Apparel Factoids

Corporate Casual Statistics | Corporate Casual Levels | The Benefit of Seasonal Gift Giving
Golf Statistics | Factoids | Decorating Tips | Embroidery Tips & Considerations
Screenprinting & Considerations | Size Selection & Group Buying Guidelines | Glossary of Terms
It's true what they say: "Knowledge is Power." And when you'rere faced with the challenges of dressing your team for success, a little knowledge can go a long way from knowing what's popular and why... to what terms mean when you see them on a label or in a catalog... even to fun tidbits of information people find interesting. All this can simplify your decision making, streamline your process, and show your team you've done your research. And that will build their confidence in you, boost pride in their work, and virtually guarantee a more productive, powerful performance in the office and on the field.

Here, we've provided you with some of that knowledge... peruse it, have fun with it, use it in whatever way you can to put the power to work for you.
Corporate Casual Statistics
Casual Fridays And Dress Down Days

In order to compete in the employment marketplace, employers in the 90s searched for creative options to attract new employees and retain present ones.

So, what happened?

  • Wearables shot to the #1 category in Promotional Products
  • Up 3 points from 24% to 27% in one year
Why did this happen?
  • 90% of all US companies have casual day of some kind
  • 1/3 of all companies allow casual clothing every day
  • More than 40% of all companies have expanded their casual dress options in the last three years
Casualwear Businesswear Human Resources Survey
  • 87% - improves morale
  • 81% - perceived by employees as a benefit
  • 51% - employees save money because of casual dress
  • 47% - improves productivity
  • Given the chance, 96% of employees take advantage
What employees said
  • 81% - Improves morale
  • 57% - I'm judged now more on my performance than appearance
  • 57% - Better camaraderie with managers & co-workers
  • 51% - Do best work when casually dressed
  • 43% - Boss is more approachable
46% reported that if they were offered two equal positions, the employer which offered casual days every day would get preference.

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Corporate Casual Levels
The 4 basic classifications of Corporate Casual at work today are:

Boardroom Casual- Apparel that's different than the traditional business suit, but still appropriate for the boardroom. Blazers, oxfords, vests, ties and scarves are the operative words here.

Business Casual- Professional dressing that's perfectly suited to attend a meeting, conduct a seminar or to meet a client. Banded collar shirts, oxfords, denims, vests, sweaters and turtlenecks are your main menu here.

Relaxed Casual- Office-appropriate attire that's professional enough to face customers, but comfortable enough to sit in front of the computer. Golf shirts reign supreme in this area, as well as denims, chambray shirts, fashion fleece, sweaters and turtlenecks.

Dress Down Casual- Casual apparel for a labor-intensive day such as cleaning out files or organizing your area. Tees, sweats and denim are your directions on this one.

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The Benefit of Seasonal Gift Giving
When holiday time rolls around, showing appreciation to clients and the people on your team can prove to be a smart move for encouraging more business and productivity in the office. Give gifts of golf shirts, wovens, tees, fleece, or caps tastefully decorated with your logo, and you can increase the benefits to corporate identity programs.

Consider these opinions of small business owners when asked about holiday gift giving:

  • Over 75% feel it helps improve their business
  • Over 55% believe it leads to increased sales
  • Over 70% consider it an important part of their marketing effort
  • Over 85% believe it improves employee morale

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Golf Statistics
Still not sure if golf shirts are right for your team? As the game itself continues to skyrocket, so does the popularity and acceptability of golf shirts as a staple of corporate casual dress codes. And, with the numbers of people playing golf today, the odds are in your favor that the majority of your team will at the very least be wearing your golf shirt on the green. Just consider these stats about golfers:
  • 21.5 million men
  • 5.1 million women
  • With 2.1 million, juniors (aged 12-17) represent the fastest-growing group
  • With 7 million, the 30-39 year age group is the largest percentage at 26.4%
  • 1 in every 4 golfers is a senior (2.7 million aged 65+)
  • 43% hold Professional/Management/Administrative occupations

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Wow your clients by sharing your knowledge on these "I didn't know THAT!" Wearables University apparel facts. The more you impress them with your knowledge ... the more they will have confidence in YOU as their wearables EXPERT!
Why do women's shirts button on the opposite side than a men's?
Way back in Medieval times, women did not usually dress themselves. They had handmaids to help them. Therefore, the dressmakers designed the garments so the buttons were in the proper position for the dressers, the person USING the buttons. The tradition continued throughout the ages and even into today's styles.
What percentage of the American workforce is female?
60%, making Ladies' style shirts increasingly popular for all types of corporate casual decision makers..
What does "pre-shrunk" really mean?
It is NOT pre-washing the fabric. It is a process where the bolted, uncut fabric is run through rollers containing tiny nubs that press the fabric over the nubs, creating grooves which condense it. This puckered shrinking effect then allows for real shrinking when washed. Therefore, the fabric - not the shirt - is pre-shrunk before it is even cut and sewn.
Where did the word "jersey" in jersey knit come from?
It is called that because it was first knitted in the Jersey and Guernsey Islands in the English Channel.
What type of garments are embroidered more than any other?
Golf shirts. They comprise 53% of all garments embroidered, followed by caps at 21%.
What is the origin of the pouch pocket that's so popular in today's fleece styles?
It actually dates back to the 1800s when muffs became a fashionable accessory for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to keep their hands warm and conceal money and small treasures when traveling.
What makes Microfiber so much softer than other fabrics?
Most other fabrics have 70-80 tendrils of yarn per strand. Microfiber has 216 tendrils per strand. It's more finely woven, more luxurious, also windproof and waterproof.
Where does the name "henley" come from?
Copies of this shirt, a no-collar knit with buttoned placket, were worn by rowers in Henley, England. It was originally a rower's shirt.
What is a "half moon sweat patch" and what's it really for?
The inset back yoke of many upscale-type golf shirts. While called a "sweat patch," it is actually there for decoration purposes and extra collar support.
Name three colors that are popular for trade show "uniforms" today?
Any three bright colors. The brighter the color, the more booth staffers stand out as a team, so they can be found anywhere in the booth. The trade is calling them "Crayola colors."
Where did the American T-shirt originate?
The "great American T-shirt" actually originated overseas when American soldiers in WW I took a lesson from their European counterparts and started wearing cooler, light-weight, cotton undershirts instead of their wool uniforms in the hot summer climates.
Where does the term "denim" come from?
From the French "serge de Nimes," a twill fabric made in Nimes, France from blue vegetable dyes from the indigo plant, which is why deeper hues of blue denim are called "indigo."
What does the term "ounces" of fabric refer to?
The weight of the fabric based on one yard of fabric.
How does the fabric "sanded gabardine" get its soft finish?
It is run through an actual belt sander so that the fabric is extra soft before it is cut and sewn.
Where does the word "khaki" come from?
From the Hindu word meaning "dusty," which applied to the light brown cotton of the Indian army uniforms. Troops in 1850's India found their white uniforms would be dusty within hours and began soaking them in mud to turn the same practical khaki color.
Do recycled bottles actually play a role in apparel manufacturing?
Yes! Recycled plastic bottles are cleaned, crushed, melted and extruded into the polyester fibers that make many of today's most popular fleece clothing. It's every bit as warm and durable as virgin polyester... but conserves more energy in processing.

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Decorating Tips
Logo Design

Following the tips below can help assure the artwork you provide will achieve the dynamic results you want when your logo is screenprinted or embroidered on your wearables. It can also help increase the efficiency and quality of the decorating process. Art that is "ready" for use is provided in an electronic file that can be used for pre-press and printing without making modifications. Below are a number of important considerations and tips to help get your art ready for decorating.

Acceptable Artwork Formats

Art may be provided in any of the following formats. Please note the modifications that may need to be made it order to make each format ready for decorating.

For all three formats, proper resolution is critical for clean results. The standard resolution for printed artwork is 300 dpi (dots per inch).

Mechanical artwork

The traditional standard for acceptable mechanical artwork is "camera-ready black and white." Mechanical artwork can be supplied on a sheet of white paper or bromide, and should be no larger than 8.5" x 11".

Hand-drawn artwork

A logo that's been drawn by hand is a great starting point, but it will need to be digitized and modified for practical use.

Digital artwork

Images created in Adobe Illustrator, QuarkXPress, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Microsoft Word, Excel, or Powerpoint are preferred over mechanical and hand-drawn artwork for quality of the end result and efficiency. However, digital artwork may still require modification and/or preparation for the decorating process.

File suffixes

If your digital artwork file ends with any of these suffixes, it can be used to properly prepare your art:

  • .bmp
  • .eps
  • .gif
  • .pct
  • .pdf
  • .tiff
  • .dst


Any time you supply digital artwork, be sure to include a printed proof for reference.

Disk formats

When providing your artwork on disk, it is best to use one of these more standard disk formats: CD-Rom, or regular floppy.

E-mailed art

When sending your artwork via e-mail, be sure to provide all of the basic elements, including:

  • fonts
  • layers
  • paths

Unacceptable Artwork Formats

Artwork provided in the following forms, or similar forms, will not be able to be modified into ready art... therefore delivering extremely poor results when translated into decoration for a garment:

  • on a fax sheet
  • scanned into a computer
  • on a business card
  • on a printed promotional item such as a napkin or matchbook cover

Logo Placement

Consider these lesser-used, but highly-noticeable garment locations for a unique logo/artwork placement.

  • Back yoke
  • Back of collar
  • Sleeves
  • Cuffs
  • Pocket

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Embroidery Tips & Considerations
Estimating Stitch Count

Here is an easy way to estimate the amount of stitches you'll need for great looking logos.

  • Print out the grid below
  • Cut out your artwork and place it over the grid
  • Count the number of boxes it fills, then find that number in the chart
  • If your design goes outside the grid, estimate the extra grid space you need and add it to your original total.

Click here for a downloadable pdf of the grid.

Other Points to Remember when Estimating a Stitch Count

  • 1 solid square inch of embroidery equals approximately 2,000 stitches.
  • 1 solid square 1/4 inch of embroidery will equal about 125 stitches.
  • No letter should be smaller than 3/16" each letter 1/4" in height equals about 100 stitches.
  • Drop shadows in your logo will translate to 200 extra stitches per inch.
  • Straight lines under logos typically require 200 extra stitches per inch.
  • Fabrics, colors, and artwork detail will affect the amount of stitches.

It is important to remember that these stitch-count tips, and the stitch-count grid, provide estimates only. They are a good starting point to arrive at a ballpark count, but the precise figure can only be determined when the actual embroidery of your design is performed.

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Screenprinting & Considerations
It's important to remember that every color you want used in your artwork means another screen to create, set-up, and print through. The costs connected with these screens depend on the techniques used.

It's always beneficial to print more items than less because of the set-up charges involved. If in doubt about the final quantity of screenprinted items you'll need, it's often more economical to order more than you think will be required.

Every color has an associated cost; different colors have different chemical make-ups, which make them more or less expensive than others.

Drop shadows, shading and anything that blends from light to dark will probably end up looking like a series of dots and should be avoided. (This does not apply to single-color halftone gradients).

Most likely, the following special requirements will add to your screenprinting costs:

  • If you need your screenprinting to match an exact color, requiring inks be custom-mixed to achieve that PMS color
  • The process that allows colors to show correctly on dark goods
  • Additional locations on a garment
  • Special (not the normal) logo locations

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Size Selection & Group Buying Guidelines
The following guidelines can help you streamline your buying and, therefore, boost your profits.

Buying for Men: Any style listed as Adult are sized for men. Adult Golf-cut styles generally offer a better fit for beefier male builds.

Buying for Ladies: Styles listed as Ladies' are women's sizes. If the women on your team prefer a Men's or Adult style, select one size smaller than what they would wear in Ladies' sizes.

Buying for Groups: Use the charts below for a general percentage to help you determine how many shirts in each size you need when buying for a group.

Most likely, the following special requirements will add to your screenprinting costs:

Group buying guide graphic

To calculate your buying quantities by size, simply multiply the number of people in your group by the percentage in the chart for each size.

These are general guidelines only and should only be used as a starting point for determining necessary quantities. Your group sizes may vary greatly.

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Glossary Of Terms
View our glossary of terms.

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