Wednesday, September 18, 2013

From Hoodies To Foodies, The Message Is Clearer

My son is about as well-behaved as you could expect an occasionally-stroppy teenager to be. In other words, he has his moments. As a father I feel its my duty, from time to time, to pass frowning comments about how he presents himself to the world. To be fair, the wispy week-old beard that made Catweazle unique (you have to be a certain age) did him no favors. It also disappeared when a girlfriend came on the scene.
One thing where I did man the barricades on his behalf was in the great debate a couple of years ago about hoodies. Whether to hug them or ban them, there seemed to be vociferous views and little common ground. So, for his birthday, we decided on a gift of printed clothing. His hoodie, bearing the legend: “Don’t hug me, don’t chuck me. Just allow me to ignore you.” was well-received. At least that’s how I interpreted the grunt and the fact that it was regularly worn.

The world of personalized clothing.

I’d ordered his gift from a company called Dazzlewear and whilst organizing it online (very easy process, thank you guys), I began to be interested in the idea of printed or embroidered work and leisure wear. For example, I’m part of a pub quiz team (The All or Nothings if you must know – and sadly usually more towards the latter end). I suddenly noticed that several other teams had kitted themselves out in personalized polo shirts.

Well we couldn’t be left out but obviously if our knowledge was lacking, then style had to take its place. Back onto Dazzlewear again. This time the rugby shirts, carefully embroidered with AON, distracted fully from our ability to recall who the 24th President of the United States was (Grover Cleveland if you weren’t sure). I never could find out if George W. Bush ever wandered around the Oval Office with a sweatshirt bearing the legend “POTUS”. I’m suspecting that he did!

Telling it like it is.

The more I looked around, the greater the number of examples of personalized clothing I found. There was the choir in their polo shirts for off-duty Christmas carol singing at the retirement home. So many groups and teams on fun runs getting their message across like never before. Stag and hen parties proud to tell their story in print to the world (or, quite often, Dublin).

The conclusion is that people enjoy being part of a group or team and like to have a simple way of identifying themselves as such. However, I’m glad to see it’s becoming more the norm in business too. The staff in my local delicatessen look that tiny bit smarter in their logo-bearing outfits. When I had my boiler replaced I liked the fact that the guys doing the job looked like a team.

So, a decision has been reached. The people in my own company have decided they’d like to “team up” and I’ve been identified as the person to make it happen. I suppose I can’t keep those great folks at Dazzlewear my own little secret for much longer.

George Christo has a passion for Customized t-shirts, work wear embroidery and teamwear – this is his job and his world. You can connect with him on Google+

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