In today’s world of online shopping, there are a vast number of apparel lines to choose from. For one’s basic apparel, in this case, men’s t-shirts, two online startups have routinely stood at the top of the heap when it comes to an affordable premium tee. You’ve probably seen their ads, seen guys of varying sizes flexing and claiming their shirt will fit you perfectly. Now it’s time to figure out which brand is really best: Fresh Clean Tees or True Classic?
While the company’s mission is perhaps not the first thing you look for (see quality or pricing or customer service), it is possibly the most important thing. As social media has turned itself into an arena that can make or break businesses, a solid mission can be the thing that ultimately determines a business’s future.
So, are we talking about a mission statement here, or if they have something else they stand for? Maybe both.
True Classic Tees gets right to their mission when you visit their “Our Story” section on their website. They spell it out immediately letting potential customers know that “Your purchase helps homeless vets get shelter.” Boom. Check it out, they have a lot more to say here.
Fresh Clean Tees’ “Our Story” was more of an actual story. Nothing wrong with explaining to folks how they came to be, what their goal is, and how they view their customer. A little more digging and you will find an “Our Values” section that while somewhat vague, they do say they aim to create a brand that customers “love and trust” that also stands for more where they can give back to their team, their patrons, and their community.
It should be noted that Fresh Clean Tees has made it a point to become eco-friendly. On top of pledging to replace their clothing synthetics with organic and sustainable material by 2025, they also donate, at a minimum, $250,000 a year to protect oceans.
Winner: Tie. You can’t deny both company’s efforts to help their fellow man. Very commendable.
In terms of longevity, Fresh Clean Tees has been around much longer, coming into existence in 2015. They have made their presence felt on multiple social media platforms to include Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and appear to be active and engaging with customers and followers on each platform.
True Classic Tees is a much newer company, having started its business in 2019. They too have made their presence felt on social media and look to be just as active and engaging with followers and customers alike.
When it comes to sheer numbers, Fresh Clean Tees has a four-year head start, so obviously, their numbers look better, having more followers than True Classic Tees. But a closer look and you will see that True Classic Tee while lagging in numbers, its lag isn’t even close to what it should be given Fresh Clean Tees longer social media platform presence.
Winner: True Classic Tees. The jump they’ve made to have virtually the same numbers in such a short amount of time is impressive.
Now, let’s get into the things that matter most, not that what we covered above isn’t important.
Fresh Clean Tees uses a proprietary fabric blend they call StratuSoft. The exact breakdown of what this material is comprised of is not divulged (they do mention it being a cotton-poly blend but not in specifics) on their website, though if it is somewhere there, we could not find it. What they do say about their fabric blend is that it offers the breathability, comfort, and softness of cotton while also giving the performance features of polyester such as moisture-wicking. They claim their StratuSoft is a much stronger, durable, and longer-lasting material than any fabric you’re used to buying.
True Classic breaks down their fabric make in actual numbers. Their tees are made with a 60/40 cotton/polyester blend that offers the preferred softness as well as the durability required in a premium tee.
Reviews on both fronts seem to read the same. Both sets of customers love the products and the only nit-picky thing that has been mentioned is that Fresh Clean’s hem sometimes comes unraveled. There has been no mention of this with True Classic.
Winner: True Classic Tees. Barely. No one likes hems unraveling.
Both companies claim their shirts will comfortably fit men of all sizes and shapes. The idea here being that if you have a dad bod, they won’t fit too tight around the belly. So do they deliver?
We ordered up a pile of Fresh Clean Tees and True Classic t-shirts and tried them out on our donut a day dad bods and got results. While both shirts definitely fit better than just about any shirt we’ve worn before, the True Classic t-shirts were a little more uncomfortable and tight around the middle feeling than Fresh Clean Tees. True Classic shirts also skew a little shorter than the Fresh Cleans, increasing the risk that your beer belly might end up hanging out if you stand on a ladder to change a light bulb.
You can actually see the difference even in their marketing materials. Here’s a photo of a guy with a minor belly wearing a True Classic tee. Not the way it bunches and hugs around his middle. If he wasn’t wearing black he’d look fat…
On the other hand, here’s an even larger proportioned dude wearing a Fresh Clean tees. He looks like has breathing room around his belly without his shirt looking baggy and oversized…
On the other hand, the one member of the TMB team who has abs felt like the True Classic t-shirt fit him a little better than the Fresh Clean Tee. But then those guys can wear just about anything. Shut up Lars, we don’t care what you or your muscles think.
Both shirts, however, look great on bodies of all shapes and sizes just as they claim.
Winner: Fresh Clean Tees is a better fit for all shapes and sizes of men.
Pricing and Website
Taking a glance around premium tee purchasing on the internet and you will see that it is rare to find these tees for anything less than $30. This is why both Fresh Clean and True Classic are held in high regard.
A single Fresh Clean crew neck sells for $17. A normal 3-pack goes for $51 but right now you can get them for sale for $44.
A single True Classic starts at $22.99, and their 3-packs come in at $68.97, though you can get them now for $54.99.
Both companies offer a number of different styles, from crew necks to polos and from V-necks to tank tops. They offer long sleeves as well. Their t-shirts come in a number of different colors, and you can easily find what size fits best on their well-designed websites.
Winner: Fresh Clean Tees. Who doesn’t like a less-expensive premium tee?
Shipping Times & Cost
We have been spoiled by Amazon Prime. Any of us are so used to getting a same-day delivery, or next-day delivery with Amazon that if an ordered item takes anything longer than two days, we may not even purchase it. So, shipping can be a big deal when it comes to these premium tee companies.
Fresh Clean typically will get your order out within a day. They use DHL which has a three-day delivery time if expedited and a seven-day delivery time on standard delivery. Their shipping costs range between $6-8 but if your order is $75 or higher, shipping is free. Also, if you are a Fresh Clean subscriber, your orders are shipped for free.
True Classic says they will get your order out within 2-3 business days. They use both USPS and FedEx, which offer a delivery time between 2-8 days, depending on which company delivers. They offer free shipping for any order over $100.
Winner: Fresh Clean Tees. Delivery times, in this time of COVID, will probably run about the same amount unless you’re paying for expedited service. The fact that Fresh Clean’s free shipping price point is a little less gives them the edge.
Customer service is always a big one. Hopefully, one never needs to dial-up or pen a missive to Customer Service as they can either be difficult to reach by phone or take days to get a response over email. For us, trying to get a sense of each companies Customer Service would be a touch difficult unless we had a reason, so we went to actual customers to see what they had to say.
With Fresh Clean, their email response time averaged around 3.5 hours. If there was a complaint on any of their social media platforms, they looked to be quick to respond and offer a solution.
True Classic, on the other hand, responded on average of 1.5 hours via email and like Fresh Clean, they were active on social media, offering solutions to any issue that would arise.
Winner: True Classic Tees. Hard to quantify other than the faster response time via email.
Of the seven categories, True Classic Tees came out on top in three of them. Fresh Clean Tees took three and they tied on one. Basically it seems like a draw, but not so fast. To us, it all comes down to what is most important to the buyer. Fresh Clean holds the edge in both the price point of their product as well as shipping. It also fits and looks slightly better, which is really the most important metric there is.
Winner: Fresh Clean Tees. We can split hairs over the rest of the stuff, but for our money (or yours), Fresh Clean Tees edges out True Classic on price and fit. There’s no reason to get anything else.