As we discussed in Part 1 Business Shirts, buying uniforms for your team or organisation can be challenging. Here’s some advice for anyone looking to source polo shirts for their organisation’s uniform.
No longer confined to the tennis court or golf course, this popular shirt style is often chosen for retail, hospitality, software & IT companies, transport and most trades.
And it’s easy to see why. With a knitted collar and button placket (neck opening), the polo shirt is a smart-looking choice for a less formal uniform that is suitable for men, women and children.
So which fabric and style should you choose? Well, that depends on a few factors.
Here are our insider tips to picking the perfect polo.
Which fabric is the right choice?
Unlike business shirts where most wearers favour cotton-rich fabrics, the trend in polo shirts has shifted towards polyester blends and 100% polyester fabrics.
Because uniforms need to be robust and easy care, 100% cotton polo shirts aren’t always the best choice. That’s because 100% cotton fabrics are subject to faster fading, shrinkage or stretching (depending on the laundering), and often need ironing.
By contrast, 100% polyester styles don’t fade or shrink, are quick drying and don’t need ironing – and who doesn’t want an easy care uniform?
And thanks to brands such as Adidas and Nike, ‘performance fabrics’ are extremely popular. Performance fabrics are fabrics that have been chemically treated to be breathable, moisture-wicking (draws sweat away from the body to the outside of the garment where the moisture quickly evaporates) or contain anti-odour or anti-bacterial properties.
But you need to do your research. Some polyester fabrics are chemically treated after the fabric has been knitted and this treatment can wash out over time.
Our premium polyester polo shirts, such as those from our Stencil Clothing range, are ‘yarn treated’, which means the benefits are permanent and won’t wash out.
Keep your budget in mind
There are many instances when budget will dictate your options. You might need some shirts for a one-day charity event, for example. Or you might have a large team with a mix of ages and body shapes that you need to cater to.
Our range of budget polo shirts are still good quality options that will last many wears and washes, particularly if you choose polyester or a polyester blend.
Our Biz Crew polo shirt is a favourite amongst many of our customers as it comes in great range of colours in a 210gsm easy care poly cotton pique knit.
Or for something with a sportier look, our 100% breathable polyester Biz Rival Polo is a budget friendly choice, featuring a contrast panel across the shoulders and sides.
A stylish fit
For those looking for something more up-market our top picks are James Harvest and Stencil. These brands are popular with software firms, law firms, banking, accounting & finance companies for casual corporate wear and corporate sports events.
The Harvest Morton Heights, Harvest Eagle and Stencil Traverse are great choices for their classic Ralph Lauren style – without the price tag. And there are modern, slim fit options that will please even the fussiest fashionista.
Or for performance polos with style take a look at Stencil Silvertech. These shirts are maximum comfort with minimum odour and have a permanent natural anti-bacterial & de-odorised finish.
Create a unique design your team will love
If you can’t find what you’re looking for, why not get it custom made? If you have a minimum order of 50 shirts, you can create your own unique polo shirt in a choice of colours and fabrics. Learn more about our custom made polo shirts.
Add your logo
And finally, if you want to include your logo on the shirts, most styles will suit embroidery, but some are also suited to screen printing. Contact us to discuss your requirements, and we can advise you on the best option to go with.
So there you have it. We hope we’ve given you a few helpful tips on what to look for, so you can approach your polo shirt buying task with confidence. And if not, we’re always happy to help.
Written by Jasmine Hogarth for The Logo Works (November 2017).