If the best plain white tee is the Pete Sampras of the menswear world—well-rounded, even-mannered, a preeminent champion—then the best black T-shirts for men are Andre Agassi. Black tees are sexier, sleeker, more direct. You wear a white T-shirt because it’s easy and goes with everything; you pull on a black one when you want to feel good. They give off Danny Zuko-y bad boy vibes with a leather jacket, bring an assassin-like precision to a black or navy suit, and just generally look smart and modern on their own. You are never underdressed in a black T-shirt. And that’s why it’s important to find the very best black T-shirts for men for your tastes and needs—which, as it happens, is exactly what we’re about to help you do.
The Best Soft Black T-Shirt
If hand-feel is your number one criteria, then Sunspel’s signature model is your runaway winner. All of the tees on this list are varying degrees of soft, but this one is competing with newborn lambs and kitten bellies in that department. It’s cut from a crisp, luxurious long staple supima cotton that drapes gracefully across your torso and feels like wearing a cool breeze. In post-pandemic times—for better or worse—it’s the kind of shirt that just *looks* so comfy, strangers will be compelled to come up to you and ask if they can touch it.
The Best Affordable Black T-shirt
Uniqlo U is a menswear cheat code, and these T-shirts are its crown jewel. Clocking in at just $15 bucks a pop, Christophe Lemaire’s signature crewnecks have all the hallmarks of a tee four or five times the price: thick and weighty, boxy and crisp, a total standout even in the most basic colors of all.
The Best Modern Black T-Shirt
There aren’t a ton of ways to innovate on a T-shirt. You can fool around with the fit, experiment with fabrics, stretch and reshape the neckline, maybe cut a few unfortunate holes into the body. Californian basics purveyor Buck Mason chose a subtler route: they gave the hemline an attractive curve. That one small change has the effect of making an otherwise classic crewneck tee—with a trimmer cut and a top-shelf pima cotton knit—feel subliminally, almost imperceptibly new.
The Best Oversized Black T-Shirt
Usually, calling something “rough around the edges” is a bad thing. But it’s the main selling point of this tee from John Elliott: the sleeves and hem have been left unfinished, lending the shirt a raw and punkish edge (literally). Beyond that mild swerve, all the typical attention to detail and quality that earned Elliott one of our Best New Menswear Designer honors back in ‘16 are still very much present—it’s got a very-right-now oversized fit tailored from a just-right medium weight fabric.
The Best Eco-Friendly Black T-Shirt
Feels like everywhere you look these days, brands of all sizes—from the tiniest underground streetwear brands to the oldest European fashion houses—are rushing to develop sustainable practices, often in the form of T-shirts purportedly made from recycled materials. But nobody does ’em better than the originators: LA’s Everybody.World, who launched their signature Trash tees back in 2017. The brainchild of American Apparel alums Iris Alonzo and Carolina Crespo, the shirts are crafted using the leftover cotton scraps from factory floors, but look and feel like the furthest thing from garbage. Instead, they’re buttery soft and perfectly roomy, the kind of tees you’d want to buy even without the added satisfaction of a clear conscience.
The Best Heavyweight Black T-shirt
3sixteen’s known for, among many things, tough-as-nails denim. So when the team behind the brand put their heads together to make a tee, they cooked up a beefy, double-patty version. The cotton jersey, custom knit for the label, is dense but surprisingly soft. You can tell they didn’t skimp on the collar, either, which miraculously keeps its shape through countless laundry cycles. And the cut is a spot-on classic silhouette you can wear true to size or size up/down for a slimmer/slouchier fit. We’ve put these hardy, American-made beauts through the ringer for years—and they still look and fit as great as they did on Day One.