2009 March 31

The new England kit
Alan Green of 5Live called it ‘grotesque’.  Umbro, who produced it, call it a ‘technically specific capsule wardrobe’ – what would you call it?

The new England strip is deliberately supposed to remind us of the beautiful decade (1964-1974) of the beautiful game (Brian Clough coined the phrase) in England terms, in other words, when we won the World Cup.

So this kit is supposed to look both elegant and intimidating. It’s white, it’s mid-length in the shorts department, which is a bit odd, because by ’74 we were definitely into the era of the short-short, which was a pretty ugly fashion but there you go, designers have a certain amount of blindness to the faults of previous eras, thank God. And that top is definitely a polo shirt, not a round or even a V-neck but a properly collared dazzling white shirt. And as far as the England squad is concerned, it’s tailored. Oh yes, each of the lads was measured and fitted into a bespoke set of kit by a tailor.  The shirt sold to the general public will also be sold in chest sizes, like a formal shirt, not in small, medium and large, which are the normal kit sizes.

If we win through to the final this time, you can safely guess that white polo shirts will be the biggest selling item in casual clothing. So why not get your white polo bargain now? The key details here – if you want to emulate the football version -are to try and get it to look fitted, to ensure that the collar is soft and rolled rather than popped or sharply creased and to avoid front pockets.

2008 December 15

The latest research by Mintel into clothing sizes reveals that sales of plus-sized men’s clothing have increased by 40% over the past five years.  This growth in XL and above sizes is partly due to spiralling levels of obesity: it’s predicted that nearly a third of men will be obese by 2013 and 90% of all UK adults are expected to be overweight or obese by 2050. The market for men’s clothes sized XL or larger is now worth £1.7 billion, up from £1.2 billion in 2003. The other driver for XL clothing sales is the modern desire to wear loose clothing such as T-shirts that are not tucked in and hoodies that have drooped shoulders and can fit at least two tees underneath.

DEFRA also reveals textiles have become the fastest-growing waste product in the UK. Nearly 74% of the two million tonnes of clothes bought in the UK each year end up in landfills. Meanwhile, the poor quality of the cheap fashion that is sold in cut price stores has destroyed the recycled textile industry. Cheap imported fashion, like t-shirts for a pound, has removed any possibility of selling second-hand tees at charity shops.  And very little of the material that can’t be sold, can’t be recycled either less than 4% of the two million tonnes, around 13% is incinerated and the remainder is either sent abroad or buried in British landfill.

To stop this wasteful behaviour, DEFRA wants us to buy less often, buy better quality and take more care of our clothing. Their suggestions for better clothing behaviour will be revealed in February and are likely to include a focus on buying pure cotton t-shirts, rather than cotton/synthetic blends, for everyday wear and keeping mixed fibres for performance clothing like sportswear; investing in clothing that can be layered: T-shirts under hoodies, sweatshirts under jackets, rather than buying individual garments to be worn alone; and not buying complete holiday wardrobes cheaply that will not be worn again when you return.

2007 August 20

As I have previously commented the discrepancies in size labelling on garments often leaves consumers confused and with a t-shirt several sizes too small or large. However now help is apparently at hand for clothing companies to deliver better fitting garments and eradicate the problem.

The Textile/Clothing Technology Corporation, based in North Carolina, is an apparel technology research and education organisation funded by the United States Department of Commerce and by private firms in the soft goods industry. Its mandate is to serve as a research and demonstration centre of emerging technologies and business processes in the apparel industry.


A product of this ongoing operation was an investigation into the feasibility of introducing body scanning technology into the apparel measuring system. They conducted a survey, entitled ‘SizeUSA’, of 10,000 men and women’s body shapes and sizes – an equivalent was conducted in the United Kingdom and is entitled ‘SizeUK’. The results of this survey have been utilised by many companies, including such recognisable brands as Victoria’s Secret and Chico’s. The survey was so successful that Size Thailand and Size Mexico equivalents are already underway, with several more planned in other major market areas. There are also many commercial organizations offering body-scan solutions for apparel companies such as Human Solutions.

With American clothing giants such as JC Penney utilising the findings of the survey for their size labelling it is surely only a matter of time before the system is expanded and adopted throughout the industry. If carried out on a global scale this technology could make clothes shopping over the internet far simpler than going to the shops and trying clothes on to determine a best fit, with a best fit already determined for you.

2007 July 16

Buying children’s clothes on the internet can be problematic. The easiest way for a consumer to buy should be by age range, but unfortunately the difference in size between two 7 years olds can be huge and typically customers can find that they have bought a t-shirt that is too tight.

We here at polo-shirts.co.uk are always looking for ways to improve size information so that customer get products that fit and to that end we publish a size guide for you to better judge the correct size for your child, after all we do understand that children come in all shapes and sizes! We also compare our products size listings against those of two major high street retailers, Next and Marks and Spencer’s – here were the results:

To Fit Chest (Centimetres):


The best course of action we can recommend is to physically measure your child if you are unsure of their specifications and refer to the guide.