5 Best Raglan Shirts for Men: Got Boulder Shoulders?

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by  Karlton Miko Tyack | Last Updated: 

With their vintage and sporty vibe, raglan shirts are more interesting than regular set-in sleeve shirts, and can really level up a casual outfit.

These are our five favorites.

Best Short Sleeve
  • The monochrome heathered design is simple but stylish, and versatile
  • Its anti-microbial technology effectively fights odors
  • The shirt’s relaxed athletic fit is comfortable enough for the gym and for everyday wear
Best Three-Quarters Raglan
  • It features a fit that accents the upper arms and chest, for a universally flattering look
  • The contrast sleeves and collar are a distinct and vintage design
  • There are six color variations, all neutral enough to be styled in multiple ways
Best Long Sleeve
  • Protects from UVB and UVA rays
  • The tightly-woven polyester blend is durable yet soft on your skin
  • Its all-way stretch provides a wide-ranging ease of movement
Best Polo
  • The notch neck collar is a unique style and gives a flexible head fit 
  • The pique mesh fabric is lightweight, soft, and breathable
  • Its proprietary anti-odor technology lasts for over 100 washes
Best for Cold Weather
  • A double-knit layer provides warmth and comfort without being too heavy
  • The relaxed fit in the chest and sleeves, tapered waist, and ribbed cuffs and collar, provide a modern but cozy look
  • The shirt comes in bright and unique color combinations, as well as more neutral ones

One of the easiest ways to up your style game is to level up your t-shirt-and-jeans options. It’s the most effortless way to look good on any given day.

Enter the raglan style shirt.

If you aren’t familiar with the term, some quick Google images will likely make you think about baseball. If you’re a millennial, you’ll probably think of The Sandlot movies specifically.

The raglan shirt does have a boyish quality to it, but it’s also sporty and handsome, and it’s not just for kids. It’s also more interesting than a regular t-shirt.

I’ve rounded up the five best raglan shirts for men. If you don’t own one, you’ll definitely find one (or five) here that you’ll love.

What is a Raglan Sleeve?

Fresh Clean Tees Cali Pullover model smiling

What makes a raglan shirt different from a regular t-shirt is its sleeves. Raglan sleeves are attached to the shirt’s collar. In other words, both the right sleeve and left sleeve each extend from the collar, and all three elements are one continuous piece of fabric. 

At the very least, all three elements are one unbroken piece, from which the body of the shirt hangs off of.

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If the raglan has a contrasting collar and sleeves, this style is often associated with baseball. Raglan shirts offer a bigger underarm area, which allows players unrestricted movement when pitching. For non-athletes, this extra room just makes the shirt more comfortable. 

This distinct piece of casualwear is named after 1st Baron Raglan aka Field Marshall FitzRoy James Henry Somerset. He had his tailors incorporate the full sleeve design onto his coats, after his right arm was wounded at Waterloo and it had to be amputated. 

5 Best Men’s Raglan Shirts

Now that we’re caught up, here are the five best raglan shirts for men.

Best Short Sleeve: Public Rec Elevate Crewneck

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Public Rec makes technical clothing for leisure or athletics. The Elevate Crewneck Shirt succeeds in both of those categories.

It has a relaxed casual cut and the head opening is relatively large. The heathered design and raglan sleeves give it style and structure, so it can easily be worn with casual pants on a relaxed day out. Pair them with some quality denim and take them to a nice bar or club, dress code willing.

The Elevate comes in three neutral and versatile colors.

On the performance front, it’s made out of polyester for durability, with a hint of spandex which adds comfort, stretch, and breathability. It’s also moisture wicking and odor-resistant, so it’s perfect for heavy activity in the gym or the outdoors.

What I Like

  • The relaxed athletic fit is comfortable whether you’re participating in sports and workouts or just wearing it casually.

  • The added spandex to its construction makes this shirt exceedingly lightweight and breathable.

  • It features a simple and versatile style that can be worn with any pair of casual pants and shoes.

  • The antimicrobial technology allows you to wear this shirt during hot days or sweaty workouts without having to worry about odor.

What I Don’t Like

  • The large collar makes it easy to put on and adds to the comfort, but when you’re sitting down, it droops in the back.

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviewers love this shirt. Many of them consider the Public Rec Elevate to be the best option for a shirt that’s both athletic and everyday casual. 

A handful of reviewers point out the unusually large head opening. One even mentions that he loves the shirt, but it isn’t as effortless as he’d like, since he needs to occasionally rearrange the droopy collar.

The Verdict

If you’re looking for a comfortable and quality heathered shirt for casual wear, or if you’re looking for an effective athletic shirt, the Public Rec Elevate Crewneck is for you. If you’re looking for both, then this is the ultimate two-in-one jackpot.

Public Rec Elevate Crew

The relaxed cut and comfortable fabric make this raglan shirt a go to if you need a versatile shirt for your daily commute.

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Best Three-Quarters Raglan:  True Classic Baseball Raglan

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True Classic Tees has made a name for themselves by building their shirts to flatter the bodies of “real men.” The True Classic Baseball Raglan sports this trademark fit, which accentuates your arms and shoulders.

They even have a “Find My Fit” scale on their website, where you’ll enter your height, weight, and desired fit, so they can choose the right size for you.

The Baseball Raglans themselves are made out of a soft ringspun cotton and polyester jersey mix. Even the tag is soft and undistracting. This is actually the only casual shirt I have in which I didn’t cut the tag off. They mention that it shrinks about 5% in a low heat setting, but I’d say it seems closer to 10%. I’m sure it depends on your washer and dryer. 

Style-wise, this shirt comes in several colorways. It features that fun contrast collar and sleeves that we associate with vintage baseball. The sleeves come in military green, navy, black, and gray, while the body of the shirt comes in black, white and heathered gray.

What I Like

  • All of True Classic’s t-shirts accentuate the arms and shoulders, flattering all men’s body types regardless of what’s going on in the mid-section.

  • The contrast sleeves are a nostalgic and distinct design, and the Baseball Raglan comes in six color variations.

  • The True Classic website has a convenient and easy “Find My Fit” scale that makes buying their shirts online less risky.

What I Don’t Like

  • It shrinks more than advertised.

  • Fans of True Classic prefer a more tapered shirt body, and the Baseball Raglan has a looser fit than the other shirts in their line. 

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviewers praise the fit around the chest and arms and the soft material of the shirt.

I notice that most of True Classic’s reviewers are already fans of the brand, and that they have certain expectations. A few complain that the body of the shirt doesn’t fit as close to the torso as they’d like. This is likely because the standard True Classic shirts have a tighter taper. I will say that classic raglan shirts are supposed to be loose in the stomach area though

The Verdict

If you love that vintage, youthful baseball look, True Classic Tees serves it up with their Baseball Raglan. Most brands expect their contrast raglans will appeal mostly to a younger audience and tailor the shirts that way. True Classic, however, builds this shirt for the bodies of grown men.

Best Three-Quarters Raglan
True Classic Tees Baseball Raglan

If you love that vintage, youthful baseball look, True Classic serves it up with their Baseball Raglan. Most brands expect their contrast raglans will appeal mostly to a younger audience and tailor the shirts that way. True Classic, however, builds this shirt for the bodies of grown men.

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Best Long Sleeve: Columbia Thistletown Park Raglan Tee

Columbia is known for outdoor apparel, so it’s not surprising that their Thistletown Park Raglan Tee boasts several performance-related qualities. 

Where they really succeed is the sun protection factor, which is great because that’s one of the reasons athletes would choose long sleeves over short ones. This shirt boasts a tightly woven polyester and cotton construction that protects from UVB and UVA rays. 

It even has an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of 15, which is the lowest UPF qualification, but still impressive considering how lightweight and comfortable the shirt is.

Columbia claims this shirt is super sweat-wicking, but I find it retains moisture like any other shirt. 

Even for a raglan, it’s especially easy to move in, likely thanks to the all-way stretch. This makes the shirt a nice stylish option for a day full of physical errands and running around town.

What I Like

  • The Thistletown Park is a stylish long-sleeve shirt that comes in several fun and distinct colors, including shades of orange, red, thyme green, and purple.

  • It has a tight weave construction with UV absorbent yarns, and a UPF 15 level protection from UVA and UVB rays.

  • This shirt is really easy to move in, so it’s perfect for agility-heavy sports or just a day that you’ll be doing a lot of physical errands. 

What I Don’t Like

  • It’s not as moisture-wicking as it claims to be.

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviewers mainly love the style of this shirt, which makes sense since there are so many creative color options. 

After scouring the internet and reading countless reviews, the biggest complaint I find is the sizing. There are equally as many people who say it runs way too big as there are that say it runs way too small. It’s important you check your seller’s return policy before buying.

The Verdict

If you’re looking for maximum sun protection, go for the Columbia Thistletown Park Raglan Tee. Not only do you get full arm coverage without compromising movement, but the shirt itself has a level UPF 15 for protecting against rays.

Best Long Sleeve
Columbia Thistletown Park Raglan Tee

If you’re looking for maximum sun protection, go for the Columbia Thistletown Park Raglan Tee. Not only do you get full arm coverage without compromising movement, but the shirt itself has a level UPF 15 for protecting against rays.

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Best Raglan Polo: Rhone Delta Pique Polo

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The Rhone Delta Pique Polo is the only polo on this list. Rhone adds a notch neck to the head hole, so that all head sizes can get through without the actual collar being too loose or sloppy. Aesthetically, the notch looks like a henley collar without the buttons, for a distinct and handsome look.

This shirt wins for comfort because of the pique mesh fabric, which is super lightweight and breathable. Also, the flat-lock stitching ensures the seams are chafe free. The GoldFusion anti-odor technology is an eco-friendly fabric treatment that stays intact even after 100% washes.

The only downside to this shirt is that they run a whole size bigger. This is only a problem if you don’t know about it though, so it’s good you’re reading this.

What I Like

  • Rhone’s pique mesh fabric is lightweight and soft enough for the indoors, and breathable enough for the outdoors. 
  • It’s style is unique, sporting a henley-like buttonless notch collar, and lively colors like bright green with navy blue accents.
  • The anti-odor technology means you can wear this shirt at the gym or just around the house for multiple days at a time.

What I Don’t Like

  • They run big despite claiming to run true to size.

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviewers agree that the Rhone Delta Pique Shirt is exceptionally comfortable and well-ventilated. Some use it for working out, others use it to literally sleep in.

One reviewer mentions that those with thick chest hair may find that it actually comes out of the mesh fabric, so that’s something to keep in mind.

The Verdict

If you’re looking for a comfortable shirt that you can sleep in, then hit the gym first thing in the morning without changing, the Rhone Delta Pique Shirt is for you. It’s soft enough to lounge around in, but breathable and motion-friendly enough for working out and sports. Top it off with long lasting odor-control, and you can’t go wrong.

Rhone Delta Pique Polo

If you’re looking for a comfortable polo that you could hit the gym in, the Rhone Delta Pique polo is for you. It’s soft enough to lounge around in, but breathable and motion-friendly enough for working out and sports. Top it off with long lasting odor-control, and you can’t go wrong.

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Best for Cold Weather: L.L. Bean Cotton Double-Knit Crewneck

5.
L.L. Bean Cotton Double-Knit Crewneck

If you’re looking for a shirt that will keep you warm on a cold day, the L.L. Bean Cotton Double-Knit Crewneck is your best bet. It’s also an excellent choice for those looking for interesting and distinct color combinations.

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L.L. Bean has their hand on every classic sporty staple, so of course they do a fantastic raglan shirt. Their Cotton Double-Knit Crewneck is special for two reasons.

First, it boasts a double-knit layer, both made of soft cotton with a hint of nylon. This makes the shirt super cozy, perfect for cooler weather, but not sweater thick. 

Second, the heathered color variations, which include a plum and sienna combo and a juniper and raven blue combo, are classy but lively. They have the signature L.L Bean preppy feel without the stuffiness. As the rest of the selects here, the sleeves offer ease of motion, and the straight hem looks effortlessly stylish when untucked.

What I Like

  • This shirt features a double-knit layer that’s warm but not too thick, making it a perfect cold weather basic.

  • It has a relaxed fit in the chest and sleeves, a tapered waist, and ribbed cuffs and collar, for a modern but still cozy look.

  • The color combinations are bright and unique, but there are also neutral options. 

What I Don’t Like

  • It’s generally a little short in the torso, so don’t buy it if you’re planning on tucking it in. You can also just size up since the waist tapers anyway.

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviewers love how the L.L. Bean Cotton Double-Knit Crewneck is able to keep them warm and cozy during the cold seasons. Many even collect this shirt, opting to buy it in several colors.

A few reviewers complain about how the shirt doesn’t allow your body heat to escape. You can lounge around the house wearing this shirt in the winter, but it’s likely not the best shirt to go to bed in.

The Verdict

If you’re looking for a shirt that will keep you warm on a cold day, the L.L. Bean Cotton Double-Knit Crewneck is your best bet. It’s also an excellent choice for those looking for interesting and distinct color combinations.

Best for Cold Weather
L.L. Bean Cotton Double-Knit Crewneck

If you’re looking for a shirt that will keep you warm on a cold day, the L.L. Bean Cotton Double-Knit Crewneck is your best bet. It’s also an excellent choice for those looking for interesting and distinct color combinations.

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How to Style a Raglan Shirt

1. Layers and Textures

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Raglan shirts work well with layers because they give you levels of looks that you can go back and forth with. The contrast collar serves as an accent when you cover the sleeves up with an open jacket. 

When you take the jacket off, it’s a fun surprise that there’s this unexpected pop of color by way of the sleeves. This guy mixes textures strategically. His shiny leather jacket matches his shiny leather shoes, but the matte pants bring an overall balance. 

2. Leaning into the Vintage Quality

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Raglan shirts mean different things to different people (nostalgia, baseball, youthfulness, so on). This gent is pulling at every single one of those. 

The fit of his cuffed blue jeans matches the fit of his sleeves, leaving a silhouette-changing billow at the body of the shirt. The H socks have a school academics feel, while the distressed sneakers are sufficiently vintage.

3. Casual and Contrasting

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This look goes hardcore sporty at the top with his Bruins logo, but contrasts it with a rugged yet sophisticated aesthetic at the bottom with his leather boots, matching belt, and cuffed jeans. The result is an interesting balance of masculine toughness and fun boyishness.

4. Incorporated into a Streetwear Approach

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Raglan shirts go well with streetwear since they both have a youthful feel. The key is to go the simple route, as this guy does, instead of anything overly chic or overly urban. 

The flat-brim cap is a nice touch that complements and adds a subtle edge to what would have been an otherwise wholesome aesthetic.

Not Just for Baseball

If you’re looking for a versatile raglan shirt, perfect for everyday wear and as activewear, the Public Rec Elevate Crew is the best option overall. The three-quarters True Classic Tee has a body-flattering design, while the Columbia Thistletown’s long sleeves and UPF 15 status protects hikers from the sun’s rays.

Public Rec Elevate Crew

The relaxed cut and comfortable fabric make this raglan shirt a go to if you need a versatile shirt for your daily commute.

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The Rhone and L.L Bean raglan shirts top the comfort categories, with their soft and cozy builds.

If you don’t own a raglan shirt yet, you should probably pick one or two from this list. They’re definitely a closet staple.

FAQs

What body type looks good in raglan sleeves?

Raglan sleeves flatter men with wider shoulders since they accentuate their upper arms. However, the looser body of the shirt makes it flattering for a range of midsection types too. Basically most guys can pull off raglan sleeves.

Are raglan sleeves more comfortable?

Yes, raglan sleeves have more space in the underarms offering a wider range of movement and a comfortable fit.

Are raglan sleeves good for broad shoulders?

Yes, people with wide shoulders and big upper arms benefit from wide underarm fit, compared to a tighter set-in sleeve shirt.

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