Review: Dress United Custom Shirt

Awhile ago, I reviewed (and gave away) a print from Easy Canvas Prints. That company has expanded, and is now offering custom, print-on-demand shirts through Dress United.  They asked me to create and review a shirt using their new site.

The Design & Ordering Process

As it was with Easy Canvas Prints, the Dress United design and ordering process is simple and utterly painless.  I had zero frustrations or troubles (aside from making my mind up when it came to deciding what I wanted on a shirt, haha).

After much thought, I decided to go with a graphic tee using only the fonts, colors, and artwork available on the Dress United site.  I upgraded my shirt to the premium American Apparel line, and chose a light grey color as my base.  Then, I started designing.  I was impressed with the amount of different fonts available, and the clipart selection was vast, making it easy for me to create the image I wanted on my custom shirt.  As a designer, I usually get frustrated with the lack of choices and give up, sometimes entirely, sometimes just long enough to design my own thing and upload it.  But at Dress United, there was enough selection that I was happy with what I was able to create.

Here’s what I decided on.  I created a “Holy Chic” shirt (based on one I swore I had pinned, but can’t seem to find) with a custom SSC back.  This is what my design looked like on screen.
My DressUnited Shirt: Online

Faster-Than-Expected Shipping

I recall seeing the “expected arrival” date on my order and thinking “man, that’s forever from now!”, but it came much sooner than I expected.  I think they over-estimated the date just in case production took longer, but because I used their own stock artwork and fonts, it took less time to produce.  I was pretty pleased when my shirt came earlier than I expected.  I was even more pleased when I unwrapped my shirt and it was exactly what I expected.

My DressUnited Shirt: Real Life

If anything, I regret not doing the skull and crown (which you can barely see) in black, and the “Suburban Style Challenge” in grey, but oh well.  I also probably should have ordered a different color, like black with white writing or straight up grey instead of “ash grey”, because I found this color kind of hard for me to style, surprisingly.  The cardigan I wanted to wear over it was cream and the two pieces looked horrible together.

But other than those couple of “shoulda” things, that were really design errors on my part, it’s exactly how I wanted it.  The subtlety of the cross on the front, behind “Holy Chic” is perfect.  I went with a unisex Medium instead of a small so it would be a little oversized, and it fits just how I wanted it to, which is also great.

Styling It

Unfortunately, because I made myself a shirt with words on it, I can’t wear it to work.  That meant I had to style it on a weekend.  But that was ok, because I thought about it when packing and brought it with me to Davenport, Iowa when I visited my friend Laura there.

I wore it with black leggings and combat boots, and topped it with a denim vest and tan scarf.  Because it was a little chilly, I busted out my vintage fringed suede jacket (a fantastic) thrift store find.  And of course, I wore my leather cuff and a fun arm party.  Here are some shots of my outfit that day… one that I absolutely adored!  It was perfect for the random running around we did, including checking out just how bad the Mississippi River had flooded.

My DressUnited Shirt: The Whole Look

The flooding was pretty bad, but not as bad as it was about 10 years ago, according to Laura.  Who also happens to be a pretty dope photographer… especially when she’s not using my crappy little P&S.  But thanks to her for shooting me with it regardless!

My DressUnited Shirt: Without The Jacket

I’m also envisioning this shirt tucked in to my tiered black skirt, or with my eventually-I’ll-finish-it revamped red pencil skirt, and even over the tie dyed jean shorts I made for the Jimmy Buffet concert last year.  It’ll for sure be a fun summer piece that’ll get lots of wear on weekends!

And really, let’s put it this way… I liked the Dress United process so much, I made myself a second custom shirt.  The second one I tried a fully custom design, loosely based on something I wanted on another site that was sold out.  I used a coupon code, so I still got it for a reasonable price, which is pretty awesome.  I did a black-on-black thing, so I’m hoping it comes out ok.  But yea, I ordered another custom shirt because the price was great and the customization options were just what I wanted.  Plus, it’s my own unique design, which is pretty cool too!

A special discount for SSC fans!

Dress United is cool enough to give SSC fans a great discount! All you have to do is go to the page and type in the code BLOG30OFF4U. You’ll get 30% off your order and free shipping in the US!  Think of all the applications of custom shirts too… sports teams, bachelorette parties, family reunions, group trips… there are a lot of things you can use custom shirts for, aside from just making your own unique article of clothing.

Oh, and if you want to order the SSC “Holy Chic” custom shirt you can!  Just go here (do it after you type in your 30% off code to save some dough).  You can also use it as a template for your own version of the shirt if you like.  The color I designed for and ordered was “Ash Grey” under the unisex premium (American Apparel) shirts.

I received a sample as compensation for my post/review, but the opinions above are my own and were not influenced by compensation received.  For my full disclosure policy, go here.