A good crew-neck t-shirt is something of perfection: a tailor’s knife capable of transforming the most haggard, hangover of men into an everyday James Dean — or at least make him a little smarter. There’s a reason it’s a wardrobe staple, and while there’s no improvement in perfection, it never hurts to change things up from time to time.
Remixing the T-shirt is a classic move of the designer – playing with proportions, fabrications and especially lately, textures. Knitted T-shirts are hardly a new invention, but they have probably never been more popular than they are now. Swapping relaxed jersey for something more structured, a little more refined, gives extra gravitas to the plain tee. And yes, it is as easy to jerk off as it sounds.
Considerations When Buying Knit T-Shirts
There’s a lot that goes into finding the perfect t-shirt, and with knits it pays to be just as meticulous. These are some of the most important things to keep in mind as you search for the best knit t-shirt for you.
When it comes to jersey T-shirts, cotton is king – and it makes for a solid knit T-shirt, too. It’s soft, lightweight and breathable, and premium cottons, such as Pima and Sea Island, which are made from longer, silkier fibers, rival wool for their luxurious feel.
Speaking of which, wool in itself is a superior option for a knitted t-shirt. Merino wool is lighter and softer than most sheep’s wool, traditionally used for underwear because of its smooth, comfortable finish and moisture-wicking properties (meaning it wicks sweat away from the body). A fine knit merino has a soft handle and excellent drape for a flattering fit.
As the price goes up, cashmere and wool-silk blends are among the smarter options, but this is the kind of thing you’ll want to save for the absolute best.
The basic rule of any experiment? Change one thing and keep everything else constant. So when it comes to knitted T-shirts, a slim to regular fit is best. While the best knit t-shirts are light and supple, they are naturally a bit bulkier than jersey t-shirts, cutting out anything close to a muscle fit (this is a good thing).
A slightly oversized fit often works well, but super boxy, exaggerated styles won’t quite hold their shape.
The good news is: anything goes. Black, gray and navy are all classically smart and go well with a suit. But bright colors and patterns can be worn with just about anything, from raw selvedge denim to tailored pants and sneakers. Look out for interesting stitches, such as waffle knit, which gives a shaggy vibe.
How to wear a knitted T-shirt
with a suit
We probably don’t need to tell you about the brilliance of swapping shirts for tailored T-shirts. But it’s worth noting that a knitted t-shirt can spice up the proceedings a little more and keep the overall look on the smart-casual side.
A mock-neck in a silk-cotton blend makes a particularly sharp figure with a neutral suit and glossy white sneakers.
Maybe it’s the closeness of a knit polo shirt, but there’s something always-so-a little preppy about a knit tee — so why not lean into it? A pastel tee with neutral chinos and loafers exudes an Ivy League vibe without overdoing it. Throw a varsity jacket into the mix for extra
The soft finish of a knit t-shirt makes it a great foil for raw denim. Try something with a slightly fainter finish, half tucked into a deep indigo selvedge. Just make sure to keep your fit in proportion: a slightly oversized t-shirt works well with a straight-leg silhouette.
Don’t let the fact that knit T-shirts are, well, knit, stop you from wearing them in the warmer months. The best ones are lightweight and the open weave of the knit makes them extra breathable. In the summer, a knitted t-shirt with stripes or an abstract pattern can be just as beautiful as a shirt.
The best knit T-shirt brands
When in doubt, do what the Italians do. Drawing on the country’s outstanding heritage for quality basics, Artknit is a novice but a goodie. Founded in 2018 in Biella, the heart of the Italian fabric industry, the brand makes crew-neck knit and polo shirts in ultra-fine merino and upcycled cashmere.
Short runs, sustainable design and a zero-waste policy make for T-shirts that feel good in more ways than one.
In addition to an excellent collection of T-shirts in heavy cotton and jersey slub, the German label Closed also makes knitted styles in woven cotton and cashmere. Boxy and oversized fits bring home the relaxed message, although they work just as well with pleated pants as they do with slouch-fit jeans.
John Smedley is one of those heritage brands that quietly pulls the plug and refines what it does year after year without bowing to trends or hype. Founded in 1784, the brand is known all over the world for its fine (lightweight) knits. The Lorca knitted T-shirt is a good example of this: soft, relaxed and beautifully finished.
Loro Piana is arguably the best supplier of knitwear in the world and is synonymous with luxury. As part of the LVMH stable, you pay a premium for its quality. But if it’s an option for you, it’s a worthwhile investment.
So much more than little pouches and Kendall Jenner ad campaigns, Jacquemus is a case study in menswear that doesn’t take itself too seriously: colorful, pattern-filled workwear with a Provençal twist.
The color block knit t-shirts have an easy, Mediterranean feel, ideal for brightening up cargo pants or shorts.
Mr Porter’s own label is, to an extent, design by data: leveraging a decade of customer feedback to produce a line of largely seasonless essentials, often with a touch of the 60s, always of the highest quality. quality. Knit tees have become a staple, made from cotton and on the more casual side of the scale.
If there’s one thing you can rely on Marks & Spencer – overwrought food ads and bug birthday cakes aside – it’s the basics of excellent quality. And right now it probably has the best knit t-shirt for men on the high street.
There are classic black and navy options: form-fitting, with a perfectly sloping crew neck and ribbed sleeve hems that sit nicely high on the biceps, perfect for wearing with a suit and sneakers. And one or two in more adventurous colors and patterns if you feel like it.
Aside from leather jackets, knitting is probably AllSaints’ greatest strength. So it makes sense that it will be a fine knitted T-shirt. Its merino knit henley should be a strong contender for your winter uniform – soft, warm and with lots of attitude.