You guys! I’m so excited that my Hermione tshirt from Out of Print Clothing arrived! I don’t order too many tshirts online because, unless you’re already familiar with the brand, quality and fit can be a big gamble. I took a chance on this one because the quote was irresistible, and I’m thrilled with this shirt! I have a hard time with tshirts as a whole, so finding one where I am happy with the fit is a big deal! Here I’m pairing it with jeans, a cardigan, and a statement necklace to dress it up just a bit. (Did I mention my workplace is pretty casual?) You could certainly dress up further with a blazer, or even pair it with a skirt instead of jeans.
Not every online tshirt shopping experience is so happy. Here are the biggest challenges I have encountered when shopping for tshirts online and some suggestions on how to deal with them:
1. Fit. Online merchants, particularly for something like tshirts, can vary broadly when it comes to sizing. For instance, I wear anywhere from a medium to an XL, depending on where I order from. If they have a measurements chart, definitely check that! (And know what your measurements are!) If they happen to have a style gallery where people can upload photos of themselves, that’s a great place to check to see if you can figure out how a particular size will fit someone with your body shape.
Also, be aware that “women’s sizes” means very different things depending on where you shop. One of my favorite sources for tshirts is a company called Fuzzy Ink and their women’s tshirts are a fairly deep v-neck and a more tailored cut of shirt. I’ve also ordered a “women’s size” tshirt from Woot and really the biggest difference between my shirt and my husband’s (ordered in a men’s size), was that mine was a bit shorter.
2. Quality. This is another thing that can vary a lot. I know all the pictures look like you’re going to get a nice soft tshirt that feels like it’s been worn 100 times. In reality, you may end up with a stiff piece of cotton that you practically have to wash with rocks to soften up.
One thing that helps is getting familiar with the manufacturer brands. This is mostly relevant if you’re designing your own tshirt (somewhere like Cafe Press), a lot of small shops don’t necessarily tell you what base tshirt they are using. You can, however, always message customer service to ask. Another indicator is price. It’s pretty straightforward–the pricier shirts tend to be better quality. It’s not a hard and fast rule, but it’s a pretty good guideline.
3. Return Policy. The best way to make sure you don’t get stuck with a tshirt you’re not happy with? Make sure the place you’re ordering from will allow you to return, and see what the return window is. Many of the more boutique shops will have a shorter return window.
Fuzzy Ink, which I mentioned earlier, has some very cute stuff and I’ve been very happy with the quality. I order in an XL here because that sizes feels like it fits comfortably, but doesn’t cling. I have these two and hope to add more!
What is your favorite source for fun, quirky tshirts (online or in store)?