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Buying Tips for T-Shirts

T-shirts are one of the most widely used and versatile wardrobe items for both men and women. They are the most popular casual wear. Combined with a pair of jeans, skirts or capri, T-shirts have become a fashionable casual wear for women. Though most T-shirts are available in a wide assortment of solid colors, there are printed and striped T-shirts also. Quality and price vary greatly depending on many factors. What exactly is a quality T-shirt. What do you have to look for when comparing T-shirts to get the best quality T-shirts? Presenting below few buying tips for T-shirts.

Ladies T-Shirts
Ladies T-Shirts

Fabric Construction

The first thing that is required to be checked is the fabric quality. Check the structure of the knit closely.

The tiny loops should not be stretched and in long thin shapes. Instead it should be plump and round. The stretched loop when washed makes the T-shirt short and wide. Always select a T-shirt that will keep its shape and not be shorter and wider after washing. Avoid T-shirts with stretched loops (Fig 1).

Ladies T-Shirts
Look for round loops (Fig. 2). Remember, the rounder the loops, the better chance that the knit will retain its shape through many washes.

Fiber Content in T-shirt

Check the label or tag in T shirts. Most T-shirts are available in
  • Cotton 100%
  • Cotton 50% and polyester 50%
  • Other blend levels of cotton and polyester or other fibers.
Other blend levels of cotton and polyester or other fibers.

Shrink Resistance

It is to be noted that the T-shirts that you buy should be shrink resistant to 1-2% to maintain proper size. The cotton T-shirts, even the high quality ones shrink by 5 %. So it is advisable to buy a large size T-shirt than your normal size. Blended T-shirts tend to shrink less.

Care Requirements

Check the the label for wash and care guidelines for your T-shirts. Remember, to maintain your T-shirt appearance, you must follow care recommendations. So before purchasing, consider the care you are willing to give.

Construction of the T-shirt

Check the T-shirts for overall smooth, even stitching. There should not be any broken stitches at the top. Top-stitching should be flat and straight . Sleeve edge and neck band finishes should be even and smooth. Shoulder, back and neck seams should be reinforced with tape and that the garment retain its shape.

T-shirt Neckband

The neckband should be a firm enough knit to stretch over the head, then return to shape. For this check whether a firm knit ribbing is used or not.

T-Shirts Size and Fit

The T-shirt style and proper cut influence the size. Sizing vary depending on the brands. For example, a size �L or large� in one brand of garment may be smaller in the body and slimmer in the sleeve sections than another brand. Select a T-shirt with enough width across the shoulders and sufficient sleeve room. Remember, if your T-shirt is labeled 100% cotton and does not guarantee shrink resistance, buy a larger size T-shirt.

Reference: "Buying T-shirts", Michigan State University Extension Bulletin

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