Men's Lifestyle T-shirts

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How to choose the right lifestyle T-shirt?

Did you know? It takes just nine seconds to put on a t-shirt, including unfolding. It's this speed and ease of use that have made the t-shirt an essential choice, a versatile and timeless piece.

The t-shirt offers incomparable comfort, ease of use and the power to enhance your silhouette. This is why it has become an essential part of our wardrobe, successfully traversing the decades.

However, it's important to note that while a good t-shirt can bring many benefits, the wrong choice can detract from your appearance. So it's crucial to know how to choose a quality t-shirt, with the right size and the right material. That's precisely what this guide is all about!

The quality

Before exploring the criteria that make the difference, it's important to determine what you want from the t-shirt you're considering.

Do you want :
  • A t-shirt made from a durable material?
  • A uniquely knitted T-shirt with charm and character?
Since the t-shirt is usually the first layer of clothing in direct contact with the skin, it is often washed frequently. Regular washing can lead to collar deformation, worn finishes and color fading, which is a shame for such a practical garment.

If you opt for a low-priced t-shirt, it's likely that no production effort has been expended: the fibers used may be of inferior quality and easily damaged by rubbing. Finishes, dyes and any printed patterns may also be of inferior quality, making the purchase of a cheap t-shirt all the more regrettable.
However, the reverse is not necessarily true: an expensive t-shirt that has benefited from meticulous spinning and knitting work does not automatically guarantee quality and durability.

We can distinguish between two types of recommendable t-shirts:
  1. T-shirts with exceptional charm, made from beautiful materials and featuring strong styles, but which may have less durability. They offer a unique and captivating aesthetic.

  2. More basic T-shirts, with less elaborate finishes, but designed to last for many years. They are simple and versatile, offering a reliable, long-lasting option.

To identify a good t-shirt, here are a few criteria to consider:
  1. Overstitching, i.e. the seams at the edges of the fabric pieces, should be even and show no signs of fraying. If you notice any defects in the topstitching, it's best to leave the shirt alone.

  2. Seams should be strong and well executed. Check for loose threads or weak spots.

  3. Fabric should be of good quality, with a pleasant texture and sufficient density to ensure durability. Avoid fabrics that are too thin or fragile.

  4. Finishes, such as bottom hems and sleeves, should be neat and hard-wearing.

  5. The care label should provide clear instructions on how to wash and care for the t-shirt. Be sure to follow these recommendations to preserve its quality.

Bear in mind that the quality of a t-shirt is not just its appearance, but also its strength and durability over time.

Lay your t-shirt flat. If it's on the diagonal, it means the seams are "twisted". This can indicate either a particularly unstable material, or a poorly cut and assembled shirt.

Next, it's up to you to assess whether the product meets your expectations.

If you're looking for an indestructible t-shirt, compare knit thicknesses and pull lightly to assess its strength and elasticity. You'll quickly notice the difference between a sturdy garment and a more fragile model.

If you're looking for a t-shirt with a specific material or cut, listen to your instincts while checking the finish to avoid post-purchase regrets.
In both cases, also consider whether the t-shirt can easily be integrated into your usual outfits. Does the color suit you? Does it go well with the rest of your wardrobe?

What material should I choose?

Cotton

Cotton is a must-have. Most T-shirts are made from cotton, and we all own at least one, and for good reason: cotton T-shirts offer excellent value for money.

Cotton is popular for a number of reasons:
  • It's a natural, breathable material that's relatively light and comfortable to wear.
  • It is durable and easy to care for.
  • It has a high absorption capacity, making it ideal for absorbing moisture.
However, given the wide range of cotton T-shirts available on the market, it's important to ask yourself a few questions about the origin of the material, whether it's organic or not, and the type of cotton used.

By opting for a higher-quality cotton, at a slightly higher price than those found in fast-fashion stores, you're helping to support cotton cultivation carried out in better conditions, with better irrigation and more respectful harvesting of the fibers. The result is a fabric with fibers that are often longer, stronger and retain colors better.

Extremely reliable labels include Oeko-Tex, which guarantees production in compliance with high health and environmental standards, and GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standards), which certifies fair working conditions for manufacturers and a high level of environmental responsibility. If you spot one of these two labels on the label of your future t-shirt, you can go with confidence.

Linen

Over the years, linen has become one of the leading products for warmer seasons. It offers many advantages when temperatures rise above 18 degrees:
  • It has thermoregulatory properties, allowing air to be released in the event of excessive heat (which is particularly practical).
  • It can absorb up to 20% of its weight in moisture, and dries quickly.
  • It is hypoallergenic and antibacterial, helping to reduce body odor and perspiration.
These characteristics make linen an ideal choice for staying cool and comfortable in hot weather.

Linen's thermoregulation can also make it a potential winter option, but you need to consider its main drawback: its rough texture, which can become uncomfortable when compressed under a thick sweater.

Another disadvantage of linen is its propensity to wrinkle easily. However, for a casual t-shirt, this is less of a problem than for a formal garment.

What's more, unlike cotton, linen is not the easiest material to care for.

To alleviate the problem of wrinkles and the rough texture of a linen t-shirt, it's best to turn to higher-quality product ranges. Higher-quality linen has less wrinkling, a softer texture and stronger fibers. Lower-quality fibers are more fragile, break easily and leave more pronounced creases. In addition, cheap linen T-shirts tend to warp more easily.

Merino wool

Merino wool, whether for winter or summer, can quickly become a comfortable and technical choice for a T-shirt. Its many qualities make it a must-have:
  • It offers excellent breathability and thermal regulation, as effective in hot weather as in cooler conditions (even more so than linen and cotton!).
  • It can absorb up to 35% of its weight in moisture.
  • It has the particularity of retaining virtually no body odor. All these features are added without the disadvantages of linen. However, it should be noted that its appearance is different. You be the judge. Below, you'll find our Newtim t-shirt in burgundy.
The only drawback to consider for a merino wool t-shirt is its drying time, which is around 50% longer than that of a synthetic fiber. This may discourage some athletes, but it doesn't stop hikers and adventurers from regularly using this material.

If your budget allows, don't hesitate to opt for this ultimate choice in terms of comfort, whatever the season.

Silk

Silk is often found in the composition of certain T-shirts, and this luxurious fiber has its legitimacy:

Its ability to reflect light gives it a natural elegance It reinforces the strength of fabric blends thanks to its resistance to tension Its soft, silky texture offers incomparable comfort

So, by incorporating silk into the composition of your T-shirt, you'll benefit from a more pleasant feel and a luminous appearance. However, it's important to note that the more refined look of silk can slightly detract from the casual, raw look of your t-shirt.

Whether softening a linen fabric or enhancing a merino wool blend, silk is a valuable addition to your t-shirts.

It's essential to bear in mind, however, that silk requires delicate care. It needs to be washed at low temperatures, generally below 30 degrees. To best preserve your silk T-shirt, we even recommend washing it by hand if you have the time.

Synthetic

Synthetic t-shirts are best avoided. Their shiny appearance is often reminiscent of the unattractive character of plastics, creating an unharmonious visual contrast with other garments made from natural materials. What's more, synthetic fibers tend to age rapidly, losing their luster and color over time.

Functionally, synthetic T-shirts don't breathe, leading to increased perspiration, especially when you wear another garment over them. What's more, these fibers are known to encourage the proliferation of odor-causing bacteria.

The only use some people might find for T-shirts made from synthetic materials is in sporting activities. As synthetic fibers are hydrophobic, they have the ability to repel body moisture. This is why leading sports equipment brands offer "dry" T-shirts that exploit this characteristic.

Artificial materials

Materials such
as
viscose, modal and tencel are alternatives to synthetic and plastic fibers. They are created from plant cellulose through a man-controlled chemical transformation process, which gives them specific properties sought after by the textile industry. Here are just a few of the advantages of these materials:
  • They are breathable, which distinguishes them from synthetic materials, and they retain much less of the bacteria responsible for unpleasant odors.
  • They are soft to the touch and generally smooth in appearance.
  • They are better able to absorb dyes, resulting in more intense, longer-lasting colors.
  • They are biodegradable, making them a more ecological option than synthetic materials, which have a greater environmental impact.
It's important to note that while these materials offer certain advantages, they remain man-made fibers and are not considered natural materials.

Lyocell fibers, such as tencel, seacell or hempcell, have breathable properties and softness that make them suitable for technical T-shirts, particularly appreciated by sports enthusiasts. What's more, these fibers are quick-drying, making them an ideal complement to the aforementioned qualities of merino wool.

However, it should be noted that the very smooth appearance of these materials, like some synthetic fibers, can sometimes lack charm. Your personal appreciation will therefore play an important role in your choice.

If you're faced with a T-shirt made mainly of man-made fibers, and it doesn't have any technical character or attractive patterns, it's best to opt for a natural material.

Technical materials

If you need a versatile t-shirt to cope with changing weather conditions or extreme activities, technical garments are what you need. Their main advantage lies in their exceptional comfort and breathability.

However, it's important to note that there's a difference between so-called "technical" T-shirts. Not all will perform equally well. Some so-called "technical" fabrics, often of inferior quality, simply add silver particles that have the ability to kill odor-causing bacteria.

In contrast, a true techwear t-shirt will emphasize mesh and fiber characteristics to deliver
optimum performance. Although this can be expensive, if you're looking for maximum technical efficiency, this is the option you should go for.

How to choose the right t-shirt size?

Now that you know what makes the difference and what materials are suitable, let's talk about fit.

A t-shirt is an extremely simple piece of clothing: if it's not cut to your size or shape, you'll notice immediately. To avoid this, check the following points:
  1. The shoulder seam should line up with the acromion, the small bone at the end of your shoulder. If the seam is too far away, the shirt will look too big, while if it's too close, it will look too small.

  2. The collar should stop at the base of your neck. If it's too high, it will look stuffy, while a collar that's too low will lack subtlety.

  3. Sleeves should stop around the midpoint of the biceps, allowing a slight exposure of your arms without overdoing it.

  4. The shirtshould lightly emphasize your pectoral muscles, without excessive folds or fabric tension. They should be discreetly visible, without being the main feature.

  5. The lines of the shirt should follow the contours of your flanks, without constricting them.

  6. Ideally, the length of the shirt should stop slightly below your waistline. If it's shorter, your belly button may be visible, which is not desirable.

In the case of a long-sleeved t-shirt, the sleeves should stop between the base of your hand and the base of your thumb.

It's important to note that t-shirts may shrink slightly in the first wash. If your t-shirt barely reaches the waistband, it's best to choose a larger size to anticipate this shrinkage.
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