An Essential Buyers Guide for Custom Construction Shirts

by Molly Joyce

A quick search for custom construction shirts yields a mixed bag of results, from blank shirts to automated customizing options. There’s hardly any advice on choosing the most suitable shirts for specific workwear needs.

You definitely want to avoid outfitting your crew in a hodgepodge of colored shirts or for the clothing to fall short of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) hazardous workwear regulations.

In this buyer's guide, we will point you towards the right custom construction apparel, keeping in mind that:

  • Safety comes first to ensure workers are out of harm’s way.
  • Comfort is key since wearability contributes to the effectiveness of the safety apparel.
  • Compliance with the OSHA standards will keep your workers safe and will protect you from hefty fines.
  • Proper branding makes workers easily identifiable and puts your brand out there positively. 

Types of Custom Construction Workwear

Construction shirts are easily the most visible pieces of workwear, but they work well when paired with other custom pieces, such as:

1 - Custom Hi-Vis

class 2 safety yellow t-shirt with custom branding

Hi-Vis clothing is a staple of construction workwear. Any construction site with motorized machinery or direct access to traffic requires appropriate high visibility workwear for all workers. 

safety orange vest being custom printed

Don’t limit your crew’s hi-vis to the ubiquitous safety vest. You can include hoodies, jackets, t-shirts, pants, bibs, coveralls, rainwear, and even accessories such as bags.

We can help you place your brand on just about any work item or accessory.

Important Features of Custom Hi-Vis

There a three key features that, in combination, identify hi-vis clothing:

  • Fluorescent safety red, yellow, and orange colors go beyond brightness. They absorb and reflect colored light that intensifies their appearance for better daytime visibility.
  • Retro-reflective strips reflect a cohesive image back to the viewer and enhance the visibility of the wearer at night or in low light. 
  • Compliance testing rounds out the essential features. The ANSI requires testing by accredited laboratories for all compliant hi-vis manufacturers.
  • Custom printed logos don't obscure the retro-reflective strips and are easily legible.

In this table, we compare the different reflective tape requirements dependent on the hazard level.

ANSI Classification Length of Retro-Reflective Tape Placement of Retro-Reflective Tape Areas Applicable
Class 1
  • 2-inch wide tape should be 6.46 feet in length
  • 1 ⅜-inch wide tape should be 9.38 feet in length
  • Around the middle in 360º stripe
  • Above the shoulders
  • Low impact
  • Low traffic
  • Far from traffic
  • Slow traffic below 25 mph
Class 2
  • 2-inch wide tape should be 8.373 feet in length
  • 1 ⅜-inch wide tape should be 12.2 feet in length‌
  • Over the shoulders
  • Two 360º stripes around the middle
  • Near but good distance from traffic
  • Low visibility
  • Traffic faster than 25 mph
Class 3
  • 2-inch wide tape should be 12.92 feet in length
  • Full silhouette outline
  • Over the shoulders
  • Two 360º stripes around the middle
  • Stripes around arms and legs
  • Traffic close to or exceeding 50 mph
  • Close to high traffic or other hazardous areas

If your construction site isn’t in direct traffic, you can be less strict with safety apparel. For instance, enhanced visibility clothing can be any color, including black, with retro-reflective strips to improve visibility.

Enhanced visibility clothing still meets the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) criteria while offering muted color options.

How Hi-Vis Compare with Safety Construction Shirts

Hi-Vis clothing requires accreditation and compliance to ensure that they support health and safety conditions at work.

While comfort and quality are important, the choice of hi-vis focuses more on:

  • Quality of retro-reflective strips
  • Regulatory length of retro-reflective strips 
  • Correct placement of retro-reflective strips and custom printed logo

This is unlike custom construction shirts, which factor in aesthetics to enhance brand visibility and may or may not adhere to hi-vis regulations.

Expert Tip: Not all retro-reflective strips are equal. Make sure the retro-reflective strips on your hi-vis are high quality and comply with the ANSI standards.

2 - Custom Safety Construction Shirts

safety yellow construction shirt with bold custom logo

Custom safety construction shirts are a versatile staple for any construction worker. They fit easily under hi-vis vests in hot weather, yet wearers can still layer them under safety hoodies and jackets in cold weather.

Important Features of Custom Safety Construction Shirts 

Custom safety construction shirts should give the wearer comfort, versatility, and mobility.

The key features to look out for are:

  • A polyester and cotton blend or tri-blend, which provides good insulation, moisture-wicking, and absorption properties. They can also take a beating with regular wear.
  • Safety yellow and safety orange color options for daytime visibility.
  • Bold custom printed or embroidered logo in colors that complement the safety color.
  • Proper fit and sizing.

We use a selection of 5 great t-shirt blanks which give our clients the best combination of fit and quality.

Expert Tip: Women’s t-shirts have a notoriously snug sizing. Order one size up for your female crew members to ensure they get the best comfort and mobility. 

How Custom Safety Construction Shirts Compare with Hi-Vis Clothing

The major difference between custom safety shirts and hi-vis is the retro-reflective strip.

Safety shirts don’t require the retro-reflective strip since they are mainly for daytime visibility and work located away from traffic or motorized machinery.

That said, they pair well with hi-vis vests, jackets, and other enhanced visibility outerwear.

The safety orange and yellow create visibility on site while the custom embroidered or printed logo serves to identify crew members.

3 - Custom Safety Hoodies and Jackets

safety yellow hoodie with retro-reflective strip and construction company logo

Comfort in all types of weather is essential to functional wear. Construction workers work in the elements for 8 hours a day, sometimes more.

In the summer, they may be fine with sun shades and safety vests. Winter, however, demands that whatever warm outerwear they choose is safety compliant and representative of your company.

If protective clothing is uncomfortable or ineffective, workers will find a million reasons not to wear them.

long-sleeved, safety yellow custom screen printed construction shirt

Long-sleeved construction t-shirts can double as both summer and winter wear. In summer, they protect workers from sunburn and exposure during long work hours. Workers can also layer them for warmth in the cold months.

Important Features of Custom Safety Hoodies and Jackets 

Functionality should be the top consideration for safety hoodies and jackets.

Key functional features include:

  • Correctly placed retro-reflective strips
  • Ample space to place your custom printed or embroidered logo
  • Pockets to put essentials
  • Insulation to keep the wearer warm

How Custom Safety Hoodies and Jackets Compare with Hi-Vis

Custom hoodies and jackets are more for warmth than anything else. That’s why workers in low or no traffic sites can make do with enhanced visibility and don’t have to stick to fluorescent colors, unlike hi-vis clothing.

What Are Custom Construction Shirts?

Custom construction shirts are work apparel that meet safety color codes and are custom branded with an embroidered or printed logo to identify workers.

Advantages and Benefits of Custom Construction Shirts

Custom construction shirts offer your construction business certain benefits and advantages over generic workwear.

Advantages of Custom Construction Shirts

By setting up your crew in custom construction shirts, you:

  • Enhance your brand image
  • Promote onsite professionalism
  • Create a sense of belonging and ownership of the project for all staff
  • Improve health and safety at work

Benefits of Custom Construction Shirts

What benefits can your construction business gain from the above advantages?

  • Better sitewide compliance with safety regulations and fewer citations
  • Higher team morale and productivity
  • Brand visibility within the community

brand visibility community

Price Range

The price of custom construction shirts and other custom workwear can vary significantly depending on:

  • Type of customization: 
    • Embroidery is the most expensive way to brand workwear, but it lasts longer and has a high-end feel.
    • Screen printing and heat transfer methods are cheaper and faster to implement.
  • Purchase quantity: Some suppliers give up to 30% discounts on unit prices for orders in the hundreds.
  • Hi-Vis safety classification: Following the ANSI 107 standard, class 1 workwear is cheaper than class 2, which ‌costs less than class 3.
  • Quality and fabric:
    • Polyester clothing is cheaper than cotton or blended fabrics.
    • The higher the cotton content, the higher the cost of the clothing.
    • Clothing made in the USA will cost more than pieces made overseas. 
    • Many businesses in the construction industry prefer pocket tees. The addition of the pocket increases the cost of the garment and can potentially increase the cost of customization.

Expert Tip: Use a design logo that is a single color, preferably black. It’s cheaper to print and stands out against most colors. Customization will be cheaper if your artwork fits as-is on various apparel items without editing.

Here is a table comparing the price points of various safety construction apparel in safety yellow:

Product Low Price High Price Average Price
Safety T-Shirt (Non-Hi-Vis) $4.50 $12 $6
Long Sleeve Safety T-Shirt (Non-Hi-Vis) $7.00 $14.50 $8.50
Safety Hoodie (Non-Hi-Vis) $13 $22 $16
Hi-Vis Safety T-shirt $17.99 $27.09 $22
Hi-Vis Safety Long-Sleeved $23.99 $30.66 $27
Hi-Vis Hoodie $44.99 $54.60 $50
Hi-Vis Safety Waterproof Jacket / Parka $58 $154.93 $85
Hi-Vis Class 2 Safety Vest $31.99 $58.22 $45

Custom screen printing and embroidery service providers like Jupmode often offer add-ons, such as redesigning your artwork. 

With all these variables, it’s best to get a custom quote to cover all your business needs.

testimonial from Eric

How Customers Feel about Our Custom Shirts

According to buyers, custom construction shirts need to have:

  • High-quality fabric and logo prints
  • Affordable pricing to ease bulk purchases
  • Quick turnaround on orders

Very impressed by the speed and quality… done in less than a week (70+ shirts)... perfectly fabulous.
Michael S.

Great to work with for large and small orders. Good quality shirts and able to assist with designs.
Danielle N.

Get Started on Your Custom Construction Wear

With a clearer picture of price points and the options available for custom construction shirts and complementary safety workwear, you’re ready to take advantage of our branding expertise. Reach out to us today to outfit your crew in custom safety apparel.

Share on Facebook:

share of facebook essential buyers guide


Write a comment

*Denotes required fields.