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The Best Boxy and Heavyweight Tees for 2024

Embrace an easy fit this summer.

The Best Boxy and Heavyweight Tees for 2024

Maybe it’s the irreversible allure of pandemic-era comfort. Maybe it’s tummy self-consciousness at my old age (halfway to 72!). Or maybe it’s a subconscious shedding of old skin, a ceremonial farewell to the skinny-fit era that defined my teens and 20s. Either way, now I exclusively wear shirts so wide they make me look like SpongeBob, or a 100% premium-cotton LEGO.

Finding the right heavyweight cotton in which to drown your torso seems like a straightforward task. In the early aughts, weren’t all tees basically oversized and unflattering by default? But today, there’s a lot that goes into picking the right boxy, cropped, or oversized T-shirt. If you, like me, are growing allergic to your clothes clinging to you, here’s what to wear and how to determine if it’s worth your hard-earned cash.

What to Look For in a Great Boxy Tee
  • Material

    Opt for 100% cotton or a blend with a high percentage of cotton for breathability and comfort. Organic cotton is a plus for sustainability.

  • Weight

    Heavier fabrics (around 8-10 oz) are durable and have a premium feel. However, ensure it isn't too heavy to be uncomfortable.

  • Loopwheeling

    Loopwheeling is a traditional knitting technique used to produce high-quality fabrics, particularly for T-shirts and sweatshirts. This method involves using vintage circular knitting machines. The go-to brand is Merz B. Schwanen.

  • Texture

    The fabric should feel soft but substantial. Look for combed or ring-spun cotton, which is smoother and stronger than regular cotton.

  • Stitching

    Examine the stitching for evenness and tightness. Double-stitched seams and hems add durability.

  • Shape

    A boxy fit has a slightly wider and more relaxed cut, especially around the shoulders and torso. Don’t let it get too loose, though, or it’ll appear sloppy. There’s a fine line!

  • Length

    The length should hit around the hips. Too long and it can look oversized.

  • Details

    We like a nice minimal design—clean lines and simple details like a buttoned pocket or subtle embroidery.

  • Sustainability

    Look for brands that emphasize sustainable production methods and fair labor practices. Some use organic cotton, recycled materials, or eco-friendly dyes.

Our Picks for the Best Boxy Tees
Lady White Co. Municipal T-Shirt
The Best Lightweight Tee: Lady White Co. Municipal T-Shirt

Lots of great boxy tees are heavy—but Lady White proves they don't have to be.

Buy: $69
The Best High-End Tee: Allevol
The Best High-End Tee: Allevol

Can you find the side seams? We can’t either. Inspired by midcentury sportswear styles, Allevol’s 100% cotton Heavy Duty Crew Necks are built in Japan on a vintage “Taimaru” circular knitting machine. The result is, put simply, the best tee in your closet—classic but distinctive, sturdy yet soft, made from the best stuff out there, and boasting all the right details (drop stitching, reinforced collar). It’s measured to make you look like Marlon Brando, so for a looser fit, definitely size up.

Buy: $67
The Best Athleisure Tee: Lululemon Heavyweight Cotton Jersey
The Best Athleisure Tee: Lululemon Heavyweight Cotton Jersey

It’s 100% cotton, feels luxe, and transitions seamlessly between the gym and the bar (as long as you’re sufficiently un-sweaty). Easy buy. Here’s a pro tip from the Lululemen crowd: You can find excellent activity-friendly gear steeply discounted on Lulu’s We Made Too Much section. There’s no sale like it.

Buy: $58
The Best Mid-Range Tee: Buck Mason Field Spec
The Best Mid-Range Tee: Buck Mason Field Spec

I’ve always loved Buck Mason’s curved-hem pima cotton tees. It’s a little magical how they flatter any body shape, tapering slightly to emphasize the chest and minimize the midsection. (For a good visual example, search “Jonathan LaPaglia Australian Survivor.”) The Field Spec Cotton Heavy Tee is just as comfy, but the thicker fabric is more forgiving.

Buy: $55
The Best Everyday Tee: Abercrombie Vintage-Inspired Cropped Tee
The Best Everyday Tee: Abercrombie Vintage-Inspired Cropped Tee

Abercrombie’s renewed quality is an open secret. We featured them in our guide to camp-collar shirts, and word on the street this summer is that their cropped tee—at less than $25—is also worth writing home about.

Buy: $24
The Best Basic Tee: Uniqlo U Crew Neck
The Best Basic Tee: Uniqlo U Crew Neck

At $15, these generously cut heavyweight-cotton pieces are a steal (and we know something about steals). The oversized Airism tees are nice as well, but the fabric is a little slinkier—we prefer the classic. Uniqlo always nails the fit, and we could (and likely will) write a paean to the brand’s linen-blend trousers, colorful socks, and lightweight down. But this month, it’s all about the tees.

Buy: $15