Picking the Perfect Promotional Polo Shirt
By Dean Schwartz (SWAG Master): The polo shirt may be the most versatile piece of clothing in the custom promotional products arsenal. And that shouldn’t come as a surprise, when you consider that a polo is just as suitable for the office or a dinner as it is the golf course. Of course, not all polos are created equal, and not all SWAG is created equal – so you know that when it comes to polos, SOBO Concepts is primed to blow away your expectations.
Picking the perfect polo is kind of an art form, and if you’re not sure how to do it, we’re only a phone call away. The first two questions we normally ask are:
- How do you plan to use it and why do you want people to wear it? Is it for a trade show, golf tournament or just to wear around the office? Something else?
- What’s your budget? Blank polos can range from $8-9 to over $50 and there are a ton of different options from which to choose. It’s a broad range, but once we understand your budget range, we can take the steps necessary to get something that’s a perfect fit – literally and figuratively – for your order.
The answers to the above questions help us determine the weight, material and cut, as well as what finishes may or may not be appropriate.
Cotton and polyester are popular; cotton for its comfort, polyester for its durability. Knits or woven polos (pique) are great for sun protection, but they’re heavy, too, which can be a plus or minus depending on your locale.
But that’s just fabric. Ever considered the type of collar or placket on your polo? Or have you ever asked yourself ‘what in the world is a placket?
For starters, a placket is the area below the front of the collar, where the buttons lay. Higher quality plackets, which can help prevent the collar from curling at the edges, are often fused, interfacing, or box stitched. And while some collars are better than others (welt collars in particular), you should always be aware that good quality will prevent collar curling, but never stop it altogether.
Then, of course, you’ll want to consider shoulder, sleeves and armholes, not only for fit, but also for stitching and thickness preferences, which also ties to hem preferences, too.
Does that all feel like a lot to take in? Well, it is – but that’s okay. Let’s take it a step further by giving you a few examples.
Performance Polo Shirts. Comfort and style are always essential, but these shirts work best under extreme conditions. We’re talking about golfers and athletes – or anyone like them – who needs to stay cool even in the hottest conditions. These fabrics tend to end up on the higher side of the price scale, with brand names like Nike, Adidas and Bobby Jones, but you’ll also definitely get your money’s worth. Also worth pointing out is that they’re great for embroidery, but not for printing.
Blended Polos. It’s like the best of both worlds, if you’re looking to tradeoff somewhere between cost and performance. Like performance polo shirts, they’re best suited for embroidery, and are a popular selection for food service customers. To give you an idea of what this category looks like, consider the 438M by Jerzees. It looks great, is stain resistant – a big plus – and is priced great, starting at just $12 each.
100% Cotton Polo Shirts. If comfort is your primary goal, you’ll be pleased to know that the 100% cotton polo delivers on it big time. With that said, cotton has it’s disadvantages, including shrinkage, wrinkling and a lack of stain resistance. But if those aren’t concerns, you can find some great value and quality in this category. We recommend the D100 by Devon & Jones, which is made of 100% pima cotton and is a lighter weight than combed cotton.
Jersey Knit Polo Shirts (T-Shirts with a Collar). For our cost conscious consumers, a great option is the jersey knit polo shirt. Not only is it light and comfortable, but it’s also our most customizable option of the bunch, too, as it’s ideally suited for DTG printing or silk screening. Of course, at a lower price point, you’ll want to be aware that these shirts don’t always hold up well to repeated washing cycles, and they aren’t particularly stain resistant. But depending on what you’re looking for, this might be exactly what you have in mind.
The good news is that you don’t have to be the expert on all of this. That’s our job. In fact, we’d love to help you sift through all of it in a simple phone call to at least get you to a point that you’re clear on the type of fit and style you’d like, while also exploring pricing options.
Oh, and we haven’t even touched customizations yet, and you can bet that SOBO’s got ideas well beyond a traditional left chest embroidery. Call us today at 888.752.0432!