Choosing the Right Blank T-Shirt for Your Brand 

By  Cartess Ross

blank tees for your brand

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.

If you need access to wholesale blank apparel vendors, check out the following screen-printed transfer vendors page to see how to get access to the blank apparel vendors for free: click here!

If you have unique ideas for t-shirts, sign-up for our online tutorials to discover how to turn those ideas into a full blown business…

Cartess Ross

I will guide you through this process and provide you with proven strategies to help you build a t-shirt company. As one of the original pioneers to start selling t-shirts online 20 years ago, I've sold millions of dollars in t shirts to people all over the world. I founded TshirtRiches in 2007 to teach others how to turn their t-shirt ideas into a business. So if you're ready, hop onboard and let's make this money!

Cartess Ross

  • Lushington garrell says:

    I saw your tutorial. Would love to purchase . don’t have avaible card at the moment,long story) where i purchase by money order?

    • Hi there,
      Unfortunately we don’t have a way to accept money orders. However, you can purchase a pre-loaded visa to make purchases online. That might be a good option. We look forward to having you as a member!

      Thank you,
      Judy Jolley

    • Hi Paulette!
      We get a lot of inquiries related to which transfer vendor is the best, and which one to use.

      Each transfer company has their own technique and style. It’s very important you reach out to them and request samples so you can see their work. Many companies will charge for samples, while others will not.

      One of my favorite transfer vendor is Transfer Express. They have quick turnaround times, and if you work within their templates, their fees are reasonable.

      When you start customizing your own designs and start working outside of their templates, their fees can get pretty costly… However, if you order a decent quantity, that can help bring your costs way down.

      You should not expect to get reasonable pricing if all you’re ordering is 12 or 15 transfers. It doesn’t make sense for them to spend a bunch of time and resources making low quantities, so expect to pay a high fee if you’re only looking for a handful of transfers.

      I’ve recently put together 2 videos which shows you how to get the best possible price for screen printed transfers. You can watch it by visiting https://www.tshirtriches.com/where-to-get-custom-t-shirt-transfers/.


  • Nice article! I like the info provided by you to choosing the right blank t-shirt. Thanks a lot for sharing the great article.

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