True Classic Vs. BYLT: Showdown of The Premium Basics

Finding that perfect t-shirt sounds simple enough. But as anyone who has struggled with poor fit, shoddy construction, or fabric that makes you sweat just looking at it knows…not all tees are created equal.

That’s why brands like True Classic and BYLT exist. They dare to dig deeper into what makes a quality basic tee to bring comfort back into our closets again. Both TC and BYLT elevate the everyday t-shirt, but they take surprisingly different approaches.

To help you decide whether True Classic or BYLT best fits your needs (pun intended), I compare the key differences across fit, fabric, construction, pricing and more. Let’s dive into the details!

A Brief Comparison Table

MetricTrue ClassicBYLT
Available SizesXS-XXLXS-2XL
FitAthletic slimBoxy oversized
Ideal ForAthletic buildsAll body types
Fabric100% Cotton60/40 Cotton/Poly
ConstructionTubular knit, no seamsSeamed cut-and-sew
GraphicsSolid colors onlyBold empowering prints
Pricehighermore affordable

Both brands offer extended sizing from XS up to XXL/2XL, but they take completely different approaches when it comes to cut and style. Let’s explore further…

True Classic: Obsessed with Athletic Fit

David Kane founded True Classic in 2007 to create what he couldn’t find anywhere else – the perfect fitting men’s crew neck tee made with premium materials.

What does “premium” mean with t-shirt construction? Let’s unpack what makes the True Classic tee stand out:

True Classic Tees
  • Fabric True Classic tees use only 100% USA-grown ringspun cotton. Ringspun indicates extra processing that straightens the cotton fibers for an ultra-soft consistency. The end result is a featherlight fabric with just the right drape.
  • Fit Through thousands of fit trials, David Kane landed on a “true athletic fit” template to flatter most body types. The athletic cut eliminates extra midsection fabric while maintaining ideal sleeve length. How does True Classic pull off such precision? Secret lies in the unique tubular knit construction
  • Seamless Knitting Most t-shirts use traditional cut-and-sew methods with seams connecting separate front, back and sleeve panels. This often leads to fit inconsistencies when worn. True Classic tees utilize a seamless knitting process to craft the entire shirt in one circular piece. No seams means no irritation, along with better shape retention from neckline to hems.
  • Unbeatable Attention to Detail From the layflat neckline to ribbed collar and streamlined sleeves, every aspect aims for utmost comfort and quality. The premium approach shows in how the tee fits and feels.
  • Ethical Lean Manufacturing True Classic oversees production through their state-of-the-art facility in Los Angeles. Using lean manufacturing principles paired with ethical business practices, they creates quality jobs while reducing textile waste.
  • Price Given the brand’s meticulous focus on fit, fabric and streamlined production, True Classic tees retail on the higher end from $28 to $38 full price.

For customers seeking that perfect athletic-slim tee made sustainably in the USA, True Classic delivers the goods. But the precision fit doesn’t work for every body type, as we’ll explore next…

BYLT: Relaxed, Graphic Tees Fostering Self Love

BYLT started under the For the Culture Apparel brand on a mission to create inclusive, empowering clothes embracing authentic identity. They launched the graphic tee line BYLT (Be Yourself Love Thyself) in 2016 as an accessible way for customers to comfortably express themselves.

BYLT tees
  • Fabric BYLT uses a tri-blend of 60% cotton, 40% polyester for all their tees. The soft knit cotton blended with poly creates a flexible jersey that drapes smoothly off varying body types. BYLT offers both crew and v-neck options.
  • Fit In contrast to True Classic’s athletic cut, BYLT designs all their tees in an oversized, casual silhouette. The roomy fit coupled with stretchy fabric makes their shirts extra comfortable for move-as-you-please wear.
  • Construction: BYLT uses traditional cut-and-sew garment construction with a lightweight jersey knit. Usually slimmer than an athletic build.
  • Graphic Statements BYLT sets itself apart from other basic tee brands with their unique graphics focused on self-love and empowerment. You’ll find positive phrases like “Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History” alongside tie dye, camo and leopard prints enabling you to make a statement.
  • Price Despite elevated fabric and bold graphics, BYLT manages to keep their tee prices affordable ranging from just $9 for sale items up to $24 for new arrivals.

For shoppers wanting a soft graphic tee delivering messages of confidence and inclusion at accessible prices, BYLT checks all the boxes. Next let’s see how they compare to True Classic across key metrics:

Comparing the Sizing & Fit

Fit and sizing represent the starkest contrast between True Classic and BYLT. TC obsesses over crafting the perfect athletic shape while BYLT celebrates body inclusivity in its boxy silhouette.

True Classic Sizing

True Classic
True Classic

With a precision slim athletic cut, True Classic runs at least 1 full size small according to overwhelmingly consistent reviews.

Standing at 6’ tall with an athletic build, I comfortably wear size large TC tees.

But if I wanted a roomier feel, I would need to size up 1 or even 2 sizes.

The tipping point where True Classic might not provide enough fabric girth comes around an XL regular size and up.

To recap, for True Classic sizing:

  • Runs very small
  • Order 1-2 sizes up from normal
  • Best suited for average to athletic builds up to XL
  • Choose slim fit option for even more tailored cut

BYLT Sizing

While True Classic runs small, BYLT tends to veer towards oversized in their relaxed silhouette. Most reviews suggest ordering your typical size for a classic loose fit with BYLT tees.

I’m that same 6’ tall but find BYLT size large gives me enough roominess while still providing proper sleeve length. According to other XL+ reviewers, BYLT offers satisfactory comfort and length as sizes scale up.

BYLT sizing notes:

  • Runs slightly oversized
  • Order your normal size for classic fit
  • Size down if you prefer less fabric
  • Accommodates more builds with roomy cut

Clearly True Classic and BYLT take very different approaches when it comes to garment fit and measurements. Make sure to reference each of their size charts, but use the general guidance above as a starting point.

Up next, let’s analyze fabric and construction techniques…

Materials & Construction Comparison

When it comes to t-shirt materials and construction methods, both comfort and durability come into play. Here’s how True Classic and BYLT stack up:

True Classic

  • 100% USA-grown ringspun cotton
  • Lightweight with premium softness
  • Enhanced breathability from pure cotton
  • Tubular knitting eliminates side seams
  • Improves shape retention and comfort


  • 60% cotton, 40% polyester jersey
  • Soft stretchy casual drape
  • Poly/cotton blend provides fluid flexibility
  • Traditional cut-and-sew creates side seams
  • Looser boxier fit through the body

Construction plays an important role as well. True Classic’s seamless tubular knitting offers a streamlined aesthetic and reduces skin irritation. BYLT uses a classic seamed silhouette for looser shaping.

Both fabrics provide softness and breathability with 100% cotton having an edge for warmer climates. The addition of polyester to BYLT’s jersey does increase strength and stretch which comes through in its carefree drape.

Now let’s examine the upsides and downsides of each brand:

Pros & Cons of True Classic and BYLT

True Classic Pros

  • Unparalleled athletic fit
  • Lightweight breathable cotton
  • Tubular construction enhances comfort
  • Great shape retention over time
  • Sustainable ethical manufacturing
  • Generous color selection

True Classic Cons

  • Runs very small; tricky sizing
  • Limited size range
  • Higher price point ($28-$38)
  • Non-inclusive fit
  • No graphic prints


BYLT tees
  • Ultra soft cotton/poly fabric
  • True to size fit up to 2XL
  • Trendy graphic prints available
  • Empowering mission of self-love
  • Just $9-$24 for most styles


  • Polyester not as breathable
  • Boxy shape not for everyone
  • Shrinkage and pilling noted
  • Limited colors for basics
  • Shorter length on taller builds

Both True Classic and BYLT make quality tees but cater towards different priorities. TC brings precision athletic fit with more breathable fabric, while BYLT offers on-trend graphics and inclusive sizing in super soft jersey.

Comfort, shape retention and affordable pricing remain strengths across both brands. The higher cotton content of True Classic should lend itself to increased durability over time.

Some shoppers do report shrinkage and pilling with BYLT tees likely related to the high polyester proportion. And if you fall outside the scope of a “true athletic build”, True Classic simply won’t have enough fabric to go around.


When it comes to cost comparison, BYLT clearly beats True Classic on price coming in at least $10 if not $20 cheaper per tee. Here’s a pricing breakdown:

TypeTrue Classic PriceBYLT Price
Basics Tees$28 – $38$14 – $24
Sale Tees$20 – $25$9 – $15

As discussed, the elevated prices of True Classic stem from their precise fabric standards, ethical lean manufacturing and extreme attention to detail. Exceptional craft requires investment.

But for shoppers wanting a quality t-shirt without breaking the bank, BYLT offers big savings. Their focus resides more in radical self expression through graphics rather than achieving the perfect athletic silhouette.

Both brands achieve impressive quality and comfort despite the pricing gap. You can’t go wrong picking True Classic for premium essentials or BYLT for budget friendliness.

Sustainability & Manufacturing Compared

An important factor for many consumers relates to how ethically and sustainably these tees get made. Here is a quick comparison on production methods:

True Classic

  • Designed, cut & sewn in Los Angeles
  • Ethical lean manufacturing
  • Environmentally friendly dyes
  • Reduced textile waste


  • Ethically manufactures through Fair Trade factories
  • Uses sustainable green materials in production
  • Part of 1% For the Planet alliance

True Classic’s state-of-the-art LA factory employs lean techniques to create quality local jobs while minimizing unused fabric down to 1%.

BYLT partners with overseas Fair Trade factories holding ethical certifications while using eco-friendly materials and processes. They donate 1% of sales to environmental non-profits through 1% For the Planet.

Both brands make solid efforts around sustainability and ethical working standards. True Classic goes further on the lean manufacturing front while BYLT gives back through charitable partnerships.

I give the nod to True Classic for keeping from start to finish made in the USA while upholding environmentally sound practices. But consumers can feel positive aligning with either brand if ethical sourcing remains top priority.

Which Tee Reigns Supreme?

With the wealth of information covered, where does this leave us on choosing between True Classic and BYLT? Let’s recap when each brand takes the t-shirt crown:

Choose True Classic For:

  • Seeking that perfect fitting essential tee
  • 100% cotton lightweight breathability
  • An investment in ethical manufacturing
  • Unbeatable comfort and shape retention
  • Wardrobe upgrades rather than trends

Go With BYLT For:

  • Inclusive extended sizes up to 2XL
  • Ultra soft cotton/poly fabrication
  • Graphic statements embracing self-love
  • Major savings with discounted pricing
  • Fun fashion alongside laidback basics

Both brands ultimately succeed in crafting quality, comfortable t-shirts perfect for everyday wear. True Classic obsesses over athletic fit and responsible production. BYLT celebrates personal expression through fabric, prints and pricing.

Which tee suits your needs comes down to the fit, function and budget aligning with your lifestyle. Good news is…you really can’t go wrong building wardrobe staples designed to help you shine every time you get dressed!

Beyond Tees: Expanding Your Options

If you find yourself loving aspects of both brands, know you can expand your collection within each company’s offerings:

True Classic makes super soft Tri-Blend Tees adding polyester like BYLT but focused on athletic shapes. Their latest Crew Sweatshirt is equally perfected for layering.

BYLT offers matching sets pairing graphic tees and bike shorts along with activewear like leggings for bold gym style.

Branching out within the brands allows you to enjoy the best of both fashion and function.

And fear not, both True Classic and BYLT frequently offer sales and promos to make experimenting worry-free! Sign up for their emails to get the inside scoop on sitewide deals, latest launches and early access.

The final takeaway? Whichever you choose…rock your new tee knowing it came well crafted by a brand aligned with excellence and ethics. Because you deserve nothing less when you get dressed in the morning!

Ralph Wade

Hey...Ralph is here! So, did you find this article useful? If so, please leave a comment and let me know. If not, please tell me how I can improve this article. Your feedback is always appreciated. Take love :)

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