The Dudes Are Alright: Death to False T-Shirts

There should be a new rule enacted that if you are a man, and you are going to buy t-shirts, you should fill out a questionnaire as to why you want to wear the items you are purchasing. In over a century, the t-shirt has gone from something worn by servicemen and farm workers; then a fashion statement thanks to icons like Marlon Brando and James Dean. Now, the t-shirt represents the American male’s sartorial laziness. Most guys are just as prone to tossing on a badly fitting shirt with some emblem or logo that means nothing to them personally, as they are inclined to put on a pair of sandals or baggy fitting jeans. Before you put on that t-shirt with that random design, you should ask yourself, “Do I know my product?”

I know Fugazi once said “You have no control. You are not what you own,” but I am going to have to politely disagree with my favorite band. You DO have control, and in many ways, you ARE what you own. So please take all your Ed Hardy shirts, and kindly toss them in the fire pit. Here are the five best plain t-shirts for your buck.

The Dudes Are Alright: Death to False T-Shirts

1. Rugby’s sun faded pocket tee.

It takes a heck of a lot for me to head out for a night on the town wearing a t-shirt, but I swear to whatever god you worship, this is the best, most comfortable t-shirt on the planet. It’s thirty bucks, sure, but this ultra soft cotton shirt worth it.

2. American Apparel’s short sleeve v-neck.

Yes, yes, I know what a slimebag Dov Charney is, but you know what? He makes really great t-shirts that you don’t have to feel bad about buying. These Am Appy tees are under twenty-five bucks, are made in the USA, and are always comfortable as well as stylish. Just one note: make sure you are buying the ones with the shorter necks. Otherwise you’ll be showing off 40% of your upper torso. If you’re into that sort of thing, then just ignore my warning, and more power to you.

3. Lands’ End Canvas heritage v-neck tee.

With their Canvas line, Lands’ End has really taken stuff your dad or local golf enthusiast would normally wear, and made it look, well, much better. These bad boys fit nicely, and are extremely great shirts for sitting around the house or drinking beers on your roof. (Plus, they’re pretty inexpensive.)

The Dudes Are Alright: Death to False T-Shirts

4. Freemans Sporting Club crew neck.

I totally understand that a $44 dollar t-shirt isn’t exactly “bang for your buck,” but if you’ve got the cash, this shirt is like draping your upper body in a really nice looking cotton cloth.

The Dudes Are Alright: Death to False T-Shirts

5. Alternative Apparel Eco-Speckle gym rat tee.

Again, if you’ve got around fifty bucks to drop on a t-shirt, Alternative Apparel is a fantastic company with a mission you should get behind, and their stuff is the real deal vintage feel you’re looking for. (Personally, I’d buy my expensive t-shirts from them, and shop Freemans for their amazing shirts and trousers.)

Jason Diamond is the editor-in-chief of, founding editor of Vol. 1 Brooklyn and an associate editor at Impose Magazine.  He lives in Brooklyn among a collection of books and records that is more


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