A Definitive T-Shirt Buying Guide – Custom or Pre-Made

We’ve put together a t-shirt buying guide so that you can decide what the best options are for you. This article will deal with types of garments, color choices, artwork design, fabric choice, size ranges, printing techniques. We’ll also try to include a rationale behind each choice that might strike a chord with you.

It’s a rare thing to find someone who does not have a t-shirt as part of their wardrobe basics. That’s because the t-shirt is so versatile. It is also versatile as a promotional item.

There’s a fine art to getting your business promotions right, added to which there are several possible styles of t-shirt, depending on their purpose and the general preference of the wearer.

T-shirt Guide on Style

Perfect Imprints sources garments from manufacturers who share our core values and produce good quality items. Our range of t-shirts that you can customize are as follows:

Short Sleeve

In addition to the standard short sleeve t-shirt with round collar, we have a ‘Youth’ t-shirt with slightly shorter sleeves (to show off those muscles), and a V-neck model.

Also popular is the ‘Stylish’ shape, with its short cap sleeves and body-hugging torso, as it the boat-neck version for women.

Long Sleeve

We have a standard long sleeve t-shirt and another we call ‘Comfort’ that has wider sleeves

Athletic/Performance

Our athletic/performance t-shirt is a standard short-sleeve or long-sleeve shape. Made from 100% polyester jersey knit. It had moisture-wicking and anti-odor properties and is therefore popular with sports teams. The Safety Green color is also compliant with the ANSI/ISEA 107, which makes this t-shirt suitable for high-visibility safety apparel.

Tank Tops and Sleeveless

Tank tops and sleeveless t-shirts for men and women are also available in a variety of styles. 

Sweatshirts

Even if we say so ourselves, we have just about any style of sweatshirt you could possibly think of for men, women, and children, from the pullover style to zipped, fleece-lined, and hooded.

T-Shirt Buying Guide to Fabric Types

The t-shirt has come a long way since the 1920s when it was a short-sleeved undergarment made of white cotton-knit fabric. Textile technology today affords a much greater choice, from pure cotton to cotton/polyester blends and breathable waterproof sportswear using branded materials such as Gore-Tex® and Sport-Tek®.

Customer choices are often informed by other factors, aside from the purpose of the clothing and degree of comfort required.  For example, people who are conscious of the environment might want to choose natural fabrics over synthetic ones. They also might want to choose eco-friendly inks used in the screenprinting process for their order rather than use the heat transfer method for their order.

If these are concerns you would like to address, please get in touch with us via phone, e-mail, or website chatbox.

The most common types of t-shirt fabrics are 100% cotton, 100% polyester, a 50-50 cotton-polyester blend, and a polyester-Spandex blend.  Because we have over 1,000 different product suppliers, we are able to source t-shirts for imprint in your preferred fabric or fabric blend. 

Graphic Design

A memorable t-shirt invariably has a great slogan or a great design – or both.

Very often, your company’s brand or logo has been designed primarily for use on a white background. But you’re not a fan of the plain white t-shirt.  If this is your predicament, talk to our team of professional designers to see what modifications would be required to print your logo or brand name on t-shirts of different colors.

Need help deciding on the right product? Rely on designers who know what color combinations work best, and the effect your logo colors will have on the fabrics we print on.

Our designers approach such challenges with creativity. They will collaborate closely with you to achieve the design results you want. They will do this because they get a kick out of delivering creative solutions and quality products while making sure the process is not stressful for you, the customer.

If you do not yet have any prepared artwork, it’s worth talking to our graphic designers who can come up with some design suggestions for you.

If you already have your own graphic designer, we would be happy to liaise with them to discuss any particular adaptations that might be necessary for printing on textiles.

In any case, rest assured that we know your image and brand identity is important to you, and we are here to make the process as seamless as possible.

The Perks of Using Our Graphic Design Department

We mention our graphics design department twice in the 12 best reasons to choose Perfect Imprints. Our terms and conditions are by no means usual in the industry. We think you’ll quite like them.

For instance, we have over 6 million royalty-free clipart images available for you to use on any of the promotional products we make at no additional charge. Text of your choice can be added to the clipart you choose. This service is also free of charge.

You will receive a free electronic proof with every order so that you can check that your imprint has the correct spelling and layout before we start the print run. This is to make sure that you get the product you want, exactly to your specifications.

And since we can’t include all the designs they’re done in one buying guide- check out our blog post on 9 Reasons Screen Printed T-shirts Make the Best Promotional Items. 

Our Online Order Process

We think that you will love our online shop.  It is so clearly laid out that you hardly need this t-shirt buying guide!

Choose Product Color

When placing your order, you can also choose an additional product color. This option is particularly appreciated by companies who have two very strong corporate colors and would like to offer their employees a choice. We all know that people like to have a choice, even if it is for their work uniform!

Choose Decoration Method

Screen printing is the most economical method of imprinting your custom artwork onto the fabric.  It is also the method that ensures the quickest turnaround on your orders, so it is ideal for those rush jobs.  The downside is that the design is not as durable as the heat transfer method or sublimation (where the design ‘penetrates’ the fabric itself). 

Full color is recommended for artwork that goes beyond the type found in most logos, and for more intricate artwork and images. As already implied, sublimation is the most durable of all methods. Since T-shirts last for years, you might want to ensure that your brand or other artwork does too, wash after wash.

Choose Quantity – Bulk Orders Are Best

You can specify what quantity of each size you would like, Our sizes are S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL, with the last two attracting an additional unit charge. Economies of scale are on your side: the unit price diminishes as the quantity you order increases.

Typically, our products are sold in bulk with minimum quantities such as 100, 250, or 500, all with the same image being printed on the garment in question.

Choose Decoration Details

You specify where on the t-shirt you want your design printed and can upload artwork at this stage.  You also have the option to have your design printed on two locations on the garment.

We Are More Than Just An Online Buying Guide

We are very conscious that with something as creative as designing promotional t-shirts, you need to have the assurance of human contact and interaction. You also need to keep an eye on your budget. That’s why we incorporate a real-time calculator and chatbox in our online shop. 

Automatic Order Calculator

Our handy calculator updates your order total automatically as you make each choice in your order.  Note that You have three options after specifying your details. You can either add your order directly to the cart, add it to a personalized list, or add it to a quote, which is the option customers with complex orders find helpful.

Live Chat Box

Our live chatbox means that you can ask a real human being anything you like, and you’re guaranteed to get well-informed, helpful answers. 

Guide to Buying Promotional T-Shirts

Now that so many people work in environments where formal wear is neither required nor desirable, we have seen the trend of providing your workforce with a number of different garments so that whatever the weather, they are proud to wear your brand, your corporate identity.

Why not consider investing in your employees and ordering t-shirts, sweatshirts, caps, and pants that fit with your corporate image?  Remember that we have a range of standards-compliant safety clothing too.

Many companies have reported improved performance from employees as a result of their identifying with the corporate culture better.

Printing Techniques

We offer screen printing, embroidery, and full-color heat-transfer imprints. The choice between screen printing and heat transfer will depend on the fabric of the underlying garment. 

Synthetic textiles — and where sharp image definition is required — respond well to the heat transfer method. Screen printed cotton or cotton blend t-shirts are. however, are quick and cost-effective. Ask for our recommendation if you are unsure about which route to take. 

Tagless Bliss

Did you know that the first thing a lot of people do when they buy a t-shirt is remove that annoying neck label? If you’re one them, then you will appreciate that we have invested in Tagless® print technology for garment labels.

At the moment some of our large-order rush jobs might contain some t-shirts with the traditional tags. Nevertheless, tagless is the way forward, and that’s the path we’re taking.

Community Service

Like us, your company might support local non-profit organizations. Perhaps a donation of t-shirts for a particular project of theirs to raise awareness is something different that you would like to consider?

Not sure this t-shirt guide explains all your questions? We have some experience in this area and would be happy to discuss ideas with you. 

We also can arrange shipping of your promotional products to events that you might sponsor to make sure everything arrives to the organization on-time without adding to your to-do list. 

Free Overruns

We do not charge for overruns. Most companies in the promotional product industry have a 5-10% overrun policy, which involves the customer paying for any overruns that occur. For example, if there is an overrun of 25 units on your order of 500 items, other companies will bill you for 525 items.

Account Advantages

When you create your online account with us, you can save each order you place with us. This streamlines the repeat order process for you – and you have a complete record of your order history right at your fingertips.

Make Your Mark

Whether your t-shirts are for promotional giveaways at major marketing or sporting events or for use in-house to promote team spirit within your company, Perfect Imprints can accommodate your needs.

Our huge range of garment styles, fabric colors and design options means that we can probably produce anything you want. Get in touch with us to talk about all possible options.

We put a lot of effort into ensuring you get your order delivered on time. In other words, not only do we produce a high-quality product, we pride ourselves on our high-quality service.

This is why we give you turnaround time options on all your deliveries and an option for rush jobs.

We hope you have enjoyed this t-shirt buying guide. We would encourage you to browse through our blog and other promotional product categories. And, if in doubt, give us a shout – we’d love to hear from you!

Related content