable for any body type because they are cut more broadly at the shoulders and waist while still maintaining the V-shape of the body. This makes them ideal for everyday use.

Regular / loose fit

Regular / loose fit T-shirts are also suitable for all body types, both men and women. The difference with the Classic fit models is that Regular fit T-shirts are cut straight , ie they do not maintain the V-shape of the body, but are parallel at the chest as well as at the waist.

Comparison Classic and Regular fit
  • Both suitable for every body type
  • Both for men and women (unisex)
  • Classic cut in V-shape
  • Regular straight cut
  • Classic is slightly more spacious than Regular and has more ventilation
  • No stretch
Modern / slim fit

These stretch T-shirts fit more closely and are therefore especially suitable for slimmer and / or sporty bodies. They use the V-shape of the body with the sleeves cut so that arm muscles are clearly visible. Also suitable for going out.