There are many pieces that cruise through the trend cycle every season, have their moment, and ultimately fall off the map (ahem, paint-on skinny jeans). But despite the ever-changing fashion industry, the short sleeve black t-shirt always remains constant — that’s why they call it a staple, ya know? And given its classic, never-going-out-of-style nature, just about every brand under the sun has laid claim to a “perfect” iteration of the timeless top.
But to really uncover the actual best black tees out there, diving deep into consumer comments is often the best bet. So for this installment of Hype Machine, we did just that, and found vetted options from fellow shoppers that reviewed T-shirts based on supreme quality, fabric, and shape. Ahead, you’ll find the crème de la crème of black tops that will not only become mainstays in your wardrobe, but are guaranteed to fit your style to — a tee. (!)
Welcome to Hype Machine, our hit-list of the top reviewed products across the web — according to a crowd of die-hard shoppers. Call this your 4-star & up only club, with entry granted by our devoted-to-the-goods shop editors. Reviews have been edited for spelling and grammatical accuracy only.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy or click on something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
Uniqlo U Crew Neck Short Sleeve Tee
The “Forever Fresh” Black T-Shirt
Most of the positive reviews for this Uniqlo U crew-neck tee mention that the thick fabric stays structured and doesn’t lose its shape.
The Hype: 4.6 out of 5 stars on Uniqlo
What They’re Saying: “I ordered three of these shirts and will be ordering more soon. These hold up incredibly well to washing and seem to magically avoid getting wrinkles. I’d recommend sizing up by one size if you want your shirt to fit the way it is in the pictures because they are definitely true to size.” – MegWal, Uniqlo Review
Uniqlo U Crew Neck Short-Sleeve T-Shirt, $, available at Uniqlo
Parade Supersoft Perfect Tee Shirt
The Semi-Sheer Black T-Shirt
Ideal for your glamorous off-duty life, this slightly cropped, semi-sheer T-shirt that’s made from extra soft moisture-wicking material is a hit amongst reviewers.
The Hype: 5 out of 5 stars on Parade
What They’re Saying: “I bought the shirt in black, fell in love and bought two more! It’s so soft and fits so nicely, perfectly casual and sexy at the same time if that’s possible.” – Victoria V., Parade Review
Parade SuperSoft Perfect T-Shirt, $, available at Parade
BDG Brooklyn Ringer Tee
The Extra-Cropped Black T-Shirt
This retro shrunken-fit baby tee has a ringer-style neckline, comes in seven colorways, and is made of 100% cotton.
The Hype: 5 out of 5 stars on Urban Outfitters
What They’re Saying: “I just got this in the mail, and I’m already in love! It’s the perfect length, the material is good quality! I love the grey on the collar (I ordered black), and it fits perfectly too! Buy this!!!” — Tova_Clover, Free People Review
Shop Urban Outfitters
BDG Brooklyn Ringer Tee, $, available at Urban Outffiters
Free People Movement Second Base Tee
The Textured Black T-Shirt
As an update to a standard black T-shirt, this style features a boxy fit, a curved hem, and ribbed knit texture.
The Hype: 5 out of 5 stars on Free People
What They’re Saying: “I ordered this in both black and yellow and now I want it in more colors! Material is soft and light but opaque, and the M is a bit large but offers the perfect amount of room for someone who often wears a S in tees and doesn’t want a truly cropped look. Even though it’s boxy, this tee hangs perfectly.” – Jilleyn, Free People Review
Shop Free People
FP Movement Second Base Tee, $, available at Free People
Everlane Organic Cotton Box-Cut Pocket Tee
The Boxy, Cropped Black T-Shirt
If you’re going for that live-in look, Everlane’s boxy T-shirt is for you. The best part is it actually will get softer and more relaxed as you wash it thanks to the organic cotton fabric.
The Hype: 4.62 out of 5 stars on Everlane
What They’re Saying: “This is my favorite shirt. I’ve worn it twice this week, you could say I’m a little obsessed. Perfect cut, a little cropped but long enough to just cover pants without looking baggy. And it’s so soft. Get one! Or three!” – abcb1233, Everlane Review
Everlane The Organic Cotton Box-Cut Pocket Tee, $, available at Everlane
Universal Standard Bella Boatneck Tee
The Size-Inclusive Black T-Shirt
For a little extra coverage and a sophisticated silhouette, Universal Standard’s must-have tee features a slightly longer length sleeve, slinky fabric, and comes in an extensive range of sizes.
The Hype: 4.4 out of 5 Stars on Universal Standard
What They’re Saying: “Nice sleeve length and long body are very flattering. Fits comfortably enough to go from work to lounge, with dress pants or jeans. Love it! I got a couple colors!” – Jamie L., Universal Standard Review
Shop Universal Standard
Universal Standard Bella Boatneck Tee, $, available at Universal Standard
Amazon Essential Black Crew Neck Tee (Two Pack)
The Made-For-Customers Black T-Shirt
Amazon started with customer reviews and feedback to create their wardrobe essentials line, so it’s no surprise that most of the pieces in the offering are best-sellers — like this classic black T-shirt that’s comfortable and soft.
The Hype: 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon
What They’re Saying: “I absolutely love them. I had read a lot of reviews, but I was still genuinely surprised at the quality of the material as soon as I opened the package. The material has some weight to it — doesn’t feel cheap, thin or flimsy at all, and is soft to the touch.” – Vi, Amazon Review
Shop Amazon Essentials
Amazon Essentials 2-Pack Short-Sleeve Crewneck Solid T-Shirt, $, available at Amazon
James Perse Little Boy Tee
The Investment Black T-Shirt
This tee is made from 100% cotton and has a slightly loose fit, making it an investment t-shirt that is just the right balance of cool and classic.
The Hype: 4.6 out of 5 tars on Revolve
What They’re Saying: “I wish there were more stars to give! This shirt is my favorite T-shirt ever. It’s soft and a quality material.” – Anonymous, Revolve Review
Shop James Perse
James Perse Little Boy Tee, $, available at Revolve
Richer Poorer Cropped Pima Boxy Crop Tee
The Cropped Pocket Black T-Shirt
Keep it cool with an A+ pocket tee that has everything you want — just the right crop, 100% cotton fabric, a scoop neckline, just-long-enough sleeves, and a classic pocket.
The Hype: 4.7 out of 5 Stars on Richer Poorer
What They’re Saying: “Most crop tops are still really revealing but these go well with all my usual high-waisted bottoms. They’re soft and the colors are crisp. I bought 5 because I wanted quality plain colored shirts and I’m really happy with them. Washing them didn’t destroy the color either, which I was worried about.” – Vennessa, Richer Poorer Review
Shop Richer Poorer
Richer Poorer Pima Boxy Crop Tee, $, available at Richer Poorer
A New Day Short-Sleeve V-Neck T-Shirt
The Perfect Plus-Size Black T-Shirt
Featuring a lightweight 100% cotton and a flattering v-neck, this is the tee you can dress up with a skirt and jacket or down with jeans. You’ll live in it.
The Hype: 4 out of 5 stars on Target
What They’re Saying: “Nice fitting casual top. Can be dressed up or kept casual and is super comfortable. Easy to wash and wear and great value for the price.” – Anonymous, Target Review
A New Day Short Sleeve V-Neck T-Shirt, $, available at Target
Hanes Sport Cool Performance Tee
The Performance Black T-Shirt
Hanes is a poster child for the perfect basic T-shirt, including this popular performance tee you can layer or wear as is in extreme heat without having to worry about excess sweat.
The Hype: 4.1 out of 5 stars on Amazon
What They’re Saying: “I LOVE this shirt. This shirt keeps me cooler than any other shirt I own. It seems to dry almost as quickly as I sweat. I put this shirt through extremes, 90 degree weather with 70-80% humidity.” – Heather A., Amazon Review
Hanes Sport Cool DRI Performance V-Neck Tee, $, available at AmazonThe Oversized Tee
As an update to a standard black T-shirt, this style features an oversized fit, slouchy sleeves, and a mock neck.
The Hype: 4.5 out of 5 stars on Free People
What They’re Saying: “Love this shirt!! It can be dressed down or up for the perfect t boho look! After I wore the first one I purchased I went back and purchased two more in different colors! It’s a MUST HAVE!” – Tasha, Free People Review
We The Free Fearless Tee, $, available at Free PeopleThe Flowy Tee
As an update to a standard black T-shirt, this style features an asymmetrical hem and a billowy back for a flattering, non-clingy fit.
The Hype: 4.9 out of 5 stars on Nordstrom
What They’re Saying: “I’m always looking for T shirts that have a little more than your standard T. The detail on the back and the asymmetrical hem give this shirt a little more flattering shape. Not to mention, it is SO soft. Definitely buy it!” – Katherine203, Nordstrom Review
Bobeau Butter Short Sleeve Tee, $, available at NordstromThe Elbow-Length Tee
For a little extra coverage and a sophisticated silhouette, LOFT’s must-have elbow-length black T-shirt is all you’ll want to wear.
The Hype: 4.7 out of 5 Stars on LOFT
What They’re Saying: “This is a great little tee to wear any time of year. The elbow sleeves can help to cover sagging triceps. The scoop neck is not too low. The material is a very nice weight.” – sunnyinstgeorge, LOFT Review
LOFT Elbow Sleeve Tee, $, available at LOFT
Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?