By throwing on a simple and understated T-shirt, I can spend more time adventuring.
By throwing on a simple and understated T-shirt, I can spend more time adventuring. (Jakob Schiller)

Our Favorite Everyday Men’s T-Shirts for Summer

Seven simple options to throw on when the sun’s out

By throwing on a simple and understated T-shirt, I can spend more time adventuring.
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You’ve probably heard that Steve Jobs wore the same thing every day. He didn’t want to waste any time thinking about his clothes, in order to dedicate more time to his inventions.

I’m no Steve, but I absolutely agree with his approach. By simplifying my wardrobe, I’m able to get on with my workday or adventure more quickly. For Steve, it was turtlenecks. But here in New Mexico, where it’s considerably hotter than the Bay Area, I’m all about the simple and understated T-shirt.

There are thousands of tees out there, so to help you choose your next ol’ reliable, I rounded up my seven favorites.


Free Fly Flex Pocket ($50)

(Jakob Schiller)

Best For: Monday through Friday, nine to five
Size Range: S to XXL

Made from bamboo, polyester, and spandex, the Flex Pocket wicks sweat just as quickly as my favorite running shirt but looks good enough to sport at the office, thanks to muted colors and a heathered pattern. The four-way stretch moves with me when I’m hiking or commuting on my bike, and the bamboo build gives the Flex an overwhelmingly soft and comfy next-to-skin feeling that I’m glad to wear for hours on end.

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Prana Crew ($29)

(Jakob Schiller)

Best For: Your wallet
Size Range: S to XXL

Were I to truly mimic Steve Jobs, I would just buy ten of these shirts and call it a day. Made from 60 percent organic cotton and 40 percent recycled polyester, the Crew isn’t fancy but comes in nearly a dozen colors and is beautifully tailored, so it looks good on any body type. And at this price, the Crew is affordable enough that if I ruin one, it doesn’t hurt too much to buy a replacement.

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Wellen Hemp ($36)

(Jakob Schiller)

Best For: Weekend hangs
Size Range: S to XXL

Patina isn’t something you’d normally associate with a T-shirt, but this one will develop a beautiful sheen as you break it in. That’s because the hemp that makes up more than half the fabric is ultra durable, so you can abuse it and the shirt will tell it’s own story over time. Hemp also requires less water to grow than conventional cotton, so the tee’s environmental footprint is relatively small. Cut loose, but not frumpy, the Wellen is my go-to weekend shirt, and it always matches well with a pair of shorts and sandals.

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Patagonia P-6 Label Pocket Responsibili-Tee ($40)

(Jakob Schiller)

Best For: Going easy on the environment
Size Range: XS to XXL

This shirt is the most “Patagonia” piece of any Patagonia gear I’ve ever owned. It’s made from 100 percent recycled materials, including four plastic bottles and less than half a pound of cotton scrap. According to the company, that build uses 96 percent less water and creates 45 percent less CO2 during manufacturing compared to a conventional cotton T-shirt. It’s a medium-thick and easy-wearing piece that I’ve regularly packed for road trips or worn around the house when I want something simple and reliable. 

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Taylor Stitch the Heavy Bag ($45)

(Jakob Schiller)

Best For: Cool weather and yard work
Size Range: S to XXL

Most T-shirts last a year or two if you wear them regularly. I expect this one to last a full decade, thanks to a design of extra-thick, eight-ounce upcycled cotton and recycled polyester. It’s so well-made, in fact, that it took me a couple wears to get used to the thicker material. This garment isn’t made for hot days in the desert or the South, but I think it would be an ideal layer for mild days in the mountains, the Bay Area, or the Pacific Northwest. I’ve used mine for everything from yard work to climbing to cutting trees, and it barely shows.

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Ginew Naasagó Forward Movement ($44)

(Jakob Schiller)

Best For: Rocking a meaningful graphic tee
Size Range: S to XXL

Ginew is a Native American clothing brand owned by Amanda Bruegl and her husband, Erik Brodt, and this shirt is a collaboration with Corey Begay, a Diné (Navajo) artist. Begay, who created the design, says the tribal word naasagó roughly translates to “the action of moving forward,” which is represented by the bear moving forward from day to night, over the ground and under the sky. The glasses on the bear signify modern culture (and are also a regular inclusion by Begay, because he wears glasses, too).

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Ibex 24 Hour Short Sleeve Crew ($88)

(Jakob Schiller)

Best For: Battling odor
Size Range: S to XL

Not all merino shirts are created equal. Some feel worn-out after the first few washes, as the wool can’t put up with much wear and tear. The 24 Hour, on the other hand, has been a champ. Great at wicking sweat and fighting stink, it’s been plenty durable and still looks pretty new after days of use and a couple times through the spin cycle. The price tag hurts a bit, but you only really need one good wool T-shirt. Ibex offers the 24 Hour in seven fun colors.

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Lead Photo: Jakob Schiller

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