How to Select the Perfect T-Shirt for Bartending

By Josh Clark

Bartenders have a busy job to do. Dealing with customers like me, and managing a million and one requests for martinis and mojitos is no easy task! Finding the perfect t-shirt for your bartending job is the best way to ensure the night goes smoothly and you get better tips!


1. Think comfort

When you’re on your toes all night, it’s important to opt for something comfortable. A comfy tee or tank is the best choice for handling the pressure to get drinks just right and on time. The cotton t-shirts that feel the best will be made of 100% combed and ringspun cotton. This type of cotton looks and feels amazing. It’s lighter, too, so you won’t get too hot as the bar gets busier. Blends like poly-cotton and tri-blends offer a cooler feel and some stain-resistance. Pair the top with your most practical shoes—otherwise you won’t make it through the night!

2. Wear black

The busy rush of drink orders may leave you with a stained and spilled-on shirt. You probably won’t mind the cool down, but noticeable stains might impact your image. A black t-shirt or top is the perfect solution! Not only will you look more professional in a sleek black tee, but you’ll feel more confident. The black t-shirt is kind of magical the way it soaks in bar mishaps without notice. And while it would be great if they would self-wash, having a ready supply of black shirts will mean fewer laundry loads. You don’t have to go all-black, either—something sheer or vintage is great for keeping the look hip and on trend.

3. Flatter your figure

Going for something that highlights your best features is what fashion is all about. You’ll want to be the best version of yourself in a figure-flattering tee or tank to get the tips tumbling in. Ladies might opt for a scoop– or V-neck, while men could go for a modern, fitted tee. A touch of spandex to cotton will help a tee hug your figure. Brands like District, Bella, Canvas, Next Level, and American Apparel all have fun and sleek styles that will set the mood for the night or occasion.

4. Be original

Now that you’ve chosen a comfy t-shirt, you’ll need to dress it up! If you want people to remember you and return, then choose to stand out! Creating a positive experience is as much about being original as it is making a rock-star drink. Going for statement accessories that say something about your interests or having a crazy, funky haircut that sets you apart will help customers see your destination as the place to be. Try getting your bar’s or restaurant’s logo printed on t-shirts or giveaways. These custom items will reinforce your brand, make lines longer, and may even result in an empty parking  lot at the tavern next door!

5. Match with confidence

While the right shirt, shoes, and statement pieces will up your confidence for your bartending job, you’ll want make sure you feel that way 100%. Being able to chat with customers about anything (or any drink!) will help you immeasurably. Having some witty and funny responses ready for when customers get sassy, and being able to banter with everyone at the bar will make the night a blast for you and customers. An upswing in drink orders (and tips!) is bound to happen!

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