Why put the label on the outside?

 Why did we put the label on the outside of our men's undershirts?

Scratchy labels are one of my life's irritations. Labels on clothes, especially labels on underwear which you wear as the layer against your skin, are annoying. As soon as I buy a pair of pants or a vest type top which will sit against my skin, I'm irritated by the label. I don't know about you, but I usually get a pair of sharp scissors and cut the offending article out. This action occasionally resolves the issue, but I'm sure you've also had the experience that it often does not. You are left with some scratchy cotton which is in the seam of the item of clothing or, worse still, a hole.

What can clothing designers do? Where to put the label is a question we needed to solve. Being involved in designing the best men's undershirt there was no choice, no scratchy labels. Full stop. End of conversation.

Why did we bother with a label at all?

At first, we didn't - we went label free. Our original men's sweat protect undershirt didn't have a label attached. We thought this was a great solution, to begin with. We thought it would be a customer benefit to be label-free; no scissors, no cutting out, no problem.

Life is rarely that simple. Our customers quickly told us they wanted to know how to wash and care for their undershirts. We included printed washing instructions in the undershirt package, but we found that these can be easily lost and "How do I care for my bamboo fabric undershirt?" became our most frequent query.

Picture of a Robert Owen Undershirt care label

What did we do?

We needed to find a solution for our men's undershirts. Where can we attach the label in a way that will be beneficial and not an irritant? How could we ensure that it would not scratch or need the drastic scissor treatment?

To solve this problem, we cut out paper labels and started to 'play' with where they could be attached. We settled on positioning it on the outside. It now seems obvious to put it on the outside of the undershirt, where it won't rub against your skin, or need to be cut off, but it wasn't immediately obvious.

The label on the outside!

After much testing we realised we could add the label on the outside of our undershirts, label problem solved!

Dress with the label on the left-hand side...

If you've ever put clothes on back to front, or inside out in the darkness of winter, or in the early hours of summer, we can also help you to put your undershirt on correctly by remembering to "put the label on the left-hand side". We sing this along to the tune of "pass the duchy on the left-hand side" ... but you can do whatever works for you!

Enjoy wearing your label on the outside, on the left-hand side.