Whenever someone calls me and asks me to give them the “best price” on custom polo shirts, I always ask the question, “What quality shirt are you looking for?” and “Could you define ‘best price’?” The truth is, “the best price” carries different meanings for different people. Obviously your choice needs to suit your industry, your purpose of use, and your budget. So it is important to know the different options out there, and plan ahead before you go shopping for the best vendor to fill the order.
First off, there are many different grades of custom polo shirts. The least expensive ones are usually made with blended fabric in a jersey knit, usually 50% cotton, and 50% polyester. These polo shirts are normally made by brands such as Gildan, Jerzees, and Hanes. They come in a variety of sizes, and the white color shirts are usually priced less than the colored ones. One can screen print as well as custom embroider one’s logo on these shirts due to the relatively flat jersey fabric surface. However, depending on the number of colors you have in your logo, it might be cheaper to custom embroider the logos as screen printing requires a separate setup for each color in the logo, verses a flat setup for custom embroidery no matter how many colors you might have. These shirts, however, are not very heavy, and the white shirts tend to be see-through. And this is something to consider especially when ordering for your female staff members.
Due to the stiff competition in this category of custom polo shirts, you can get very good deals. The quality of these shirts is solid but not great, and they tend not to stand up to repeated washings too well. Some of the problems you may run into include a curled up collar and twisted body, as these shirts are usually tubular and do not have side seams down the length of the body of the shirts.
Personally I prefer the medium price range shirts that are made of heavier cotton polyester blended fabric. They could be 50% to 100% more expensive than the economy grade shirts in cost. The construction of these shirts is much better, and usually fully-fashioned with side seams, and half-moon sweat patch in the back. They are more durable and will last through multiple washing cycles without losing their shapes or colors, making them better investments overall since you do not have to replace them as often as the aforementioned economy grade custom polos.
For the shirts that are next level up, the fabrications are again steps up from the medium price custom polo shirts. The knit is usually finer; there are more options in terms of the content of the fabric. It could be 100% cotton, 100% performance polyester, or well made cotton polyester blend. These shirts are usually priced twice the amount than the medium range ones. At these price levels, the custom polo shirts are so well made one can usually “dress them up” as semi-formal business shirts. They usually look similar to brand name polo shirts normally found at retail stores such as Nordstrom.
Finally, there are the premium grade shirts, which are gaining popularity as corporate America becomes more casual. They are refined enough to be accepted in previously very conservative corporate environments, but casual enough so the wearer does not appear too formal. These are priced twice as much as the previous category.
So there you have it. There are so many options in the custom polo shirts market it could get confusing for the person in charge of buying decisions. I suggest an assessment of the needs and budget first, then followed by preference in style, and finally comparison between different brands and vendors. No matter what your buying decision depends on, I am confident you will find the right fit given the huge variety of custom polo shirts available on the market today.