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6 May, 2022

Bespoke Polo Shirts Or Off The Rack - Which Is Better?

You are looking to purchase some custom polo shirts. The question is should you get them fully customised or pick a style that is readily available. There are pros and cons to both, so we thought we would pit the two against each other for different aspects and let you decide what is best.

1. Affordability: Hands down, off the rack polo shirts, are cheaper than bespoke polo shirts. The main reason for this is importers will order large volumes of the one style. This is the cheapest way for factories to make them. Once the machines are set up with the correct material colour, they can just run them for hours and hours producing the same garment. The people stitching know exactly what to do and everything is run at full capacity. This gives maximum efficiency, which in turn gives a cheaper price. These garments are also then shipped via sea freight which is the cheapest method for transportation of goods from overseas. Compare that to bespoke polo shirts. Instead of orderings 1000’s of one style, it might be an order for 50 or 100. This means setting all the machines up, the cutters and the people stitching to just do a small run. Then they have to stop all the machines and reset everything. This takes time and costs money due to production delays. So, if your goal is to buy cheap custom polo shirts, off the rack is the clear winner.

2. Speed Of Delivery: In this regard, off the rack is also a clear winner. The polo shirts are available immediately and then it is only a week or two to add branding, whether it be embroidery or screenprinting. When it comes to bespoke polo shirts, they are made overseas. They usually take at least 2-3 weeks to produce, but then you have shipping time. Airfreight is the quickest, but also very costly and still takes up to a week to arrive in Australia. Otherwise, you have sea freight, but that is much longer with up to an 8-10 week delivery time frame. If you need your polo shirts now, off the rack is the way to go.

3. Branding Options: This is where bespoke polo shirts take over and are the clear winner. If you purchase a plain polo shirt locally and want to brand it, the two main choices are embroidery or screen printing and they are available in traditional areas of the polo shirt. If you want something across a seam line, a logo running from the front, through the side and onto the back, or you want something to print to an edge, you can not do that with local branding options. You need to have that done at the time of manufacture before the polo shirt is stitched together. So, in regards to branding, bespoke polo shirts have a lot more flexibility.

4. Design Variations: Again, bespoke polo shirts win on this every time. Saying that there are literally 100’s stock styles to choose from, but if you are wanting something specific in regards to the shape, design and colours of different elements of the polo shirt, there may be a stock one available, but it’s going to take you weeks to track it down. With a bespoke polo shirt, you just give all the desired requirements and it is done. No endless searching and you have free reign to design anything you want. This means it can stay true to your corporate branding in regards to both colours and look.

5. Fabric Choices: Again, you have all the fabric choices locally, but getting one to match the design you want can be tricky. For a bespoke polo shirt you just need to tell them what fabric you want and hey presto – it’s done.

Looking at the above, there are some clear reasons for choosing either option. If price is your highest priority, or you need the shirts in a hurry, then off the rack is the clear winner. If you need to align the shirt with your corporate colours, or need a specific design made, bespoke polos are the best way to go. If you are considering purchasing some polo shirts but are unsure what would work best, contact us and we’d be happy to guide you through the options.

The Polo Shirts Only Team