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Choosing T-Shirt Sizes

How are you supposed to know what size breakdown to purchase when buying custom screen printed t-shirts? Sometimes customers have exact sizes needed but most are somewhere between “I have a general idea of who will be wearing these t-shirts in our group” to “I have no idea who is attending this conference!”. In this case you’ll be asking “how do you I know how many of each size t-shirt to order?”

Unfortunately, like many things, there’s isn’t a simple and easy formula for calculating this. (How long will it take to drive to the airport today? When will the salmon be perfectly seared but not burnt? Will it rain today? Are all other questions that I wish there were a simple formula for!)

Each organization we work with is different and the answer to this question is unique to each customer. But there is a base formula which is helpful. Usually the final size breakdown of a t-shirt order is a result of tweaking the base formula to account for your organization’s members.

Sometimes you want the oversized t-shirt look. But in general, the goal is to have it fit just right!

The standard ratio I recommend when ordering is, 2:4:4:2. This means that for every twelve t-shirts ordered, you order two smalls, four mediums, four larges, and four extra larges. And I also recommend adding a couple of 2XL or 3XL tees. This is only a starting point! The next thing to think about is who will be wearing the t-shirts you’re ordering. This means who’s attending your conference, family reunion, playing on your sports team, buying your t-shirt retail, who your employees are, etc. The list goes on, but you get the idea.

You don’t want your clothes to be too small either!

Once you have a sense of who will be wearing the t-shirts, think about what size they are. This can be very difficult. But all you can do is make an estimate and then tweak the formula as best you can.

It’s not perfect science, but not much is. I’d be happy to discuss your size breakdown and offer my advice, based on experience with similar organizations or events. Email if you have any questions!