Ordering women’s t-shirts is notoriously tricky. Each cut is unique, and each person even more so, which can make finding the perfect sizes, fits and styles an exhausting task. If you’re not a t-shirt expert, you’ll have no clue about the weird quirks that comes with each specific shirt, and the tricks that help you order the right ones. Luckily, we know some t-shirt experts.
To help, we decided to ask three of the women at Real Thread HQ to share their best advice on ordering women’s custom t-shirts, and what you can do to make sure you get a t-shirt that you’ll love.
Former intern, now 5 years in at Real Thread. Unofficial team mom.
Q: What makes ordering women’s custom t-shirts so tricky?
A: The tough part of ordering women’s t-shirts is that there is no “perfect” tee for women. Since women come in too many different shapes and sizes and have more varied of tastes, it’s really hard to pick one uniform blank t-shirt for them.
Q: What’s the first thing you should consider when figuring out which shirt to order?
A: When ordering custom t-shirts specifically for women, you have to shift the focus to:
Who is going to wear these shirts? Are you a middle school youth group? Are you a moms group? Are you a women's engineering conference?
It pretty much boils down to how to ask questions on what you actually want in terms of fit.
Q: What can you do before ordering to make sure you get it right?
A: Do your research, get a sample, and look at size charts.
Also, make sure you compare the women’s size chart to the unisex companion tee and see what size you should wear. Since unisex sizing is more true to size, that’s the best place to start.
Q: What is your favorite women’s t-shirt blank to wear?
A: I’m a fan of the American Apparel TR301. I love the shape of it and the material. American Apparel’s tri-blends are soft but they have a bit more body to them and don’t drape as much as other tri-blends. This creates a nice bit of structure in them and a bit of sporty look.
I’m in between a small and medium depending on brands and for this tee I’m a medium. With women’s tees it’s usually two extremes: form fitting or flowy. What’s nice about the TR301 is that it has a good shape and structure without clinging to your body with the intensity of a super hero costume.
Pros: flattering fit, great proportions, and soft.
Cons: not a large size range (S-XL) or large variety of colors.
Newest to the crew, but definitely no t-shirt novice. Knows her stuff.
Q: What do you look for in a women’s t-shirt?
A: I personally like my shirts super soft with a more flowy/loose fit! A lot of Women’s styles tend to run pretty small in the t-shirt industry so I go for styles that are meant to be a little oversized.
Q: When choosing sizes, are people better off sizing up or sizing down?
A: For standard “Women’s fit” styles we always recommend sizing up one or two sizes, depending on the exact style.
Q: What style of women’s t-shirt is popular right now?
A: Customers (and I) really like the Bella 6400 since it has that oversized but trendy feel to it. It’s also super soft so it’s an all around great style!
Q: Favorite women’s t-shirt?
A: I personally love the styles that Bella+Canvas has to offer since they have a lot of fashion forward designs. My favorite tank is probably the Bella 8804. I love wearing muscle tanks and the rolled cuff makes this style extra cool! My favorite tee would have to be the Bella 8815 because it has that flowy fit that I like and is one of the softest shirts I own.
Literally has dreams about helping Real Thread customers. The People’s Champ.
Q: What’s the most common problem women run into with their t-shirts?
A: Too tight! Women’s tees notoriously run small, no matter what your body size is. I’m personally a size Small, petite build, but still always order a size Medium in women’s fit shirts. And if i’m wanting a more loose / comfy fit, I’ll even go up to a size Large.
Q: Do the same fit rules apply for ordering tank tops as they do t-shirts?
A: For the most part, yes. Some tanks are considered “flow-y” tanks, so in this case you can get by with ordering your normal size. But if it’s not “flowy” then ordering one size up is always best. ESPECIALLY if the tank has spandex in it. Nothing is more awkward then constantly pulling a spandex tank top away from your belly rolls when you’re sitting down.
Q: One pro-tip for people ordering women’s tees?
A: Check out the size specs!
Q: What’s your favorite women’s t-shirt to wear?
A: Bella+Canvas 6400 — Relaxed Jersey Tee It’s a great, standard, short sleeve tee. And because it is a “relaxed” fit, it’s not as super tight as most women’s tees. It also runs in a lot of great colors!
There you have it — straight from the experts themselves. We know this is a lot of info, but luckily, each of these wonderful ladies are here to help you with all of the ins-and-outs. If you want to use any of the t-shirts recommend above for your next project, get in touch, and one of these Real Thread pros will help you get the t-shirts of your dreams.