You don’t always want Space Age tech. Don’t get me wrong—a wicking performance layer with antimicrobial properties comes in handy when you’re slogging away on the trail or sending a cliff. But sometimes cotton is king. Like when you’re lounging or just taking a walk to get a cup of coffee. Sometimes you just want to be comfortable. We picked five inexpensive cotton shirts that look great and feel even better.
Arc’teryx Glades ($27)
Arc’teryx makes incredibly good technical clothing, but it also makes incredibly comfortable T-shirts, thanks to organic cotton that’s prewashed to maintain the shirt’s fit and feel. Also, who doesn’t love happy trees?
Patagonia Porch Concert ($25)
Patagonia goes above and beyond (as always), sourcing organic cotton but also using PVC- and phthalate-free ink in the screen printing and Fair Trade–certified sewing to create a truly eco-friendly T-shirt. We dig the design by surfer/artist Trevor Gordon, too.
Faherty Brand Indigo Pocket ($55)
This 100 percent cotton shirt is indigo-dyed and washed so it feels like your favorite T-shirt the first time you put it on. And just looking at this shirt’s horizontal rugby stripes makes me think of the movie Endless Summer.
Mollusk Olde Whale ($27)
Let the preppies have their alligator pockets. We’ll take this big-ass whale over here. Mollusk (a surf shop out of San Francisco) preshrinks its 100 percent cotton tee so it stays true to size. Buyer’s note: order a size down if you don’t like a baggy fit.
Howler Bros El Capitan ($23)
OK, we’re fudging things here a little—this T-shirt is actually a cotton/poly blend. It’s still plenty soft, but to be honest, this shirt is on the list because of that monkey. What’s your spirit animal? ’Cause we just found ours.