In most instances, the “right” shirt is a medium weight, 100% cotton T-shirt because it comes in a truly astonishing number of sizes and colors, lasts for years, launders beautifully, and all for a very reasonable price. These shirts are everywhere- this is the shirt you receive at a giveaway, for a family reunion, at fundraisers, or as a welcome at a new job. These are the shirts that you keep long after you retire them from your public wardrobe; we all have them—the age softened and maybe even holey shirts we look for when we need some gentle comfort after a long day. Cotton shirts will always continue to soften if washed properly.
Yet cotton isn’t always the answer. Polyester is the right choice for workouts, marathons, or mudders. There are a wide array of Polyester fabrics in the marketplace right now- soft, stretchy workout tees, and the slightly more rigid fabrics which have been engineered to resist snags for use in hospitality, service organizations and industrial settings. The advantages to polyester are its strength, fade-resistance, durability, moisture wicking, snag-resistance, and ease of care.
For construction shirts, landscaping, and recreational sports leagues we actually recommend 50/50 shirts (50% Cotton / 50% Polyester). The cotton helps the shirt breathe and balances the fabric. The Polyester helps the shirt wick sweat, keep its color, and prevents wrinkling. 50/50 shirts are known for their longevity and performance under tough conditions.
In addition to fabric, there are a variety of cuts to choose from. Do you want the classic cut or a fitted cut? Crew neck, V-neck, tank top, crop top? Before making your final decision, give some thought to whom will be wearing the shirts, which style will be the most flattering to your wearers, and the shirt’s purpose. For example, suppose you are getting shirts for an upcoming family reunion. Perhaps that fitted, deep V-neck shirt will look just fabulous on you, but how about your 87-year-old grandmother? Heavier fabrics (like 6.1 ounce) drape in a way that is more flattering for those of us who are not lean and “ripped.” Finer fabrics (like 3 & 4 ounce) drape snugly to the wearer- so they look great on very fit individuals but will be fairly unforgiving for the rest.
Now you have a brief overview of your choices, feel free to reach out to us if you are not sure which fabric to choose- it can be nuanced, so we are here to offer our knowledge and experience to guide you to the right fabric. We always welcome a challenge, but after 45 years we have outfitted all kinds of interesting groups, so I doubt you can stump us. Our experts (t-shirt geeks) at Ampro are here to help. Buying shirts is a big deal, and we will always help you along the way!