T-Shirt Blog Post 3: What should you pay for a T-shirt?

Posted by Dean Simpson on

The question of how much a shopper should pay for a T-shirt has been on my mind.  It's an important question when you selling T-shirts and, of course, when you're buying one.  I was going to take a break from designing new shirts to research answers to the question:  Why do T-shirts cost what they do?  But it turns out, I don't have to!  A friend sent me an article that breaks it down along the lines of fabric, manufacturing, and marketing.  You can read the article by Julia Brucculieri here:


All of my T-shirts are 100% cotton.  However, there is more to understanding what you're going to get when you purchase T-shirt.  If a T-shirt label only says 100% cotton, it is probably a less expensive and less refined fabric.  If, however, the label indicates the fabric is "ringspun", then you have a step -up in quality.  Ringspun fabrics, having gone through a spinning process that softens the fibers, are smoother to the touch and are also stronger.  Another step-up in quality is combed ringspun.  Like the name implies, the cotton fibers in this case have also been combed for an even more pure, refined, softer fabric.

Here's the breakdown:

Quality Level Label Description
OK 100% cotton
Better 100% ringspun cotton
Best 100% ringspun combed cotton


In addition to the way the cotton is processed, fabrics have different weights.  Paying attend to the weight of the shirt can tell you a lot.  T-shirt weights often range from 3.0 oz to 6.0+ oz.  

3.0 oz Very light
4.5 oz to 5.3 oz Standard
6+ oz Heavy


4.3 oz and below are lighter weight and provide a more fashionable, cleaner fit and feel.  

A final factor to consider is the weave of the fabric.  There are 18, 30, and 40-single weave yarns.  These numbers refer to the number of threads per yarn.  The higher the number, the tighter the weave, the smoother the feel.  A 40-singles, 4.0 oz, combed ringspun cotton T-shirt (with or without a design) is a higher-end "luxury" T-shirt that can cost anywhere from $30 to $300!  Tees in a Pod shirts fall on the higher end of this spectrum while being affordable. 

Tees in a Pod T-shirts are (exceptions below):

  • 100% ringspun combed cotton
  • 4.3 oz
  • 30-singles


Men's V-Neck-

  • 100% ringspun combed cotton
  • 4.2 oz
  • 30-singles

Unisex Crew Neck-

  • 100% cotton
  • 4.3 oz
  • 30-singles

Men's Tank-

  • 100% ringspun combed cotton
  • 3.8 oz
  • 30-singles

Unisex Hoodie

  • 9-ounce, 50/50 cotton/poly fleece

Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions.

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