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Group Shirt Order

How to Choose the Right Sizes for Your Group T-Shirt Order

Are you planning to place a large group order for t-shirts but are unsure of what sizes to get? Determining the appropriate sizes for a group order can be challenging, especially when you want to ensure everyone in the group receives a shirt that fits them well.

This guide provides you with the information and tools you need to make the right size choices. Whether you’re buying in bulk for branded merchandise, outfitting your staff with company logo shirts, or organizing an event, our expert advice and resources will help you confidently choose the right sizes for your group t-shirt order.

Recommended Size Distribution for Group T-Shirt Orders

Our recommended size breakdown is based on processing over 500,000 group shirt orders. In our experience, most shirt recipients will wear Medium, Large, or Extra Large sizes, but it’s wise to include other sizes too.

Pro Tip: It’s better to err on the side of larger sizes. A shirt that’s too small often stays in the drawer, while a shirt that’s too big can still be worn.

Other Factors for Selecting Group T-Shirt Sizes

Our recommended t-shirt size distribution is based on years of experience and sales data, but other factors can affect your order. These include order size, intended recipients, fabric shrinkage, and t-shirt fit. 

Order Size

If you’re ordering for a smaller group, XS and 3XL sizes may not be needed. Our advice for smaller group orders is as follows:

  • SM = 10%
  • M = 24%
  • L = 32%
  • XL = 24%
  • 2XL = 10%

A simplified t-shirt breakdown for smaller orders is 1 – 2 – 3 – 3 – 1.

Fabric Shrinkage

Depending on the t-shirt selected, the fabric can shrink and alter the fit, requiring a change in order sizing. 

  • 100% cotton t-shirts shrink approximately 2%.
  • Shirts made from 50/50 poly-cotton blend, tri-blend fabric, or 100% polyester t-shirts won’t shrink.

When in doubt, we recommend adjusting ordered sizes to be larger.

Learn more about fabric selection in our blog post Polyester vs. Cotton vs. Blends.

Intended Recipients

Consider the characteristics and preferences of the people receiving the shirts. Fit, or the way the t-shirt contours the body and feels on the wearer, is one example. You might also adjust the size distribution based on the type of event; ordering larger sizes for a BBQ festival and smaller sizes for a yoga retreat makes sense.

Learn more about fit in our blog post How a T-Shirt Should Fit.

Men’s vs. Unisex vs. Women’s Sizes

Gender-specific sizes should be strongly considered when ordering t-shirts, especially when a significant portion of the group is female. Our sizing recommendations are based on unisex sizing, which differs from women’s sizes.

Men’s and unisex cuts are basically the same, with slight variations between brands and individual products. Women’s cuts are much different, featuring narrower shoulders, contoured torsos, shorter and tighter sleeves, tapered waists, flared hips, and longer lengths at the bottom.

Learn more about women’s t-shirt sizing in our blog post The Essential Women’s T-Shirt Size and Fit Guide.

Based on our experience, some women prefer the unisex cut to the more form-fitting women’s cut. Younger, fit, or fashion-conscious women often show a strong preference for women’s sizes.

How We Determine Group T-Shirt Order Size Breakdown

To create our shirt order size distribution, we combined a variety of information and vetted it with Ink Tees lead sales managers. The result is a size breakdown that can work for any large shirt order. Let’s consider the information sources to understand our recommendation better.

The Best T-Shirts for Large Group Orders

Ordering for a large group means that the shirts need to fit a broad range of needs. For example, a standard fit, 100% cotton t-shirt will fit well and feel good to most people. Additionally, a balance of other factors (quality, price, brand, etc.) makes a t-shirt stand out.

With those things in mind, here are three great options for group orders:

  • Gildan SoftStyle Short Sleeve T-shirt
  • Fruit of The Loom Heavy Cotton T-shirt
  • Hanes Perfect-T T-shirt

Ordering T-Shirts for a Group Made Easy

Deciding on a size breakdown for your group shirt does not need to be difficult. Simply use our basic 1 – 2 – 3 – 3 – 1 distribution model and adjust based on your specific needs. For more expert tips on selecting the perfect group t-shirt sizes, visit our website and explore our extensive resources. Happy ordering!