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Side seam VS Tubular: What's the difference?

By Shirtspace | Jul 19, 2017 |  Updated Jan 03, 2020

When searching for t shirts that fit well, feel good, and look great there are a couple of really important things to look for: those with side seams and those without.

One of two basic ways that t shirts are constructed is using side seams. Tees made using side seams have a more structured look, and while they are generally more expensive to make, they are also more flattering too. 

Side seamed t shirts are typically what you’ll find in a retail setting and are available in a variety of styles for men, women, and kids alike. For those who prefer a tailored fit, there are plenty of fitted, fashion-forward options available. On the flip side, there are boxy, less fitted options available too. Regardless of the fit, side seam t shirts are far and away the most flattering tee to go with.

Tubular is the second basic way t shirts are constructed. This type of t shirt is just how it sounds. It’s constructed without the use of side seams and has a tubular shape. While cheaper to manufacture given that tubular t shirts require less sewing, they aren’t exactly figure-flattering because people’s bodies aren’t tubes. With that said, if you’re looking for a cheap t shirt option and fashion isn’t an important factor, tubular tees are the way to go.

Having a basic understanding of the way t-shirts are constructed lays the groundwork for choosing the perfect tee. Wading through the countless t-shirt styles available today will take time and likely some trial and error, but knowing the difference between side seam and tubular is the best place to start.

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