T-Shirt Color Palette: Shades of Gray
T-Shirt Trends
min read

T-Shirt Color Palette: Shades of Gray

With two different spellings & even more shades — gray is a versatile base color for your next tee.

With two different spellings & even more shades — gray is a versatile base color for your next tee.

Life isn't black and white; it's mostly gray. Tons of gray in the world means decision-making can be tricky. If your decision lies in a literal gray area (like choosing a shade of gray for your next custom t-shirt order) - don't panic. We've got you covered. 

Consider this your guide to gray t-shirt customization. Here are some of our favorite gray t-shirts and their closest Pantone color matches to simplify your t-shirt decisions.

Shades of Gray T-Shirts

Next Level Apparel 3600 in Light Grey

Closest Pantone Match: 13-4104 

The Next Level 3600 is one of our most popular t-shirts to print on, so we offer many gray color options. Light Grey is a very neutral look and the closest to white in this style.

Next Level Apparel 3600 in Heather Grey

Closest Pantone Match: 14-3907 

In Heather Grey, The Next Level 3600 has very cool undertones. As the name suggests, the color has a lot of heathering and texture: leaving a non-uniform look. You may even catch some hints of purple and blue within this shade's movement.

Next Level Apparel 3600 in Warm Grey

Closest Pantone Match: 16-0205 

Compared to the other Next Level 3600 grays, Warm Grey falls closest to the tan/brown spectrum. With hints of brown and green, it gives a very earthy look to the shirt's super soft, 100% cotton feel.

Next Level Apparel 3600 in Heavy Metal

Closest Pantone Match: 18-3907

The Next Level 3600 in Heavy Metal is much darker than the previous grays. The color resembles traditional gunmetal grays, making this shirt stand out. Depending on the intended final result you're going for, this shade could lend itself nicely to either a subtle "soaked in" look with our discharge inks or a pop of bolder/darker color with our Bold ink.

Next Level Apparel 6210 in Stone Grey

Closest Pantone Match: 15-000

The Next Level 6210 is a cotton and polyester blend, meaning it will feel way softer than the Stone Grey color's name suggests. Consider this a slightly lighter version of the Next Level 3600 in Warm Grey, both having those slightly green, earthy undertones.

Next Level Apparel 6210 in Charcoal

Closest Pantone Match: 19-3927

Charcoal is the darkest gray colorway offered for the Next Level 6210. Its dark color is cut through with cool undertones and the ashiness of the shirt's heathering. The heathering here makes this a candidate for an excellent vintage-style design.

Next Level Apparel 6210 in Dark Heather Grey

Closest Pantone Match: 15-4703

You may see the Next Level 6210 in Dark Heather Grey by opening your eyes and imagining a simple gray shirt. Its simplicity certainly isn't bad, though — instead, it just means you can make this shirt your own and customize it to your heart's content. The texture of the cotton/polyester blend is reflected in the color, with a range of dark and light grays. 

Next Level Apparel 6210 in Silk

Closest Pantone Match: 12-2103

The pearly tint in the Silk colorway of the Next Level 6210 creates a flawless, uniform look. Some may call this more of a cream than a gray—but it has some gray undertones, so we decided to include it in this list for the good of the order. This shade could be perfect if you want a more natural look in your design.

Bella+Canvas 3413 in Storm Tri-Blend

Closest Pantone Match: 16-3907

The Bella+Canvas 3413 in Storm Triblend has the perfect name. Like a stormy cloud, the tri-blend is strong and cool, with hints of lavender and white. 

Want more information on tri-blends in general? We've got the breakdown on our What Exactly Is a Tri-Blend? Post.

Bella+Canvas 3413 in Athletic Grey Tri-Blend

Closest Pantone Match: 14-3903

The Bella+Canvas 3413 combines cotton, polyester, and rayon, giving it an incredibly soft feel. Reminiscent of your old school gym uniform, the comfortability of the Athletic Grey Triblend is evident in its look and feel. This gray is on the warmer side.

Bella+Canvas 3413 in Solid Dark Grey Tri-Blend

Closest Pantone Match: 19-3917

The Solid Dark Grey Triblend from Bella+Canvas 3413 resembles the Next Level 3600 in Heavy Metal. This coloring has similar undertones but is slightly darker than the Heavy Metal.

Bella+Canvas 3413 in Grey Tri-Blend

Closest Pantone Match: 16-3905

The Bella+Canvas 3413 in Grey Triblend is a neutral gray: a perfect middle ground between white and black. The Grey Triblend would be ideal for retro designs with a vintage look.

Bella+Canvas 3413 in Charcoal-Black Tri-Blend

Closest Pantone Match: 19-4109

Of all the gray shades on this list, this Charcoal-Black Triblend is the closest to black. As the name suggests, there are hints of black in the dark charcoal color. 

Looking to print a tonal, "black-on-black" look for your next design? We often recommend shading up or down in either your base garment color or ink color. We break it down more in our Guide to Black-on-Black Printing — check it out! 

American Apparel 2001 in Slate

Closest Pantone Match: 16-3905

The American Apparel 2001 in Slate is very similar to the Bella+Canvas 3413 in Grey Triblend, so the choice between the two may come down to your preference for fabric and fit. Where the Bella+Canvas 3413 is a tri-blend, the American Apparel 2001 shirt is 100% cotton. This garment has a slightly cool, lavender tone to it.

American Apparel 2001 in Asphalt

Closest Pantone Match: 18-3906

Asphalt is a darker version of its sibling, the American Apparel 2001 in Slate. With light hints of earthy brown, it is also a warmer-toned option. 

American Apparel 2001 in New Silver

Closest Pantone Match: 14-4002

Like classic silver, the American Apparel 2001 in New Silver looks slick and sophisticated. The 100% cotton build will make the shirt durable and keep that new, professional look longer than other shirts. We love this shade's neutrality — in-between tones of sand and gray, making it an interesting but versatile base for many designs. This one's great if you want a neutral swap for a traditional white base garment.

American Apparel 2001 in Heather Grey

Closest Pantone Match: 13-4201

Being very similar to the Light Grey in Next Level 3600, this choice may come down to the fit and style of the shirt itself. This Heather Grey is lightweight and minimalistic, so you can't go wrong with this choice.

Talk to Us

Now you know about a ton of gray (or grey, depends we suppose) garments that are perfect for screenprinting and creating the coolest custom t-shirts in the game.

Whatever shade you're looking for, we want to help. Want more information on choosing the perfect shade of gray for your next design? Reach out to one of our printing pros, and we'll get you headed in the right direction.

Let yourself live in the gray area by checking out our full selection of t-shirt shades.

Originally Published 02/14/2022 | Updated 06/12/2023

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