While it is widely accepted that the humble T-shirt is an indispensable wardrobe hero, it must also be acknowledged that not all T-shirts are created equal. One of the key factors that constitutes a great T-shirt is its weight. It's an often overlooked yet important element to consider when buying a new tee, as it can influence the garment's comfort as well as how it should be worn.
Lightweight T-shirts, usually crafted from cotton or lyocell, are best worn in the summer months, or when exercising, while heavyweight T-shirts – our personal preference and the reason you're here – are made from denser fabrics and are suitable year-round (but probably best avoided for strenuous workouts). Mid-weight T-shirts are – you guessed it – smack bang in the middle.
Table of Contents
- What exactly is a heavyweight T-shirt?
- How to wear a heavyweight T-shirt
- The best men's heavyweight T-shirts in 2023
What exactly is a heavyweight T-shirt?
A T-shirt is generally classified as heavyweight if its GSM (grams per square metre) is over 200 (while lightweight T-shirts have a low-GSM fabric under 160 and mid-weight tees are usually between 160 and 200). Not all brands will offer an indication of GSM on their T-shirt labels, but the added detail is often a signifier that the T-shirt is good quality and thought has been put into the garment. The best heavyweight T-shirts are usually made from organic cotton, and are durable and sturdy yet soft and breathable, designed to hold their shape while they allow for ease of movement.
How to wear a heavyweight T-shirt
As with all T-shirts, the beauty of the heavyweight tee is its versatility. This unassuming style saviour can be worn with just about anything. An obvious go-to is as a casual everyday staple, teamed with jeans and trainers, but you can just as easily take the heavyweight T-shirt up a notch, by wearing it with a suit and loafers, for a revitalised, contemporary take on formal tailoring. Thanks to their sturdy nature, heavyweight T-shirts can really hold their own in smart-casual contexts, more so than their flimsy counterparts.
The best men's heavyweight T-shirts in 2023
CDLP Heavyweight T-Shirt
Swedish label CDLP is renowned for its elevated everyday men's essentials that put boring basics to shame. Just take its Heavyweight T-shirt: crafted from a luxurious blend of lyocell and long fibre pima cotton, it offers silk-like softness and superior breathability as well as texture and a natural drape. Its 330 GSM construction ensures it continues to hold its shape wear after wear.
ASKET Long Sleeve T-Shirt
ASKET has made a name for itself as a reliable go-to for understated, ethically-made essentials. Its Long Sleeve T-Shirt exemplifies the Swedish brand's knack for versatile staples. Crafted from 100% Egyptian cotton, the 200 GSM crewneck style is made to stand the test of time. Wear it with anything from sweatpants to tailored trousers and Derby shoes.
ISTO. Breton T-Shirt
Channel classic French style with ISTO.'s contemporary take on the iconic mariniére top. Made from 320 GSM heavyweight jersey, this classic Breton top will add a touch of timeless sophistication to any outfit. Wear it with beige chinos, minimalist trainers and a navy blazer for an effortlessly elegant smart casual look.
Wax London Dean T Shirt
This heavyweight organic cotton striped T-shirt from beloved British menswear brand Wax London is the perfect boxy shape, offering equal parts comfort and style. Layer it under a chore jacket and team with carpenter pants and canvas sneakers for an updated take on classic workwear style.
Passenger Lauca Recycled Cotton Pocket T-Shirt
Made from a blend of recycled and organic cotton, this heavyweight tee from British brand Passenger is a durable wardrobe staple that's easy on the earth (did we mention a tree is planted for every purchase?). The fuss-free staple is perfect for everyday wear, with slouchy shorts or cargo pants.
Allevol Heavy Duty Crew Neck Square Pocket T-shirt
Allevol's Heavy Duty tee is just that - heavy duty and ready for anything. It's crafted using carefully selected high grade raw cotton, spun in Japan on traditional circular knitting machines. The result is a sturdy garment that's designed to keep its shape even after years of wear. With a vintage-inspired silhouette that's boxy and relaxed, this heavyweight T-shirt is perfect for everyday wear.
Soundman 357M-811P Holm T-Shirt White
Looking for a classic white T-shirt that will take you effortlessly from day to night? This heavyweight men's tee from Japanese label Soundman is your answer. Inspired by utilitarian design, it's crafted from 100% cotton jersey and features a workwear-style flap side pocket. Dress it up with soft tailoring and Derby shoes or keep things low-key with jeans and minimalist trainers.
Arket Heavyweight T-Shirt
Trust Scandi style powerhouse Arket to produce the perfect basic. This men's heavyweight tee is sturdy yet soft, crafted using a coarse and slightly irregular open-end yarn for a vintage feel. It's available in over 10 colours, so choose wisely (or go for one of each – we won't judge).
Carhartt Relaxed Fit Heavyweight Short Sleeve Logo Graphic T-Shirt
Carhartt remains the ultimate go-to for durable workwear staples. This heavyweight tee, crafted from 229 GSM cotton, pays tribute to the brand's heritage with the iconic Carhartt logo across the chest. Perfect for work or play.
Uniqlo U Crew Neck T-Shirt
This classic tee from Uniqlo is a bestseller for a reason. The clean crewneck design and heavyweight cotton construction makes it an elevated essential that will team nicely with jeans and trainers as well as more elegant tailoring. Try it with mid-rise belted trousers, a blazer and penny loafers for an effortless business-casual look.
COS Heavy Duty T-Shirt
As its name suggests, this 290GSM T-shirt from COS is a heavyweight hero that will hold its shape over time. We love its oversized fit, boxy silhouette and elegant mock neck, which offers a slight change from your standard crewneck tee. Made from a blend of organic cotton and Circulose – an innovative eco-friendly pulp fibre – it's as sustainable as it is stylish.