November 2017

Promotional ProductsUniforms

Custom Hoodies – The 3 Crucial Differences Between Brand Building Quality & Promotional Crap


Lately, it seems every Tom Dick & Harry wants their logo printed on a hoodie.  Sure we love wearing hoodies as they are generally comfortable and a great way to look cool while staying warm, but are your printed hoodies adding value to your brand name?  Or are they associating your brand with low quality and a bad or inconsistent image?

Pick the right material, choose garments that are designed to fit the wearer and use branding that is current, stylish and consistent with your image.  Get these 3 things right and you are on a sure path to quality.  Below I expand on these three crucial differences and offer some easy to follow advice.  I will use the Hoodies Page on our website to show examples of what I am discussing, however, the information provided will help you choose the most appropriate hoodies from any supplier.

1. Choose The Right Material – Cotton is King

Polyester Rich Hoodie
TH22UN Polyester Rich Hoodies

Yes, I agree it can be confusing -Even for us and we live and breath it every day.  As a good guide, the higher the cotton content, the better.  If you want a hoodie that will last the test of time and retain a good level of comfort then I suggest you choose something with greater than 50% cotton.  Also, pay attention to the grams per square metre (often referred to as gsm).  A higher gsm count means a better quality garment, and also means a warmer garment.

FL07 Cotton Rich Hoodies
FL07 Cotton Rich Hoodies

Here are your 2 first traps…  Try not to pay too much attention to the images AND pay attention to the industry lingo. The hoodies on the left are sexier, right?  Well, note these are “polyester rich”  which is industry talk for ‘mostly polyester’ and have a weight of 320gsm.  In contrast, the hoodie on the right is “cotton rich” which is of course “mostly cotton” and has a weight of 340gsm.

The hoodies on the left are around 2 dollars cheaper per garment, but personally, I would choose the hoodie on the right any day of the week.

Just to add a little complication to the mix there are now are a whole new range of Sublimated (full colour all over print) hoodies hitting the market.  Even on our own website!  The sublimation print process can only be carried out on 100% polyester which traditionally was a horrible material for hoodies.  However, as technology advances manufacturers are introducing cotton inners to garments with polyester outers that are actually quite nice to wear.  My advice is to ‘try before you buy’ any sublimated hoodies.  Some are quite good, while some are very average.

2. Get the Fit You Need

  • Let’s not kid ourselves here.  You are not starting a fashion label so you don’t really need to differentiate between a modern fit, slim fit, skinny fit, or an urban fit.  What I am referring to here is what we call the ‘Gender Fit’.  The big question here is, “who will be wearing the garments?”  If the hoodie order is for your local cricket club then a Mens or Unisex fit will be fine (females hate local cricket so we know your girlfriend won’t want one!).  However, if you are running an event that will be attended by men, ladies and children you should choose your hoodie with this in mind.
  • While some smaller ladies can wear a small size men’s hoodie, and your 6-year-old daughter does look cute in her massively oversized adult hoodie, this is not the ideal scenario.  Some hoodies come in matching men’s, ladies and kids fit, some don’t.  If you need to cater for ladies and kids then choose the appropriate style.  Don’t decide that it ‘doesn’t really matter!’
  • A decent uniform website will let you filter by gender fit.  This is the first thing you should do if you require multiple gender fits is filter by Ladies or Kids as these are the most uncommon.  You will generally find that any ladies or kids hoodie has a matching men’s fit.

3. Stylish, Current & Consistent Branding

While we all like to think we are fashion connoisseurs, this is really a great time to hand the reigns over to the designers at your supplier of choice.  They have done this thing a thousand times before and know what works and what doesn’t.  Most people fall into on 1 of two categories:

  1. The more basic (boring) the better
  2. The more design elements we can work into one garment the better

In reality, the best designs commonly fall somewhere in the middle.  Basic is boring, but subtle can be classy.  A busy can be painful on the eyeballs, but it is possible to work multiple design locations into a garment while maintaining a common theme.

In conclusion, the sure path to ordering custom hoodies that build the quality of your brand is not complicated.  Pick a hoodie with decent gsm count and good cotton content.  Make sure the hoodies are available in the fits you require.  Finally get your branding right – If you do not have experience in this area hand over control to someone who does.  These steps are identical regardless of who you choose to supply your hoodies or what you are using them for.

You can discuss these points with no obligation with a Product & Branding Specialist from our team at Payless Promotions.  This is free advice and we also offer free mockups of how your design will look before you place your order.  We suggest you should be able to get the same service from your supplier of custom printed hoodies, if not, shop elsewhere.