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6 Ways To Ensure Your Custom Apparel Is Retail Ready

February 3, 2020

Running your own apparel brand or clothing line can be a challenging but fun, and rewarding experience. The custom apparel industry is extremely saturated with brands of all types so it’s important to make sure that you have more than just awesome designs and solid branding. Keeping the small details in mind and making sure that your custom t-shirts are retail ready is the key to setting your brand apart from all of the rest.

In this blog post I’ll go over a few different ways to enhance your apparel, improving your brand experience and increasing the “wow” factor for your customers. These tips will help build brand loyalty, boost customer referrals, and increase repeat business.

1. Choose High Quality Garments

If you’re selling in person or at retail, choosing the right garment can make or break a sale, and if you’re making sales online, a poor quality garment can ensure that your customer will not be back for more.

When choosing your garment you have to take into consideration your target market as well as how and when they will ideally be wearing your apparel. If you are running a fitness brand for example, and expect that consumers will be wearing your apparel to their workout sessions then you may want to look into options like polyester or spandex. In most cases though, clothing lines lean more toward the everyday fashion end of things. Choosing a high quality ring-spun cotton or premium tri-blend garment is going to ensure a super soft and irresistible feel that will certainly leave your customers hungry to fill their closets with more.

If you’re unsure of what garment you’d like to use we have plenty of samples in stock for you to check out. Or you can always request a sample for a small fee and I can have it shipped directly to you.

2. Printed Tags

Printed tags are a great way to make your apparel look and feel that much more legitimate. Removing the existing neck label from the shirt and printing your logo, website, slogan, etc. alongside standard information like size, material makeup of the shirt, country of origin, and care instructions adds more uniqueness to your apparel and provides your customers with a greater sense of professionalism toward your brand and higher perceived value to them.

3. Hang Tags

Hang tags are a great way to provide your customer with additional information about the product and your company. Are your shirts 100% organic fair trade cotton that are manufactured with socially and ethically responsible practices? Do you donate a portion of each sale to a special cause? Or maybe you just want to have your logo in one more spot for the world to see!

A hang tag is a great place to begin telling your brand story and leaving the consumer eager to learn more (ie. they’ll go to your website). Including a well designed hang tag, especially when selling at physical retail locations can make a huge impact on the buyers decision making process. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and include things like infographics, statistics, stories, websites, icons, or photos.

Another thing to keep in mind when designing your hang tags is the material being used. Do you want a glossy finish, matte finish, raised textures, or maybe you want to go more vintage with a kraft paper and single colour of ink to give it the effect of being a stamp. You can also look into the option of using unique and custom die cut shapes. There are so many options out there for hang tags so be sure not just get “hung up” on the first idea that comes to mind.

You should also keep in mind the method that the hang tags will be attached to the garment. Typically you’ll either see them attached with plastic, or with string and a clothes pin. The look you are trying to perceive for your brand, as well as the budget you have to work with will both have large effects on what is possible for your hang tags.

If you need help with the design or manufacturing of your hang tags I am here to help! Just shoot an email over to with your inquiry and we’ll take care of everything!

4. Hem Tags

Hem tags are a great way to tie your brand into your garment one last time. Hem tags are typically 1” x 2” folded in half to be a final size of 1” x 1” and will generally just include your logo or brand icon in a single colour contrasting the main colour of the tag itself. They’re typically placed on the bottom hem of a shirt but will also sometimes be found on the sleeve.

A hem tag is just another way to add more professionalism and legitimacy to your products and build the perceived value of your products, and your brand in general to your customers.

If you have your company logo and require assistance with designing and manufacturing your hem tags, I will be more than happy to take care of everything for you! This way you don’t have to search for a third party manufacturer, hold any hem tag inventory, or have to ship or drop your tags off to me.

5. Folding

No one wants to buy a creased up shirt because it was quickly bundled with other shirts and placed in a box. A nicely folded shirt that shows off your design at retail is going to be more likely to draw attention than a poorly folded shirt with odd creases and wrinkles.

While folding is certainly something you could do in house after receiving your apparel and prior to shipping it to retail stores or packaging it for direct shipment to your customers, you can also choose to have me fold your apparel prior to packing it up and shipping it to you. This will save you a ton of time and allow you to focus your efforts on building your brand and selling your products.

6. Polybagging

In addition to folding all of your apparel I can then place each shirt in their own individual polybag and even place a size label on them so it’s easier for you, and your customers to find exactly what you’re looking for. Polybagging will also help keep your shirts clean, as well as reduce and essentially eliminate the chance that they will unfold in the shipping process.

Consider these tips and add-ons when ordering custom t-shirts and apparel for your clothing brand. Whether you choose to do one, or all of these things, it will do nothing but improve your brand appearance and increase your value.

Do you run your own apparel brand and have other ways that you ensure your apparel is 100% retail ready? Let me know by sending an email to and I’ll try to work it into a future update to this post!

Jake Moroun

Jake is me, I am Jake the one and only, sole operator of Sausage Dog Promo Co.! I was a graphic designer (technically I still am I guess), and then I started printing t-shirts in my basement. I'm here to help you out with some tips and tricks when I can as well as answer any questions you have about screen printing, design, petting dogs, or whatever else you have questions about, so don't hesitate to ask away! And yes, that is a goat in the picture.

Likes: Dogs (animals in general really), Music, Chocolate

Dislikes: Pickles, Not being able to pet all the dogs all the time, Needles