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Is a $590 Ermenegildo Zegna cotton t-shirt truly superior to a $14.90 Uniqlo one?

The Peak compares three different versions – with wildly varying prices – of the trusty white t-shirt.

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.

(RELATED: How to don the classic white shirt in any light)

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