From the category archives:


Hey, Check out the Purple Turtle clothing brand! Coming soon! Unique tee’s to express your individualism! Support and spread the world to build a fan base! Thanks!

Andy: In this day and age ‘coming soon’ means nothing unless you’re an established brand trying to hype a new item. People are going to look at this post and then forget about the brand, there are thousands of choices out there and people are rarely willing to wait for a t-shirt when they have other options that they can buy right now. Similarly, if you’re trying to gain exposure for your release it would be a good idea to have some way of collecting e-mail addresses so that you can let people know when you’re open rather than just hoping they’d come back at an unknown point in the future. Also, the logo looked really compressed which doesn’t give a good impression of the brand which is a bad point to start from, little mistakes like that can be the difference between a sale and nothing.


SHEMM Apparel [Submitted]

by Andy on April 17, 2013


My name is Chris Grosso and I’m the founder of an up and coming clothing company called SHEMM Apparel. I’m 20 years old from Toronto, Canada and I’ve been working on my company for just about a year. We have been featured at several events and we have also sponsored a club event for one of our sponsored music producer’s.
SHEMM APPAREL is targeted towards two different scenes, the artistic scene for those who express their creativity through art and the extreme sports scene for those adrenaline junkies who love putting out risks to gain satisfactory rewards. So far we’ve sponsored Electronic Musicians as well as dancers and are looking to sponsor some athletes soon.
Our style would have to be best described as hipster meets extreme sports, where the hipster arts collaborates with the boldness of an extreme sport athlete. The design of our recent 2013 spring/summer line was inspired by what we believe to be a perfect summer which consists of chilling out on the beach, wakeboarding at the cottage, and going to music festivals.
My goal with this company is to create a family like mentality through the brand and give undiscovered talent a brand that will actually take the time to view their material with hopes of gaining a sponsor. We want to help those with real raw talent get the recognition they deserve. In addition, we want our group of sponsored individuals to feel comfortable to come together, collaborate, feed off of each others positive vibes and ultimately help each other reach their dreams and goals!

I hope you take the time to check out my brand.

Thank You!

Social Media:

Andy: I read through the blurb here and thought it all sounded pretty positive, and then I looked at the photos. I just didn’t feel a connection between what I was being told and what I saw, which is disappointing, because it sounded like it could be quite exciting. It would also be good if there was simply more available to buy, a brand needs to have more than one t-shirt, two vests, a crew neck and a hat on sale, I have more than that in the HYA store, and HYA isn’t even a brand or something that I take that seriously in terms of a shop. Also, the website is sorely lacking in an ‘about us’ page, the information that is in this post should be available in one form or another on the website, otherwise casual visitors just aren’t going to have any idea why what they are buying represents what is claimed. There is promise in this brand, but I think it’s hidden away behind getting caught up in sponsoring people an events and the glamourous side of owning a brand rather than pushing the hard parts and focusing on what actually matters to the end customer.


Hardy har har…


Via: Pleated Jeans

Read more of Travis’ writing at BuzzFeed and It Goes To 11.


Original tee designs in larger sizes

by Ash Jones on March 15, 2013

I decided to write this post following a question on my twitter (@ashjadejones) asking if I knew of any decent tees in sizes 3XL and larger.   Almost straight away some one replied saying they had the same problem with finding decent tees in bigger sizes, so I thought it might be worth looking into and sharing on Hide Your Arms.

There are a lot of sites selling the standard offensive/comedy slogan printed tees in larger sizes, but as I find them boring and uninspiring I have tried to find a selection of some of the best (in my opinion) that are available in sizes XXXL and larger.

Johnny Cupcakes

I really like the designs on Johnny cupcakes, the shipping Is quite a lot if you’re outside of the US ($15 to UK) – but they do have a UK store in London if you are able to visit in person.  They go up to sizes 3XL. This tee is priced at $40.



Truffle Shuffle

Truffle shuffle have some pretty good designs, with tees going up to 5XL, one of my favourites is ‘Chewbacca drumming’ which is £24.99



La Fraise

La Fraise have been featured on HYA before, and have loads of designs in 3XL sizes and shipping is very reasonable too (€3).



Team Hell

Team hell have a few tattoo themed tees that come in sizes up to 3XL. (£15)



Got Ink apparel

I must admit I was reluctant about including ‘Got Ink’ as I don’t like recommending a company if I have personally had a negative experience, (sent them a few emails a while back and never got a response, which makes me question their customer service.)

However, they have got some pretty awesome t-shirts!  They go up to sizes 3XL and are reasonably priced, this ‘Octo-sailor’ tee is priced at £22.99.



Ash runs Rudi Clothing selling clothing from top indie brands, check out the store now

Twitter : @ashjadejones   @Rudiclothing 


United Pixel Workers have been making waves over the last week with their guide to how they went from shipping 0 shirts a month to more than a thousand. It’s an interesting guide because it covers a lot of things that you don’t usually see being discussed like how to deal with customer service, payment processing and shipping once you start to break out and make a full-time job of selling tees. If you’re just starting out or you’re already well established I very much recommend checking out their comprehensive and fascinating post.


Post image for Excellent advice on how to get your t-shirt line funded on Kickstarter

There’s a really interesting post over at IATT about how to approach trying to raise funds for your t-shirt brand using crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter and indiegogo. If you’ve been considering that as an avenue for your potential brand then give it a look, it’s not too long but certainly gets you thinking.


Post image for Odd Clothing: Harry Styles is a fan, are you?

Jacob from Odd Clothing got in touch with HYA recently to let us know about his t-shirt startup, and casually mentioned that he’d got off to a good start the help from an old friend of his. Harry Styles. Yes, Harry Styles from the biggest boyband on the planet. I can’t help but feel that Jacob is taking a step down in terms of the exposure stakes by going from him to HYA, but he seems like a nice guy so I’ll throw in my two pence.

As I’ve said before, it’s quite unfair to judge a clothing company when they only have two released items, but since that’s what they have it’s all I can go on. There’s nothing wrong with the designs, but I’m not yet entirely sure what the brand is about, and as someone on the outside there’s not yet enough there to interest me when compared to other new brands doing similar things. On the positive side it is a wearable design (uncontroversial and the style will suit anyone), and the pricing is great at £12.95, there’s no profiteering from those ravenous One Direction fans!

The website feels a bit messy, again there’s nothing really wrong there, but it just doesn’t feel quite right. There’s a link to ‘more in the shop’ on the front page of the website (not in the nav bar, further down, it makes sense to have a shop link in the nav bar), but since you can see every item they sell on the front page anyway it’s a bit of a waste of time. That itself isn’t a large issue, but from a consumer point of view it just adds a little bit of confusion that makes me buying a shirt a little bit less likely. Building a website often isn’t about the big things, the big things are quite easy to get right, but a lot of people ignore the marginal gains in getting small things right and removing those things that put a seed of doubt into the mind of a potential customer.

Oh, and you can’t go wrong with a model that looks like she’s wearing a tee and nothing else, that moves product!


how to get your kickstarter project funded

You all know that I have a love/hate relationship with t-shirt brands on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, it can be a great tool for businesses but in many cases it has also shown itself to be a way for people with awful business ideas and designs to waste their own time and money trying to create a brand out of a poor concept.

That said, I think that it’s a good idea to give your project the best chance of success, and if you’re dedicated enough to follow this exhaustive guide about Kickstarter funding then I’d like to think that you’d have put as much effort into your design process to actually have a solid campaign.


Post image for A warning to t-shirt brands, if people ask you for free stuff, don’t give them it.

The following is a real conversation that happened between a t-shirt brand who have been written about on HYA and someone that contacted them:

Mr X: Hi, i’m Mr X and i have a massive following on such and such site/network. Would you be willing for us to represent your brand by sending us an x amount of tees, sweatshirts and hoodies and in return we’ll wear your merch everywhere and your sales will increase ten fold…
Brand Y: Hi, thanks for contacting us. Unfortunately we won’t be sponsoring anyone at the moment, but we’ll keep yo
ur information on file and when we are ready to start a sponsorship, we’ll be in contact with you, regarding the particulars of sponsorship.
Mr X: Thanks for the reply, can’t you just send some merch anyways? and i’ll wear it everywhere…
Brand Y: Hi, no sorry we can’t just give out our merchandise, unless we’re sponsoring you and like we said in the previous email, we’ll contact you nearer the time.
Mr X: Thanks for nothing, your brand is total shit and i hope you go bankrupt.
Brand Y: Hi, thanks for the kind words, have a great day.

Chances are, if you own a t-shirt brand someone will have asked you for free stuff, and you’ll probably have considered it as part of your marketing strategy. I am of the belief that in the vast majority of cases ‘sponsoring’ people and bands will not give you a good return on your investment, especially if those people are coming to you asking to be sponsored or simply to get free stuff and then promote your brand by wearing it.

I can’t give numbers to back this up since I’ve never sponsored anyone (though a misguided actress who was starring a British film once asked for free stuff believing I sold everything I blogged about), and the only person getting a HYA freebie is my girlfriend (and even she insisted on paying for a hoodie in the HYA store), but I’ve never heard any brand talk about how beneficial it was for them in terms of sales to sponsor a local band. Sure, if Jay-Z wears your t-shirt you’re probably going to get some attention and sales, but Jay-Z isn’t e-mailing people asking for a free t-shirt. I think that’s where the crux of the matter lies, people that are popular enough to have a good effect upon your brand merely by them wearing your stuff are too busy and too popular to be sending e-mails to relatively unknown t-shirt brands.

It’s important to remember that people contacting you asking for free stuff most likely aren’t even fans of your brand, you’re just another name on a list being sent a form e-mail (that usually hasn’t even been personalised to your brand). All these people care about is getting stuff from you, they have no interest in promoting your brand. You spent your time and money on a clothing line to be proud of and if you just give stuff away to anyone then you’re wasting your money and devaluing your product in the process. If someone e-mails you asking for free stuff and they actually do have a massive following, ask them for proof, ask how they’ve helped other brands before and get them to name those brands, if they can’t give you decent answers then they aren’t worth your time.

I do believe that there are cases where sponsoring people and bands is a good idea, but you have to go to them, not the other way around. It is fun to see people you like wearing your clothing, getting a celebrity endorsement means something to quite a lot of tee buyers, and even if they aren’t a celebrity or famous band you might just want to give them a tee because you like them. So if you want to sponsor someone then go for it, just have realistic expectations about what you can get out of it.

Of course, there are also some t-shirt blogs that accept t-shirts for review, and I think I’m right in saying that HYA has more hands-on review than any other t-shirt site (possibly even any site, I don’t know how many sites do shirt reviews), so it would be hypocritical for me to not explain why I think it is okay to send shirts to us and not others. I believe that the same rule applies, if a t-shirt blog asks you for a shirt and you haven’t heard of them then it’s probable that sending a shirt will be a waste of time and money. Over the course of almost 7 years running HYA I have asked for a shirt once, and even that one wasn’t for me, and I didn’t feel particularly good about asking (we didn’t get the shirt in the end), but I’ve managed to amass a collection of 300 shirts without asking people for them which is proof that if you don’t beg people will respect you and your opinion and want to give you a shirt for review because they know it will be a real review. All sample offers are now sent to HYA bloggers in the US and UK (to make shipping more reasonable for the brand) and I encourage constructive criticism of the shirt the blogger has received. Each review ranks well in search engines for your brand’s name and is something that a brand can point to as an independent review of their product quality. That is something real and that is something that can be measured and is targeted at people that are visiting this site with the intention of buying t-shirts, and yet I still don’t ask people for a sample. Of course, t-shirt blogs don’t have a massive influence, there’s no TechCrunch of the t-shirt world, getting written about on HYA won’t sell out your line in a matter of hours, but you’re not just throwing your money into a black hole and helping give some kid that managed to inflate their Twitter followers a free shirt.

Bottom line, if you want to give away your products as part of your marketing then do your research and see if you will get good value out of your investment, even if it is just to say that your favourite band likes your designs.


Post image for 5 Things to Avoid When Starting an Indie Clothing Line according to

I spotted this post over and just had to share it since I think it is a pretty good (and short) primer for pointing out pitfalls that seem to catch out a few t-shirt brands before they even get going.

5 Things to Avoid When Starting an Indie Clothing Line «


andy flying a kite, isn't he handsome? [That’s me flying a kite at the weekend, because what picture would have really made sense for this post?]

You may have noticed that over the past few weeks I’ve been a lot more ‘honest’ on the site.

Some people might think of it as me bashing brands that don’t know any better or being purposely controversial because that will somehow make Hide Your Arms more famous or popular. That would be incorrect, I (and the other writers) don’t write on HYA to cause offense to aspiring entrepreneurs or make enemies, I’m just tired of letting poor business be submitted to this site without comment when I have spent more than six years looking at clothing companies and whilst I’m not an expert, I do know a thing or two and want to help people.

Criticism is important. Constructive criticism is very important, and even insults can be useful. Getting a pat on the back is great, you feel good and it reassures you that you’re doing the right thing with your business, but what about when people keep telling you things are great when your t-shirts aren’t selling? Exactly, it gets you nowhere and you need some help from someone outside the bubble of your friends and family that can give you honest advice.

This idea that I should be trying to help people with more than just a link and a bit of exposure for their brand comes from personal experience. You are probably aware of my camera accessories website Rigu, it’s doing pretty well now but back in February I was frustrated that I wasn’t where I wanted to be with my little business, I knew it had potential, but I just wasn’t getting the sales I expected and it was demoralising. I know the site isn’t perfect, but I didn’t think it was back, nice and clean, good selection of products and colours, but something wasn’t right so I thought I’d head to a place for advice where people don’t pull any punches, Reddit, and r/entrepreneur in particular. I gave some background to the site and what I was doing and then asked what people think I was doing wrong and how I could improve the site.

It was brutal. When complete strangers who you will never meet are given the opportunity to tell you what you suck at, they tell you and they don’t feel the need to sugar-coat it. My first reaction was denial, they didn’t ‘get’ what I was going for with the site, these people must be boring and not interested in colourful camera straps, what do they know?

As the comments started to flow it dawned on me that if they didn’t ‘get it’ then that was my problem, I wasn’t getting the message across and that was putting a wall between visitors and making a purchase. After that I started seeing my site with fresh eyes, taking a step back and looking at it as if I were a visitor rather than the person I was, someone who had spent many, many hours poring over the code of the website, sourcing camera straps, investing my hard-earned cash, and taking all the product photos. At first I was pretty down, as anyone would be, but it made me realise that if I was going to make a success of Rigu that I didn’t do it by moping, I had to get on and work, work harder and smarter. So I did.

I’m not going to explain what it was that I had to do to get Rigu on it’s current (and far more successful path), that might be a post for another day, but I wanted to explain why it is that I am now “telling it like it is” and telling people how I think they can improve their site; because I don’t want other people wasting their time and money when there are obvious problems that can be fixed quickly and simply. It might hurt at first, but in the long run I’d like to think that people would thank me.


the ultimate guide to t-shirts

You Design it have taken it upon themselves to create an attractive and authoritative guide to t-shirts, covering their history, styles, weights, and printing techniques. I’m sure some of it will be old hat to some of you, but it’s still very nicely put together and well worth taking a look.


Post image for How To Professionally Prep Your Files for Screen Printing

Matt from Seventh.Ink has written a great guest post over for the Real Thread Printing Co. explaining how people can best prep their artwork before sending it off to the printers, making the whole process easier for everyone involved.

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how to get a band sponsor

If you’re in a band and you’re playing to crowds, then your chest can be seen as an advertising space, especially with the way teenagers view people in bands as borderline-deities that they want to emulate. Thus, bands want to get sponsored, they want to wear free t-shirts, and they want to give brands ‘exposure’. I received this e-mail recently (names and places altered to save them embarrassment):

My name is Cornelius, I’m the frontman for the band The Arm Hiders based out of Unknownville. We are in search of a company to work with to sponsor us on our upcoming tour this Summer. We came across your company on line and have check out your site and feel like we would love to rep your company on tour this summer. If you all endorse bands, we would love to help you all out and get your name out there on the road. Feel free to email us back if you would like to work out something with us. Thanks for your time, and we look forward to hearing back from you. Cheers.

That was it, that was the whole thing. Let’s leave aside for a second the fact that I don’t even really have a line (the HYA store doesn’t really count, does it?), because I wanted to look at what was wrong with that e-mail and how it would be a poor way to approach a clothing brand (or any other company) if you were looking to get yourself, your brand, or possibly your sports team sponsored.

1. The sender doesn’t say hello, or address me by name, a clear sign that it’s a copy pasted e-mail and that they are contacting several people with the same message. Take a second to find out someone’s name and you’ll be a lot more likely to receive a response.

2. There’s no link to the band’s website or music. I’ve never heard of The Arms Hiders (what a silly name!), but maybe if I heard their music I’d really like it and think it was worth sending them some t-shirts. The lack of a website also suggests that this band may be quite small and not yet have any web presence. Bands need to make it as easy as possible for a t-shirt company to hear the music, if that takes more than one click then it’s going to really reduce the response rate.

3. Your band is going on a tour this Summer, so what? Tell me when and where you will be (maybe I can meet you at one of your shows), how big the venues will be, if you are the headline act, what merchandise you sell, if you will be performing at any festivals, how Twitter followers and Facebook likes you have, if your tour will be advertised and if so, do the sponsors get exposure from that. Clearly, the e-mail sender recognises that there is value in terms of exposure for the t-shirt brand, but there’s not enough info to back that up. What the sender needs to do is give a t-shirt brand reason to stop and think if there is enough value for their brand to give the band free t-shirts to wear on the tour.

4. “If you all endorse bands” ignoring the strange wording, this is again another sign that the sender has sent a copy/paste e-mail, and also proves that they haven’t taken the time to look at your site properly. T-shirt brands that do sponsor bands will often like to showcase the bands in some way on their website. Sponsoring a band can be a mark of pride for a t-shirt company, it’s a good way for them to associate themselves with a style of music and also a lifestyle, which quickly gives potential customers and fans something to identify with. So bands should take a good look at each brand and make sure your music fits with their style, and if they do sponsor bands then you already know that it’s something they might be interested in with your band.

5. Copy/paste e-mails are the devil. It is easier to send a copy/paste e-mail, but it’s also easier for someone to delete one, they’re impersonal and almost always sound like adverts. If you want to get a reply from someone you talk to them like a person, create a connection and give them some respect, especially if you’re hoping for them to give you hundreds of dollars of clothing in return. It’s okay to have a general template of an e-mail, some bits of blurb will always be the same, but edit and personalise each e-mail to maximise the chance of getting a response from each brand. Oh, and t-shirt brands talk, so if you e-mail lots of similar brands, they’ll probably know about it.

6. Make sure your spelling and grammar are perfect, or at least the best you can do. There are a few errors in the e-mail I have shown above, and there are parts which aren’t just typos too, which suggests that it was rushed and not re-read to check for errors. If this e-mail is a bands first point of contact with a t-shirt company, what kind of impression does that give? Not a good one in my opinion. If English isn’t your strong point then get someone to write your general template for you and then you can add in the personal stuff that you’re comfortable with on a case-by-case basis, no one is expecting you to be Shakespeare, but brands want to know they’re dealing with professionals. If you are trying to contact someone in a non-native language, make that clear too.

7. If the t-shirt company responds, so do you, quick. Replying to e-mails quickly shows that a band is serious about the sponsorship opportunity, this isn’t a flirty text message with that girl from last night, you don’t need to wait 3 hours to respond. Think about what the t-shirt company wants, a band that will wear you stuff on stage when photos are being taken and tell people about the t-shirt brand, replying quickly to a response is the first step in proving that you’re conscientious and trustworthy. I sent a response to the person that sent me the e-mail above, two days later I haven’t heard from them and I doubt I ever will, potentially I could have been a fan of their brand and suggested them to t-shirt brands for sponsorship, as it stand they’ve lost both those opportunities by not replying to an e-mail.

If you have any suggestions or feedback please leave me a message in the comments, or on Twitter @hideyourarms. In a few weeks I will take a look at whether there really is value for brands sponsoring bands and if the exposure bands provide can help with getting a t-shirt company more fans and customers.


An inspiring night requires an inspiring shirt design… The theme of this year’s Vinyl Thoughts event was Next Level. A retro video game tribute, so I had to create a shirt using one of my favorite games growing up, the classic Donkey Kong! With the help of Alexa Machine this shirt printing went perfect.

To line up a four color print on the press, you gotta tape one of the films to the pallet in the same spot you want all the prints. So you can line up all the screens in the press to that film, this is the basic registration of the print.

You will be able to see the film thru the negative space of the emulsified screen, and just gotta line them up perfectly and tighten the screws on the press…

Once all four screens are taped off on the back and loaded with the correct ink color, the printing begins!

This four station, six color manual press is perfect for two people to print at once. Just gotta print the colors in the correct order and communicate so no mistakes are made. Check out the final color printing

Then you get perfect prints like this! I wanted to design something with huge letters, so the levels of the Donkey Kong board were a perfect large surface area.

Hot off the press, I picked up the shirts and rushed over to the event where all the shirts sold out that night! I am reprinting some more shirts now, so they will be available on my Sleepy Dan web shop this week.

The two color back design showed off all the sponsors for this year’s event. The show was packed all night and has become such a hit for the up and coming Dallas vinyl arts culture.

I’m so proud to be part of this event and becoming a contributing vinyl designer. If you check out pics of the event and custom vinyls, I created a tribute to Mike Tyson’s Punch Out by creating two vinyl characters Bald Bull and King Hippo!


Sleepy Dan : Customized Hood Sweatie

by Sleepy Dan on January 29, 2012

Sleepy Dan hood sweaties released in December, I had to release one cut n sew project for the first year so you can be sure there will be some more customized designs for the upcoming years! I can not emphasize enough, process is the most important part of any project. The rugby style hoodie is a design just recently hitting trend so I had to make some comfortable enough to bear the Sleepy Dan brand! In my day job as an apparel designer, I have learned how to work with embroidery shops to create apparel patterns, but sometimes several of the finishing steps have to be done on your own to save on cost. That’s how I was able to make these hoodies so affordable.

Coming from the manufacturer, I had to make some custom modifications past adding the logo embroidery appliques and the new custom neck labels for outerwear… This hoodie has several exposed cover stitch seams, so you can easily see it’s custom made, but the excess seam fabric had to be trimmed up a little more to be finished.

After finishing, the logo embroidery appliques are hand stitched to the garment, then the size labels are machine stitched into the neck seam. What makes this hoodie so special is the herringbone cotton twill neck seam, rugby placket, and hood seam edge. The time invested to this project is longer than a t-shirt design, but the fan and blogger reviews of the hood sweatie are amazing for the first cut n sew design. Research and development are a key role in the process of a successful project, so don’t overlook your process at any stage! Hope you got one before they sold out…


T-shirt News for January 19th

by Andy on January 19, 2012

breaking bad t-shirt

I realised that this TeeFury shirt was about Breaking Bad, but having only seen a couple of episodes the Los Pollos Hermanos aspect of this shirt is lost on me.

I think that this might be my favourite design that Shirt.Woot have released.

Goonies-inspired t-shirt from RIPT today.

“The Marvelous commute to Wonderland” is up at Qwertee.

It’s Back To The Future vs Bill and Ted at Shirt Punch today.

Here’s another 24tee shirt that goes over my head.

I know that Community isn’t for everyone, but the paintball episode was truly fantastic, so I’m glad to get the reminder from TeeRadiers.

Two new shirts from DBH today (including one that is fighting SOPA that will only be available for a couple more days).

BustedTees have some wrestling pandas for $13.99 instead of $20 this week.

Hey look, Tilteed are selling ‘The Eternal Struggle’ again.

This error greeted me when I visited TeeBlitz this morning.

Adam has some advice over at TeeJunction on creating a t-shirt brand.

Save up to 20% on your order at Wrongwroks, providing you spend quite a lot.

Raygun Robyn is aiming for global domination, and to do that she’s going to offer free shipping to the first person from countries that haven’t yet made an order in her store.

Johnny Cupcakes shares a little story of how he put a plastic skull into a random customer’s order for a hat to try and add some mystery and magic to the online shopping process. It might give other store owners ideas about how they can make their shopping experience more interesting.

Obscure Printing are going to start offering a complete fulfillment service for brands (printing, packing, shipping, and stock holding). They’re also collaborating with a company called Judda distribution which will make brands available to 3000+ stores across Europe, which could be a great opportunity for a lot of brands. It’ll be interesting to see where this goes.

Mila Kunis wore a vintage-styled Pepsi t-shirt, super-duper!

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