Men's Fashion

15 Best Vintage T-Shirts For Men: Your Online Guide 2022

The t-shirt (first manufactured in 1898) has been the bedrock of modern man’s look. But in the age of digitalization, where nostalgia, street style, and fast access reign supreme, men’s vintage t-shirts have become highly prized. The best vintage tees are snapped up by the savvy. But you don’t have to visit every vintage store within a hundred-mile radius or surf through masses of vintage t-shirts online to get a slice of the vintage pie (ew). You just have to acquaint yourself with the ins and outs of shopping vintage, or read our choice *kisses thumb and forefinger together* selections in this article.

First things first. Visit your local vintage store to find the best vintage t-shirts. Keep the community thriving and get to know the people; the real world is always better than the digital.

There are literally hundreds of online retailers. But just like the clothes rail sitting on the computer, scrolling through endless pictures of t-shirts can get exhausting (trust me, I do it for a living).

So how about we ease the burden a little, hey? Why don’t you put your feet up and let us point out the best vintage t-shirts in the most salient categories? That way, you’ll emerge with vintage tees without so much as a pleasant read and a few quick clicks to victory. Read on, my friendly vintage friends, read on.

Our Top Picks

rhude vintage tshirt
rhude / instagram

Rhude Logo Vintage T-shirt

Material: 100% Cotton | Colors available: Black | Sizes Available: XS-XL |

Rhuigi Villaseñor has brought about a unique marriage of streetwear and luxury to the fashion industry. This is obvious in the ingenious logo design at play. It has an eighties edge that drips with panache, like the logo of an eighties metal band or an Italian sportscar.

Of course, it is none of those things. This spooky cat graphic tee comes with drop shoulders and a square-like fit which references the current style. Style this with loose denim jeans, ice-cold shades, and Converse.

Corridor NYC Striped Vintage T-shirt

Material: 100% Organic Cotton | Colors available: Multi  | Sizes Available: XS-XXL

Corridor NYC is a miniature factory of stylish things. This is one of their 70s-inspired vintage tees, which bubbles up visions of large hair and flares but in a clipped and restrained way.

Pair with mid-wash loose jeans, or if you’re feeling groovy, some green or brown corduroy trousers. This piece is also recommended due to its using organic cotton. Good for the planet. Good for your wardrobe.

Vans Motorhead Vintage T-shirt

Material: 100% Cotton | Colors available: Black | Sizes Available: XS-XXL |

Lemmy with the legendary ‘tash. He was the lead singer of UK hard rock band Motörhead (got a lot of time for the use of the German umlaut), formed in 1975. Known for their classic “Ace of Spades” tune, there’s a little spades emblem at the back of the t-shirt, in homage to that rock ‘n roll classic.

The front graphic depicts a part-wolf, part-bear creature called “snaggletooth,” which was the band’s logo of choice. With Lemmy’s vintage tees, you can embody the evil snare of the snaggletooth. Terrifying.

Umbro Off-White Vintage T-shirt

Material: 100% Cotton | Colors available: Off-White, Navy, Khaki | Sizes Available: S-XL

One of the most endlessly rewarding sub-genres of the best vintage t-shirts is… vintage sports t-shirts. Sports clothing back in the day was simple, strong, and evocative. This polo tee follows suit perfectly.

Nigel Cabourn is a British fashion designer known for his rugged outerwear and vintage-shop sportswear themes. And who better to team up with for a sports kit than the vintage-saturated brand Umbro?

90s Umbro was the absolute *flame emoji* of football kits. Although, the whole of the 90s and early 00s was quite a special time for that. Anyway, reveling in the nostalgia is what this zip-up polo t-shirt does best, but it does so with a lot more class and taste.

Led Zeppelin Vintage T-shirt

Material: 100% Cotton | Colors available: Black | Sizes Available: S-XL |

Honor the gods of rock n roll (can you tell I’m a fan?) with this stylish black t-shirt by Urban Outfitters. The “Over Europe 1980” tour was hugely significant for the band because it was their last ever. They played at nine venues in West Germany, plus Brussels, Rotterdam, Zurich, and Vienna.

The tour hadn’t gone entirely smooth. One night Jimmy Page (lead guitarist) was struck in the face with a firecracker. Another night, Jon Bonham (drummer) collapsed onstage and was rushed to hospital. But the punk movement revitalized the band and was excited to get going again when tragically, Bonham died during rehearsals for their US leg.

Style-wise, this is one of the best vintage t-shirts going, and it’s also a small but humble testament to all that once was.

Polo Ralphp Lauren Vintage T-shirt

Material: 100% Cotton | Colors available: Black | Sizes Available: S-XL |

The Urban Outfitter’s Urban Renewal program is dedicated to providing top-quality vintage tees. They put in the time and effort to secure a steady supply of the best vintage t-shirts around the world. That’s why you pay a premium for it. This very simple black Polo Ralph Lauren t-shirt with a nice red logo will pack a punch when worn oversized. It was born to be draped off the shoulders nonchalantly.

You might like this oversized tee so much that all you want in your wardrobe now are oversized tees.

Rolling Stones Vintage T-shirt

Material: 100% Ring Spun Cotton | Colors available: White | Sizes Available: S-XXXL |

Not so much vintage as the modern and official fashion brand arm of a rock band with some of the world’s most recognizable graphics ever designed. The Rolling Stones, ever heard of them? These loonies legends have been around since the 60s and are still going to this day.

That makes the best vintage t-shirt remasters somewhat analogous to the cultural position of the band itself. They are both vintage and contemporary at the same time. Clever, huh?

Tupac Long sleeve Vintage T-shirt

Material: 100% Cotton | Colors available: White, Black | Sizes Available: XS-XL |

You must, I repeat, must have a vintage Tupac Shakur t-shirt in your closet. The man is endlessly mythologized because of his suspicious early demise around the Notorious B. I. G. rivalry and saga; his lyrics ooze with talent and literary craft; his songs are powerful and emotive.

That’s why his face and presence make for one of the best vintage t-shirts. Coming to think of it, the black long-sleeved t-shirt version is the only way you should have a Tupac tee.

To style this, we’re turning to our old friend—the loose-fit jeans. Also, try it with a large parka jacket to be street-style winter-ready. Long live Makaveli. Long live his vintage tees.

Johnny Cash Vintage T-shirt

Material: 100% Cotton | Colors available: White | Sizes Available: S-XXL |

Johnny Cash was an imperious figure in the country scene from the 50s, maintaining it right up to his death in 2003. The “Ring of Fire” is a fantastic tune, as is the re-write of Nine Inch Nail’s track, “Hurt.”

He also has one of the coolest names to put on the front of men’s vintage t-shirts. Call me a music critic, but his success and his cool name can’t just be a coincidence. That is how you sell records, people. If he was around in this day and age, he could have called himself Johnny Ca$h and pivoted to rap. Oh well. Wear a bit of country music heritage on your chest with this classic tee.

champion Bookstore Logo Vintage T-shirt

Material: 100% Cotton | Colors available: Cream, Black | Sizes Available: XS-XXL

Champion has the best vintage t-shirts in the collegiate/varsity style. Don’t believe us? Just have a quick run through their “back to uni” roster. No, this doesn’t shout out, “I WENT TO [Insert College], RESPECT ME AND MAKE ME RICH” from its chest like other collegiate tees.

But it is cooler, respectful, and more peaceful. Like the recently retired tennis player Federer, a real champion does play the sport with vigor and grace but is graceful in defeat too. I do wonder what that’s like…

Pair this with dark indigo jeans. But, hey, let’s say you’re just chillin’ with the boiz? Well then, black, white, or gray trackies are all excellent choices, sir.

Pizza Planet Vintage T-shirt

Material: 100% Cotton | Colors available: White | Sizes Available: S-XXL |

Did you, like me, saw this t-shirt and thought: “yeaasss!” remembering Toy Story? Then you, like me, are the chosen demographic for this graphic. While the imagery of Pizza Planet is still etched into my five-year-old brain, after some frantic Googling, I rediscovered this is where they encounter the evil teenager, Sid, who picks them out of the arcade with a claw. It’s at this point it gets perilous for Buzz and Woody. Damn, I should probably watch this bonafide classic again.

By referencing an iconic location in an iconic film, the t-shirt becomes more layered than just a regular Toy Story t-shirt. It becomes cooler, in a geeky way, of course. If this doesn’t tickle your graphic tee pickle, I’m not sure what will.

Atari Vintage T-shirt

Material: 100% Cotton | Colors available: Black | Sizes Available: S-XXL |

There are few things more eighties other than Atari. There are also few logos or works of graphic design that are as iconically eighties as the Atari logo. It’s just three simple lines. That’s all it is.

And yet, everyone who has forgotten Atari knows the logo. That is how transcendent and powerful the graphic is. This is precisely why wearing this vintage logo in black and white contrast on the chest of your shirt makes it one of the best vintage t-shirts. You are evoking the eighties, the birth of gaming and timeless design.

Gucci x Adidas Jersey Vintage T-shirt

Material: 100% Polyester Blend | Colors available: Red, Green | Sizes Available: XS-XXXL |

If there has been one brand that harnessed nostalgia or the power of vintage and funneled these emotions so perfectly through a modern lens, it’s Gucci. Vintage Adidas is a whole other gem in and of itself, so when these two brand powerhouses combine, it becomes a multi-layered cheesecake of fashion delight.

The saturated red of this t-shirt doesn’t care for no one. No. Neither do the sharp contrast Adidas three-stripes and the Gucci green and red arm hems. This is an example of the best vintage t-shirts at their most refined.

Triump x Lola Vintage T-shirt

Material: 100% Cotton | Colors available: Bone | Sizes Available: XS-XL |

One style of vintage motorcycle tee out there features great big Harleys, scantily clad ladies, and men with bushy beards. Then there’s the other, tattier kind that has a picture of a motorbike and a guy, captioned by things like “Sure, I talk to myself. I’m the smartest person I know.”

We’re not here for either of them. We’re here for the tasteful and perfect aesthetic harmony of Triumph and Lola Blackheart. Blackheart’s work references pin-up and the vintage styles of the early 20th century, all done in a tattoo-ink style. Lola and Triumph have created a contemporary men’s vintage t-shirt with artistic integrity.

Smiley Oversized Vintage T-shirt

Material: 100% Cotton | Colors available: Black | Sizes Available: S, M |

The smiley is a symbol of the 90s Acid House raves. It was emblazoned on the little pills of ecstasy that created the headspace of eternal love and endless dancing. Is the sideways smile on this Readymade t-shirt a warning that taking too much can have disturbing results? Hm.

This oversized, boxy t-shirt draws good vibes through its minimalist design and is a subtle nod to the hard, fast, and loving 90s. Here’s to all of that.

Rock band Vintage T-shirt
officialbandshirts / instagram

What To Look For When Searching For The Best Vintage T-Shirts For Men

Material

The material will generally be polyester or 100% cotton. It’s rare to find anything different that’s genuinely a vintage product. When buying older clothing it’s worth checking the wear and tear on it. If it’s had a hard life, it’ll be sheer, or too pilled, and generally looking on its last legs, so just pay close attention to the condition.

Style

A vintage t-shirt is mostly about style. The unique, one-off, nostalgic piece of history that’ll be yours to wear and cherish and show off. This should be the priority of your choice. Because if you love the style, you will tend to wear it more often. Then, you can begin to investigate other facets of choosing a men’s vintage t-shirt after your aesthetic choice has been made.

Fit

As the Ancient Chinese proverb goes: you do you, hun. Get a skinny, medium, or baggy fit. Generally, a vintage t-shirt lends itself to a baggier style because it sits within the realm of current styles. Do consider the armpits and where the shoulder finishes. Tight armpits are super uncomfortable, and draped shoulders sometimes make it difficult to wear with layers.

John Rambo Vintage T-shirts
officialbandshirts / instagram

Final Verdict 

The best vintage t-shirts for men should be effortlessly cool and should feel like it resonates from an age gone by in a rose-tinted glasses kind of way. Pure nostalgia. It should also be in good condition too (which is where buying new t-shirts in retro styles comes into its own). That’s why we chose the Rhude t-shirt as our all-around favorite.

FAQ

    • Check the labels. Always check the labels, folks. A vintage t-shirt is generally made from cotton or polyester, so a regular cotton setting on your washing machine is fine. Since cotton doesn’t shrink (and it being vintage, will have washed many times before) it is worth doing one hot wash of around 50/60 degrees to fully flush the previous life from it.

      • This is because they are one-off items. The fact that they might never be produced ever again, or they don’t have the same provenance or unique story behind that particular garment, can send some vintage t-shirts to astronomical prices. This can make them a good investment if you know how to play your cards right.