Saturday, May 17, 2008

Getting custom-printed shirts on Etsy

I have always coveted so many of the cool screen-printed T-shirts I see on Etsy, but I was always sad and frustrated that most of them were not available in my size. I'm not even that unusual of a size, I wear an XL in most bricks&mortar stores. But the blank shirts used by most Etsy screen-printers are either American Apparel, or Alternative Apparel, and unfortunately both of these companies have strange sizing and their largest sizes (in women's shirts) are still too small. American Apparel, for example, goes up to XXL but it's equivalent to a L in normal sizes. I could always buy the men's shirts, but they aren't really a flattering cut on me. So I have gazed longingly at the cute T-shirts, like a little hungry orphan with her nosed pressed against the candy store window. (only, not that little. hence my problem!)

So recently I decided to contact some Etsy sellers and ask if they would print their awesomely cool designs on blank shirts I supplied. It's not difficult to find shirts that fit me in stores like Target or Old Navy. I know these are probably sweatshop made, but what can you do when all the "socially conscious" brands don't even acknowledge that women exist over a size 12?
Anyway, the sellers all said yes! And I had lots of blank shirts already in my wardrobe, so then I had to decide which designs to get printed on which color of shirt. I was now like the little kid inside the candy store, overwhelmed with all the appealing choices. In the end I ordered eight shirts from four different sellers. They all came out fabulous and it makes me wish I'd done this a year ago!

Behold my new summer wardrobe of cool shirts!:
These two are from SalmonStreetStudio

These three are from Ahpeele. Several of them have a design that wraps around to the back, which is very cool.

These two are from CircularAccessories

I also got this design on a black V-neck, from Satisfactory. This photo isn't my shirt, I just didn't get around to photographing that one.

So I am super happy with all the shirts and I can't recommend these shops highly enough. They were all very friendly to work with. If you also wear a larger size and feel frustrated or left out because you can't buy the cute shirts on Etsy, just try asking them about this option to supply your own shirt. It does take a bit more effort and you have to think about colors and style, so it's not as spontaneous as just buying "off the virtual rack". But it's totally worth it when you see the results.