Whether it’s for a uniform or a promo for an outdoor sporting event, custom polo and golf shirts make a subtle but powerful statement.
What we’ve come to call “golf shirts” and “polo shirts” actually began life in the 1920s as a tennis shirt. French tennis champion Rene Lacoste, nicknamed “The Alligator” for his aggressive playing style, found the traditional tennis outfit of long-sleeved shirt and tie impractical and cumbersome for play (imagine that!). He designed a short-sleeved shirt of pique’ cotton with a soft collar and emblazoned it with an alligator emblem. The shirt proved a success and was soon adopted by other athletes, such as polo players and golfers, who rebelled against the traditionally stifling attire in their own sports.
Not all of us are athletes, but the smart look and cool comfort of the polo shirt makes it an indispensable part of many wardrobes and the shirt of choice for Casual Fridays. It is also the preferred shirt for business owners who want a relaxed but professional uniform look for their employees.
While there is little variation in the basic configuration of golf and polo shirts, you still have options to consider. Here are few tips for helping you pick the shirt that best fits your needs.
While golf shirts and polo shirts are both short-sleeved shirts with a 3-button placket, the similarities end there.
A golf shirt has a double-stitched collar with points meant to lay flat, loose double-stitched sleeve cuffs, and often a left breast pocket. Meant for playing 9, 18, or 36 holes in the sun, golf shirts are usually made of a 50/50 cotton/polyester blend or 100% polyester for maximum moisture-wicking capability, pulling sweat away from the skin and into the outer layer of the shirt to evaporate.
A polo shirt features a soft welted collar and cuffs, with the collar meant to be turned up as needed to keep sun off the wearer’s neck (or in many cases, to look cool), a slightly longer tail to keep the shirt tucked into pants, and no breast pocket. While many polo shirts are made from polyester or cotton/poly blends, others are 100% cotton, appropriate for indoor wear. A long-sleeved sport shirt is basically a long-sleeved version of the polo, excellent for casual wear as the weather turns cooler.
As you shop InkHead’s selection of promotional golf and polo shirts, you’ll see the word piqué in many of the descriptions. Simply put, piqué is a particular fabric weave of crisscrossing fibers that gives the shirt greater air circulation and improved moisture-wicking properties. If you run your fingers over the fabric, it will feel slightly coarse, but that texture doesn’t affect the shirt’s comfort and will be welcome relief for employees who wear the shirts for outdoor work.
The first decision you’ll need to make, of course, is whether you prefer the look of the golf shirt or the polo shirt. After that, the question becomes “where will this be worn?” If your employees work outside or on the road (groundskeeping, delivery, mobile tech support, door-to-door sales, just to name a few examples) or in physically demanding jobs indoors (wait and bar staffs spring to mind), or if your promotional shirt is meant for an outdoor event (job fairs, golf tourneys, athletics coaching), then you’ll want to look at a full-on polyester or poly-blend shirt. For a uniform look in a casual office or on a retail sales floor, your employees may prefer the softer feel of 100% cotton.
A frequent mistake of many employers supplying their staffs with imprinted golf or polo shirts is to order too few. If you expect your employees to conform to a dress code and stay looking their best day after day, it’s a good idea to supply each employee with a week’s worth of shirts, enough to get them through to the next laundry day, especially if your business is food service or outdoor work or otherwise prone to frequent messes. Fortunately, InkHead offers a wide selection of custom gold and polo shirts at prices that will meet any budget.
While polo and golf shirts offer a wide-open imprint area on the back, it’s usually preferred to confine your logo to the left breast, a tasteful statement for an upscale shirt. Depending on the dimensions and elements of your brand, you may choose embroidery or silkscreening to decorate the shirt. Embroidery looks great and lends texture and a high perceived value to the shirt, but the stitch count can get expensive if you want several colors or intricate graphics. Silkscreening has fewer limits beyond the relatively small imprint area on the breast, but the image will be flat.
Recent upgrades to the Apparel section of our website will make your selection and ordering process painless and pleasant, and our team of promotions and graphics specialists will work their special magic to supply you with just the right promotional polo or golf shirt that will achieve a crisp yet casual look for your employees.