What is the real difference between a $5 t-shirt and a $25 one?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by waloshin, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. waloshin, Jan 4, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013

    waloshin macrumors 68040


    Oct 9, 2008
  2. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    I can tell you that I can tell a difference.
    The Walmart shirt stitching is generally poorer and does not last as long and on top of that the T-shirt does not feel as comfortable.

    This is coming from someone who does not give a damn about brand. I just know which ones of my T-shirts have lasted the longest and feel the most comfortable on me. The fact that the ones I like I tend to wear more still out last the walmart ones speaks volumes.

    Quicksilver I find feels pretty comfortable to wear and last a lot longer. 5 times longer no. But longer.
  3. avro707, Jan 4, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2011

    avro707 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 13, 2010
    Can't say much for those - but for the shirts I often wear, a $200+ one generally has much better tailoring and strength than a $30 or $60 one.

    I've had cheap ones last only a few months, if that, before the sleeves start to wear through near the elbows. The more expensive ones I've found last much longer. But these ones as you probably guessed aren't about a logo - they don't have visible logos.

    I look around places like these:

    The prices will scare you - it's a different world, but they have good stuff.
  4. ComputersaysNo macrumors 6502


    Apr 15, 2010
    It also depends on the quality of the cotton and the way it is woven. There are different levels of quality.

    The same goes for whool. The finer straight long fibres are more expensive than the thick, short, curly ones.

    The proces to get those fine, really comfortable fibres cost more than the ruff technique used for the main load of cotton/whool.
  5. QuarterSwede macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    That's the truth. There's nothing like an Egyptian cotton t-shirt on bare skin. It's like night and day. The same goes for sheets.
  6. SlovakApple macrumors 6502

    Jul 4, 2010
    In the heart of Europe
    I agree with RP here. They simply last longer, most times because of the better stitching. Now if the question was $50 vs. $100, that's another case.
  7. wordoflife, Jan 5, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2011

    wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    They seem to retain their fresh look longer. Even my Tommy Hilfiger shirts, they start to look bad after a while (a few months). Nothing really different in the short term, but in the long run ... yes. I can only say that about polos though. Those shirts I buy at the mall with my friends (band shirts, skateboarding branded shirts,etc) aren't any better than those walmart shirts beside branding/design.

    It really depends which $5 shirt you are comparing to which $25 shirt.

    $5 tee at walmart or $25 band tee at Hot Topic?
    $8-9 polo shirt at walmart or $40 Ralph Lauren branded polo?
  8. JoeG4 macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2002
    Bay Area, Ca.
    There's also the shape of the shirt, which I find varies not just with pricing but where you go (of course).

    I'm 6'1 and wear 2XL shirts, sure I can fit in an XL but I want the extra length. However, most really cheap tshirts are only wider, and the same width whether they're medium or 4x! Yikes! That said, I dislike the "girly" tshirts that seem to be into style at the moment - tell me what you want, but most of the people I see wearing them have no sign of muscle in their upper arms :p They (along with tight jeans) just show off every oddity one has (and that's fine, if you want that).

    LOL anyway, if you wear $300 shirts, congratulations on being rich! I try to keep in the $10-15 range!
  9. MultiM macrumors 6502


    May 9, 2006
    TO. I've moved!
    The cut of the individual pieces of the t-shirt is also very important. i've purchased t-shirts that looked fine, but when i got them home they were cut on the bias which made the shirts twist around my torso. The side seam was almost in front! I won't buy cheap t-shirts again.

    Cutting on the bias saves money for the manufacturer because there is less waste.
  10. Malsi macrumors regular

    Apr 4, 2009
    St. Louis, MO
    In the past, I'll check Wal-Mart, Target, Macy's, Dillards, JC Penny's, and so on. One thing I noticed between clothing is that the cheap stuff from Wal-Mart may look ok, does not feel as nice as the more expensive stuff. Also, as other posters have replied, doesn't last as long.

    That doesn't mean you have to fork over an arm or a leg for nice clothing. Just do what I do these days and go to Marshalls! They usually have what I'm looking for for low prices. A pair of Docker's or Perry Ellis pants can be bought for $14.00 in their clearance isles. An iPhone car charger can be bought for $10.00. Shoes for less than $50.00. It's an awesome store, and I recommend it to everyone.
  11. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium


    Jan 28, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    I've had 30$ brand shirt last 2 days and I've had cheap 10$ t-shirts last years. Price is rarely indicative of actual quality of stitching and material. Brand t-shirts will tend to be higher priced for lower/equal quality than unbranded t-shirts.

    I now buy my stuff at a place called Urban Planet. 9$ gets you a nice t-shirt with some nice designs on them and the quality of the shirts rival that of 30-40$ ones easily.

    In other words, stop comparing prices and compare the actual shirts.
  12. japasneezemonk macrumors 6502


    Jun 13, 2005

    I posted a link where you can get some good info on the different types of cotton, etc...
    As others have mentioned, price is meaningless unless you know what your looking for. $20-$50 t-shirts can be just as bad in quality as a $10.
    If you can afford to you really shouldnt buy your clothes at walmart unless you don't mind the inconsitencies in quality, fabric and fit. Stores like the Gap also have some quality control issues. From my experience some of their denim is very low quality and their t-shirts can also be pretty bad.
  13. afireintonto macrumors 6502a


    Jul 22, 2008
    +1 for American apparel.
    They have quality stuff.
  14. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    Years ago I had a Fruit of the Loom T-shirt that lasted years. Eventually (like most of my shirts) I got something on it when doing DIY so I couldn't wear it anymore. As this is a regular thing for me, I tend to buy cheap T-shirts 90% of the time and just except they will only last a short while before losing their shape or developing other faults.
  15. krazykleo macrumors regular

    Aug 17, 2013
    Everywhere and nowhere
    I have a couple of t-shirts from Walmart and Joes Fresh from Superstore (Canada) and they've all lasted me 2-3 years lol. I do agree that the stitching and the only thing I spend $50+ is only shoes. Gotta be comfy while walking :)

    I simply do not give a flying eff for logo or brand. I will buy an expensive t-shirt given that I like it! I think my most expensive t-shirt I've bought was like 35-50$ range. And I think I might still have it lol. I've had t-shirts from 10 years ago that still fit me and have shown no sign for rips or tears.
  16. musicjunky macrumors regular

    Sep 20, 2013
    I would say for "lifestyle" brands like Quicksilver and other skate or snowboarding brands, you are paying for the logo. The tee can be nicer than Gildan and the like, but not by much. For actually higher-quality shirts, look to brands like American Apparel or Alternative Apparel. Those tees are softer than 3-pack shirts, most definitely. If you live near a Uniqlo, I would recommend their shirts as they are usually only 5.90 and comes in nice bright colors. Most importantly, no LOGOS :apple:
  17. JoeG4 macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2002
    Bay Area, Ca.
  18. sdilley14 macrumors 65816

    Feb 8, 2007
    Mesa, AZ
    For me it comes down to quality of material, fit, and design. I personally like Hurley and I like the designs they come up with. I wouldn't normally pay the full $25+ for a Hurley shirt though. I get almost all of my clothes from places like TJ Maxx (typically I can get a nice Hurley tee there for $10-$15).

    Bargain bin shirts from Wal-Mart are typically lesser quality, materials are more stiff and itchy, and they don't have a great countour/fit to them.
  19. 4JNA, Oct 7, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013

    4JNA macrumors 68000


    Feb 8, 2006
    looking for trash files
    if you must know...

    $20 dollars of course. thank you! remember to tip your wait staff and the OP.
  20. altuixde macrumors member

    Dec 16, 2011
    I'm inclined to believe that the $25 shirt is more fire retardant and the $5 shirt will melt onto your skin. That's just my preconception, though. Price probably isn't perfectly correlated with how well the shirts will fare when exposed to extreme temperatures.

    Also, the link to the $25 shirt isn't working.
  21. waloshin thread starter macrumors 68040


    Oct 9, 2008
    Original post updated with working link.
  22. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
  23. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Feb 2, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    One of my favorite t-shirts is a 5 dollar one I found at Target about 4 years ago. I hate buying clothes and most of my tshirts are in the 5-20 dollar range, only real difference is that some fit better than others, and this isn't necessarily dependent on price in my experience.

    As a side note, if you spend 200 dollars on a t-shirt (not dress shirt) you are probably a toolbag.
  24. Kissaragi macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2006
    Id be inclined to believe your going to get horribly burnt one day if you think any t shirt is fire retardant.
  25. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    I just wait for the sales at places like the Bay. Couple times a year their $25 t-shirts are effectively closer to $5. And their nice t-shirts are very nice. I just stock up and I'm good for several years.

    Mostly though I buy the $10 Hawaiian shirts at Value Village. These are authentic, made in Hawaii, Hawaiian shirts... not the fake Hawaiian style put out by the brand names. So what if they've been work before... after a couple of washes and time in the sun they all look the same in any case. I've got a couple dozen now.

    What the shirt is made of makes it more or less 'melty' not price. Cotton, cheap or expensive, doesn't melt. Polyester does.

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