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Article: Are expensive luxury T-shirts really worth it?

Couple wearing expensive luxury T-shirts

Are expensive luxury T-shirts really worth it?

Believe it or not, cheap T-shirts cost a lot more than luxury T-shirts.

We’re not just talking about environmental costs. Let’s start with economics.

Let’s say you buy a $10 T-shirt. Chances are, a T-shirt like that is not made of organic cotton, even if it’s a 100% cotton T-shirt. The thread count of the cheap T-shirt is probably on the lower side. It was likely artificially softened and dyed with chemicals. After a few washes and wears, you’ll soon find it shrunken, stained, and holed--or the threads might start coming undone.

In other words, it’s not long before you have to replace the cheap T-shirt. You only get so many wears out of it before you have to buy it again. Therefore, you pay a lot more per wear for a cheap T-shirt than you do a luxury T-shirt like a Classic T-shirt, which lasts longer in terms of quality and is more resistant to tears, fading, and shrinking.

So let’s run some numbers: a luxury T-shirt costs $60 and a cheap T-shirt costs $10. Let’s assume you replace cheap T-shirts once a month; if you only buy cheap T-shirts, in six months, you would spend $60. That’s $120 per a year. 

Even more if you have to replace those cheap T-shirts more frequently than once a month. Sometimes you only get a few weeks out of a cheap T-shirt. 

Now, how often do you have to replace luxury T-shirts? You could be looking at the same rate of replacement if the luxury T-shirt was produced in the fast fashion cycle with inorganic cotton. Just because the tag calls something a luxury T-shirt doesn’t make it so. True luxury comes from the maker’s intention: the quality and care that goes into creating the T-shirt from growing the cotton to designing that shirt. 

True luxury is everlasting.

Man wearing stylish luxury T-shirt

Every brand is different, and if there were no good reason behind the cost of an expensive luxury T-shirt, it would not be a good investment. But when you can see what you’re buying, where the cost comes from, and you’re promised a good return on investment, you’re more than likely looking at luxury. 

Classic T-shirts are longer-lasting than cheap T-shirts by design. Even with frequent wears and washes, you should at least expect a yearlong lifespan of a Classic T-shirt. This investment would more than cut your spending in half, because Classic T-shirts cost less than $60. 

See for yourself.

And not only do cheap T-shirts cost you a lot, they have a high cost on the world around us. They’re often made with exploitative labor and cotton that’s full of pesticides and grown in a way that’s harsh on the earth. 

Here’s why buying premium T-shirts is a choice you’ll want to make.

Field of super soft sustainable cotton


We’re upfront about what goes into our premium T-shirts because we believe everybody has the right to know where they’re putting their money and what they’re putting on their bodies. Our shirts are made from combed, ring-spun, 40 single, 137 GSM, 100% organic, garment-dyed cotton.

Let’s break that down: 

Combed means that our organic cotton fibers are mechanically sieved. Much like combing your hair, combing cotton helps straighten out the fibers. It also removes contaminants like dirt, seeds, or insects without using chemicals. This results in material that’s stronger, more durable, and consistent in length.

Ring-spun means that our yarn is made by a soft and strong rope of cotton fibers. Traditional cotton manufacturers twist vegetable fibers into a cheaper yarn; we twist and thin the cotton strands to create a unique high-quality yarn. You can notice the difference when you put on a Classic T-shirt or even run your hand over it. It’s a buttery smooth texture that retains its softness wash after wash. 

40 single, 137 GSM refers to the weight of the thread. Our high count means a finer thread, which results in a tighter weave and a more lightweight, breathable fabric.

100% organic means our cotton is totally free of harsh pesticides and uses less water than conventional cotton. It’s grown by farmers who care for their community, not by companies who exploit land for resources and labor. Organic cotton is not genetically modified and instead grown the way nature intended--which gives us higher-quality fabrics and higher-quality T-shirts

Garment-dyed means our T-shirts are made, then dyed. It’s an extensive process with serious benefits: it makes Classic T-shirts feel softer and more comfortable and also prevents shrinkage.

Related: Why wear organic cotton T-shirts?

Happy couple wearing durable T-shirts


Durability means your T-shirt is hard to tear and doesn’t suffer from wear. That’s why a high-quality T-shirt isn’t just a purchase, it’s an investment that pays off. 

Instead of dealing with a cheap T-shirt that shrinks and comes apart and then tossing it after a few weeks or months, you’ll have a long-lasting garment that looks great for the long haul.

Don’t be afraid to wear a high-quality T-shirt for utility as much as fashion. Classic T-shirts are just as good undergarments as they are standalone fashion statements. Breathable, comfortable, and lightweight, you can wear Classic T-shirts to bed or under your work clothes. 

You can wear them just as well to the gym, the court, the field--athletes love how Classic T-shirts can help your body regulate temperature. 

Don’t worry about ruining a Classic T-shirt for fashion. After a wash, your Classic T-shirt still comes out just as fresh as when you bought it. And the quality doesn’t fade. Classic T-shirts keep you warm through a New England Winter, and cool through a California summer. And if you live where it’s hot and humid year-round, you probably already know the difference 100% cotton T-shirts make to help keep you cool… but have you felt the difference of 100% organic cotton?

Related: Why is cotton so comfortable?


Many T-shirt manufacturers think of T-shirts as being too basic to merit any thought or effort or care—but not the best quality T-shirt brands. Rather than mass produced by machines, luxury T-shirts are handcrafted and embroidered. Care, attention, and a healthy dose of quality control goes into every single one of our products.

We view our shirts as fashion statements, and a lot of thought goes into our fit.

We use a semi-fitted design for men and a boyfriend fit for women because it’s flattering and classic for each gender. Our shirts have a drape that suits your body to provide a chic look, and our classic style means our T-shirts have always been “in.” And if history continues to repeat itself… T-shirts always will be fashionable… even on the red carpet! 


Brooklyn Beckham in a white classic T-shirtKeri Russell in a white Classic T-shirt

(Left) Brooklyn Beckham in a men's white classic T-shirt. (Right) Keri Russell in a women's white classic T-shirt.

The evolution and history of Classic T-shirts covers more than a century. What started with frustrated stevedores and sailors eventually led to teenage rebellion and Hollywood legends, which evolved again into the quintessential casual style. And now we are seeing the T-shirt become a vehicle for change with the minimalist fashion movement and sustainable fashion movement. 

All-in-all, the T-shirt has never gone out of style, and likely never will.

Related: The Evolution Of The Classic T-shirt


Premium T-shirts are about more than a good product—they’re about a commitment to the people that make them and the communities they impact.

The Classic T-Shirt company is committed to sustainability and fair trade principles. That means our high-quality T-shirts are made in a way that minimizes our impact on the earth, and our workers and farmers are treated with respect. Our T-shirts are sustainable and made in the USA at a partner fair trade facility in Los Angeles, CA.

We also use a portion of our proceeds to protect our natural resources. One percent of our profits, equity, and time go toward causes like ocean cleanup, tree planting, and safe drinking water.

We give back what we can in order to honor our mission. The Classic T-Shirt Company was founded with purpose--not just to shake up the fashion industry, not just to create the perfect T-shirt, but to set an example for future generations. Our company was founded by Paul and Olga Garibian, parents with a background in fashion and technology, who wanted to set an example for their daughters. They made the mission of the company to sell T-shirts that are fashionable and good for the world.

We believe in leaving the world better than we found it—for Gabriella, for the next generation, and for the future. --Paul Garibian

Related: Dressed for change: how & why of sustainable T-shirts


Cheap T-shirts are not made out of carelessness or lack of effort. They are made by a system that is designed for exploitation. The fast fashion industry intentionally exploits natural resources, human labor, and even its own customers in order to make a profit. This massive scale of production exists not so much to make a sale, but to keep people buying. 

It’s easy to see how massive cotton farming operations gobble up resources like water and soil nutrients. It’s easy to see the dumping of chemicals, the contaminated water sources in remote villages, the tired hands of people who work in factories for unfair wages and in unsafe conditions. Seeing how you, the consumer, are exploited by the fast fashion industry is not always so easy. But let’s start by looking at the discounts.

When you’re offered a seasonal sale, it’s not for your benefit. It’s a tactic companies use to clear out inventory to make room for the latest harvest. The environmental impact is enormous, and in response, the Classic T-shirt company has pledged never to participate in seasonal discounts.

Find out why seasonal discounts are so bad for the planet.

Big fashion companies understand that when they invest in the big machinery, the harsh pesticides, the cheap dyes, the seasonal sales, the return on investment for them is not pennies on the dollar for selling you that $10 T-shirt, but keeping you coming back to replace your T-shirt month after month. They might be keeping the cost level for you, but they increase their profits by reducing expenses--by finding new ways to exploit the planet.

At some point, there will be no more resources to exploit.  

Discounting luxury and quality is a delicate art. The reason we offer 15% off first orders is to make it easier for people to invest in something that will benefit themselves, the planet, and a new cycle that we are creating together. 

This cycle is the sustainable fashion movement. Instead of a world where companies exploit people and resources to slap a luxury label on something, Imagine a world where luxury is created by communities of people who care. Instead of a world where we buy and discard and buy and discard, filling up landfills faster than we can dig them, a world where we can use, reuse, recycle, and create balance.

The fast fashion industry has caused undeniable damage to our planet. Can we still undo the harm that was done? If there’s a chance we might as well take it, looking good and feeling good in the process. 


The bottom line is, luxury T-shirts are not worth splurging on. They’re worth investing in. So long as the brand providing your luxury T-shirts also offers transparency in how they operate and a mission that’s worth supporting, you can feel good about how and where your money is being spent. 

Luxury T-shirts are as much of an investment in convenience as they are in cost. Not replacing all those T-shirts saves you time and stress too--and you’ll get a better product out of making the switch as much as a better lifestyle.

Feel the luxury difference and become a part of a community that values premium quality and has a responsible mindset about their impact on the world. Start by browsing our luxury men’s T-shirts or luxury women’s T-shirts.

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