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Ask HN: How do you find clothing?
26 points by tmaly 7 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 41 comments
I want to find some durable, functional t-shirts online.

All of the articles returned in the search are all affiliate links.

There is an incentive to bias the suggestions on what to by based on how much the affiliate program pays.

How do find clothing to buy that gets these issues of bias?

I just want to find something that is durable, fits well, and does not look horrible.




Thrift stores abound in t-shirts, some of the most interesting variety:

https://i.ibb.co/QJwFW9t/IMG-3610-copy-3.jpg

But there's a wide selection at "off price" stores in the TJX and Ross category.

P.S. Nobody has bought that shirt as of last Wednesday. Location upon request. :-)


Best places to get some cheaper clothes! I found a whole bunch of awesome shirts... picked them all out. The place didn't have a changing room nor a return policy, so I went to the back of the store and tried every shirt on. All those amazing shirts? They didn't fit. Ugh... when did XL get so small!


Watch out for kids sizes! They mimic adult sizes, but are much smaller. I just can’t verify that. Also, some clothing made overseas has a very different concept of what S/M/L/XL actually mean. I have had no problem with the off-price stores. Sizes actually correspond to reality, or damn close.


That is a great one! Thank you


Buying online is a terrible idea. I would advise against it.

How you get durable, functional clothing is by being extremely patient, selective and most importantly getting a basic education in textiles.

Even if a brand is held in high regard the incentive is too strong for companies to use these brands to push off cheap, high-margin products. As a consumer you need to be discerning. Part of that involves a basic, but yet often undervalued sense, touch. You might not have a textbook understanding of textiles, but I promise that you can tell the difference between a durable t-shirt and one that isn't by simply touching and feeling it.

Now as to where to go to find these shirts, go to your local mall, outlet store, shopping centre, thrift store etc. Dedicate a good amount of time to walk in to places and compare their stock. It's time consuming but worth it. Eventually you'll realize that certain stores just don't meet a certain quality bar and you will subconsciously filter these out.

Another thing you'll realize is that brands don't really have a lot of signaling power. Just because a shirt is sold in a luxury store doesn't mean that it's using high quality fabrics or has durable construction. With garments you absolutely get what you pay for but not everything that's pricy is worth it. How you're able to distinguish between the two is by building the knowledge and there's sadly no royal road to that, you're just gonna have to put in the work.


>Buying online is a terrible idea.

While the rest of your post is on point, I strongly disagree with this. If you shop on a site with free shipping and returns, online can be a great choice. I recently bought 7 pairs of shoes from Amazon and returned all but one. Yes, I may have to float the cash (depending on my CC billing cycle), but it is worth it to me compared to: drive time, traffic/parking frustrations, toxic perfume air in malls and dept stores, and the hours it takes going store to store (and then maybe back again to buy the least bad option), salespeople who know nothing, etc...

Thrift stores used to be great, but flipper mania has reduced them to last pick of the litter spots.

Some people enjoy shopping (though I suspect "retail therapy" is a big factor in that), I do not. And judging from the state of brick and mortar and especially malls, I believe that I am no outlier.

Again, I really appreciated the rest of your post.


Walking around "feeling" clothes sounds like a terrible waste of time. I can just order a $100 T-shirt from a brand known for its high quality rather than spend $200/hour of my time checking clothes in the whole city in the hope of saving a few dozen dollars.

The point is there are brands that don't compromise on quality or don't mix cheap fabrics.


If you're making $200/hour, you probably don't share a lot of the problems other people have around buying goods of all sorts. Furthermore, you're likely to go shopping with friends/significant other/kids anyway and touching something when you're there is free - assuming you could even find clients to pay you your $200 an hour on a Saturday morning for example.

Overall, I don't think it's a bad idea to develop an intuition for most things you consume, even if you're well off.


Effective answers will require additional information about your age, body type, style, activities, budget, and so on.

Fortunately, there are thriving Reddit communities for this. Especially look at their wikis, sidebar, and pinned comments.

If you're male:

- https://old.reddit.com/r/malefashionadvice/

- https://old.reddit.com/r/frugalmalefashion/

If you're female:

- https://old.reddit.com/r/femalefashionadvice/


Unfortunately, Reddit is a no go zone anymore.


Yes, particularly /malefashionadvice/ which reddit recently forced back open.

https://tech.slashdot.org/story/23/07/21/1210216/reddit-take...


I was biased by a visit to the Patagonia store in Seattle, their corporate activism [0], and the fact that they still sell cotton shirts (my usual source, thrift stores, seem to mostly have various forms of petroleum-derived materials, and I get that a portion of the elements in the cotton trace back to petroleum). I bought several online, whatever were on clearance that were also 100% cotton. The collar is a little loose, but otherwise the shirts feel nice and I like the idea, at least, that I could bring them in for repairs.

[0] "Chouinard, 83, worked with his wife and two children as well as teams of company lawyers to create a structure that will allow Patagonia to continue to operate as a for-profit company whose proceeds will go to benefit environmental efforts."

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/sep/14/patagonias-b...


A big plus for Patagonia cotton clothes is that they're made exclusively from organic cotton. [1] Conventional cotton farming uses an enormous amount of pesticides. [2] And most of their clothes last a long time, long enough to more than make up for the higher initial price.

[1] https://www.patagonia.com/our-footprint/organic-cotton.html

[2] https://www.moderndane.com/blogs/the-modern-dane-blog/why-co...


Uniqlo is my go-to for quality, basic clothing. It's extremely durable, looks good if you like a minimalist style, and they have pretty much every kind of clothing (t-shirts, pants, button-downs, etc.)


If you’re dead-set on buying online, look for a local boutique somewhere and see if they sell online as well. They generally have good return policies, and in my experience boutiques tend to have much higher quality pieces—generally orders of magnitude more longevity than some of my H&M or Uniqlo stuff, for example.

But would like to echo the benefit of trying on in-store. You really don’t know if it’s a good fit until you’re wearing it, and it’s way less hassle to do that in-person than with the order-return iteration loop.


Another vote for Carhartt shirts. I'm large and it's difficult to find shirts that fit well. Their shirts are cheap and last me years. Also if branding is an issue for you, it's very easy to remove the patch on their pocket t-shirts.


Just yesterday, I spent several frustrating hours trying to find t-shirts that fit my requirements, which are somewhat different than yours.

I want a t-shirt to be as thin a material as possible. The whole point of a t-shirt is to either wear it as an undershirt or standalone in warm weather. Thick material that is more durable is antithetical to either use.

"Fits well" is stupid hard to find. The vast majority of t-shirts are boxy with straight lines that have zero form fit. The sleeves come down so low and have such a large circumference that they cover any muscle you might have. They are also long enough to cover most of your ass, which is overkill for tucking and looks super dorky when untucked. Of course all if this is relative to your dimensions. I am 5'11" and reasonably fit. Even if you are not fit, the standard cut looks horrible.

Another aspect of looks is color. There are always the boring generics: white/black/mottled light grey and sometimes navy. For standalone use, there are some few outfits that these colors work for. As an undershirt, these colors work more often, but I have found that there can be better color matches if the undershirt is visible (and especially if you are doing the west coast thing with an unstructured sport coat over a t-shirt).

That covers much of the (lame as hell) t-shirt market, but of course there are some standout brands with better features. If you asked me 2 years ago, I would have said True Classic as they have a more tailored cut, reasonable length and arm circumference and better selection of colors. The material is 60/40 cotton/poly and not too thick (but not very thin either). Recently, they changed the length (added 3 inches!) and ditched many of the cool colors, which I think is due to this inane fashion ideology of change it up annually and these are this year's "cool" colors.

The ultimate shirt is one that is tailored to your spec and fit. There are some online options for that, but they all cost more than buying a generic shirt and spending ~$30 to have it tailored (or DIY: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XeWUPBeL5XM).

If you are in the EU, Asos has some branded shirts that are a step up and reasonably priced. https://freshcleantees.com/ is a True Classic dupe, but I haven't tried them.

I ended up going with TC, despite the lack of colors I wanted because it is pretty easy to shorten the length.


I tried True Classic and I like it. I am a bit worried about it shrinking in the dryer so I hang dry it.


I have a bunch of them and the 60/40 blend doesn't seem to shrink or they are preshrunk. That said, I would dry them on a medium temp setting just for longevity.


Uniqlo has simple and well-designed clothes. They have same ones in lots of colors. https://www.uniqlo.com/


I've been shopping at UNIQLO for half a decade now. In my opinion their current offerings, at least in the North American market, aren't as good as they used to be.

I have some shirts I bought there 5 years ago for $15 a pop which have held up amazingly well and are higher quality than the ones they are currently selling for > $25

That said they still have the best price to quality ratio of any clothing store.


Same with H&M. 10+ years ago H&M was decent quality for the price. Both the style and quality have withered away.


Lululemon has a series called Silverescent with a material called x-static. Feels amazing, very light, no stinking, lasts forever. Highly recommend

Edit: also no wrinkles/ironing which is huge if you are lazy


no ironing is a huge thing for me. Thank you


Go to the outlet stores. Usually a significant savings for the same quality. If you have one of those kind of rural clothing/outdoors outfitter stores near you, those are usually great too.

When you get a feel for brands (how they handle sizing and materials), you can then just order online and return in store.

Most durable clothing I’ve ordered has typically been Patagonia, Prana (not Prada) and Carhartt. J Crew is good quality too, that’s about the price point after which quality/value has diminishing returns.


Reigning Champ has some of my favorite cotton shirts: raglan arms, adequate length, collar has 'ribbing' to help prevent it from going wavy and good length on the sleeves (not too short and not too long).

Arc'teryx used to sell the Anzo/Eris shirt. A mix of cotton and synthetic material, some under arm gussets, and an accent color chest pocket. I have a few of these and really like them. Probably my favorite shirt ever. Unfortunately they not sold directly any more.


>Reigning Champ

$75 for a boxy cut and arm circumference so huge that Arnie would be swimming in them?

>Arc'teryx

I went to their site using a VPN and got this obnoxiousness:

SECURITY CHECK REQUIRED Sorry for the interruption, but something in your browser indicates you might be a bot. Please press and hold the button to prove you're human.

There was no button... SMH


I found this blog post from Vitalik Buterin very interesting. Describing his travel bagpack. Regarding clothes it's mostly Uniqlo https://vitalik.ca/general/2022/06/20/backpack.html


The secret is JiffyShirts.com (or any other blank wholesaler). You can buy 3 or 4 tees for the price of one from a normal store. Buy a bunch of different "models", try them on, see which fits the best, and then order more. There is some variance in sizing if you buy the same shirt again, which is annoying. But at least it doesn't matter much at $5 a shirt.


If you're after affordable, high-quality T-Shirts that are 100% cotton, I like to buy surplus Bundeswehr (German military) OD green shirts from various websites.

They used to be as cheap as $5 each.

If you don't want to wear military surplus, I've found Uniqlo to fill a similar niche.



Sold out of black tee shirts, is this a joke


The highest quality tshirt I own is from Rocawear. Circa 2004 and still looking better than half my collection of much younger shirts.

The 2nd oldest shirt that's still in rotation is a 12 year old Carhartt.


Carhartt is the brand construction workers like. Thicker material.

There are other brands but you could also try buying t-shirts blanks from different wholesalers and seeing what you like


i'd recommend you try on some things in person before buying - at the very least verify the fabric meets your needs. then buy it wherever you want


> I just want to find something that is durable, fits well, and does not look horrible.

Isn't this subjective and vague?

Personally I've started only buying print "blanks." Meaning t-shirts sold to be printed onto, and then simply not printing on them, because the quality to price ratio is competitive, and they come in extra-tall sizes, all common colors, short & long sleeve. For example "Port & Company" from Amazon is $10 for either 50/50 Cotton/Poly or 100% Cotton in all varieties. Pretty no-thrills.

But somehow I don't think that is what you're after, since there seems to be a lot of unstated requirements. As a generic recommendation, uniqlo is pretty popular, but you will have to pay for shipping.


Uniqlo


Durable clothing means mostly made of polyester which is bad for the environment.


Maybe we should bring back the paper clothing from the 60’s.


Cotton and wool (natural fibers) can be very durable


Cotton is not as durable as polyster but earth friendly




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