You need to purchase custom embroidered polo shirts for your business. The embroidered shirts from your last shirt order didn't wear well so you're unsure about what shirt to get. How do you choose the right polo shirt? Consider the type of fabric, performance features, style details, available colors and sizes that are important to you.
First let your embroiderer know if you need an unusual shirt color, special features or tall sizes. If so this will narrow your options. Also have a general idea of your budget. Consider these options:
One of the primary decisions when choosing a polo shirt is whether you want 100% cotton, a cotton/polyester blend fabric or 100% polyester. Cotton is cooler than a blend, a blend will be more wrinkle, fade and shrink resistant. If the shirts will be worn in an athletic or hot environment then a 100% polyester, moisture-wicking polo may be the best choice. Many of these styles also have other performance qualities like an "anti-fade" feature but these characteristics can also be found in 100% cotton and blend fabrics. Although some people prefer the performance features found in blend and 100% polyester fabrics, many people love the soft natural feel of the higher quality cottons like ring-spun, pima and Egyptian cottons.
Also check out the look and feel of the fabric's texture. 100% polyester shirts have a tight knit that embroiders well but some people don't like the feel of the fabric. Other individuals love the soft feel of a cotton or cotton/poly jersey knit while others prefer the unique, upscale look of textured piques in a cotton or cotton/poly fabric.
Who will wear the polo shirts and where will they be seen? Are they long term employees or seasonal workers? Sales people or kitchen staff? A quality polo is a good choice for long-term workers but a less-expensive shirt might be better for summer employees. Keep in mind that no matter the circumstance, employees will be more likely to wear a quality polo that looks and feels good.
If you need a coordinating ladies polo, consider getting feedback about possible choices from the women. While all ladies shirts are sized for women with shorter sleeve and hem lengths, necklines can vary from a standard reversed placket to a V-neck button placket or johnny collar. Some women prefer to wear a men's polo shirt so its good to give them that option although its now easy to find ladies styles up to size 4X so its no longer necessary to order a men's size. Some businesses find it easier to just order men's shirts. Then its better to order down one size for most women.
Consider polo shirts with performance features such as moisture-wicking, stain, fade and wrinkle resistant material. These fabrics help employees stay cool and comfortable while presenting a professional image in all working conditions.
Consider trim details. A polo with a trim color that matches a color in your logo will help emphasize your logo. A shirt with bold colorblocking in your team colors may be perfect for your baseball team.
Do you need coordinating styles such as a polo that coordinates with a button down shirt or is available in both long and short sleeves?
Make sure employees are clear about what size they want. Taller employees may want to order a tall sizes so they can stay tucked in. If they need a tall/long size have them write out "tall" or "long", for example, "2X long" rather than 2XL. For women, make sure they note if they want a men's size.
Pricing is determined by the style, whether extended or tall sizes are needed, the amount of detail in the embroidered logo and quantity of shirts ordered. Medium priced shirts will look good longer than a budget-priced style. Its wise to compare styles from different price points. Paying a little more per shirt can give you exactly what you want rather than you having to settle for a lesser quality style that doesn't meet your expectations. While designer shirts can have additional performance features and a more fashion-forward appearance, you'll pay more for the designer name. Often you can find a similar style in a regular brand for a lower price.
J. DeRosa, 2/9/08
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