Who Makes the Best Cotton Spandex Undershirt in the World? (2023)

Who Makes the Best Cotton Spandex Undershirt in the World? (1)

I’ve received a bunch of emails recently from people who’ve been looking for cotton spandex undershirts.

Specifically, they’re looking for undershirt with a 95% cotton / 5% lycra/spandex fabric blend.

One such liked undershirt was the Target Merona Ultimate Crew Neck t-shirt/undershirt.

Cotton Spandex Undershirt Email

Here is just one example of the types of emails I’ve received recently:

Tug, It has been a while since I have seeked your sage advice. March 2009 to be more precise.

I have always been looking for great undershirts, and rarely find any that work like I want them to.

I am 6’2″ about 195lbs, and I typically wear a large in shirts.

That said, I have tried the typical Calvin Klein and Armani undershirts from Macy’s but was always disappointed.

They would shrink up to where they were barely able to be tucked in, even when hang drying them, and just putting them in the dryer for a few minutes to get the softness and wrinkles out.

I also like a very short sleeve, maybe 1/3rd the bicep for use under polo shirts.

Target Merona Ultimate

I then stumbled across the Merona Ultimate Crew-Neck T-Shirt at Target. Ended up going with the small size and it was excellent.

The length was great, generally as long or longer than my button up shirts that I wear.

The sleeves were perfect, never peaked through my polos.

They then discontinued them a few months later. The stash I have now is getting what Hanes calls the “bacon collar.”

I have tried a similar cotton spandex undershirt from Mens Express, 95%/5% Cotton/Lycra, and need a medium, and the length is easily 4″ shorter, which doesn’t work good for tucked in shirts.

I end up tucking the undershirt into the underwear. Plus the Express shirts are 4x the cost, about $20 each compared to roughly $5.

Do you have any recommendations for me?

I wish I could find a box of the small Merona Ultimate Crew-Neck T-Shirt stuffed in the back of a Target somewhere, but that isn’t going to happen.

Thanks, M

It appears the list of 95/5 undershirts (95% cotton / 5% lycra spandex) being made is getting smaller and smaller as manufacturers continue to discontinue them.

95/5 Cotton Spandex Undershirts That’re Currently Available

As of the writing of this article, here are the cotton undershirts that I know of made from that blend, that are still being sold, ordered by price (lowest to highest):


Kohl’sApt 9.Solid Deluxe Layering Tee(Around $10 each on sale). Recommended by several readers.


MacysAlfani T Shirts, Crew Neck T Shirt(2-Pack).

A Tug Top 5 Favorite. Available online and in stores.Price: $19.98 ($10 per).More information here.


H&M fine stretch cotton V-necks (1-Pack).

Fabric: 45% cotton, 50% organic cotton, 5% elastane. Lots of color options. H&M Retail Stores. Price: $10.00 each.

Endorsed by a reader in this article about form fitting not too tight undershirts.


JockeySlim Fit Cotton Stretch (2-Pack).

Styles: #8424 & #8425.95% cotton / 5% spandex. Price: $26 ($13 per).


Stafford True Tuck Tees (2-Pack). Modal/Spandex. Shows limited sizes available, so not sure about this one. Price: $30.

Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein Cotton Stretch V-Neck or Cotton Stretch Crew Neck (2-Pack). Available online, not sure about stores.

Price: $36.50 (orig: $29.50)


Men’s Express Stretch Cotton Crew Neck Tee (1-Pack).

Available online and in stores. Price: $19.90 (Buy 3 For $39.90)

Banana Republic

Banana Republic New stretch-pima cotton basic tee (1-Pack).

96% pima cotton / 4% spandex.

Price: $24.50 ($18.37 each if you buy 3 or more).

They used to make a 95/5, but it looks like they have replaced it with this 96/4 with pima cotton.

Black Socks

BlackSocks White T-shirt –Antoinette (2-Pack Crew).

Their V-Neck version is called Claudette. Available on BlackSocks.com.

Price: $55

Emporio Armani

Emporio Armani Stretch Cotton V-Neck T-Shirt (1-Pack). Also, this item comes in Crew Neck style.

Available on Freshpair.com, Barenecessities.com, HisRoom.com, Macys, etc.

Price: $28

Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein White V-Neck T-Shirt (1-Pack).

90% cotton/10% spandex. Available on Freshpair.com.

Price: $42

Why Cotton Blends Are Getting Replaced?

It seems as though many of the cotton blends are being replaced, either by synthetic blends such as nylon/spandex and polyester/spandex, or pricier blends such as micromodal/spandex.

Is it because of the rising cotton prices or simply poor sales? Your guess is as good as mine.

If you find something you like from the above list, you just might want to stock up on them in case the manufacturer decides to discontinue them.

Hopefully, we’ll hear back from “M” after he’s had a chance to try some of the above and we’ll find out if he’s found a new favorite.

Thus, if you have a 95/5 cotton spandex undershirts that you really like, make sure you tell me about it in the comments section below!


Update from reader who visited Kmart looking for the Joe Boxer 95/5

Latest on 95 cotton/5 lycra – Hello TUG.

You answered some questions on the 95/5 lycras for me last Fall, at that time I was asking on Merona crew.

Further, you also directed me to a few alternatives, and I ended up purchasing, on-line, several pack of JCP’s J Ferrar crew cotton spandex undershirts which were also to be discontinued.

I thought in place of Clairborne equivalent brand, but I have not seen them. Overall, I am not real happy with the length, as they don’t stay tucked.

I see your list of brands, and am trying the Joe Boxer Platinum crew from KM. I ended up finding the very last package of Joe Boxer Platinum.

The store rep said they were on clearance, and didn’t know if they would return.

On-line they show availability, but when ordering they had only “1” in stock for “today”.

I suspect they are on their way out. Just an FYI and also if you had any info yourself.

Thanks. Steve @ Number Six

Update 2

Here’s some additional information I just got back from “M” after he visited JCPenny.

I went to JCPenney today, 2 actually.

The first one did not have and 95/5 cotton spandex undershirts, they looked and called another person, no luck.

Had to go to the larger JCPenney, which did have them, but not the BVD in medium or small, just large and XL. They were still on sale.

I found the Stafford 95/5 undershirts and they were on sale as well, 2 pack for $7.99, and I had a $10 off coupon, so I got two 2-packs for $5.98. Pretty good deal.

The sleeves length is too long, it is easily 2″ too long for my polo shirts, too bad it doesn’t look like they make a small.

Moreover, after a wash it may shrink a little, might need to dry in dryer instead of hanging to dry.

I like the fit, nice and snug on the body, sleeves are not loose, just too long. The 4″ collar drop is a little too much for me, I like it tighter, but it isn’t too bad.

I will have to wear this under something for a day to see how the tucking is.

Wow I am a demanding undershirt wearer.

The gentleman that helped me at JCPenney says they just recently got these, but that only one shipment has come in.

He thinks it might just be a Holiday promotion. I hope not.

But I may pick up a few more of these since they are on sale, they will be my long [short-]sleeves or I may get the sleeves altered.

Here are the measurements straight out of the package:
Stafford Performance Cotton Stretch 95% Cotton / 5% Spandex
Size: Medium
Length: 28.5″
Width (chest): 19
“Width (bottom): 19”
Shoulder strap length: 6″
Sleeve length: 9″ [tug note: standard sleeve length is around 7″]
Sleeve opening: 6.25″
Shoulder to Armpit Height: 9.5″
Front drop: 4″
Collar width: .5″
Made in Thailand

Update 3

Just heard from another reader who is on the hunt for a good 95/5 blend undershirt

Hey Tug, thanks for your responses.

I just purchased a pack of the BVD’s cotton spandex undershirts and one of the Alfani.

And, I even tried them on at the store and they fit well for the most part but the length nay be a little long.

I will try to give them a fair assessment after a wash.

I stopped in Elder Beerman to see what they had and all I could find were Calvin Klein 95/5 in white.

They looked very nice but at $29.50 a pair, I passed. If there were some in black, I may have bitten.

Part that is a downer about the white is that you are not supposed to bleach them.

My quest continues….

Thanks for all your help.

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