Product Spotlight

What T-shirt Sizes Should I Order for My Group: A Bulk Order Guide

What T-shirt Sizes Should I Order For My Group: A Bulk Order Guide

It can be daunting when you need to order t-shirts for a group and you don’t have a list of everyone’s size, whether you’re getting t-shirts for your office, people in your community, or something for your school sale. Don’t worry. We have the information you need. Our merchandising team pulled data on what size t-shirts people really buy, and we’ve broken everything down to make your next group t-shirt order super simple. Not only that, but we have tips and recommendations on what types of shirts to order, terminology for t-shirt fits and sizing, and some great ordering alternatives to take all of the guesswork out of your next bulk order.

So, What Sizes Should I Order?

We pulled data from our Hanes Authentic T-shirt. Our favorite classic tee, the Hanes Authentic collection is great for any group and comes in a wide range of sizes with a comfortable fit at a great price point. You can use this information as a jumping off point and then adjust based on your shirt’s cut and sizing if you choose to go with a different option.

Our sales show that 11% of our Hanes Authentic T-shirt orders are for youth sizes, 12% small, 22% medium, 25% large, 19% extra large, 8% 2XL, and 3% are extended sizes (3XL and up). 

We made you a chart so you can visualize it!

The youth sizing can really throw things off when you’re trying to figure out adult sizes by themselves, so we made a second chart without youth. (If you do have children to order for, we have a section for you below!) Here’s your breakdown without youth sizes factored in: 14% small, 25% medium, 28 % large, 21% extra large, 9% 2XL, 3% extended (3XL and up).

As you can see, the bulk of your sizes (74%) is right in the middle, and it’s split pretty evenly among sizes medium, large, and extra large, with large coming out slightly ahead. This should give you the formula you need if you’re ordering the Hanes Authentic T-shirt or any other standard fit unisex t-shirt.

That said, there are many other sizes and cuts of shirts you may want to consider, depending on what kind of group you’re ordering for.

A Few Things To Know about Unisex Shirt Sizing and Specialty Cuts

When you’re thinking about t-shirts sizes, you should take into consideration the sizing and cuts of the specific shirt (we call them blanks) you choose.

For example, The Hanes Authentic T-shirt sizing, which is standard unisex, is different from Bella + Canvas t-shirt sizing, which tends to be semi-fitted and run small. It’s okay if you don’t know what all of those terms mean. We’ve put together a guide so that you know what to look for in the t-shirt product pages. You want to look at both the apparel styles and the apparel cuts.

Apparel Styles: Unisex, Women’s, and Youth

Unisex products are styled for any gender and have wider shoulders, longer arms, and added length in the body.

Women’s products have more narrow shoulders, shorter arms, and often, a fitted, contoured silhouette.

Youth AKA Kids
Designed specifically for children these styles can range from infant and toddler sizes to youth XL.

Apparel Cuts: Slim, Semi-Fitted, Standard, Relaxed

Slim Fit
A narrower fit that hugs the body, chest, and arms.
Sleeve length: Shorter
Shoulder seam: On shoulder
Arm opening: Tightest
Across chest: Tightest
Length: Standard
Recommended for: Customers looking for the tightest fit or for petite frames. 

A closer fit that skims the body, chest, and arms.
Sleeve length: Shorter
Shoulder seam: On shoulder
Arm opening: Tighter
Across chest: Tighter
Length: Standard
Recommended for: Customers looking for a slimmer, more trendy fit.

Standard Fit
A straight fit through the body, chest, and arms.
Sleeve length: Standard
Shoulder seam: On shoulder
Arm opening: Standard
Across chest: Standard
Length: Standard
Recommended for: Customers looking for a standard fit across the board.

Relaxed Fit
A loose fit through the body, chest, and arms.
Sleeve length: Longer
Shoulder seam: Below shoulder
Arm opening: Loose
Across chest: Loose
Length: Standard
Recommended for: Customers looking for a fit with extra room for layering.

Buying T-shirts for Children

If you’re placing a group order for a bunch of kids, it can be a little more complicated. The biggest thing to keep in mind is that you can’t go wrong with erring on the side of too big as children just seem to keep growing! We have bodysuits and baby t-shirts for the infant set and then a range of sizes for youths as well, so if you’re ordering for an elementary school soccer team or the PTA t-shirt sale, you can break down your sizes like this: YXS 10%, YS 25%, YM 30%, Y/L 25%, YXL 1​​0%.

Other Options for Group T-shirt Orders

As you can see, there are a lot of factors involved when ordering t-shirts for groups. That’s why we’ve developed tools to make this process even easier than it has been in the past. We have a Group Order Form tool that makes it easy to choose a product and create a design and then share a link with group members where they can enter their own sizes and addresses. You can pay the whole bill or let them pay for themselves and have items shipped directly to group members or all to you. Whatever choices you make, the Group Order Form makes it so that you can be sure that everyone can get exactly what they want.

You can also use our Fundraising platform to collect custom t-shirt orders. With fundraising, you’re able to set the cost of your product so that you can raise money for anything you care about.

One Size Fits All (aka Custom Promo Products and Accessories)

Another way to ensure that everyone in your group gets something that fits them just right is by choosing products that are items that they can use or accessories that they can wear. A custom water bottle or hat can be a real crowd pleaser and both are about as close to “one size fits all” as you can get. Check out our collection of custom promotional products.

Whatever custom products you decide to order for your group, we’ve got you covered.

Other resources:

Will it Fit? Custom Ink’s T-shirts Sizing Guide

T-shirts 101: How to Buy the Perfect T-shirt

Strike a Stylish Silhouette with Trendy T-shirt Cuts

Miellyn is the Copy Manager at Custom Ink. Her work has spanned marketing for television networks like TLC and Travel, educational content for Smithsonian and National Geographic, marketing and story for indie video games, essays for publishers including Random House, The Telegraph, and Smart Pop Books, and stories for press outlets like VICE and VH1.

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