Eight Things to Consider When Buying Reunion T-Shirts

If you’re planning a reunion (or any event) for the coming year, there are a million decisions to make. One important decision is what you will provide for a keepsake item. The goal is to make the reunion a fun, relaxed, carefree time, (with high attendance and participation) enjoyed by all. Making keepsake items as meaningful and personal as possible can be a motivator for participation so it’s important to give attendees something that is stylish, functional and affordable.

Custom printed reunion t-shirts and caps are popular choices for keepsakes because they are all of the above. When ordering for a large group, it’s important to keep costs down while obtaining quality merchandise and planning is the key to success.

It doesn’t take much imagination to think of issues that can occur when ordering custom t-shirts for a large group. Talk to any reunion planner and they will probably agree that ordering shirts for a large group can be a challenge. I’m sure that if you talked to enough planners, you would hear stories about misspelled names printed on shirts, or ones where planners didn’t order enough shirts to go around. You could hear even more about planners who waited until the last minute to order, who pulled their hair out trying to find a “fast” printing service with overnight delivery.

Each group has their own way of selecting and distributing these items to members. The most important message is to plan as early as possible and look at more than one factor (not only price) in selecting shirts for your group. Here are some tips; especially if you’re new to reunion planning, that might save you both money and headaches.

When looking at t-shirts, first consider your group and your budget. What does your group like, in terms of style, quality, colors, etc? How much can you afford to spend per shirt? Check catalogs and online for shirts that you think will fit your needs.

When looking at shirts, consider fabric weight, colors and sizes available, delivery charges, quantity discounts, production costs (which includes artwork costs) and the base price.

Fabric weight. The weight provides an indication of the number of ounces per yard of material. For example, you may see a 5.4 oz. 100% cotton shirt. That means that the shirt provides 5.4 ounces per yard of fabric and will be a lighter material than a shirt that’s say 6.1 ounces. The 5.4 oz shirt will be a good quality, middle weight shirt that works well in hotter temperatures. The 6.1 ounce shirt is considered a premium weight shirt and will be absorbent, while holding more heat. For a cotton shirt, it’s good to make sure that it’s pre-shrunk so that when it’s washed there is minimal shrinkage.

Colors and sizes are important in terms of price. Shirts in colors are generally more expensive than white shirts. Some shirts have mid level pricing for “heathered” colors, like heather gray, ash etc. So if you’re looking for ways to cut costs without sacrificing quality, look at purchasing white (or heathered/neutral) shirts. In many cases, shirts that are larger in size than an extra large (XL) will cost more per shirt. Tall sizes are also extra in many cases. Also not all shirt styles are available in plus and tall sizes.

If you need to provide shirts for a wide range of sizes there are some shirt lines that carry “companion” shirts for men, women and children that are available in a range from youth to plus and tall. Don’t mix brands if possible, choose shirts in the same brand with a wide range of sizes to keep colors consistent. Look at the available sizes and any additional costs for sizing when choosing your shirt.

Delivery time and charges can add tremendously to the cost. Planning ahead and ordering in plenty of time makes delivery a snap. Most companies provide expedited shipment that includes overnight and 2 or 3 day delivery… for a hefty fee. The shorter the delivery time, the more you pay.

Don’t assume that the minute you hit the send button on your online order, or when you hang up from your phone order, that the delivery clock starts ticking. For example, if a company says the production time is seven days, don’t assume that you can order seven days before your event and have shirts in hand to distribute.

Production time is the time it takes to print the item, and it’s totally separate from delivery time. Production time is in working days and does not usually include weekends, holidays and peak times when the printer has more items to print. Once the item is produced (printed), it then leaves the factory via UPS, US Mail, FedEx, etc. for delivery to your location. Depending on your location and the service you select, it could take up to an additional ten days for your packages to arrive.

Also, it may take time for the printer to make any changes needed to make your art file camera ready. Plan to order t-shirts (and other custom printed items) at least 2-3 months before the date of your event. If in doubt, ask your printer.

Quantity discounts commonly apply for larger orders. The more items you order, the more you save. This is the tricky part of ordering t-shirts for a group that most people don’t think about until they are actually ready to order.

How many size adult small, medium, larges, etc do you order? How many youth small, medium and larges do you order? How many plus and tall sizes do you order? Do you estimate the quantity and sizes and hope for the best or do you survey your group to determine what they want?

A rule of thumb in ordering for a group is to plan (there’s that word again) in plenty of time to obtain information for decision making. It’s important to know as far ahead as possible how many people will want t-shirts, how many and what sizes for each person, including any children (teens, youth and infants) that might be participating in your event.

Sending out surveys or order forms early in the process, will give you hard numbers that make it easier to determine what is needed and allows you to take advantage of quantity discounts. It also keeps you from being left with a large number of shirts after the reunion is over or worse, not having enough for all attendees. You can order a few extras for any unplanned guests that may show up at the last minute. But at least you won’t order 200 shirts and be left with 100 or vice versa.

Production costs include the base price of the item (the shirt), the cost to set up equipment, run charges and art charges.

Set up charges are the costs associated with setting up equipment to print artwork onto your shirts or other items. There is usually a set up charge associated with each color and each location in your imprint. That’s because as part of the printing process, multiple colored designs have to be separated into four colors (CMYK) Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key (Black). You’re charged for the resources needed to set each of those colors. This process also has to happen for each location in your imprint. In selecting a shirt, look at the set up charge for printing your items, the number of locations you want for your imprint and the number of colors in your imprint (up to four) and start adding. The cost for multiple color, multiple location imprints can add up really fast.

To save on printing production costs, you might consider having a one color imprint or reduce the colors to fewer than four. You might also consider having your imprint in one location.

Artwork can be your own design, as simple as your reunion name and date to a complex graphic design, logo, family crest or emblem. Most printing companies will have stock designs or graphic design services available, from supplying basic lettering to full service design. If you have an artistic person in your group, solicit their services or have a logo contest and select judges from your group to determine which design to use. Another option would be to hire your own graphic designer.

Artwork proofs. It’s best to ask for a proof of your imprint before your artwork is finalized (if using a paid professional) and after it is received by your printer, before your shirts go into printing production. Some companies will provide proofs for free and others will charge a fee. Most firms will fax or email a proof, which shows the layout and wording used in your imprint. In my opinion proofs are worth every penny you spend for them, because you can make sure that everything is spelled correctly and arranged the way you want.

With most printing companies, it is your responsibility to make sure the artwork is correct and they won’t be responsible for any misspellings or layout issues after the fact. Don’t assume that they will offer a proof, but make sure to ask for one. To make sure that your imprint turns out the way you want, have several people from your group to proofread to make sure it’s OK before giving the go ahead for printing the final product.

T-shirt funding. How are you going to pay for your t-shirts and other reunion keepsake items? One option is to take orders and receive payment before the reunion, in time to place your order. Upon arrival to the reunion, everyone gets the shirt (probably along with other goodies) in a nice little package with other reunion information like programs, maps, etc. This option provides the best way to determine the correct number of shirts and sizes needed, and it will allow you to take advantage of quantity discounts.

Another option is to include the shirt pricing in reunion dues for the year. Make the dues enough so that you have enough money about two or three months ahead of the reunion to order shirts. Everyone that pays the reunion fees or dues gets a shirt.

You can always use money from fundraisers held throughout the year to pay for the shirts. As a matter of fact, t-shirts, caps, videos of past reunions, cookbooks, key chains, buttons, and other items are excellent fund raising tools. They can be sold before, during or between reunions to keep cash flowing. Put nostalgic photos from the “good ole days” on items and sell them for a small fee. The key is in finding items that are low enough in price to purchase so that you will make a profit, and an attractive design that will sell.

Sometimes local businesses and even national chains will buy ad space in programs or on t-shirts in exchange for advertising. If your reunion group is large enough, it might be worth it to talk to businesses that cater to tourists. They may place an ad with your group and offset some of the cost of printing your shirts.

These are some ideas for planning and saving money on t-shirts and other custom printed items. We have a number of quality shirts and other items available online right now. Use our site, that’s packed with reunion apparel and other promotional items for every need. It’s never too early to start planning and ordering.

Everything You Ever Need to Know About Men’s and Women’s Shirts

Men’s shirts have been around for a long time, however, until the eighteenth century men’s shirts were only worn under outer garments. The fact that they were seen as items of underclothing explains why it is seen as a faux pas for a man to remove his suit jacket uninvited. In 1871 Brown, Davis and Co. introduced the world to the first man’s shirt with buttons all the way down the front. Today, these have evolved to become the formal and casual men’s shirts and ladies shirts we know today.

Men’s and ladies: fabric weaves and washes

The finest men’s shirts are 100% cotton which ensures they are soft, breathable and durable. Here are some of the cotton fabric weaves, washes and styles you’ll find in formal and casual shirts that are available today.

Poplin Crisp, cool and comfortable, poplin is the classic cotton shirt fabric that is ideal all year round, for many occasions.

Oxford

A shirt with an Oxford weave is generally a little heavier and warmer than a cotton poplin weave so it is ideal in the cooler autumn and winter months. Oxford cloth usually contains a combination of dyed and undyed threads to give a more relaxed casual shirt.

Pinpoint

The pinpoint weave is a combination of both cotton poplin and Oxford. It is woven using long staple cotton (for extra softness) and, as with the Oxford shirt weave, only the warp yarn is dyed.

Herringbone and twill

These are textured men’s weaves that produce a diagonal structure and gives the shirts interesting accents. Both weaves are warmer than classic poplin so are favoured in the colder seasons.

Peach finish

A shirt with a peach finish has usually undergone a process in which the fabric has been very lightly distressed – this gives it an extra soft feel. Men’s and ladies shirts with a peach or carbon finish are usually casual shirts.

Vintage wash

Vintage wash men’s and women’s garments are very similar to those with peach finishes. They are exceptionally soft to the touch and have a ‘worn-in’ look which is very comfortable, cosy and relaxed.

Men’s and ladies shirts: how to fold a shirt correctly

Ideally, men’s and ladies shirts should be kept on hangers in the wardrobe, but there are occasions when shirts need to be folded. There is a knack to folding both smart and casual shirts that will ensure they will stay smooth and wrinkle-free. Lay the shirt face down with the buttons fastened, then fold one side over until about halfway along the shoulder. Fold the rest of the sleeve over itself so it lies flat in a straight line parallel to the side of the shirt. Repeat for the other side so the shirt forms a rectangle. Then fold the shirt in half so the bottom hem touches the collar.

Men’s shirts

Men’s shirts: how to find the right shirt for your build

Tall
If you are tall and lean choose a garment with cutaway collars, or spread collars, to help you look broader. If you are tall and muscular, a fitted shirt can help you look more powerful.

Athletic build
Athletic builds can pull off fitted or semi-fitted men’s clothes rather well. Choose small collars (like cutaway collars) if you have a short neck.

Short build
Short and lean men should wear fitted or semi-fitted shirts as classic fit men’s shirts will only drown them. Wider men look best in classic fit shirts with vertical stripes to help slim the frame.

Rotund build
Wide builds should choose classic fit shirts with pleats, ideally with vertical stripes. Also opt for classic collars which are large enough to draw attention away from the waist.

Why every man should own a white shirt

Until the end of the nineteenth century the white top was a sign of wealth because only a man with enough money could afford to have his washing done frequently – and white looks dirty the quickest. Today, men’s formal white shirts are still viewed as an elegant option. Not only does a white shirt suit every man, it is easy to wear a man’s white shirt as it will go with just about anything and be appropriate for many occasions.

Ladies shirts

Ladies shirts: a history

It is thought that women first began to wear shirts around 1890 when freedom fighters donned red wool shirts under the charismatic Giuseppe Garibaldi. Today, ladies shirts have evolved into many different styles including blouses, sleeveless shirts, casual shirts and more, in a variety of fabrics. As with men’s shirts, the most popular choice are women’s shirts in 100% cotton as they’re soft, durable and can be easily dressed up for work or dressed down for the weekend.

Ladies shirts: why women’s shirts button up the opposite side to a man’s shirt
Since it became normal for women to wear shirts in the early twentieth century, the buttons on women’s shirts have been attached to the opposite side to those of a man’s shirt. There are a few theories that may explain this. One is that this made it easier for maids to dress them, whereas men tended to dress themselves.

T-Shirt The Yard Stick to Measure the Fashion Trends

As season changes from summer to monsoon and monsoon to winter, fashion trends also change accordingly. But after every three or four months the majority of us do not have the time or the need to buy new clothes. Then the question comes: What kind of casual dresses or garments will change you according to your range of styles, colors and mood? – Obviously the T-shirts.

T-shirts have always been believed as the mere essentials – those basic requirements that form the base of fashion – the building block of fashion. If you want to know how much fashion trend in T-shirts have changed in the last couple of years, take your measure tape.

Fashion, which had started in the 50’s, became inspired with its sociological and industrial advances. It was a noble time to be young, and fashion became a rip along the position of age. In the 60’s people started to wear the tie dye and screen-printed cotton T-shirts. Improvement in printing and dyeing stood out for more variety and came in to fashion and it bloomed in the 60’s.
Tight trend of the seventies
In the 1970s the disco scene was enormous, concert dancing was popular with dance parties and tight pants with T-shirts were a trend. The whole ’70s trend was form-fitting – ‘very tight’, where the extra-large, loose-fitting, urban-influenced tees moved out and tight T-shirts with tight polyester, usually with bell-bottomed men’s pants escorted by standy shoes were used to attract the young girls seeming for romance, were very popular.

Chemin de fer pants, Elephant Ear Pants, embroidery on pant legs, flag pants, Gabardine Pants, HASH Jeans with Bonds T-shirt (raglan cut T-shirt with ribbing around neck and sleeves), Rock Concert T-shirts (with a logo picture of a rock star or a rock band or trademark of rock band) and tie-dye T-shirts (homemade T-shirts with stripes and curved in different colors of dye) were generally popular in 70s and women generally were short mini skirt, maxi dress, midi skirt or hot pants with T-shirts.

The eighties: Iron-on T-shirts with stonewashed jeans pant trend

In 80s Iron-on, the coolest kind of T-shirts was popular. Tight Stonewashed Jeans, Parachute Pants, Corduroy Pants, Tight Leather Pants, Super Tight Minis with Fido Dido, Ocean Pacific T-shirts, Long T-shirts, and Hard Rock Café etc T-shirts were popular among them.

The nineties – Baggy and bright denim trend

Levi brand T-shirt that had “Button Your Fly” written in very large letters were very popular in 90s. Flare Jeans, Baggy & Bright denim, the schoolgirl look of baby doll dresses with puffed sleeves and thigh-high stockings, slip dresses worn over T-shirts became popular and was a trend of 90s.

Fashion of 2000

T-shirts with “Boys Are Great”, “I Make Boys Cry”, etc slogan T-shirts with zip off at or around knee pants were popular in 2000. Duller colors were more popular at the beginning of that decade and V-neck sweater and have accents woven in around the neck, waist was very popular.

T-shirts have passed through every social, cultural and economic level of human life and got a great acceptance in day-to-day life from big cities to small towns all over the globe.

Age option: Feel young forever with T-shirt

T-shirts are not only a chief item, but have become stylish and nice career apparel. Fashion has always been impelled by younger people, of course, and not anything says young like the T-shirt. As usual, the young are looking for something out of the ordinary. Wearing T-shirts in old age provides a lifestyle option rather than an age option and gives feeling of younger.

Women T-shirt: A separate identified market

During the last two-three decades, women’s participation levels in the corporate houses, business, fashion, jobs, sports, exercises or yoga etc have reached an all-time high all around the world. The old unisex T-shirts became a thing of the history; today women require T-shirts that fit them that wash and feel comfortable at work place or while transporting and adopting a more feminine approach to styling, have made a big difference in the variety of designs and products. Women are also considering T-shirts as a multi-purpose garment and by both ways the women’s T-shirt market is growing. Today, women have so many options in the market as many T-shirt producers have seen the bright prospectus and are producing better women’s T-shirts in quick changing scenario of demand, which covers better fabrics, latest designs, good color combinations, great styles etc. And the women’s T-shirt is going to acquire a separate identity from men’s T-shirt.

Co-relation of T-shirt and ink demand

Fashion or selection of colors also vary, when season or trends changes. Color is considered as a serious business when it comes up to T-shirts, as a key differentiation in wearable apparels.

T-shirt printing is in fact silk-screening or, more properly, screen printing. The 70s brought huge improvement in T-shirt printing began with making screen-printing machines in the basements and garages and these printed T-shirt business referred as Imprinted Sportswear Industry in general. In the 1980s the advancement in ink business enhanced and T-shirts became part of every aspect of our culture, promoting businesses, government, and non-profit organizations. Retailers discovered the significance and eminence of T-shirts and have bought tons of products in various themes, brand-name and styles.

The most important advancement during the 80s was the boom created by the automatic T-shirt printing machine, enabling screen printers to print a many T-shirt printing in a single day. Automation changed the whole thing and with the coming of the 90s, the computer was fetched into the mix of designs and patterns in T-shirts. In the end of 2000 the over all textile screen-printing industry had passed through a very difficult stage, but as development of printing technology successfully achieved the need of ink and screen printing technology, sustained still and gained better position. And now with the improvement and development of latest printing technology, you can have a number of options like two-dimension and three-dimension; digital printed, animated or printed T-shirts. Today the ink or printing is exclusively depends on T-shirt industry/productions while considering textile printing industry.

T – Shirt used as a widespread marketing or publicity tool

Would you like to make a statement? Then you will need a T-shirt: A T-shirt is a cheap idea of clothing or a portable advert with its clothing to declare political, musical or social connection for everybody to observe, like The Tennis Women’s T-shirt with the statement on the court. “I am going to make you run!”, or as Indian tennis player Sania Mirza had statements “Well-behaved women rarely make history”, “Attitude Unlimited”. It provides a cheaper marketing or publicity weapon. Events, campaigns or programmes like women’s rights, civil rights and more found their way to the face and rear of T-shirts. People began to state who they are/were and what they put for without ever saying a word simply with logo or slogan. Today, in addition to performing as a medium for stating personal beliefs, team affiliations, hobbies and more, T-shirts are favored, because in a word they are comfortable – no insignificant issue in today’s place of work, an atmosphere where T-shirts are going up in greater figures by the day.

More choice than ever before

The T-shirt by no means going out of fashion, it is the base or foundation of the over all textile and garment market and drives the total business. It is a very significant part of the enigma for what people require and choose and much market research study showed that one can’t ignore the commodity as well as new trendy market. There are many options or choices that you didn’t have just a few years before.

Today, there are many kinds of cotton T-shirts available in market. Open-end cottons give a softer feel for an outstanding price. Ring-spun cotton has an exceedingly soft hand and organic T-shirts to protect from chemicals. Though, more practical, performance-driven fabrics such as dry-fiber are growing in recognition which is awful due to lots of segregation in which a style that the consumer is well-known and at ease with. T-shirts made from a 60/40 cotton/poly blend in unisex sizes XS-4XL, ANSI-certified polyester and non-certified 50/50 are very popular. High-performance polyester micro fibers T-shirts are mostly preferred by working people due to their characteristic of reducing the moisture rapidly from body. On plain fabric putting of lace and crochet are also being used, to create feminine looks. Recently DuPont’s Sorona fiber (polymers that lend better stretch, recovery and stain resistance to fabrics) is also used in T-shirt as a material.

The T-shirts are finished with jazzier for party wear with gold in the prints and trimmings are also a strong trend in recent times. To create prints more fascinating, sequins, beads, buttons and embroidery and to craft a sparkle look on the tees cotton laces lose out to metallic laces and glitter, texture weaves along with layered contrasting fabrics of tulle, chiffons, bubble fabrics, crinkle printed semi sheer crepes, are also used. Ethnic, jungle, graphic or graffiti-inspired, prints with bright or muted, multiple colors are extremely used now a days. Styles of tees include rose, forest and blue, layering, retro men, graffiti and graphics, khaki and blues and striped patterns are a strong trend in T-shirts for men.

More and more options are available with much texture choice, such as ribs, hemp, pique, ottoman, etc. and more fits for men, women and junior are available. T-shirts are offered in range from the awfully light of 3.8 ounces to the normal 5.5 ounces and be capable of as high as 7.1 ounces. Heavier weights have the benefit of existence of durability and remaining their outline under frequent wearing and washing. Lighter-weight tees are more relaxed, particularly in warmer climates, and provide a perfect fit. Higher-end T-shirts will provide the additional strength of double-needle stitching and shoulder to shoulder string. In 2004 stretch T-shirts brought high demand in women’s jersey products both made of 95 percent combed ring-spun cotton and 5 percent Lycra and heavyweight T-shirts in 50/50 blend, 100 percent cotton, ultra heavyweight in 100 percent cotton and premium ultra heavyweight T-shirt in 100 percent combed ring-spun cotton.

Worldwide fashion designers noted that average consumers were only concerned about jeans and T-shirts in 2004-05 for daytime and still the trend is continuing. Sportswear, sports styling will continue to possess consumers who wish comfort in everyday wear and will continue to demand for ever. In recent times wearing the corporate T-shirts in offices became a trend, and the demand is increasing, even it is more demanding for the purpose of corporate gifting with particular logo or corporate statements.

Conclusion

Today, a common shift towards sporty and comfortable wear in fashion lifestyles seen, and T-shirts are becoming popular and “active wear” with many brands, designers and become a basic part of anyone’s casual wardrobe and favorite in athletic teams, schools, gyms, athletic events, golf events, outdoor active groups, firefighters, the college bookstore market, emergency service workers, police offices, camps and outdoor workers and even in corporate houses. In a nut shell, people with active jobs or hobbies are motivating to use more for a tee that stay them cool, dry and more relaxed.

The coming out of general fashion trends is a social process but as appearance of new competitor in the textiles industry T-shirts are turning out to be more fashionable and are replaced with tailor garment shirts and other wears and the T-shirts are considered as a multi-purpose garment by majority consumer.

Whether color combination, fabric used, publicity tool, new or old trends of men’s or women’s fashion, new printing technology, etc changes fashion trends or whether fashion trends arrive and pass on, clothing should always be fun with T-shirt due to a strong reason of more availability of options. Hence, T-shirts will no way get out of fashion, over all be consider as a building block of fashion.

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