Sharp and stylish custom logo work shirts?
June 9, 2020 8:15 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking into getting some custom shirts for my company. Before we go with the default embroidered-logo polos...is there something a bit more unique and stylish out there? These are to be worn by installation engineers working on hospital equipment, so they should be professional, packable, wear well, and be comfortable for physical work. If we do end up going with polos, any recommendations for particularly nice ones?
posted by SampleSize to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I was thrifting last year and found several LLBean dress shirts with a company logo, never worn. I was delighted by the find (six bucks each!!), and impressed that a company was sending decent stuff to their staff and not 50/50 junk. Presumably your shirts will need to be washed every day, so buy good quality (Lands' End business, Work 'N Gear, LLBean corporate, etc.).

Do you need pockets, like a short-sleeved shirt, or is the pocketlessness of a polo acceptable? There's a reason so many field people get polo shirts: they're a good compromise between dressy & casual, and you don't have to care about sleeve length (so you can buy & store fewer sizes).

The only more "unique" thing might be a Red Kap/Dickie's-style work shirt, but that's on the back side of the cool curve, with a lot of breweries selling them. (Plus, they aren't cheap, and not everyone likes the usual 50/50 blend.)

100% polyester sports shirts are cool, but not very professional, unfortunately.

What about a logo soft shell or hoodie, over a polo?
posted by wenestvedt at 8:53 AM on June 9, 2020


The thing about polos is that they have a collar, so they’re acceptably professional, but they’re generally cut loosely and from casual fabrics, so they don’t seem too dressy. Nothing else strikes that same balance. T-shirts aren’t professional enough, but buttondown shirts aren’t casual enough.

The one other thing that fits is a quarter zip pullover. The downside is that they’re not always great for warm weather. It could be a nice changes in addition to polos, but not a replacement.

Your embroider should be able to run different shirts together, so you should be able to still get a volume discount.
posted by kevinbelt at 8:59 AM on June 9, 2020 [1 favorite]


I have several Carhartt polos with pockets with organization logos. They are for the maintenance workers at the organization. Comfortable, pocket to hold small items if you are doing work and durable. Very durable.
posted by AugustWest at 9:47 AM on June 9, 2020 [1 favorite]


My favorite piece of embroidered gear from my company is an Eddie Bauer vest. (We work with qbstores, but I think LL Bean has the same.) You have the flexibility of long or short sleeves under them, and they're easy to take off if you're doing something especially intense.

Hospitals tend to run cold so I think that even in the middle of the summer you'd be ok.
posted by supercres at 9:48 AM on June 9, 2020 [3 favorites]


I am a middle-aged woman and I hate polo shirts. I do not wear the ones my employer sends me. Unless you are quite thin and have small breasts, polos (even the "women's cut") are not flattering to women. If any of your employees are women, please ask what they would prefer.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 10:11 AM on June 9, 2020 [14 favorites]


There are some scrubs companies out there (jaanuu, figs) with some pretty cool designs in upgraded fabric. There are designs for men and women in a variety of sizes and offer all kinds of tops, bottoms, and jackets. If my employer was on boardI would convert over to something like this in a heartbeat.
posted by jraz at 11:08 AM on June 9, 2020 [1 favorite]


Could you do long-sleeve, crewneck t-shirts? or is that too informal?
posted by wenestvedt at 1:49 PM on June 9, 2020


Not stylish unfortunately, but I love my Hanes Sport Cool Dri performance shirts. I own six of the women's v-necks and polos, and always reach for them first when working in the field or hiking. They're silky soft, breathable, and look professional.
posted by scrubjay at 6:22 PM on June 9, 2020


Hi, another woman checking in to say that if you tried to insist I wear a polo, I would quit. I am so tired of jobs making women wear men’s clothing as a default.
posted by MexicanYenta at 6:38 PM on June 9, 2020 [1 favorite]


One great thing about doing something like Lands End Business is that once you pay to have the logo in their system, it can be applied to lots of different things. Would it be possible to give people a certain budget to decide how to spend themselves? Lands End has cardigans and vests and polos and button downs and blouses, too.
posted by itsamermaid at 7:11 PM on June 9, 2020 [1 favorite]


Oh also great about something like Lands End - you order what you want when you want it, so if you have someone start a year after you order shirts, they don’t get stuck with a weird size because that’s all that is left.

And you can let people order extra things if they really want something but have already spent their budget for the year
posted by itsamermaid at 7:13 PM on June 9, 2020


Count me as another vote on the "ask women" suggestion. I can't tell you how many times I was handed a polo shirt that was "small" but it was the men's "athletic" cut-- which is even bigger than a regular men's cut. I could have worn them as mini-dresses if I belted them. Women's polos were also crazy and varied widely by manufacturer. Some were very boxy and short while others were so slim-cut that they only worked if you had a very small chest and super-flat abs, even if you sized up.

I worked at a company where you could get the logo embroidered on anything out of a specific catalog, or you could bring in your own item and they would send it in to be embroidered. This worked really well for us because everyone had something that worked for them. I found a brand of polo shirt that worked for me and had a few done, along with a cardigan because the building got cold. When I was pregnant, I picked up some maternity t-shirts at Target and had those embroidered.

The only time we were required to wear company logo shirts was if we were wearing jeans on a Friday. New employees received two shirts they selected out of the catalog at the company's cost. Purchases and embroidering after that were on the employee. (There might have been an additional "pick from the catalog" each year, but I was pregnant at my one-year and there were no maternity items, so they covered the embroidery cost for the shirts I bought. I didn't get to my two-year anniversary because the company lost the contract.)
posted by scarnato at 6:16 AM on June 10, 2020 [1 favorite]


I have a corporate logo'ed fleece vest that I like. I'm female and I like LLBean all-cotton polos. Washing cotton knits in hot water/dryer tends to make them skinnier, so I use lukewarm water and line-dry.

I have seen embroidered logos on the sleeve if you want something a bit different. Really, if ask your employees.
posted by theora55 at 6:26 AM on June 10, 2020


They're a little expensive, but for polo shirts, the Nike Dri-Fit golf shirts are amazing. Before I changed positions, my daily work uniform was a polo and khakis, and there is a night and day difference between the generic cotton/poly polos most logo shops offer, and the Nike Dri-Fit. The Nike is super comfortable, breathable, and moves with you very well. They're $60 or so a pop, but they are well-made and I got a couple years of wear out of then.
posted by xedrik at 8:16 PM on June 10, 2020


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