A T-shirt is a T-shirt, right? Wrong.
There are many differences, and the different styles and fabrics appeal to different people. That's part of why we decided, finally, to offer both.
We had strongly considered ONLY offering premium shirts (mainly American Apparel and Bella+Canvas) but we decided premium shirts aren't for everybody.
So, basic shirts are manufactured using a thicker thread. The specification is listed in singles (18 singles, 24 singles, 30 singles) and the higher the number the smaller the thread and tighter the knit. It is similar to sheets, higher count means softer feel. Basic shirts are typically 18-24 singles. They're usually a heavier fabric and have a stiffer feel. The trade off is in the fit. Basic shirts are what we are used to when it comes to fit.
Premium shirts are typically 30 singles or higher. They're very soft and comfortable. But, they run narrow. Premium shirts are built to have a "fashion" fit, so they are a little tighter than the basic shirts. For this reason, we suggest that some customers order a size larger than normal.
Personally, I can wear Large but they're a little snug. I typically wear Extra Large to be a little more comfortable. I have more of a tendency to wear Extra Large in Premium shirts. I know other people that are on the "snug" side of Extra Large normally. They tend to wear 2X in Premium shirts. Really, although there is a noticeable difference in fit, it's not extreme. It all depends on the person's preference and build.
Pros: Very soft and comfortable, breathable
Cons: Cost extra, narrow fit
Pros: Cost less, "normal" fit
Cons: Heavier, somewhat stiff
For a more detailed look from a t-shirt manufacturer and wholesaler,
check out Bella+Canvas's blog about this topic here: