2013 November 15

Regatta_Dover_Jacket-532-700Winter clothing is more expensive, at just the time when we have least money to spare – extra heating costs and Christmas on the way can wreak havoc with our budget. Here are a few tips to help you stay on top of the budget in the chilly months.

Work the percentages – financial planners say you should spent between 4-6% of your take home pay, benefits or grant allowance on clothing. Allow for cleaning clothes in that amount, and if you fall in love with an amazing coat that has to be dry-cleaned you have to include in the budget enough to get your coat cleaned as often as necessary.

Start with work – if you have to spend a certain amount on your career clothing, subtract that from the budget because it’s essential. What’s left is what you have as ‘discretionary spend’, the free money you can use as you choose. A job with a uniform obviously gives you much more scope to buy casual clothing!

Check your goals – if you’re saving to buy a motorbike or your own home, that probably takes priority over clothes, but there may be ways that you can combine the expenditure. A bike requires a good set of leathers or protective clothing … when you buy a jacket, why not make sure it’s a classic style and bike-appropriate – that way you won’t have extra expenditure once you get the bike itself.

Shop as a collective – get together with friends to take advantage of offers like free delivery over a certain amount or special offers such as three for the price of two, and split the savings between you.


2013 October 2

varsity hoodieChoosing a hoodie for yourself is tough enough – zipped or unzipped, loose fit or skin-tight, pouch or no pouch …? Choosing for a group or team is even more difficult.

Here’s our guide to the best way to choose a hoodie.

Before you begin:

1.    Obtain the right information – get those involved to make basic measurements (waist, hip, chest, neck and arm length) and supply them to you, so you can be sure that the hoodie you choose has the right range of sizes.
2.    If you’re buying for a club or society, check the rules – some places have strict limits on what you can and can’t do.
3.    Check the budget – the more colours you have printed or embroidered, the more hoodies will cost.

Now start your choice process:

1.    Make a shortlist of colours – neutral is best unless you’re sure everyone in the group will be happy with pink or banana yellow!
2.    See if you can try on garments from that manufacturer – each company varies and it helps a lot with sizing to know if they run big or small, relaxed or tailored.
3.    Ask your printer for samples if you’re not sure what you’re doing.
Ale-House-T-Shirt-Fail4.    Check, check and double check and then get somebody else to check – think about how your hoodie will look in different situations … it’s so easy to have an epic fail!
5.    Make a shortlist of your final colours and designs – no more than three, preferably just two.
6.    Invite those involved to vote. Go with the majority even if you think they are wrong – it’s more important that people are comfortable and confident than that they have a stunning hoodie … you will probably get your way next time, if they are happy this time.
7.    Place your order. Wait impatiently for it to arrive.
8.    Look great in your new hoodies!


2013 September 27

AWDis_Girlie_Cool_TShirt_25_156It’s a strange paradox that individuality is one often best defined by uniformity! From the 1950s when teenagers began to rebel by dressing differently to their parents (and identically to each other) individual preferences, feelings, views and allegiances tend to be demonstrated by a uniform, whether it’s khaki and shiny boots or black PVC and safety pins.

Printed, personalised T-shirts have become a feature of daily life because they allow the individual to express their personality or views, whilst demonstrating how they fit into larger groups or societies. Hen and stag parties find the printed T-shirt or baseball cap to be a completely vital element of the celebrations as do fun runners and those undertaking events for charitable causes.

But businesses are seeing the value of the individual/uniform paradox too. While uniforms create a sense of unity and allow customers to identify employees easily, they can also foster a sense of corporate thinking with anonymity being the shield behind which uncaring ‘customer service’ and lacklustre treatment can lurk unchecked. After all, ‘all staff look the same’.

But a uniform which identifies the individual whilst locating them in the group is the ideal solution. Boldly printed T-shirts work for fun and young organisations, whilst elegant embroidered polo shirts or even cotton shirts can make a superb impression whilst still being easy to launder.

Corporate branding helps create a team identity whilst giving a professional focus to your business as a whole. It reinforces the image of your company and makes it more memorable and it shapes the way your staff operate because it determines the way they are seen by others.

Whether you choose printing or embroidery it’s a cost effective way to celebrate your big event or get your business into a good position.


2012 May 15

From time to time we feature somebody on our blog who’s doing interesting stuff with our blank tees, and this week it’s Joe from Crucial Times Clothing. He started his fashion business last year and hand screen-prints his designs on Fruit of the Loom heavy cotton T-shirts as he finds them good value for money and high quality.

Joe uses tumblr, facebook and word of mouth to promote his T-shirts, and sells through big cartel. We love his designs, let us know what you think!

He says he has new designs and ideas going on all the time and that soon he wants to offer a service where, for a small fee, people can send him a design and he’ll make it into a screen print and print it up for them.

You can find his images or buy T-shirts through the following links:

Crucial Times Clothing facebook page

Crucial Times Clothing shop


Crucial Times Clothing tumblr

Do you do something with our blank products? Let us know, we’d love to feature you next! Comment below, tweet us @poloshirts or post your images on our Facebook page


2012 April 12

A professional networking coach in the USA has come up with a fascinating way to help graduates get a good job.

Her theory is that the current generation of college students have spent so much time on their mobiles or computers that they have lost the ability to network effectively and so they miss out on chances to obtain employment.

Her idea is to equip students with a simple grey T-shirt that bears the legend netWORKing on the front and on the back a printed ticklist of careers such as engineering, technology, sales, insurance … and then a dotted line that allows the individual to fill in their career aims or specific skills with an indelible marker, supplied with each garment.

It seems to be popular: orders have been placed by half a dozen American colleges already.

Any innovative graduate, class or college could undertake something similar – a white hoodie with an overprinted message about the skills of the wearer could be just the thing for a job fair, and a band, group of collaborators or ensemble could print T-shirts with their key skills and availability on them.


2009 September 28

yellow teeFor a lot of people, T-shirts are a form of communication and what you wear can be as effective in expressing your lifestyle as your conversation, the places you visit and the music you like.

But the value of the printed T-shirt goes much further than that. In Australia, a young man who had been unemployed as a graphic designer for over a year was hired after the CEO of a design company saw him wearing a T-shirt he’d designed himself, on the street. There are many ways of promoting yourself, your business or your belief system through printed clothing and it can be as effective as taking out an advert in your local paper!

If you or one of your friends is a talented artist but struggles to get exhibitions or commissions, a short run of their most attractive or striking design, printed on a T-shirt, can draw public attention as well as validating their talent and making them feel that they are valued. If you are the artist, why not try to get half a dozen of your paintings, sculptures, photographs etc printed on T-shirts, and wear them to public events – many people find it difficult to promote themselves but if you’re wearing your art on your chest, it can be much easier to find a way to open the conversation about your work and maybe even make a sale or win a commission.

T-shirt printing is a cost-effective way to test the waters if you want to move into the creative industries. You don’t have to rent a shop and hire staff so the risk can be reduced. You can simply set up a cottage business selling your T-shirts on etsy or Folksy to build up a following. If you’re a naturally artistic person you’ll probably find it easy to choose the right images and T-shirt blanks to give the best impression, but it’s still worth listening to your T-shirt printer because they often have long experience in what actually works on fabric, and what doesn’t

Bands and musicians in particular benefit from having a teeshirt that promotes their name and music and allows their fans to show their loyalty to the next chart-topper.

Athletes can also show their aims and successes on teeshirts. If you’re running the London marathon or aiming to sail round the world, get some T-shirts printed with strong attractive images and a short text on the back of the tee, or underneath, saying what you are going to do – it’s a great way to pick up support and funding.


2009 July 11

FruitLoom_Lady_Fit_Valueweight_TShirt_modelFounded in 1851 and registered as a trademark in 1871, Fruit of the Loom is one of the world’s oldest retail brands and it’s famous for its age, its stability and the way that the brand has expanded across the world and into new areas (in 2007, for example, it began to manufacture women’s underwear.

Perhaps the two most famous aspects of Fruit of the Loom though, are its logo, which was adapted from a painting produced by the daughter of one of its customers in 1856, and its guarantee: If you are not satisfied with any Fruit of the Loom product, return it to Fruit of the Loom. You will receive a new one, if available, or your money back.

Perhaps most famous for its T-shirts, Fruit of the Loom clothing is equally valuable when used for uniform and promotional clothing. This is because the unconditional guarantee, plus the excellent value for money, make Fruit of the Loom garments cost-effective as well as being stylish and durable.  This makes it the first choice of many schools, allowing children to enjoy wearing stylish uniform or sports clothing while their parents can relax, secure in the knowledge that the keen pricing means it won’t cost a fortune to replace items as they are outgrown.

Fruit of the Loom also produces a great range of T-shirts and polo-shirts suitable for use as promotional clothing.


2009 February 2

jhk_cotton_polo_model

Every business owner wants his or her staff to think and act like a team player – today’s weather is a case in point: top teams have either made it to work, or where that hasn’t been possible, they’ve found ways to work at home, despite the snow, because they are committed to the company and its profitability. How do you create a team that turns up and does the job whenever possible?

Successful teams share a common characteristic – every person in the team knows their own role and understands how it fits together with the role of other team members. You can encourage this understanding by giving your team a clear and accurate job description and ensuring that it is reviewed annually. At Innocent, all team members define their own job title, such as Chief Squeezer, Happy Health Supervisor etc. While that may be too whacky for many teams, you can pick out the key skills of each staff member had have them embroidered or silk-screened onto polo or T-shirts. If one team member makes great coffee, give them a Coffee Maestro top, if another is your punctuation person, give her a Grammar Wizard polo shirt to show that her key skills is appreciated. People really shine when they know they are being recognised.

Competitive teams are a fantastic way to encourage your people to work better together. Simply divide them into two teams, one with red T-shirts one with black tees. Tell them that at the end of the quarter, the highest producing team will get a reward. At the end of three months, shift team members around, perhaps having a green team and a yellow team in polo shirts this time, making sure you mix the old teams up well and tell them that the team that saves the most money or comes up with the best recycling plan at the end of the quarter, will be the winner. Making teams on this basis allows your staff to get to know each other and think about how they can work better together.

When it comes to those rewards, think about team events such as a party, a big dinner or picnic, or other similar events that encourage the team-building behaviour to continue. Use the event to give your staff a thank you T-shirt or polo shirt that they can wear to work with a message that recognises their achievement.


2008 December 8

Knowing what’s happening in the marketplace, and what can be expected to appear over the horizon, is key to keep your business successful.  Events that can help those in the T-shirt, Corporate Clothing and Promotional Wear industries to master the future include:

January 7th – 9th 2009

PSI Düsseldorf
http://www.psionline.de/
Location: Düsseldorf Germany

28 – 29 January 2009

Trade Only National Show – Coventry
Location: Ricoh Stadium, Coventry, UK

17 – 18 February 2009

International PROMOTA Show – Birmingham
Location: NEC, Birmingham, UK

01 – 03 March 2009

Printwear & Promotion 2009 – Birmingham
Location: NEC, Birmingham, UK
http://www.printwearandpromotion.co.uk

24 – 26 March 2009

Promotional Marketing Exhibition 2009 – London
Location: Royal Horticultural Halls, London, UK
http://www.promotionalmarketingexhibition.co.uk

1-2 April 2009

Workwear & Corporate
Clothing Show & Conference
Hall 10 NEC Birmingham,UK
http://www.workwearshow.co.uk

15th – 17th September 2009

PSI Paris
http://www.psi-paris.com

Trade show image courtesy of jasonebaines at flickr under a creative commons licence


2008 November 3

is the UK’s largest online clothing wholesaler* and we are looking for partners around the world.

If you are a clothing distributor holding stocks of polo shirts, t-shirts, sweatshirts and other clothing products, you could be the perfect partner for us. We’re seeking companies to work with in France, Italy, Spain, Germany and the USA.


We offer:

The opportunity to dramatically increase your online sales
We sell your product ranges on line through our web sites
We pass the orders to you for fulfilment.

What’s the catch?

We collect payments online, deduct our commission and pass the orders to you – it’s as simple as that. There really is no catch, we are online specialist and we have customers all over the world who want to buy the products we sell, but import taxes and transport charges means that it is not economically worthwhile to supply from our UK distribution centre.

What’s your commitment?

Supply us with pictures of your product range and product description
Fulfil orders as they arrive
Answer any customer enquiries.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please email: partners@polo-shirts.co.uk today!

* – based on statistics from Hitwise.co.uk