Have you ever stopped to think about how hard it is to find a really good t-shirt?
And not just a passable, run-of-the-mill, three-to-a-pack undershirt that’ll get you through a workday or a workout—a truly good t-shirt, one whose quality and construction stand up to the best jeans and button downs in your closet, feels great to wear and will last as long as a well-cared-for pair of boots. If you haven’t been able to find a t-shirt like that, it’s probably because it hasn’t existed.
Or at least it might not have until today. On Tuesday, Outlier, the New York-based clothing brand known for its obsessive fabric development (in some cases, going so far as to test lots of different options for a garment until it finds “whichever is best for the job,” as it explained in a recent tweet), introduced the world to its new Strong T-Shirt, a short-sleeved version of the classic staple made from a nylon jersey that feels suspiciously like cotton. To mimic the natural fiber’s handfeel, Outlier’s design team chopped and spun nylon threads the same way cotton is usually treated, leaving them with a combination of softness and durability.
I spent the weekend wearing the navy blue version (it also comes in white and black,) and found that it felt like wearing a cotton t-shirt, but performed slightly better. While the shirt isn’t billed as being water-resistant, a splashing of tea beaded right off the front of the shirt and slid down onto a pair of jeans like raindrops off a trench coat. The fit is also great: the sleeves hit right at the middle of your bicep (which is exactly where you want them; any higher and you look like a gym-addicted showoff, any lower and you look like an old man) and the hem is slightly longer—great for guys who want to keep up with the trend and tuck in their t-shirts. It didn’t wrinkle as much as a cotton t-shirt from morning to evening, and pulling a wool sweater on over it was slightly easier than it usually is with cotton variants. That might have only saved seconds getting ready to get out the door, but anything that saves you even a little time in a world as commitment-filled as this one is worth the price.
And speaking of price: these t-shirts ring in at $65 apiece. It might sound like a lot for a garment that doesn’t even have your favorite band’s logo on its front, but because they really are that tough, they’ll last way, way longer than the versions you already have in your closet.