Choosing a plain tee shirt. How can that possibly require anything more than deciding on a color? If you’re thinking this, you are not alone. Most businesses completely overlook one of the most important pieces to your brand—the foundation for which your very designs are applied to—the t-shirt.
Once you begin searching for that perfect blank shirt to complement your brand, you will begin to notice that there are literally thousands of options to choose from and it can get a bit overwhelming. We’ve narrowed down a few pointers that will help you choose the ultimate shirt for your brand, target market, and budget.
First, which method will you be using to design your t-shirts—sublimation, screen printed transfers (our TOP PREFERRED METHOD) or direct to garment printing? This is the quickest way to narrow down your choices because each method requires different materials. Sublimation requires a 100% polyester garment for good color saturation and direct to garment printing requires 100% cotton for dark colors. However, screen printed transfers can be used on just about any fabric, with 100% cotton or 50/50 cotton/poly blend working best with hot split transfers.
Next, who is your target audience? The demographics of the customers that you intend to market your product will have a huge impact on which tee you choose. You will need to consider who the shirt is being made for—is it a one-time novelty tee? If so, you may not have to worry as much about fit or softness. If it is for a higher-end customer, then softness and fit are very important.
Think about the body type of this market to get an idea of sizes you will need to have, as well as the gender to determine which fit to purchase. Women typically don’t just want a smaller version of a men’s shirt, they prefer different styles, such as v-neck or scoop neck. Finally, consider the budget of your market—how much are they willing to spend on a t-shirt? Your audience is going to be the best gauge to decide on the best blank shirt.
There are also tee shirt options available that can strengthen certain lines that are meant for target audiences. For instance, if your brand’s mission is to sell organic clothing, then you can filter your tee shirt search to organic materials. This is the same for brands who want to market their brand as made in America, you would filter your search to manufacturers in America.
Another facet to consider is softness. If you are selling your shirts, then you will want to take softness into account. It is often a very important factor in the decision to purchase a shirt, along with design and price. When looking for a soft cotton tee, narrow your search to ring spun cotton shirts. Ring spun cotton shirts are thinner and softer than 100% cotton basics and are often called “fashion tees”. For an even softer (yet more expensive) option, try tri-blend shirts. These shirts are 50% cotton, 25% polyester and 25% rayon. Tri-blends are the most expensive option so it is definitely important to know your audience before making this sort of investment.
After considering all of the different components to choosing the best blank tee, your choices should be narrowed down considerably. The next step is to contact vendors who sell the shirts you are interested in and purchase samples. Once you receive your samples, you will be able to compare the different options right in front of you so that you can choose the ultimate blank shirt to represent your brand.