The Best Loopwheeled T-Shirts Money Can Buy

Upgrade Your Basics Wardrobe with Unbelievable Loopwheeled Quality (… But You Gotta Be Quick!)

The loopwheel craze is reaching new heights. Ever since Jeremy Allen White wore the Merz 215 and the Whiteville tees in The Bear, everyone and their grandma’ are looking to get into these high-quality basics. 

Loopwheeled T-shirts are made using vintage circular knitting machines that create fabric without side seams. The result is a dense, durable, and comfortable fabric that’s highly sought after. 

The look that had everyone wanting a Merz loopwheeled tee

Both the 215 and the Whiteville are great options, no doubt about that. But there are other equally great loopwheeled tees. And some of them might even be better choices for you.

This guide will help you find the best loopwheeled T-shirts available today, focusing on key features and what I think makes each tee special.

The Best Basics? Get One of these Top 3 Tees!

Ready to try a well-made tee—or get another one? Every denimhead should consider these:

All products are hand-picked by Thomas. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission.

How I’ve Picked These Loopwheeled Tees

My criteria for selecting the tees featured on this list were pretty simple: 

  • Has to be made from loopwheeled fabric (obviously, although one tee isn’t)
  • The collar must be a crewneck
  • No pocket tees allowed on this list (sorry)
  • Should be available in white (but they all come in other colours as well) 

Around ten tees made the cut. Some I’ve worn extensively myself, most of the rest I’ve handled.

Buying Guide and Pro Tips for New Buyers

Tip #1: Expect to size up from your normal size in American and European brands. Check the measurements carefully and compare them to a T-shirt you already own that fits you well.

Tip #2: You can’t get a tapered fit like you might be used to from your normal tees. Loopwheeled tees have the same shape throughout the body because of how it’s made (which you can read more about below).

Tip #3: Like raw denim, loopwheeled tees only get better with wear (and wash). So don’t lose hope if it’s not a perfect fit after the first few wears and washes. Just keep going.

If you’ve recently jumped on the bandwagon and don’t know what loopwheeled is—or if you just need to refresh your fabric knowledge—click here to jump down to the definition I’ve included at the bottom of this guide.

Now, without any further delay, let’s get to the list:

This is the beefy tee that ‘Carmy’ famously wears in The Bear; the tee that’s had everyone Googling “what T-shirt does Carmy wear in The Bear”.

As a result, the loopwheelers at Merz can’t keep up with demand, so chances are it’s sold out and you’ll have to sign up to be notified when it’s in stock—and don’t sleep on it when a restock arrives!

What You Need to Know

  • Fit: A casual slim fit (if that’s a thing) that’s a bit longer than most Japanese tees.
  • Fabric: At 8.6 oz (292 gsm), it’s definitely at the heavy end of the scale. The fabric is made from organic cotton and it comes unwashed.
  • Key features: The hems on the sleeves and at the opening are pretty “high” and sewn with an overlock. The neck is slightly wider than most of the Japanese tees.
  • Made in: Germany, more specifically the Swabian Alps south of Stuttgart, making it the only non-Japanese tee on the list.
  • Size guide: Go up one size from the size you normally get in Western brands and be aware that it’ll shrink an inch or so once you wash it.
  • Colours: In addition to white there’s a nice grey melange, a beautiful navy (called ‘ink blue’), a black, and a good handful more. 

Verdict: Best Contemporary Heavyweighter

I’ve not had the pleasure of wear-testing the 215 myself and, personally, I prefer a slightly more tight-fitting collar. That said, I definitely see why this tee was picked as Carmy’s signature item for The Bear and why it’s quickly gained cult status:

It’s got clean lines and quality construction that make it a standout choice for anyone seeking both style and substance. Just remember to size up and expect some shrinkage after washing.

Redcast Heritage has the 215 in lots of colours, but you might also be able to find it at Cultizm.

The other loopwheeled T-shirt that ended up in the spotlight on the back of Jeremy Allen White in The Bear is the “Quali-T” from Whitesville. Originally an American brand, Whitesville was brought back to life and perfected by Toyo Enterprises—the parent company of Buzz Rickson’s, Sugar Cane, and Sun Surf. 

Like everything else from Toyo, these tees offer exceptional value for money. They’re loopwheeled and you’re basically getting two for the price of one compared to all the others on this list. 

As the 215 from Merz b. Schwanen, these tees are sold out at lightning speed whenever retailers announce a restock. So be sure to sign up to be notified if your size is currently sold out.

What You Need to Know

  • Fit: A slim-fitting cut that works equally well as underwear as it does on it’s own (if you need proof, just watch The Bear).
  • Fabric: Relatively heavy loopwheeled fabric made from 100% premium long-staple combed cotton, weighing in at 7 oz. (237 gsm).
  • Features: Comes with a nice retro label in packaging that looks like it was deadstock (that’s a good thing).
  • Made in: Japan.
  • Size guide: It’s sized smaller than Western brands, so most need to size up once (get an XL if you wear L in American and European brands. But don’t return it immediately if it’s a bit loose; since this tee is not pre-washed, it’ll shrink in both length and width.
  • Colours: White, black (with cool contrast stitching), navy, and grey melange.

Verdict: Best Value for Money

The Whitesville “Quali-T” tee offers unbeatable value, delivering premium quality at half the price of its alternatives—without a doubt the best value of money of the bunch. Brought back to life by Toyo Enterprises, this tee combines heritage charm with modern craftsmanship.

Even though I’ve not wear-tested it myself, I know for a fact that you can expect a soft, durable wear with a vintage vibe, thanks to its retro packaging and label. Snap it up quickly, as these sell out fast!

Our partners Redcast Heritage and Hinoya sell the Whitesville tees.

The Warehouse 4601 T-Shirt is a top pick for anyone who appreciates a tee with bold texture and a comfortable and slightly boxy fit. Known for its distinctive horizontal lines that resemble bamboo segments, the 4601 has been one of my personal favourites for years.

Its midweight loopwheeled cotton provides a unique feel that’s rugged yet comfortable. The boxy cut offers great freedom of movement without being overly loose.

What You Need to Know

  • Fit: Boxy and comfortable, with a relaxed fit around the arms.
  • Fabric: At 5.5 oz. (156 gsm), the distinctive “bamboo-like” look of this midweight loopwheeled fabric is the defining feature of this tee. The texture makes for a super breathable tee and gives it a bit of natural elasticity.
  • Key Features: Besides the fabric, a highlight is the ripped collar that retains shape quite well, even after years of wear and wash.
  • Made in: Japan.
  • Size guide: You’ll likely need to size up from your size in Western brands, but you might be able to get away with your normal size for a snug and slimmer fit.
  • Colours: Available in white, navy, black, yellow, salmon, and more popping colours. There’s also a grey melange.

Verdict: Best Comfort (… and My Favourite)

The texture might be a bit too much for some, but if it’s your thing you’ll be rewarded with a trusted tee for years to come. The fit might also be a bit too boxy for some, and I’ll admit that it can be a bit tricky to wear with slimmer shirts (like the IHSH-33). All of that said, I could live the rest of my life in a 4601.

Our partners Clutch Café and Corlection stock the 4601, but you’ll also find it at several other retailers in our scene.

Do a search for “loopwheeled The Flat Head T-shirt”, and you might end up looking at—and possibly buying—a loopwheeled tee that isn’t loopwheeled at all. (Even some of TFH’s retailers get this wrong and many don’t disclose the exact style name, so don’t worry if you’re a bit confused.)

The fact of the matter is that it doesn’t really matter much, ‘cuz The Flat Head’s non-loopwheeled tee is pretty similar to their loopwheeled one; and both are exceptionally great!

What You Need to Know

  • Fit: It’s a boxy fit with sleeves that are just perfect in length.
  • Fabric: Coming in around 9 oz., this tee sits in the heavyweight category. But because it’s so densely knitted, it actually doesn’t feel all that heavy. It’s made from premium long-staple US cotton. 
  • Key features: Triple-reinforced collar that retains its shape like nothing else! To highlight the collar (I guess), the tees have a really cool contrasting stitching. It’s also got a discreet label on the left sleeve.
  • Made in: Japan, where else?
  • Size guide: You’ll surely need to size up one size from your normal size in Western brands, maybe even two sizes.
  • Colours: White, black, navy, ivory, and a bunch of fresh seasonal colourways. 

Verdict: Best Durability (and Best Non-Loopwheeled Tee)

In the end, whether you get a TKC (that’s actually loopwheeled) or a THC (which isn’t), you’ll be getting one of the best tees on this list; a tee that will surely outlast any average T-shirt, and probably even anything on this list.

I’ve got an old The Flat Head tee that I bought used in Japan almost a decade ago. And it’s going after hundreds of wears and countless washes! (Whether it’s a TKC or a THC, I have no idea, and I don’t really care.)

The Iron Heart IHT-1610L is an updated version of their 1610: The ‘L’ is for “longer”, a welcomed change from the original, which was too short for most Westerners.

The somewhat boxy fit and wide sleeves that are cut high add a contemporary edge, and the 1610L is made from a midweight loopwheeled cotton that has a smooth and even texture. 

What You Need to Know

  • Fit: Slightly boxy fit with a ‘longer’ body for added practicality (it’s longer than the original but still not a long tee!).
  • Fabric: 6.5 oz. (220 gsm) loopwheeled cotton with a smooth, even texture.
  • Key Features: Clean double-stitched ribbed collar and high-cut armholes and relatively wide sleeves. The tee has a small label on the hem.
  • Made in: Japan
  • Size guide: Runs small; size up for the best fit.
  • Colours: Available in white, black, grey, navy and olive green.

Verdict: Best All-Arounder 

The Iron Heart IHT-1610L is a great choice for anyone looking for a high-quality and classic loopwheeled T-shirt in a comfortable fit. With top-shelf Japanese craftsmanship through and through, this T-shirt offers durability and a modern aesthetic, making it a versatile addition to any wardrobe.

You can buy the IHT-1610L directly from Iron Heart or from Division Road.

The Studio D’Artisan 9913 T-shirt delivers unmatched durability and comfort through meticulous craftsmanship. Its heavyweight fabric offers a substantial feel while remaining exceptionally soft.

Tailored for a flattering fit, this T-shirt adds a refined touch to casual outfits and stands out for its quality and style.

What You Need to Know

  • Fit: Slim with mid-length sleeves that aren’t “too” tight, the length measures 26.6” (67.5 cm) in size L.
  • Fabric: Extra heavy loopwheeled 10.5 oz. (356 gsm), made from premium long-staple 100% cotton.
  • Key features: Ribbed collar and gorgeous neck label.
  • Made in: Japan (at the Kanekichi mill in Wakayama).
  • Size guide: Size up 1 size from your normal size in Western brands (get an XL if you normally wear L).
  • Colours: White, blue, purple, and charcoal.

Verdict: Heavyweight Champ

Despite its hefty weight, this tee is remarkably soft and comfortable. The Studio D’Artisan 9913 should be at the top of your list if you’re looking for a heavy-duty yet comfortable and stylish loopwheeled T-shirt with a fit that flatters and a fabric that might outlast you.

The UES No. 8 Slub Nep T-shirt combines a rich, slubby texture with a robust, heavyweight feel. Its minimalist design is complemented by a thick ribbed collar, and it comes in a variety of eye-catching colours.

Though it runs small, sizing up rewards you with a uniquely textured, comfortable, and stylish T-shirt that’s crafted with precision in Japan.

What You Need to Know

  • Fit: Slim with a perfect length at 26.9” (68.2 cm) in size 3 (L). 
  • Fabric: Heavyweight 9.5 oz. (322 gsm) loopwheeled fabric with a distinctively slubby texture, one-washed for softness.
  • Key features: Clean no-BS styling with a pretty ‘fat’ ribbed collar.
  • Made in: Japan (of course).
  • Size guide: This tee runs super small so you’ll probably need to size up two sizes from your normal size in Western brands.
  • Colours: Tons of beautiful colours including green, dark purple (aka ‘navy’), pink (!!), and of course white and black.

Verdict: Best Texture

The UES No. 8 Slub Nep T-shirt has the most intriguing texture of all the tees in this guide. While the sizing requires that you pay close attention to the measurements, the unique feel and solid craftsmanship make it a standout piece that could quickly become a staple in your collection.

Our partners Redcast Heritage and Iron Shop Provisions stock the UES No. 8 Slub tee.

The Real McCoy’s MC19010 Athletic T-Shirt hits that sweet spot between vintage cool and modern durability. Inspired by classic athletic wear, this tee brings a soft, seamless feel thanks to its loopwheeled cotton fabric.

It’s tailored just right for a fit that’s both comfy and flattering. Perfect on its own or layered, this tee’s got the timeless look and sturdy build to keep up with your everyday style.

What You Need to Know

  • Fit: Regular athletic fit, tailored for a streamlined look.
  • Fabric: 7 oz. (237 gsm) loopwheeled fabric made from 100% cotton.
  • Key Features: Reinforced collar and cuffs, and vintage-inspired stitching.
  • Made in: Japan
  • Size guide: This tee runs small to size, you’ll probably need to size up for a comfortable fit. Double-check the measurements before you order.
  • Colours: Available in white, black, grey, and navy.

Verdict: Best Reproduction

The Real McCoy’s MC19010 Athletic T-Shirt combines vintage style with robust craftsmanship. The loopwheeled fabric offers a soft, durable feel that’s just perfect for everyday wear. Its athletic fit and reinforced details provide a classic look that’s versatile enough for any casual outfit.

If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly alternative, the Real McCoy’s 2-pack is the ideal choice, although those aren’t loopwheeled.

Utilitees is essentially a subbrand of Iron Heart, I guess. The tees are loopwheeled and made in Japan, but that’s also just about where the “similaritees” with the rest of the list end.

Being lighter and more fitted than the rest, a Utilitees T-shirt combines traditional loopwheeling craftsmanship with contemporary design, making it a standout choice for those seeking a high-quality, versatile basic.

What You Need to Know

  • Fit: Contemporary slim fit with a longer body, ideal to wear tucked in.
  • Fabric: An easy-wearing lightweight 5.5 oz. (186 gsm) loopwheeled fabric that borderline see-through in the white option. It’s made on newer loopwheelers from the 1980s.
  • Key Features: High collar with a thick rib, slim fit, elongated body for modern styling.
  • Made in: Japan.
  • Size guide: You’ll likely need to size up, but you might want to consider your usual size for a fitted look.
  • Colours: Available in white, black, navy, grey, and many more seasonal colours.

Verdict: Best Modern Lightweight

The Utilitees T-shirt is a solid choice for a lightweight loopwheeled alternative to the heavier options. The slim fit and slightly longer body make it both modern and practical, while the lighter fabric makes it a great choice for first-time loopwheel buyers, or anyone looking for a warm-weather T-shirt.

All in all, this is your go-to for a contemporary, lightweight tee that doesn’t compromise on quality. 

You can get Utlitiees from our partners Iron Heart and Division Road.

Still Looking?

If none of the tees above did it for you or you’re just curious about what else is out there, he’s a hand-picked selection of other (really great) tees to consider. They might not all be loopwheeled, but they’re still worth every penny!

What is Loopwheeled?

Loopwheeled T-shirts are known for their durability, comfort, and unique construction. Made using traditional century-old circular knitting machines, these shirts have no sideseams* and have a distinct texture that sets them apart from your average tee.

(*For bigger sizes (usually XL or XXL+), you’ll probably have sideseams on loopwheeled tees—simply because the machines can only go up to a certain size and circumference.)

Loopwheeled fabric is produced using vintage circular knitting machines, known as loopwheelers, which date back to the early 20th century. 

Loopwheelers operate at a slow pace, rely on gravity (which puts less stretch on the yarn), and knit meticulously to produce fabric with a continuous looped structure. The resulting loopwheeled fabric is dense, soft, and highly durable.

Only a few hundred of these machines still exist. Located in Japan and Germany, they’re knitting more or less around the clock to meet the exploding global demand for loopwheeled basics.

It’s important to note that other knitting machines—like the Sinker—create tubular knits (i.e. without sideseams). So the lack of sideseams does not equal ‘loopwheeled’.

If you want to know more, Permanent Style and Standard & Strange have more insider information about how loopwheeled fabric is made.

Get Inspired: Sign Up for More Tips and Guides

Loopwheeled T-shirts are the epitome of quality and comfort, making them essential for any wardrobe. These seamless tees, crafted on vintage knitting machines, provide a durable yet soft fabric that only gets better with wear.

Continue your denim journey and sign up for our newsletter. Since 2011, I’ve been guiding denim enthusiasts with curated menswear selections and expert tips. Discover long-lasting style and quality that wears well, helping you build a wardrobe of wearable heirlooms.

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