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The Best Long Sleeve T-Shirts for Men to Wear

Best Basic Long Sleeve Shirts 0 Hero
Photo: Proof 72 Hour Merino Tee

Long sleeve shirts are considered men’s ‘basics’ for a reason. They’re simple, dependable, and essential to any closet — you’d be remiss if you didn’t have at least one. That being said, buying the best long sleeve shirt for your needs is anything but basic; in fact, there’s a lot you have to consider for such a seemingly straightforward garment. For instance, would you be better suited with a lightweight linen blend or a heavier merino wool alternative? Do you want the timelessness of a crewneck or the elevated aesthetic of a henley? These are just some of the questions that you should be asking yourself.

The Best Basic Long Sleeve Shirts Across the Board

What to Consider

Battle the Breeze

Material: Your preferred material will often be based on what you’re doing throughout the day. While genuine ones like cotton or wool deliver a traditionally sturdy feel and natural temperature regulation, they do lack some of the elements you’d find in synthetic options. If you’re seeking breathability and moisture-wicking properties, options from most athleisure brands will typically deliver what you’re looking for.

Fit: If you intend to wear a long-sleeve on its own as a top layer, we recommend going for a boxier-fitting option instead of something that fits tight — it’s not flattering, no matter who you are. That said, do as you wish, but if you plan on wearing it underneath a sweater or jacket, that’s the optimal time to purchase a tighter option to avoid any bunched-up sleeves under your outerwear.

UNIQLO Airism Cotton Crew Neck Long Sleeve

UNIQLO AIRism Cotton Crew Neck LS Tee
  • You won’t find many better shirts at this price
  • Several colors to choose from
  • For $20, we have no complaints

The Starter: While UNIQLO’s $10 tees are something of a phenomenon, the additional fabric that appears on its long-sleeve iteration is worth the extra money — and it’s safe to say we wouldn’t mind paying a bit more of it. Not only is the trusty crew neck available in more colors than you can imagine, but the go-to essentials brand’s proprietary AIRism fabric is soft to the touch and ideal for warmer weather, so there’s no better way to battle unforeseen forecast changes that you might see through the transitional season.


Buck Mason Long Sleeve Slub Curved Hem Tee
Photo: Buck Mason
  • Buck Mason’s flagship piece with longer sleeves — what’s not to love?
  • Grown and sewn in the USA
  • Slub fabric creates worn-in look that’s super soft
  • Fits too slim for certain body types
  • The larger sizes can feel too short for taller guys

The Safest Bet: Los Angeles-based Buck Mason is one of the best in the business when it comes to high-quality, heritage-inspired men’s basics — more specifically, any sort of everyday shirt. In the case of its American-made signature long sleeve tee, this means that you get a premium slub cotton construction that’s, soft, breathable, and tough, just like the good ole days. And because it’s cut with the humble boutique’s curved hem, you can rock it on its own or slip it on underneath a jacket as a low-profile base layer.

Outerknown Groovy Pocket Tee

Outerknown Groovy LS Pocket Tee
Photo: Outerknown
  • Organic cotton construction
  • Made in the states
  • Could be the most comfortable long sleeve for everyday lounging
  • Slightly oversized fit isn’t for everybody

The Upgrade: Kelly Slater’s Outerknown brand is an exercise in sustainability that employs eco-conscious materials and responsible supply chains in order to be kinder to the planet, so what other choice do we have but to highlight an imprint that gives back to our home? The Groovy L/S Pocket Tee is no exception, for it’s made not only from 100% organic cotton but also right here in the United States. Cut loose for a relaxed fit and garment-dyed for a well-worn feel, this is one shirt that proves green is the new black.

Freenote Cloth 9 Ounce T-Shirt

Freenote Cloth 9 Ounce T Shirt
Photo: Freenote Cloth
  • Sturdy, heavyweight feel
  • Made in the USA
  • Several vintage-inspired colors available
  • Pricey

The Premium Pick: Weighing in at a hefty 9 ounces, Freenote Cloth’s option takes the cake in the long-sleeved department. Size aside, the handsome essential is fully crafted right in the USA, and that includes each meticulous step right down to its garment-dyeing process. While the shirt is only delivered in a sole shade of Tobacco, it’s hard to overlook the attention to detail that goes into constructing this long-lasting staple.

lululemon Drysense Long Sleeve

lululemon Drysense Long Sleeve Shirt
Photo: lululemon
  • Anti-stink treatment for odor-free workouts
  • Locker loop makes for easy hanging
  • Doesn’t transition from gym to office like many of lululemon’s other offerings

The Best Long Sleeve for the Gym: Admittedly, lululemon makes any number of shirts that we’d feel confident recommending. However, we liked the Drysense Long Sleeve in particular because it looks every part the traditional tee whilst still offering enough performance qualities for workouts. Add to that details like Silverescent technology for anti-stink and a locker loop for easy hanging, and you’re left with one shirt that’s a clear winner.

Pangaia Organic Cotton Long Sleeve T-Shirt with C-FIBER

PANGAIA Organic Cotton Long Sleeve T shirt with C FIBER
  • Proprietary PPRMINT treatment sheds unwanted odors
  • Helping the planet
  • It’s a $95 shirt, but you get what you pay for

The Best Sustainable Long Sleeve: Using an innovative blend of eucalyptus, seaweed, and organic cotton, it’s clear the brand’s adherence to keeping things fully sustainable is virtually unrivaled. What’s more is PANGAIA’s signature PPRMINT treatment, which uses natural peppermint oil to help maintain freshness and, most of all, reduce the need for washing to save water in the long run. Whether you admire the shirt itself or PANGAIA’s transcendent sense of awareness, there’s no room for error here — as long as you don’t mind paying $95.

Our Other Favorites

Extra Tricks Up Our Sleeve


KOTN Essential Long Sleeve
Photo: KOTN

In terms of affordability and wearability, KOTN arguably sits right up there with brands like UNIQLO and Los Angeles Apparel, although often accompanied by a slightly larger price tag. Nevertheless, the eco-cognizant brand’s signature Essential Longsleeve is one of many well-constructed options available, as it’s crafted using buttery smooth brushed midweight jersey material and a relaxed cut for easy layering.

American Giant Premium Slub Crew Tee Long Sleeve

American Giant Premium Slub Crew Tee Long Sleeve
Photo: American Giant

In contrast to most brands who’ve moved its manufacturing overseas in order to bring down production costs, American Giant continues to keep its supply chain stateside in the interest of local communities. As the product of more than a year of R+D, the fabric in its Premium Slub Crew is a true cut above the rest, offering a rich texture, excellent shape retention, and an understated aesthetic that’s exceptionally versatile.

Todd Snyder Made in L.A. Homespun Slub Long Sleeve

Todd Snyder Made in LA Homespun LS Tee
Photo: Todd Snyder

Long sleeve shirts are an essential component of every wardrobe because they can be worn pretty much year-round. With Todd Snyder’s Homespun Slub tee this proves especially true because it’s light enough for layering and it can be worn with everything from jeans and sneakers to a jacket and loafers. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s made in LA’s legendary garment district, serving as part of the New York label’s testament to keeping things local — at least when it comes to the states.

Reigning Champ Midweight Jersey Long Sleeve

Reigning Champ Midweight Jersey LS
Photo: Reigning Champ

Heavier than a shirt yet lighter than a sweater, Reigning Champ’s Midweight Jersey Long Sleeve is a great garment to have when dressing for those tricky transitional seasons. As you’d expect from the Vancouver-based brand, the attention to detail is top-notch, with features like dropped shoulders for an uninhibited fit, extended sleeves for some extra coverage, and flatlock seams throughout for an added element of durability.

Proof 72-Hour Merino Long SLeeve

Proof 72 Hour Merino Tee
Photo: Proof

It’s hard to find a shirt that won’t stink up after a few days, making this a fantastic, albeit pricier, alternative to the anti-odor-treated option from lululemon. Proof’s 72-Hour top is made to wear as long as its name suggests — that’s right, the technical brand’s flagship offering is even comfortable enough to sleep in if necessary. Most of all, the enviously soft long sleeve is crafted of merino wool, a material known for its natural temperature-regulating capabilities that are sure to serve you right whether you’re working out or hitting the town.

John Elliott LS University Tee

John Elliott LS University Tee
Photo: John Elliott

Those familiar with John Elliott are well aware of why the eponymous clothier’s high-quality catalog is often priced so high, and it comes down to one thing: craftsmanship. Even pieces as self-explanatory as a long sleeve shirt undergo a meticulous construction process, with the University Tee merely serving as one example. The oversized, L.A.-made top is made using recycled cotton and finished with a vintage-inspired blind stitch detail to give it an old-school touch that’s hard to pass up.

The Best Men’s Heavyweight T-Shirts

Best Heavyweight Shirts 0 Hero
Photo: Taylor Stitch The Heavy Bag Tee

If you want to cut the sleeves but still keep things sturdy, check out our guide to the best heavyweight tees.