I need to quickly make a decision about which model shirt to use,American Appare (2001)l Vs Anvil Fashion Fit (980). I would like to see what your thoughts are?

There seems to be very little difference between them other than the cost,which is about $1.81 (it adds up if your printing say 1000 shirts)

I have measured both models myself (neither match factory stats), I measured them both brand new and worn/washed several times.

AA pros:
1. the stand up to wear better (but very little difference)
2. Made in the US (helps economy, and can be used marketing wise)
3. Name Recognition
4. Weave seems tighter, slightly less detail visibility when held up to eye looking out window.
AA. Cons:
1. I have personal issues base on the number of law suites filed against the CEO for Harassment of employees.
2. Higher cost
3. Its likely less than 50% of my target market recognizes the AA brand name.

Anvil Pros:
1. Very Very similar to AA in feel, quality of Black Dye, and cut
2. Slightly more forgiving cut (my target market is 28 - 44 yr old men)
3. cost savings
Cons:
1. not made in the US
2. Does not hold up as well, slightly more shrinkage (but I also have worn those shirts much more).
3. Black dye fades slightly more.
2. 4.5 oz cotton (vs AA 4.3)

Seriously, id like to get your feed back on your experience and comparisons if possible.
  • RRAL

    typo: that second 2. con for anvil should have been in the pro's category.
  • EricAbstruse

    Check out Next Level Apparel.
  • atomicchild

    Yeah check out NLA american apparel is no longer the great tshirt it used to be
  • Micah

    AA is not made in the US anymore right?
  • Tony A

    I actually prefer Anvil 980 to AA 2001. I just wish they had more colors.
  • Colemadethis

    canvas and bella are where it's at since they switched the manufacturing to the US
  • Matt Borchert

    Micah said:AA is not made in the US anymore right?

    It still is, but they're exploring other options.
  • RRAL

    Did Canvas Change their specs at all now that they are made in the US? If I remember right they were a little more fitted and lighter weight.

    I know it goes against the majority right now, but I like a heaver shirt for my line... its geared towards "motorcycle enthusiast", and I hate it when your doing 80MPH on the high way and a light weight t-shirt's neck is stretched half way down your chest.

    In a perfect world, I would take the Hanes Beefy-T , but make the tag/label removable, a better quality/truer black dye, and maybe take out a bit of the boxy shape.
  • brett_district

    If you are interested in US made but like the Anvil, they are rolling out a lot more colors in the US980, which is the same shirt but cut and sewn in US
  • RRAL

    I like the Anvil, I haven't used the US because of the lack of colors... but after doing a hard evaluation yesterday, they don't seem to hold up as well as I though they did. All the shirts including AA have shrunk and faded... but some of my 980s were looking pretty bad. I noticed after awhile they started to feel like they rode up on my neck or out of place, they looked fine but felt funny, which is why I started looking for other options again. I have always felt that AA was probably the best choice, but never thought the price increase justified the slight perceived quality... and felt they were charging mostly for name recondition, which is not a huge selling point in for the majority of my customers. Probably 60 - 75 % of my customers couldn't tell you the difference between AA 2001 and Gildan 2000 and there is a good chance they would pick the Gildan in a blind test. Still I want to offer a high quality product that last. The last thing I want is someone thinking is products with my name on them are cheap and fall apart. Sometimes I think I agonize over this way to much!
  • 8-bit ZOMBIE

    I will still never even consider using Anvil or Gildan for my brand. Neither of those companies will ever be focused on making a really nice tee, they make their money by selling blanks that appeal to the widest audience. (IE, crappy fit, cheap material) I'm not saying they are garbage but making a quality fitted tee isn't anywhere close to their highest priority.

    I use AA and have always been happy with them. From my experience, AA can seem to have it's share of defects. (Holes, tears, bad sewing, etc.) But probably no more or less issues with quality control than any other brand. Any mass-produced item you buy in bulk is going to have a few bad apples. And for me personally, the fit and feel of their blanks is my favorite. They also hold up very well over time. I dry all of my shirts in the dryer and I have AA tees that have been going for 4-5 years strong now. I've never had the shrinkage be much of a problem. Gildan and Anvil on the other hand can shrink like CRAZY in the dryer.

    I keep hearing about Next Level, I might have to try them out.

    I have really liked the Canvas tees I have used. VERY close to AA in fit/feel. But if I remember correctly, they are even more expensive than AA.

    Bottom line, as with anything else in life, you get what you pay for.
  • 8-bit ZOMBIE

    Plus, here is my thought on blanks:

    I'm sure we've all had the experience of buying a tee online, having it show up and then just being so disappointed. The fit sucks, (Who wants to wear a SQUARE shirt!?) or the the fabric is SUPER heavy, or it falls apart or shrinks up after one wash. And did you ever buy another tee from that store? Hell no. Sure, your average person doesn't know squat about tee brands....But they do know the difference between a nice shirt and a shitty one.

    So you can go with cheaper blanks to save a little money and run the risk of customers being disappointed and NEVER coming back. Or you can go with a little bit of a nicer tee to try to ensure everyone will be happy.

    To me personally, disappointing a customer is the ULTIMATE failure of a brand.

    Sorry for the rant, haha. Just my 2 cents.
  • RRAL

    I am more about quality than fit... I like the feel of the AA, but my target market tends to be about 35 give or take 8 years. Most are not accustom to AA or "Fitted" t-shirts, so that's not as much of a concern. I want something that feels good, will hold up over time, hold its shape going 80mps down the highway on a motorcycle, has removable tags, and the black dye is actually black (unlike hanes).

    I'm going to order a couple more canvas shirts and test them out again. I was amazed when I looked at my used AA 2001 and anvil 980 shirts compared to brand new ones yesterday, how much of a difference there was for both brands.

    I will say the Brand New AA shirt I just got was not the same as the Brand new AA shirt I found in the bag from two years ago. It was slightly smaller and felt a little lighter.

    I keep a bag of Black Size Large t-shirts from over the years that never get used for anything but comparing to other and newer samples. I think over the next year I am going to get duplicates of key shirts and print on them, then wear and wash 25 times each and put them in a separate bag to compare and analyze the difference after they have been worn.
  • 8-bit ZOMBIE

    RRAL said:I am more about quality than fit... I like the feel of the AA, but my target market tends to be about 35 give or take 8 years. Most are not accustom to AA or "Fitted" t-shirts, so that's not as much of a concern. I want something that feels good, will hold up over time, hold its shape going 80mps down the highway on a motorcycle, has removable tags, and the black dye is actually black (unlike hanes).

    I'm going to order a couple more canvas shirts and test them out again. I was amazed when I looked at my used AA 2001 and anvil 980 shirts compared to brand new ones yesterday, how much of a difference there was for both brands.

    I will say the Brand New AA shirt I just got was not the same as the Brand new AA shirt I found in the bag from two years ago. It was slightly smaller and felt a little lighter.

    Like I said then, if you are concerned about quality then go for a quality blank. Just because your core audience is older doesn't mean they can't tell the difference between a sucky tee and a nice tee.

    I honestly haven't noticed a difference in the fit of older AA and newer AA. And a lot of my customers are in their 30's and I've used AA since the beginning. (And I sell a lot of bigger sizes) Not once have I got an e-mail saying "My shirt is too fitted/I don't like the fit."

    Not saying AA is the end-all, be-all for a good blank. There are a lot of nicer tee brands out there. Just saying that cheaper blanks are cheaper for a reason. I know there is a market for Anvil/Hanes/Gildan/etc. But those blanks are definitely not what I personally want to use to represent my brand.



    P.S. - I know a lot of people in UK/Europe don't have as many options and using Anvil or Gildan is the best way to go for them. Not trying to put anyone who uses those brands down, haha. Sorry if it comes off that way. I kinda feel like a tee blank snob. But yeah.... quality over quantity any day of the week.
  • Anchor Up Clothing

    I never quite fit right in to American Apparel stuff and like mentioned earlier there are plenty of ethics reasons to not choose them. The next level 3600 is my favorite. Shrinks the right amount to make it true to sizing (EX: I wear a medium in damn near everything except American Apparel I wear Large) and the length is the best part... it retains a good length after a wash/dry.
  • RRAL

    Has anyone had experience and an opinion about Tultex shirts?
  • ProperGnar

    I like the Tultex women's tee's but the unisex that's supposed to be a AA clone is a definite no go. HORRIBLE shape, and really thin.
  • JoeBaronDesign

    I would recommend you check out Next level like others have mentioned. I find it to be better than American Apparel. I have used the Anvil980 and would have to disagree with 8bit on saying that it's a crappy shirt. I've used them and liked them. I have a black tee that isn't faded and I find that my AA black tees is far more faded. I actually think they have improved their 980 shirts compared to 3 years ago or at least it seems like that to me. Tultex is okay and the same with the Gildan Softstyle. They're okay and I would usually recommend them to clients who are looking for something a bit better than a normal tee, but do not want to spend more. I would normally go with the Gildan Softstyle in that scenario since they offer more colors. Canvas tees aren't bad, they do have some good quality shirts.

    I personally could care less if the shirt is made in the U.S. or not. That doesn't matter to me, but if it matters to your target market I would go after the US brands. Some people like a softer tee and others don't really care. The same with the fashion fit tees. I've seen brands sell Gildan500 tees and do fine. I definitely recommend Next Level, but to answer your original question Anvil 980 > American Apparel. Just one man's opinion.
  • RRAL

    Thanks Joe... I agree, I still think the Anvils 980 are decent shirts. I was just pretty disappointed to see what new vs worn looked like when I put them side by side. But to be fair I wear mine a lot, probably at least once a week. I hate changing brands, I want to stick with something so my repeat customers know what to expect. I think I am just going to need to do some through investigating... Ill take a look at Next Level, I wasn't impress with when I saw on line before but am willing to be convinced.
  • vanity_scars

    Just a quick question as far as t shirt quality. Does anyone have any suggestions for alternatives to american apparel? Does anyone have any experience with alternative apparel, tultex or canvas?
    any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • Nereus Clothing

    We've always had people ask what blank the design is printed on. I like the fit of the AA and I feel like the neck holds up. I hate when I buy a tee and after the first wash the neck is super loose. I almost don't want to wear it anymore. I just bought a Tultex Fine Jersey tee and it fit great but after the first wash, the bottom shrunk up and now it looks off, to me anyways.
  • KrÜoL

    I've been wondering the same thing. I wanted to start off with a budget tee like anvil but after reading what 8-bit said about giving the customer the best to keep them coming back id have to go with AA so that the customer gets what they pay for..#goodluck

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