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What Should You Look For in a Custom Apparel Company?

by Steve Welk
What Should You Look For in a Custom Apparel Company?

If you’re a business, organization, or team looking to order hats, shirts, hoodies, jackets or more selecting the right custom apparel company is crucial as every stitch, every print, and every detail matters in conveying the essence of your brand, project or event. When searching for a custom apparel company it is important to find an apparel partner who not only understands your vision but also shares a passion for excellence.

With the right company, you can expect superior craftsmanship, vibrant and accurate printing, and a wide array of customization options tailored to your specific needs. Whether it's for promotional purposes, team uniforms, or personal use, the right company will help you make a lasting impression and stand out from the crowd with apparel that truly represents your vision and identity. The choice of custom apparel company can make or break your project, so take the time to research and choose a company that aligns with your vision, values, and goals.

Here are some questions you should ask before embarking on your next custom apparel project: 

What is the right type of apparel decoration?

There is no “right type” per se, but choosing the appropriate type of apparel decoration is crucial as it serves as a visual representation of identity, brand, or message. Each method carries its unique aesthetic, durability, and cost implications. The right decoration not only enhances the garment's appeal but also ensures longevity, maintaining its integrity through countless wears and washes. Some options include:

This timeless technique involves stitching designs onto fabric using specialized embroidery machines. Embroidery offers a sophisticated, textured look that adds a touch of elegance to garments. It's ideal for logos, monograms, and intricate designs, particularly on items like polo shirts, hats, and jackets.

Screen Printing:
Widely used in the apparel industry, screen printing involves transferring designs onto fabric through a mesh screen. It's a versatile method suitable for a variety of fabrics and designs, from bold graphics to intricate patterns. Screen printing delivers vibrant colors and sharp details, making it popular for creating custom t-shirts, hoodies, and promotional merchandise.

Heat Transfer:
Heat transfer involves applying pre-cut or printed designs onto fabric using heat and pressure. This method offers flexibility in design and is particularly suited for small-batch production or custom orders. Heat transfer is popular for creating personalized apparel, such as sports jerseys, team uniforms, and event merchandise. While it provides excellent color vibrancy and detail, the durability of heat transfer can vary depending on the quality of the materials used. With heat transfer it is important to work with a trusted provider as they will help you understand what materials this process will work on.

Dye Sublimation:
Dye sublimation involves transferring designs onto fabric using heat and special dyes that bond with the fibers of polyester materials. This method produces vibrant, permanent colors that are embedded into the fabric, resulting in a soft, breathable finish. Dye sublimation is commonly used for activewear, performance apparel like jerseys, and promotional items like drinkware, bags, lanyards and banners. While it offers excellent color reproduction and durability, it's limited to polyester fabrics and light-colored garments.

What about Design? Can the company help with making your products look better?

Most promotional product companies ask you to send them a logo and they’ll slap it on whatever product you choose. But there are endless options beyond basic logo placement when you work with a company that offers in-house design or art services. In-house graphic designers are essential for a promotional company to have as it adds significant value to the client experience and ensures the effectiveness of promotional products. A professional design team can translate a client's vision into compelling visuals that effectively communicate their brand message, resulting in impactful promotional items or apparel. By providing design expertise, promotional companies can guide clients through the creative process, offering insights and recommendations to enhance the overall appeal and effectiveness of their project.

What does the entire process look like from start to finish?

Many promotional companies will typically ask you what your budget is and send over several products that will align with what you are looking to spend. And then things are sent off to print.

On the other end of the spectrum, some promotional companies may kick things off with a creative consultation to discuss the client's goals, budget, and target audience. From there, the company's team of experts collaborates with the client to brainstorm ideas and develop a customized strategy that aligns with their objectives. Once the concept is finalized, the design phase begins, where the company's creative team crafts compelling visuals and artwork tailored to the client's brand and message.

At Styled Aesthetic, we have a signature three-step process that we go through with every client. The process includes:

We will take time to understand your current challenges and how we can best help your situation.

We take what we learned in the discovery call and align on your goals to create a custom plan that will work for your business.

We present a custom offer based on your challenges and goals, plus show you the steps for how we add value to your business.

Throughout the production process, the client is kept informed of progress milestones, and any necessary revisions are made to ensure satisfaction. Finally, the promotional items are manufactured using high-quality materials and state-of-the-art techniques, with careful attention to detail to ensure the final products meet the client's specifications.

Pop-Up Shops - How are orders placed and is there a minimum quantity to buy?

When ordering from a promotional apparel company, the minimum quantity you can order typically depends on the company's policies and the specific item you're interested in. Often, these companies have set minimums to ensure cost-effectiveness in production and printing processes. These minimums can vary widely, ranging from as low as 10 or 25 items for some basic products to 100 or more for specialized or custom-made items. In some cases you will be asked to estimate sizes and quantities ahead of the order.

At Styled Aesthetic, we offer an alternative option. Our online pop-up shops provide the perfect vehicle to make sure all your people are able to get outfitted with the least amount of hassle. You also won’t have to guess quantities or sizes or have to buy upfront for inventory and then try to collect money from everyone. Styled Aesthetic pop-up shops are short-run, online stores that allow your selected audiences to place orders. The best part about it is our pop-up shops have $0.00 initial out-of-pocket costs to you. All the setup costs can be covered through your online sales.

What is the turnaround time for my project?

Turnaround times can vary depending on several factors such as the complexity of the project, the quantity of items ordered, and the availability of materials. Once the design is finalized, production commences, involving printing, embroidery, or other decoration methods. While some companies, especially for larger quantities or custom designs may require extended lead times, others are able to turn around the project more quickly. At Styled Aesthetic, we’re born in the racing industry. We have experience turning around orders for clients who need projects fast. Connect with us today to see if we can meet you delivery goals.

How much will my project cost?

Pricing considerations typically depend on various factors such as the type of garment selected, the decoration method used, the quantity ordered, and any additional customization or special requests. Generally, promotional apparel companies offer pricing tiers based on volume, with lower unit costs for larger orders. Additionally, the complexity of the design and the number of colors used may impact pricing, as certain decoration methods require more labor or materials.

Clients should also consider factors such as garment quality, brand reputation, and turnaround time when evaluating pricing options. While cost-effectiveness is important, it's essential to prioritize quality and reliability to ensure that promotional apparel effectively represents the brand and meets the desired standards. 


In conclusion, the choice of custom apparel company can make or break your project. From quality and customization to reliability and customer experience, every aspect plays a crucial role in the success of your endeavor. So, before beginning your next custom apparel project, take the time to ask the right questions before making any decisions.

At Styled Aesthetic, we can begin providing you with specific answers to all of the questions above with a free 30-minute assessment call. We know you are probably on a tight deadline, which is why we typically have appointments available as soon as the next day. You can schedule a call here and we can begin getting a better understand your business and what you are looking for.
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