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.
Before considering specific shirt styles let your embroiderer know what color you want, if you need a ladies companion polo and if extended or tall sizes are required. Also have a general idea of what quality you want and your shirt budget. Knowing these specific needs will help narrow your choices.
One of the primary decisions when choosing a sport 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 a hot environment then a 100% polyester, moisture-wicking polo may be the best choice. Many of these styles also have other performance qualities like "anti-fade" but these features can also be found in 100% cotton and blend fabrics. Although some people prefer the additional features more often 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. Polo shirts are made from fabrics ranging from jersey knit, a T-shirt-like fabric, to textured materials such as pique and honeycomb pique. Some people love the soft feel of a jersey knit while others prefer the unique, more upscale look provided by textured fabrics.
Narrow your choices to two or three sport shirts at different price points. Even if you are on a strict budget, the least expensive shirt may not be the best buy. Consider who will wear the polo shirts and who will see them. 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. Also remember that employees will be more likely to wear a quality polo that looks and feels good.
If you need a ladies companion polo, consider getting feedback about possible choices from the women. While all ladies companion shirts are sized for women with shorter sleeve and hem lengths, ladies necklines can vary from a standard reversed placket to a V-neck button placket or johnny collar. Some women feel more comfortable wearing a men's polo shirt so its good to give them that option. Some businesses find it easier to just order men's shirts. In that case its better to order down one size for most women.
Once you've reviewed your needs you might want to consider polo shirts with special features such as moisture-wicking or stain resistant material. These fabrics help employees present a professional image under all working conditions. Also consider polo shirts with trim details. A trim color will help emphasize your logo. For example, if your business name is in white, choosing a polo with a white accent on the collar will add emphasis to your logo.
If you need coordinating styles such as a polo that coordinates with a button down shirt or a polo that's available in both long and short sleeves styles its best to ask your embroiderer to make style suggestions.
When collecting sizing information make sure employees are clear about what size they want. Taller employees may want to order a tall sized shirt 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 ladies or a men's size so its understood what they need.
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 should stay looking good longer than a budget-priced style. While designer shirts can have additional style and performance features and have a more fashion-forward appearance, you'll also pay more for the designer brand.
J. DeRosa, 2/9/08
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