How to Choose T-Shirt Sizes for Large Events

When you decide to host a big event, ordering promotional t-shirts for all of your attendees is a surefire way to generate goodwill for your brand and increase your visibility in the local community. Over 58% of consumers in America own promotional t-shirts, and in their lifespan, each t-shirt will generate an average of 2,500 impressions. This makes a t-shirt one of the best-value promos available.

In some situations, you will have all of the attendees’ sizes written down, whether it’s a group of employees or existing customers. However, whenever you’re ordering promotional t-shirts for an unknown audience and don’t have a solid number to rely on, choosing the t-shirt sizes can be stressful. Luckily we have a handy infographic to make the process easier.

T-Shirt Sizing Guidelines

When trying to determine the breakdown of how many shirts to get of each size, it’s important to think about it as a percentage of the overall total. Referencing the HALO apparel sizing guideline infographic, you can get a good understanding of the proper distribution for both men and women.  

These guidelines give you an idea of the size distribution of t-shirts worn by adults. Simply multiply the percentages by the number of t-shirts you plan on ordering. For example, if you are ordering 100 shirts you will want 5 smalls, 20 mediums, and 30 larges.

These percentages represent a broad generalization, so if you have more information about your expected audience, adjust the sizes you order. If your brand is popular with bulky outdoorsmen and bodybuilders, consider ordering more XL sizes. If your brand connects with petite women, definitely avoid ordering 5% small t-shirts. You get the idea – consider these guidelines as a starting point.

Men’s Vs. Women’s T-Shirts

When you are ordering “adult” size t-shirts, it generally means they are men’s sizes. Depending on the t-shirt brand, type of clothing, and your event, you may want to order both men’s and women’s sizes. Women’s shirts have a taper at the waist for a traditionally feminine silhouette, while men’s shirts have a boxier shape and are larger.

When ordering both men’s and women’s sizes we recommend ordering 80% of men’s t-shirts and 20% of women’s t-shirts. Many women will still want the roomier men’s garments, and this style split will ideally result in fewer leftover promotional tees.

One Size Does NOT Fit All

The exact cut of a t-shirt will vary depending on the brand and style of what you order. T-shirts from Gildan will either be longer, shorter, wider, or slimmer than similar-looking t-shirts from C2 Sport. If you want a tailored look for your promotional tees and you plan on placing a large order, we advise ordering samples of the various sizes.

Trying out the t-shirts before you buy a large quantity will ensure your event goes smoothly. You also want your promotional tees to reflect the professionalism and style of your brand, and ordering samples will guarantee your vision is realized.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

There are many factors to consider before settling on a size distribution for your promotional clothing. If you decide to order polos, sweatshirts, or outerwear, the sizing recommendations will also shift. Polos and outerwear call for more small sizes than t-shirts.

Don’t be overwhelmed by choosing the sizes of your promotional tees — that’s what we’re here for! When you have a question that requires an expert, simply reach out to your HALO Account Executive. We will work with you and recommend the best combination of sizes for your unique event.

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