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Review Summary

At $55 per t-shirt, expectations are high for a garment that checks all of the boxes. Never one to omit any details, Reigning Champ has crafted a beautiful lightweight t-shirt that may not fit all budgets, but certainly fits like a dream. A basic t-shirt is personal with a high degree of subjectivity based on each individual's body type and desired style. If you’re in the market for a slim fitting, perfectly tailored, super soft t-shirt, then you’re going down the right path.

The lightweight Reigning Champ t-shirt is a breath of fresh air if you're used to wearing boxy department store basics and graphic tees. Sleeves and body length are perfectly proportional for a tailored look that borders on the line of athletic wear. The flatlock seams are a nice aesthetic touch that actually play a huge role in the construction quality and overall comfort. Slightly stretchy 100% lightweight woven cotton feels amazing to the touch and is preshrunk for a perfect fit. Reigning Champ regularly stocks core colors of black, gray, navy, and white, however, highly desirable seasonal colors are worth purchasing before they sell out.

Review Ratings


  • Nice slim fit with a perfect length that is great for average to athletic builds
  • Comfortably soft preshrunk cotton with flatlock seams throughout the construction
  • Collar ribbing and set-in sleeves provide flexibility while maintaining structure
  • Various staple colors always available with some really nice seasonal offerings
  • Minimal exterior branding making for a premium basic that can be worn regularly


  • May be too slim for some builds, recommend sizing up if you prefer a baggier fit or trying the relaxed fit midweight t-shirt
  • Lightweight cotton may be slightly sheer in lighter colors

Reigning Champ Lightweight T-shirt

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Review Details

Reigning Champ T-shirt Sizing

Basic t-shirts from Reigning Champ come in two different weights, lightweight and midweight. It’s important to note that when choosing a weight, you’re also essentially choosing a fit. The midweight t-shirt is cut with a relaxed somewhat more baggy fit while the lightweight t-shirt is a slim fit that you may be more accustomed to if you own any pieces of Reigning Champ. This review specifically focuses on the lightweight slim fit t-shirt.

reigning champ t shirt review

I’m pretty particular when it comes to my basics with the fit being by far the most important aspect. At 5’11” and 170 pounds, I’d classify myself as having a normal to athletic build that usually fits into a size large quite nicely. After taking a look at the sizing table on Reigning Champ’s website, I determined a size large t-shirt should compliment me well. 

The lightweight Reigning Champ t-shirt has an overall body length that is ever so slightly longer than your typical t-shirt, yet not so long that it falls into the elongated category. The t-shirt hem extends past my natural waistline by about 5-6”, all while maintaining a properly proportional sleeve length. Often it is the case that the sleeve length and width will scale proportionally with the t-shirt length. With Reigning Champ, there is an inverse relationship. The sleeves are actually just a bit shorter than most generic t-shirts, giving a much more tailored clean look. I’m usually pretty cautious about shorter sleeves as I don’t have the biceps or anything for that matter to show off. This is not much of a concern with the Reigning Champ t-shirt as the sleeves feel naturally balanced with plenty of room so as not to strangle my upper arms. 

By utilizing a side seam construction as opposed to a tubular design, the body of the t-shirt follows my natural lines without being overly tight nor square. One of the biggest red flags for me is a t-shirt that fits boxy, which this shirt could not be further from. The flatlock side seams extend from the bottom hem up to the armpit which is pretty snug, avoiding the wingsuit look. The shoulder width works for my build which again is not overly broad but more athletically slim. I could see elements of this t-shirt being a bit too tight for some of the more muscular body types, in which case sizing up may be most appropriate.

Reigning Champ T-shirt Construction

As with all Reigning Champ garments, the construction quality is over engineered and in my opinion unprecedented. At this point, I’m comfortable in saying that quality has become synonymous with the name. With something as simple as a basic t-shirt, Reigning Champ has gone above and beyond to construct a garment that will withstand the abuse of heavy continued wear and repeated washings. 

reigning champ t shirt review gray

The Reigning Champ t-shirt starts out from a roll of lightweight incredibly soft 100% woven cotton from CYC Design, Reigning Champs parent company. This cotton has a super fine and tight weave that also features just a bit of subtle stretch. It is then cut and sewn utilizing flatlock seams throughout which is a technique typically found on outerwear and other types of heavy garments. These seams provide ultra strength in securing each piece of the shirt while also providing more comfort. Typical seams protrude inward and can sometimes rub or irritate the skin, while flatlock seams appear just as they sound, flat.

As with all Reigning Champ garments, the exterior is finished with an understated woven logo label sewn across the seam on the left hip, leaving the rest of the shirt otherwise brandless on the outside. An interior neck tag along the back hides a woven loop that can be used for hanging the t-shirt. While talking about the neck, there is a soft ribbing surrounding the neck opening that is like goldilocks, not too tight and not too loose. This ribbing also helps the neck retain its proper shape and avoids any unwanted stretch that can come with repeated wear.  

Having owned and frequently worn over 10+ Reigning Champ t-shirts, I can say that the construction quality is one of the last things you’ll need to worry about when purchasing. These t-shirts are built to last, hold their shape, retain their color, and provide many years of solid hard use. 

Reigning Champ T-shirt Style

When it comes to the style of a basic t-shirt, it might seem like I'm splitting hairs with any praise or criticisms, and you’re probably right. But at the end of the day, the subtle differences can have a big impact. I’m a fan of layering, whether it be with sweatshirts, button ups, or jackets, so I’ll start by highlighting the slightly longer length of the Reigning Champ t-shirt. I will often wear a contrasting or complimentary color shirt as an accent that slightly displays past the bottom hem of a fleece or crewneck. This adds a bit of extra something to an otherwise average look. 

As you would imagine, these casual t-shirts also go perfectly fine with a well fitted Reigning Champ sweatpant for the athleisure vibe or a pair of raw or black denim which my dresser drawers are all too familiar with. Because of the more tailored fit, tight cotton weave, and the intricate flatlock seams, this shirt really punches above its weight in delivering what appears to be a well polished and more expensive garment.

reigning champ t shirt review back

The possibilities are obviously endless with a nice well fitted basic t-shirt as this is a staple for any outfit. One thing I will advise is stocking up on some of the seasonal color offerings that Reigning Champ releases every once in a while. These come and go and sometimes are gone forever. I’ve been able to grow a nice collection that now includes forest green, sage, olive, moss, black, gray, white, quarry, navy, the list goes on.

Reigning Champ T-shirt Value

At $55 per t-shirt, I would definitely not classify this as a value buy. If it’s any consolation, a 2-pack of Reigning Champ lightweight t-shirts can be purchased (black, white, or navy blue) for $100, saving a total of $10. I prefer not to do the simple math on how much it costs to wear a different Reigning Champ t-shirt for every day of the week, as I might start to shed a tear when looking at my closet. 

With the moderately high price out of the way, it only makes sense to factor in the usable life of this t-shirt to arrive at a true value. When I land on a t-shirt that fits me right and complements my style, I tend to over wear it to the point of near exhaustion. Having owned a few of these t-shirts for a period of roughly 2 years now, I can confirm that loose strings, shrinkage, and unwanted fading are non-existent. When taken care of properly and washed as recommended, these Reigning Champ t-shirts fit as they did when new yet develop an even softer hand feel over time. 

Given the longevity of enjoyment and usability, there is a case to be made that the price for these t-shirts is on par with others, all things considered. Initial sticker shock is somewhat of a common theme for Reigning Champ, however, once you own a few of their garments and understand their philosophy of ‘Respect the details. Master Simplicity’ you’ll run the risk of being hooked.

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