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Redbubble: Classic vs Essential Shirts (A Basic Comparison: The Difference Between Essential & Classic Shirts, & How To Choose Between Them)

Redbubble Essential vs Classic T-Shirts

Redbubble has a wide variety of shirts to choose from, but their essential and classic t-shirts are some of the most popular items on the website.

But what’s the difference between these two types of shirts?

Let’s take a look!

(Psssst… Want to save 20% on your first Redbubble order? Click here to sign up as a customer and save!)

What Qualifies Me for This Post: I read what 300 Redbubble customers had to say about both types of shirts (plus I have 2 essential t-shirts and 2 classic t-shirts of my own).

Fabric Quality

Essential Shirts: Fabric Quality

Reviewers seemed to agree that Redbubble’s essential t-shirts are very comfortable. The fabric is soft and has a little bit of a stretch to it, which probably helps with the comfort.

Please Note: Different colored essential t-shirts are made from different fabric blends. Solid color t-shirts are 100% cotton, heather grey t-shirts are 90% cotton/10% polyester, and charcoal heather t-shirts are 52% cotton/48% polyester.

There weren’t too many complaints about this style of shirt except that some reviewers weren’t a fan of the thinness of the fabric.

Shirt is kind thin and feels cheap. Especially when I paid a premium for it! Sorry but it’s true

Steven on Feb 4, 2021 [RES]

Meanwhile, other reviewers seem to enjoy the thinner fabric. So, I guess it’s a matter of personal preference. (I love the thinness because I need shirts to wear in the summer heat).

This was a great product and I especially like the blend of the fabric. Softer & thinner material than the traditional cotton. Will be back to buy another for sure!

Jenna on Jul 22, 2021 [RES]

Very nice fabric. Soft and somewhat stretchy. Fits well and the size is perfect. I ordered the wrong size and was sent the correct size for no charge. I was blown away by that type of service! I would buy again from redbubble in a heartbeat!

Cale B. on Jan 30, 2021 [RES]

Classic Shirts: Fabric Quality

These soft, comfortable, preshrunk classic t-shirts are some of the most popular shirts sold on Redbubble. If you’re looking for a traditionally styled t-shirt, the classic shirt is for you.

Overall, most people thought the fabric was excellent.

I will certainly continue getting shirts from Redbubble. Comfortable, well made, great fit, competitive price… what’s not to love?

Steven on Feb 4, 2021 [RES]

Fantastic shirt. Great quality and super quick delivery. 5 Stars !!!

Jason on Jun 29, 2021 [RES]

Good quality material. washes great. Fun to wear something that nobody else has!

Phil G. on Jun 15, 2021 [RES]

A few things to note is that these are Gildan cotton shirts. They’re made with heavy cotton, and I find they’re thicker compared to other Redbubble shirts. So you might find them a bit warm during hot summer days.

Always the stalwart in the collection for a heavier weight choice. Not as great as the tri-blend, but what is?

Eric on Apr 20, 2021 [RES]
Fit / Size

Essential Shirts: Fit / Size

Reviewers seemed to agree that Redbubble’s essential t-shirts have a nice length and have a comfortable fit.

For men, you might want to go a size up because it’s technically a slim fit and some said the shirt was too small (or buy one of Redbubble’s classic shirts).

Great quality but a little on the small size, would order next size up next time!

Merrin R. on Feb 2, 2021 [RES]

However, some people (mostly women) contradicted this and said the sizing was accurate or ran big. So you’ll definitely need to check out the sizing guide before buying this shirt.

For women, size runs big so I got a small instead of a medium and it fit great. And of course, an incredible addition to any wardrobe, fashion wise.

Socrates B. on Mar 11, 2021 [RES]

Even though this shirt is considered a slim fit, customers said that the neckline isn’t too high or tight.

Very nice fabric. Soft and somewhat stretchy. Fits well and the size is perfect. I ordered the wrong size and was sent the correct size for no charge. I was blown away by that type of service! I would buy again from redbubble in a heartbeat!

Cale B. on Jan 30, 2021 [RES]

Classic Shirts: Fit / Size

Although many of Redbubble’s shirts are known to run small, the vast majority of customer reviews said the classic shirts’ fit was as described. So, no complaints here!

Great! Good quality. Size is perfect. Great price. Couldn’t be more pleased.

paul on May 9, 2021

My husband loved the unique tee-Shirt I bout for him! Fits well and is very comfortable!

Sandra G. on Jul 29, 2021 [RES]

Very comfortable and true to size!!! Excellent product and wonderful color choices.

Jennifer on Jul 3, 2021 [RES]

Love the quality,great fit ,if you order a 2 or 3 xl that’s exactly what you get,I have ordered t shirts before on other sites and a 2 xl is more like a large,I have been a returning customer,very quick postage is a plus as well,highly recommended AAA

Andrew on Apr 11, 2021 [RES]

For more sizing information, visit’s page: Classic T-Shirt Sizing

Print Quality

Overall, from the customer reviews I read, people raved about how both Redbubble’s essential and classic shirts had sharp, colorful prints. I actually found that both types of shirts I bought looked as good or better than the product images on the website.

Essential T-Shirts: A Few Print Reviews

Love it. The art was well done, applied well and the shirt fits nicely. I’ll order again.

Jeremy on Jul 29, 2021 [RES]

Great quality tshirt. Fits really well. The design is great, and has not faded with washing.

Laura on Jul 22, 2021 [RES]

Soft and comfortable! Definitely follow the wash and dry instructions if you want the colors to stay vibrant.

Laurel M. on Apr 25, 2021 [RES]

Classic T-Shirts: A Few Print Reviews

The quality is great and so is the print! It fits really well and comfortably. The art itself is beautiful and the shades are vibrant

Iman R. on Jul 22, 2021 [RES]

It’s pretty nice. The colors remain bright even after washing a couple times. Great quality and beautiful design.

Micha v. on Aug 12, 2021 [RES]

Print looks great, a few washes in and it’s still looks wonderful. Fit me just the way I like. Thanks!

Sam F. on Jan 26, 2021 [RES]

Blurry or Pixelated Print

Although rare, there are some instances where you might get a shirt with a printed design that isn’t as sharp as it should be. This is probably because an artist uploaded a small or subpar image to This can make the print on the shirt look a bit blurry or pixelated.

If this problem happens to you, don’t panic!

Redbubble is well known for making sure its customers are 100% happy with their shopping experience. Just let them know about any issue you have and I know, from experience, that they’ll make it right (hassle-free).

Another issue you might come across is when an artist puts a description that includes things like “iridescent”, “gold”, or “glitter”. Just note that all Redbubble t-shirts have colors that are matte and cannot have any glitter or iridescence added to them.

Overview: What’s the Difference Between Essential and Classic T-Shirts?

So what’s the difference between Redbubble’s essential and classic t-shirts?

Fabric: The classic shirt is made of 100% cotton while the essential shirts are either 100% cotton or a mix of cotton and polyester. The fabric for the essential shirt is thinner than the cotton shirt.

So, basically, I tend to wear my classic shirts in the colder months and my essential shirts in the summer.

Fit / Size: The classic shirt has a more relaxed fit while the essential shirt is more fitted. The essential shirt is also longer than the classic shirt.

And that’s the only real difference between the two shirts!

No matter which style of shirt you decide to buy, Redbubble’s essential and classic t-shirts are both a great way to show your personality and style, and they are also a great way to support independent artists.

EVERYTHING that i order looks so professional,& i ALWAYS get my moneys worth!! that’s why i will ALWAYS be a continued customer!!

HAYDEN H. on Jul 19, 2021 [RES]

The people at this site are wonderful…..when my shirt didn’t fit, they just sent another one without even a return of the first order!! What a treat to have such service!

Margy B. on Mar 3, 2016 [RES]

The shirts are of fantastic quality, as have been all the shirts I have purchased from Redbubble, and the fact that if a mistake is made when filling my order, you all bend over backwards to make it right, has made me a fan and a lifetime customer! Thank you!

Brenda E. on Mar 28, 2021 [RES]

All customer reviews featured on this page were taken from Redbubble’s customer review section. To view more of these reviews, click on any essential or classic t-shirt on and then click on the “Read all reviews” button on the product page.