HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST T-SHIRT FOR YOUR BAND MERCH
You’re finally ready to order merch. Great! There’s just one problem though; there are so many options and you’re not sure which is the best choice for your bands needs. It can be difficult to take the plunge when there are so many questions and details to be considered before investing in your merch.
When it comes to t-shirts, there are so many things to consider: Fit, material and price are all things that weigh heavy on bands when it comes to choosing the perfect tee for their fans. This is a big deal, and you want to get the most bang for your buck while ordering something you and your fans will love. There are three major aspects to consider before you order:
There are three basic categories when it comes to types of t-shirts bands typically print on. The
first is 100% cotton. This option is usually the most affordable and has the most color options
available. For example our Gildan 100% cotton shirts have 73 color options and another one of
our popular brands, Tultex, has 45. Next Level and Bella Canvas also give you a wide variety of
shades for your design. Another benefit of 100% cotton is that your design will really pop on the
fabric. The pure cotton makeup really allows for the colors to show without blending into the
One of the drawbacks of going with this option is that the shirts won’t be as soft as other shirts
that are blends. Some bands and fans don’t mind the difference at all, but if you’re looking for a
softer feel you may want to go with one of our latter options listed below..
One of the most popular blends is the cotton and polyester blend. Some brands go with a 50/50 blend while others choose a higher polyester or cotton count to manipulate the feel of the shirt. This marriage of materials creates a soft feel while maintaining a sturdy tee that will stand the test of time. Bands often go with this choice because they have a more appealing feel and look while still showing off their cool designs. Another benefit of the cotton/poly blend is their ability to stretch and resist heat, water and wrinkles better than pure cotton. Most of our blend options still have quite a few colors to select from. Our Next Level blend shirts have 31 colors to choose from, while Gildan has 28. You’ll have no problem finding the right one to compliment your design.
For those looking for a truly soft tee with a silkier feel, the tri-blend might be right up your alley.
These shirts are a combination of cotton, polyester and rayon. Rayon is a substance made from
wood; I know surprising right? Crazy to think that a material coming from something like wood,
could be the most important element in making a t-shirt feel like wool or silk.
The tri-blend are a higher end tee and often have less color options because of the blend. We
have a couple of options that bands love including Next Level and Bella Canvas. Your design
may not be as vibrant on the fabric, but sometimes bands really want to go for a more vintage or
subtle look. Everyone has a few tri-blend tees in my closet and they are often my go-to’s when I
want a shirt that feels easy to wear and is breathable.
Another really important factor to consider when getting ready to order band merch is the fit.
Lots of people want different things so let’s break down some of our most popular options and
try to help you decide which shirt suits your fans best.
We talked about 100% cotton and it’s benefits, and as far as fit goes, this is a great option for
those that like a more heavy duty and structured shirt. Heavy metal bands tend to go with this
option as well as bands that have fans who prefer less of a fashion fit and more of a basic tee.
Speaking of fashion fit, there are several options on our site that focus a lot on having a great fit. The Anvil Fashion Fit are a really popular item because they have a fit that’s closer to the body and appeals to fans that want a better fitting tee. The Gildan softstyle is another wonderful choice as it has a bit shorter of a sleeve and is overall more flattering and less boxy than other tees. Some bands even consider buying specifically for their female fan base, which can be a huge selling point. Your lady fans might want something that fits them better than a unisex shirt, and if that’s case there are a lot of options. Bella Canvas and Anvil have really wonderfully made women’s fashion fit tees that have the perfect combination of length of sleeve and collar placement. When you take the extra step of adding this option to your merch table, you show them that you value their support.
Here’s the thing, as much as we may not want it to, price plays a HUGE role in our decision
making when it comes to ordering merch. It can be daunting to try and decide what option is
best for your band so that your fans are happy, and you can a return on your investment.
If you’re looking for the lowest price point Gildan 100% cotton may be your best option. There
are no bad options here, as you’re still getting a great quality tee that’s wearable and will last.
Chances are, you have one of these in your wardrobe that you love and wear often.
If you’re looking to step up your game even just a little, one ideal option for bands who are in
search of a better fit at an affordable price is the Gildan SoftStyle tee. This is still 100% cotton,
but is way softer and has a less bulky fit while still giving you lots of color options for your
The Tultex blend shirts are another great choice as far as fit and price go. These are very
comparable in price to 100% cotton while have the soft fit and feel of the blend they are.
Bands looking to spend a little more might be more keen to go with the Next Level Blend or Bella Canvas Blend. Both of these options are at a bit higher of a price point, but have a higher quality feel and fit and the brands alone are recognized as higher end apparel. One benefit to spending more on your band merch is being able to charge more at the point of sale. When you buy higher quality products, fans expect to pay more and are often willing to spend more because they feel better about what they’re buying. Again, adding female merch to your table, improves your sales and this is something to consider as far as price goes, too. There are a lot of brands that have similar styles of tees in unisex and women’s size. This makes it easy for bands to get the same design on the same color shirt
while having shirts that fit both male and female fans. Versatility is everything when it comes to catering to your fans.
One more issue to consider when pricing out your order is to remember that the price per shirt
goes down with the larger quantity you order. Maybe you want to start out small with your first
order; that makes sense. Often bands don’t realize that going from ordering just 12 shirts up to
24 isn’t a huge leap in money out of their pocket, but increases their potential payback in a great
For example, let’s say you order 12 Tultex 100% cotton shirts. You will average paying about
$14 a shirt. But if you jump up to the next bracket and order 24 of the same shirt you would pay
just over $10 a shirt, even better, ordering 50 of that same shirt would have you only spending
$7 per shirt. That increases your profit margin on every shirt. It’s a bigger investment in the
beginning but gives you a chance to grow your bands funds even more in the long run.
Another aspect to consider when ordering merch is that the number of colors in the print will
definitely affect pricing. A t-shirt with a one color print is going to be cheaper than 2 colors, 2
colors are cheaper than 3 and so on. Bands also choose to do prints on both the front and back
of the t-shirt, which adds another level of pricing. A front print only t-shirt is going to be less
expensive than a shirt with front and back print. Feel free to try your designs on the designer on
our website to get a feel for pricing as far as colors and placement.
There are so many important factors to consider when you make the decision to order merch for your fans. How the tee feels, price and how your design looks printed on the fabric are all variables that affect your decision. If you have any questions on which choice is best for your band, feel free to reach out and we are happy to help! Does your band have a “go-to” brand when it comes to giving your fans the best?[/col_inner_3] [/row_inner_3]