01 UNIQLO SUPIMA COTTON $14.90
When it comes to quality, affordable basics, Uniqlo is quite possibly without peer. Case in point: its signature Supima cotton T-shirt. Supima is the brand name for American-grown Pima cotton, which accounts for less than one per cent of all cotton produced worldwide. With its extra-long, fine fibres, the fabric produced from it is stronger and hence more durable. Pretty impressive for an item that will get you change from a twenty.
02 JOSEPH MERCERISED JERSEY $135
Award-winning British fashion label Joseph’s take on the classic white T-shirt utilises mercerised jersey cotton. Mercerisation involves treating the cotton fibres in chemical baths, imparting more tensile strength and lustre to the fabric. The result is a T-shirt that holds its shape better after multiple washings and has a smoother, more luxurious feel on skin.
03 ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA COTTON $590
On the higher end of the spectrum lies Ermenegildo Zegna. By reviving a heritage logo, the Italian couture house was able to refresh the wardrobe staple. Embroidered in black, it adds a subtle touch that invigorates an otherwise plain garment. A not-that-scientific fitting test quickly confirmed that not all cotton T-shirts are created equal. The weave felt denser, and the fabric the smoothest out of the three. And with that price tag, frankly, we would expect nothing less.