Four Rules for Creating Custom Company Shirts That People Actually Want

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Does your marketing strategy include custom company apparel? There’s no way to go wrong with that, since everyone loves a free t-shirt, right? Incorrect. If you cut corners with your custom company apparel, and order a thousand cheap, boring shirts with your logo on it, it accomplishes nothing. It sits at the bottom of their t-shirt drawer until one day they purge their closet of all the cheap, boring shirts they’ve collected over the years, and it goes in a landfill. The money you spent on your cheap, boring custom company apparel was basically money that was thrown into a landfill.


Instead of cutting corners and creating custom company apparel that no one wants, you should follow these tips to create fun, custom apparel that your target market will be begging to wear:


Four Rules for Creating Custom Company Shirts That People Actually Want

  1. Spend money on quality.

    When you are choosing the shirts that your company’s name is going to go onto, ask yourself if you would choose to wear it. If you wouldn’t wear a cheap quality shirt by your own volition, no one you give the shirt is going to choose to wear it.


    Yes, you can save a few bucks by slapping your name on a shirt that feels like it’s made out of wood chips, but really you’re wasting that money since no one wants to wear clothes that feel like they’re made out of wood chips.


    Instead, spend a little bit more on company polo shirts or custom embroidery. If you want custom t-shirts, invest in soft, comfortable ones that the recipients of them will enjoy wearing.


    If you are concerned about cost, perhaps cut your quantity. It’s better if you hand out ten great shirts that ten people wear on the regular than 1,000 cheap shirts that zero people wear.

  2. Get sizes that people actually fit into.

    For some reason, it seems like the first rule of t-shirt ordering is to get a truck load of shirt that are size XXL. This way, no one’s feelings will be hurt if you don’t have a shirt that is big enough for them, and anyone smaller will still fit into a large shirt anyways; kill two birds with one stone, right? WRONG.


    When you hand an XXL shirt to a size medium person, you are guaranteeing that they will never wear it. Surprisingly, people do not enjoy wearing t-shirts that double as sleeping bags. Unless you are handing out shirts at a sumo wrestling convention, there are going to be a lot less size XXL people than medium sized people. As a rule of thumb, you’ll be safe if you order the following sizes:
    • About one-third of your shirts should be size adult small.
    • Half of them should be adult medium.
    • The remaining 12% should be split between large and XL. We recommend ordering less than 1% in size XXL.

  3. Get sassy with your design.

    Keep in mind that the people who receive your t-shirts have about a thousand other free t-shirt that they can wear any day of the week. If your shirt has your logo slapped on it and that’s it, there is very little reason that a person would go out of their way to wear it, unless they are under duress (which forcing people to wear your shirts against their will is generally a poor business practice).


    Instead, get creative and catchy with your t-shirt design. If you are a catering business that sells bagged lunches, write “We’re good in the sack” on your shirts. It makes people think twice. It makes them chuckle. It makes them choose to wear your shirt when they don’t have to, just because they like it.

  4. Use local services.

    When you use a local shop for your custom shirts, you have the chance to look at and feel the quality of the product before you place a big order. You don’t have to pay extra for shipping and handling. If any issues arise, you can simply hop in the car and go straight to the source, instead of dealing with phone reps and shipping them back and forth. Plus, as a small business owner, you know the beauty of giving business to another small business.

Do you have any other tips for ordering custom apparel? Please share below!

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