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.

2013 July 13

Fruit_Of_The_Loom_Slim_Fit_TShirt_25_3312013 may, or may not, be the 100 year anniversary of the T-shirt. Nobody knows exactly when this classic casual garment was ‘invented’ although in 1913 the US Navy ordered ‘light undershirts’ for every sailor to wear under their bell-bottomed uniforms and the T-shirt, as a name, arrived.

However, as is so often the case, it seems the USA may have been importing, and renaming, an older European invention. Many European soldiers, particularly British army recruits stationed in India and Burma, wore ‘undershirts’ when they were off duty, and these undershirts were virtually identical to the plain white T-shirt that is ubiquitous today.

One reason the plain white T-shirt has been back in the news is the effect of The Great Gatsby, starring Leonardo di Caprio. The film is based on the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, who was the first writer to coin the term ‘T shirt’ in his 1920s novel, This Side of Paradise. At the same time, Rene Lacoste, the French tennis player, brought the polo shirt to high prominence with his many wins, and his chosen tennis apparel. Casual was king.

The craze for tanning, the increased casualness in clothing generally, and the arrival of Hollywood stars like James Dean who was the icon of the new cool casual fashions, all brought T-shirts into public prominence.

It wasn’t until the 1950s that printed T-shirts really got off the ground, and then they took the T-shirt world completely. Today it is predicted that every person in the world has at least two T-shirts, and that the average developed world consumer has a dozen.

And the average developed world consumer may be about to buy one more, especially if he is male and a bit chunky – Andrew Dunn of Nottingham University has discovered that a large black T on the front of a white T-shirt gives the impression you are slimmer than you are! The degree of attraction corresponds to the width of the T and whilst a wide T in the classic position can increase a man’s health and physical appeal in a photo by around 12% over the same man wearing a blank shirt, an upside down T of the same size decreases health and physical appeal by … 12%!

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 February 2


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
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

24 – 26 March 2009

Promotional Marketing Exhibition 2009 – London
Location: Royal Horticultural Halls, London, UK

1-2 April 2009

Workwear & Corporate
Clothing Show & Conference
Hall 10 NEC Birmingham,UK

15th – 17th September 2009

PSI Paris

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

2008 October 2

Software developers Worldweaver Ltd have a competition for the best game demo made using the DX Studio platform. It’s an ideal contest for the well-dressed geek, or perhaps the geek who would like to be well dressed! You have to unleash your inner gamer and come up with a complete demo by 20th December and the prizes are impressive: the winner gets £1,000 cash, a Commercial Pro DX Studio license (whatever that means) and a limited edition DX Studio Polo Shirt and USB key. Runners up will receive a Non-commercial Pro DX Studio license, Polo-Shirt and USB key. Winners will be announced on 22nd December. More details at www.dxstudio.com

And a Hawaiian shirt company has broken its own world record. Hilo Hattie made the world’s largest Aloha shirt in 1999 and this year they have repeated the challenge, making a sixteen foot tall shirt to celebrate the University of Hawaii – exactly why the university should be celebrated this year isn’t clear, but the shirt big and bright and definitely not the kind of thing you should wear in the workplace if you’re hoping for promotion!