Merz b. Schwanen makes some of the world’s best cotton basics. Period. The German underwear label was originally established in 1911 but revived in 2010  by Peter Plotnicki.

Located in the Swabian Alps in southern Germany, the company employed over 2,000 workers at its peak. In 2007 , though, the family-owned business closed down, only to be reopened three years later.

Today, the brand lives on, and the original factory once again churns out authentic “made in Germany” henleys, tees and other traditional knitwear.

The secret sauce of Merz b. Schwanen is the production method combined with a level of attention to detail that you rarely see.

Unlike most cotton basics, the henleys and t-shirts don’t have side seams. The fabric is also exceptionally soft and has a noticeably uneven character.

This is all thanks to the way it’s woven on vintage tubular knitting machines from the 1920s-1950s. You instantly feel the quality when you touch the garments.

And it’s not only the fabric that is made the original way; everything from the genuine mother-of-pearl buttons, the classic packaging, and even the woven labels are made in Germany.

While the detailing and production methods of the garments unquestionably fall under the ‘heritage’ category, the fits and details have been updated for the tastes of today.