One of the greatest challenges buyers face when placing an order of custom branded clothing is estimating how many garments will be needed in each size. It’s not always possible to establish every individual’s measurements beforehand, and this is especially true of online stores as well as larger groups, teams, or events.

So what do you do when you just can’t predict the exact distribution of sizing ahead of time?

Well, it may be a little easier to plan for than you think.

With over 23 years’ experience creating personalised clothing and uniforms, we at Clothes2order have plenty of our very own data to pull from and help inform your decisions.

Clothes2order staff
Some of the Clothes2order team in their own diverse uniforms.

So, in an effort to make your ordering process with us even easier, we’ve delved deep into the archives.

First, we compiled all our past orders. Then, we created a few simple breakdowns of the frequency with which each size is purchased.

They go as follows.

T-Shirts

First, we should examine our breakdown of the t-shirt numbers. In addition to being our most commonly ordered garments, unisex printed t-shirts are also indicative of the appropriate sizing for all upper-body garments (such as hoodies and jackets). They therefore represent the expected size distribution for most orders.

The below table illustrates the average percentage of an order that is made up by each t-shirt size. In other words: how much of each size our customers usually purchase in a given order.

Size Average Percentage of Total Order
S10%
M28%
L32%
XL19%
XXL8%
3XL2%
4XL1%
Table A: Percentage of Each Size of T-Shirt Per Order

According to our order history, the most popular adult t-shirt size is Large (making up, on average, 32% of a given order). This is followed closely by Medium (28%) and then Extra Large (19%). Small is usually 10% of the order. XXL, 3XL, and 4XL come in at 8%, 2%, and 1% respectively.

All Products

For more of a general sense of size, we can also look at the numbers across all our products (including items that go down to a size XS).

Size Average Percentage of Total Order
2XS0%
XS1%
S12%
M29%
L32%
XL20%
XXL5%
3XL2%
Table B: Percentage of Each Size of All Garments Per Order
(Excluding Trousers and Junior Items)

In this case, Large, Medium, and Extra Large still take the top three spots (L with 32%, M with 29%, and XL with 20%). Likewise, S comes in fourth at 12% and is followed by XXL (5%) and 3XL (2%).

XS is a mere 1%. But it is worth noting that this size does not exist on every item and is therefore likely a little underrepresented. 4XL and XXS, meanwhile, have negligible data.

Full Breakdown

By combining the two data sets, we can see a clear trend in terms of size prevalence regardless of specific garment type.

The full ranked list is as follows:

SizeAverage Percentage of Total Order (All Types)
Large32%
Medium28.5%
Extra Large19.5%
Small11%
XX Large6.5%
3X Large1.5%
Extra Small~1%
4X Large~1%
2X Small<1%
Table C: Percentage of Each Size of Garment Per Order

So How Much Should You Order of Each Size?

You can, of course, follow the above percentages explicitly as a guide. Our data strongly suggests that orders should comprise certain amounts of each size. The simplest takeaway, however, is that Large, Medium, and Extra Large are the most commonly needed sizes (in that exact order). These sizes should therefore be your main priority, with Small and XX Large close behind.

In descending order, 3XX Large, Extra Small, 4X Large, and 2X Small are the least common sizes. Despite being less popular, they are nevertheless worth accounting for in a truly diverse and representative group.

If, however, you are able to get the measurements of some of your team members or the t-shirts they already own, you can simply match the numbers to those on our size guides.

Now, we know every shop has its own way of measuring. So we made this video to show you exactly how we do it:

But, you clicked on this article for a reason. So, in the likelier event that you can’t take any measurements, you now know what else to do.

Placing Your Order

Whether or not you are able to gauge each individual’s exact measurements, taking the above distribution of size regularity into account will undoubtedly assist you in the decision process. You can split your order into the exact percentages described, or just use the overall ranking to steer you in the right direction. Either way, the trends are clear.

Although you should definitely use these numbers as a guide, don’t be afraid to trust your own judgement, as well.

When it comes down to it, you know your needs better than anyone else. We may be the experts when it comes to custom clothing, but only you can fully understand who your audience, team, or clients really are.

We’ve given you the tools with which to make an informed decision. It’s now up to you to find your perfect fit (figuratively and literally).

And if you’re still searching for a place to buy your personalised tees, look no further than Clothes2order! As the UK’s favourite custom branded clothing company, we have thousands of garments in a range of sizes that you can choose from. We’ve also got trousers, polo shirts, and other accessories to complete your branded look.

We also have a lovely customer service team who would be more than happy to help you with any further queries.

So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with a member of our friendly team!