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What is a Premium T-Shirt?

By ShirtSpace | May 08, 2023 |  Updated Jan 08, 2024

T-shirts come in various options from quality, brand and price point. So what is a premium shirt compared to a standard, everyday tee? T-shirts have come a long way from being basic undershirts to becoming a fashion staple in our wardrobes. With the rising popularity of casual and streetwear fashion, t-shirts have taken on a new level of importance. There is now a significant distinction between a basic t-shirt and a premium t-shirt. So, what is a premium shirt? Stick around and we'll discuss what a premium t-shirt is, its features, benefits, how to identify a high-quality t-shirt, and where to buy it.

Hero image credit: The Creative Exchange

Plain t-shirts are a wardrobe staple that everyone owns, but you will quickly learn that not all t-shirts are created equal. While there are plenty of basic t-shirts available in the market, premium t-shirts have a certain level of quality that truly sets them apart from the rest. Continue reading to take a closer look at what makes a t-shirt "premium," — its features, benefits, how to identify one, why you should invest in them, and where you can purchase them from.

Man and woman wearing the Bella+Canvas 3001C in the colors “sand dune” and “silver”.
Shirts Pictured: Bella+Canvas B6400 “sand dune” and 3001C in “silver”

The Features of a Premium T-Shirt

A premium t-shirt is made with high-quality materials, often using better fabrics such as combed and ringspun cotton, organic cotton, or jersey knits, which are softer and have a better drape than regular cotton. Premium t-shirts also have a higher thread count, meaning they are softer and smoother to the touch. Additionally, they often feature reinforced stitching and double-needle stitched hems, which make them stronger and able to withstand many washes and wears.

Another feature of a premium t-shirt is the fit. Premium t-shirts are designed to fit well and flatter your body shape. They are often slightly tapered at the waist and have a slightly longer length than regular t-shirts, which gives a better silhouette. Most have side seams, which provide a retail fit and avoid torquing. Additionally, they often have a seamless collar, which prevents the collar from rolling or stretching out of shape, and the sleeves are tailored to fit the arms better.

A premium t-shirt is not just any ordinary shirt; it is designed to provide comfort, style, and durability. Here are some features that distinguish a premium t-shirt from the rest:

  1. Fabric Quality - Premium t-shirts are made from high-quality materials, which are softer and more durable than basic t-shirt materials.

  2. Fit - A premium t-shirt should have a tailored fit that hugs your body without being too tight or too loose. It should also be designed to retain its shape after multiple washes.

  3. Detailing - Premium t-shirts often have finer details like double-needle stitching, reinforced seams, and tagless or tear-away labeling to prevent irritation.

  4. Finishing - Some premium t-shirts have a softer finishing, which means the material has gone through additional processes to give it a smooth and luxurious feel.

White, red, black, gold, maroon and tan t-shirts from ShirtSpace hanging on a clothes rack.
Photo credit: Parker Burchfield

The Benefits of Wearing a Premium T-Shirt

Wearing a premium t-shirt can provide several benefits that regular t-shirts cannot. To recap, here are the main reasons premium t-shirts stand apart:

  1. Comfort - Wearing a premium t-shirt has many pros. They are more comfortable to wear due to the higher quality of materials used. They are softer, smoother, and more breathable, which means that you'll feel comfortable wearing them all day long and everyday wear. Plus, premium t-shirts last longer than regular t-shirts due to their higher-quality materials and reinforced stitching. 

  2. Durability - Plus, premium tees are durable and long-lasting. We’ve all heard the old adage, “you get what you pay for,” and premium t-shirts are no exception. You can expect a premium t-shirt to have a much longer lifespan than a cheaper t-shirt made of lower quality. Premium t-shirts are made from high-quality materials that can withstand multiple washes, ensuring they last longer than regular t-shirts. You can count on premium t-shirts to provide you with value for the cost.

  3. Style - Another benefit of wearing a premium t-shirt is that they look better. Premium t-shirts are designed to fit well, flatter your body shape, and have a better overall appearance than regular t-shirts. This means that you'll look more put-together and stylish when you wear them since premium t-shirts often have a more polished and refined look that can elevate any outfit.

How to Identify a High-Quality T-Shirt

You cannot always look at t-shirts online or even with the naked eye and decipher what's a premium t-shirt. Now that you know what features make a t-shirt premium, how can you quickly tell if a t-shirt is of high quality? Here are some tips:

  1. Fabric - Check the fabric content and feel the fabric. High-quality t-shirts are often made from soft and smooth materials that feel luxurious to the touch. The only exception of where you might look for a tougher, studier cotton is with some tie-dye projects.

  2. Construction - Look for double-needle stitching, reinforced seams, a seamless collar to prevent rolling and permanent or removable labeling. These details indicate that the t-shirt is well-constructed and designed to last.

  3. Fit - Try on the t-shirt and check the fit. A premium t-shirt should have a tailored fit that hugs your body without being too tight or too loose. The premium tee should flatter your body shape, so if the t-shirt fits poorly or is too boxy, it's probably not a premium t-shirt.

The Difference Between Classic and Premium T-Shirts



  • Scratchier or stiffer look and feel

  • Boxier fit

  • Often no side seams

  • Single-needle stitching

  • Uneven seams

  • Not always pre-shrunk

  • Sewn in tags

  • Lower price point

  • Basic styles with no extra bells or whistles

  • Often less breathable & moisture-wicking

  • Simpler laundry instructions that often allow for machine washing and drying

  • Super soft look and feel

  • Fashion-forward fit

  • Side seams

  • Double-needle stitching throughout

  • Precise seams

  • Sometimes pre-shrunk

  • Tagless or tear-away tags

  • Higher price point

  • Unique features such as curved hems or trendy necklines

  • Often more breathable & moisture-wicking

  • Sometimes needs special care instructions such as hand-washing or air drying

Best Premium T-Shirts

ShirtSpace has the best premium t-shirts for your next order. Plus, if you like to decorate, especially printing, these premium tees are perfect for your next HTV, DTG, screen printing or other custom apparel project! 

Bella+Canvas T-Shirts

Closeup of the collar of the Bella+Canvas 3001C in “soft cream”.
Shirt Pictured: Bella+Canvas 3001C in “soft cream”.

Bella+Canvas is known and revered for its high-quality blank apparel that is making waves in the retail and wholesale blank apparel industries. Their trendy cuts, huge selection of unique colors, and ultra-soft fabrics make Bella+Canvas blanks the total package! Although their entire collection is of superb quality, here are some of the most popular:

1. Bella+Canvas 3001C Unisex Jersey Short Sleeve T-Shirt
2. Bella+Canvas 3001CVC Unisex Heather CVC Short Sleeve T-Shirt
3. Bella+Canvas 3301C Unisex Sueded T-Shirt
4. Bella+Canvas 3413C Unisex Triblend Short Sleeve T-Shirt
5. Bella+Canvas B6400 Ladies' Relaxed Jersey Short-Sleeve T-Shirt

Comfort Colors

Shirts Pictured: Comfort Colors C1717 in “orchid” and “melon”.

Comfort Colors brand t-shirts are known for their super soft feel and fantastic color selection. Preshrunk, soft-washed, and garment-dyed Comfort Colors products are high-quality and perfect for personal wear or printing. Sometimes heavyweight t-shirts lose their softness, but not with Comfort Colors! The C1717 is thick and durable but soft as can be. Check out the almost 70 color options for this super popular tee. Plus, the heavier weight makes this an excellent tee for embroidery! Here are some of our favorite Comfort Colors t-shirt styles:

1. Comfort Colors C1717 Heavyweight Ring Spun Tee
2. Comfort Colors C6014 Heavyweight Ring Spun Long Sleeve Tee
3. Comfort Colors 6030CC Heavyweight Ring Spun Pocket Tee
4. Comfort Colors 1745 Adult Heavyweight Color Blast T-Shirt
5. Comfort Colors C4410 Heavyweight Ring Spun Long Sleeve Pocket Tee

Mercer+Mettle T-Shirts

Man wearing the Mercer+Mettle MM1016 in “deep black” from ShirtSpace.
Shirt Pictured: Mercer+Mettle MM1016 in “deep black”.

Created to be the perfect tees for work and play, you can dress in Mercer+Mettle in the morning for your day at the office and transition to an evening out without worrying about your outfit. Made from superior materials and oh-so-soft, Mercer+Mettle tees are the perfect choice for any working professional on the go, or those just like really high-quality t-shirts!

1. Mercer+Mettle MM1016 MERCER+METTLE ™ Stretch Jersey Crew
2. Mercer+Mettle MM1017 MERCER+METTLE ™ Women's Stretch Jersey Relaxed Scoop

Next Level T-Shirts

Next Level 3604 ringer tees hanging on hangers in “natural/black”.
Shirts Pictured: Next Level 3604 ringer tee in “natural/black”.

The name says it all with Next Level apparel! These blanks are a top choice for printers and decorators because they are buttery smooth and come in a great color selection. Next Level’s t-shirts are comfortable, don’t shrink drastically, are incredibly well made, and look great, customized, or left blank. Next Level also has a large selection of t-shirts, but these are some of our top picks due to their incredible high quality. 

1. Next Level 3600 Unisex Cotton T-Shirt
2. Next Level N6210 Unisex CVC T-Shirt
3. Next Level N1540 Ladies' Ideal V
4. Next Level N1510 Ladies' Ideal T-Shirt
5. Next Level 6200 Unisex Poly/Cotton T-Shirt

Delta Platinum T-Shirts

Women’s Delta Platinum P508T raglan tee from ShirtSpace in “athletic heather/berry heather”.
Shirt Pictured: Delta Platinum P508T in “athletic heather/berry heather”.

Delta’s Platinum apparel line is a step above classic Delta Apparel, with features like their signature oatmeal heather material, fashionable necklines and supreme construction. These blank t-shirts and raglans are a step above your standard t-shirts or baseball tees.

1. Platinum P601C Delta Platinum Adult CVC Short Sleeve Crew Neck Tee
2. Platinum P508T Delta Platinum Ladies 3/4 Sleeve Raglan Tee
3. Platinum P504C Delta Platinum Ladies CVC Short Sleeve Scoop Neck Tee
4. Platinum P601T Delta Platinum Adult Tri-Blend Short Sleeve Crew Neck Tee
5. Platinum P601 Delta Platinum Adult 100% Cotton Short Sleeve Crew Neck Tee

Why You Should Invest in Premium T-Shirts

Investing in premium t-shirts is a smart move for several reasons. Firstly, they are more comfortable to wear, which means that you'll feel better throughout the day. Secondly, they last longer than regular t-shirts, which means you'll save money in the long run by not having to replace them as often. Also, premium t-shirts look better and are more flattering, meaning you'll look better when you wear them. Another reason to invest in premium t-shirts is that they are a versatile item in your wardrobe. They can be dressed up or dressed down and worn for many occasions.

Folded and stacked Bella+Canvas shirts, including the 3413C in “white fleck triblend” and “ash”, 3001CVC in “heather stone”, “heather dust”, “heather tan” and “heather prism peach” (2), and the 3413C again in “peach triblend” from ShirtSpace.
Shirts pictured (from top to bottom): Bella+Canvas 3413C in “white fleck triblend” and “ash”, 3001CVC in “heather stone”, “heather dust”, “heather tan” and “heather prism peach” (2), and the 3413C again in “peach triblend” .

Where To Buy Premium T-Shirts?

Now that you know what features to look for in a premium t-shirt, where can you buy them? One great place to shop for premium t-shirts is ShirtSpace. ShirtSpace offers a wide selection of premium t-shirts from some of the best brands.

In conclusion, premium t-shirts are designed to provide higher comfort, durability, and style than regular t-shirts. By knowing what features to look for, you can identify a high-quality t-shirt worth investing in. And when it comes to buying premium t-shirts, ShirtSpace has a wide variety in men’s, women’s, youth and unisex sizing — so everyone can enjoy the look and feel of a premium t-shirt!

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Stoked Online Shopping04/04/2024 11:40 am

I absolutely love the versatility of oversized plain T-shirts! They're perfect for lounging around the house or dressing up with some accessories for a casual day out. Plus, they're so comfy!


ShirtSpace04/04/2024 10:35 pm

We couldn't agree more! Thanks for reading our blog.


gideon10/09/2023 08:10 pm

Any recs for pocket t's preferably polyester or a blend? be used for gym/casual wear thanks


ShirtSpace10/09/2023 09:10 pm

Hi, Gideon! We have a few suggestions for you. We recommend this Port & Company tee: or Jerzees 29P: 100% polyester pocket tees aren't something we have seen come through from our suppliers yet, but that will be awesome when they do!


Mulalo07/06/2023 02:45 am

i want a buy t-shits in bulk am from South Africa. How does it work


ShirtSpace07/06/2023 04:38 pm

Hello, Mulalo! Unfortunately, our business is only set up to ship to U.S., Puerto Rico and Guam addresses at this time. We are so sorry and wish you the best on your journey to find t-shirts in bulk, and thank you for reading our blog!


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