Nov 3, 2023

Threads of excellence: Exploring the best Shopify clothing stores

Threads of excellence: Exploring the best Shopify clothing stores
Threads of excellence: Exploring the best Shopify clothing stores

Instant Team

Threads of excellence: Exploring the best Shopify clothing stores

Clothing is both functional and artistic, allowing individuals to express themselves through fashion and give a clear message to any passer-by about the wearer. This duality is why the apparel industry in the U.S. alone grossed 1.5 trillion dollars in 2022. It's also why the industry is projected to show positive growth in the coming years.

Shopify allows small businesses to build online stores for various industries, including apparel, so their unique designs can get the necessary exposure to compete with larger fashion houses. Some of these Shopify clothing stores have become million-dollar brands; let's look at what drives success for the top Shopify clothing stores.

The best Shopify apparel and T-shirt stores


This Toronto-based, playful Shopify storefront has been around since 2013, selling colorful, photorealistic, all-over print t-shirts and various other products. Their products have been worn by celebrities and public figures and have been featured in multiple news and fashion outlets, like GQ UK, Fashion Journal, NOW! Magazine, The Huffington Post, and more.

Shelfies is currently shipping its products out to 40 countries a month, and growth is booming. What makes this particular brand so successful is its niche products, the quality of the photorealistic products, the quality of the materials (they promise their prints will never peel or fade), and more.


TeeFury was founded in 2008 by a collective of artists who wanted to create limited-edition t-shirts. The collective produces a new t-shirt design every 24 hours, continuously creating and staying on the cusp of trends and pop culture. The Shopify storefront is passionate about appropriately compensating their artists for their original work, paying $1 for every t-shirt sold. The popularity of the designs means that artists have made anywhere between $500 to $9,000 in a single day.

What makes TeeFury so successful is the unique talent, the limited run of their designs, and their customer or fan involvement. Once a design has been retired after its initial sale, followers can vote to bring their favorites out of the vault. The branding of the clothing company hinges on its artists, who bring in their own fan base through their art.

Factory 43

Factory 43 is the love child of a Visual Communications major and a graphic designer who shares a passion for screen printing and design. The two friends' shared sense of humor and eye for design has produced quality graphic goods with original illustrations, earning them recognition from the Society of Illustrators and Communication Arts.

Factory 43's products range from shirts to accessories and wall decor. They provide Lookbooks for their customer base in sci-fi/space, music, fantasy, Chicago, the PNW, and more. They provide their products wholesale, allowing physical retailers to have their products in-store, reaching a large scale of customers. They also do events from time to time to connect with their customer base and put a face to the brand.

Adored Vintage

This women's apparel Shopify storefront was founded in 2012 with a clear aesthetic direction, vintage-inspired modern pieces they dubbed "modern romantics." Adored Vintage garners 840k visits to their site annually. Their estimated annual revenue is between $15 M and $25 M.

Part of the apparel company's success is its unique products catering to a growing niche audience of vintage clothing buys. The Adored Vintage website has a minimalist layout with an accessibility feature for easier navigation and a seamless shopping experience. Finally, the Shopify store utilizes a Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) strategy that encourages customers to make larger purchases.

Big Bud Press

Big Bud Press is a successful Shopify apparel store that serves as an inspiration for entrepreneurs. The store's aesthetic for their apparel and website is vibrant and unique, with bold colors for the merchandise and eye-catching retro fonts. This Shopify storefront carries unisex items, opening up their apparel to a wider audience of consumers. They sell bottoms, tops, jumpsuits, bags, and more.

Part of what contributes to Big Bud Press' success is its website's simple, clean layout that makes spotting merchandise and navigating easy, its detailed product descriptions, and its invitation to customers to try the products first-hand. All this and more ensures an excellent user experience and builds brand trust, which has paid off since Big Bud Press grosses an annual revenue of over $1 M and garners an estimated 1.8 M shoppers to their site annually.

What makes these top Shopify stores successful?

Each of these top Shopify stores combined their unique branding with business savvy: understanding their customers, staying on top of current trends, and providing a top-rated customer experience. Whether you're an aspiring entrepreneur or a seasoned brand owner who wants to expand your business, there is something to learn from each store.

Here are some specific examples of what these Shopify stores did to set themselves apart from the rest:

  • Simple and clean, user-friendly websites

  • Excellent product photography

  • Detailed product descriptions

  • Shipped their products internationally

  • Explored a niche clothing aesthetic

  • Used quality materials

  • Put together lookbooks or guides for customers

  • Interacted with their customer base

  • Provided payment options

ECommerce stores rely more heavily on customer reviews than brick-and-mortar stores because customers can't hold the product, examine it, or try it on before purchasing. Customer reviews can make or break potential sales and affect the growth and success of your company. Ultimately, all these examples come back to customer experience one way or another. 

How to succeed in selling apparel on Shopify

Develop your brand identity and aesthetic

Before you can begin developing your Shopify apparel store, it's integral to develop a solid brand identity, which looks like choosing a brand color palette, brand logo, and brand type and creating a mood board of the aesthetic you're going for with your branding and clothing. A clear brand identity will set you apart from other clothing brands, giving you a cohesive, identifiable look.

Do your research

Your market research is where you get to know your target customer's needs and wants so you can create a product that fulfills both. Researching your customer will also help you understand how to market to your target audience and get your products in front of their faces and, ultimately, in their hands.

Find a supplier

To get your products to your customers, you need a reliable supplier who will provide high-quality materials and products at competitive rates. When researching your options, consider factors like minimum order quantity, lead times, shipping costs, etc.

Develop creative and appealing product listings

With Shopify, your website is a customer's first impression of your brand, so it needs to be impressive. The best thing to do is to keep the layout simple and easy to navigate. Ensure that your brand identity is evident in all the components of your website and that your listings contain clear, professional-quality photos and detailed descriptions.

Choose the correct pricing strategy

The right pricing strategy requires research and combining a few factors before landing on the right prices. First, you want to look at your competitors' prices and set that against the quality of your product and the cost of your product.

Offer multiple payment options

Customers like having options for payment because it makes it convenient for them to shop with you. They can choose their preferred payment method: Apple Pay, PayPal, credit or debit card, or Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL).

Offer incentives

Customers are more likely to remain loyal to a brand if they feel they are getting the most for what they've paid. One way to show your customers gratitude and to provide some bang for the buck is through subscriptions or loyalty programs, providing discounts and special deals for loyalty. Other incentives could include free shipping or an abandoned cart discount.

Develop a marketing strategy

Research the best way to get your brand in front of your target customer. Utilize social media platforms to advertise and interact with your customer base. Reach out to influencers and make them brand ambassadors, promoting your products to their audience. Use content marketing, like blog posts, to attract customers. Be sure to use SEO to increase discoverability on search engines. These strategies equal engagement, which drives traffic to your Shopify storefront, leading to sales.

Provide excellent customer service

One of the biggest factors of success with a Shopify apparel store is providing a quality customer experience from start to finish. It starts with navigating the website and moves on to engaging with your product listings, paying, waiting for the items, and the experience with the product itself. Should anything go wrong along that journey, you can prevent customer churn by engaging with your customer and making the situation right.

Become a Shopify clothing success story

There is something to learn from each of the top Shopify apparel and t-shirt stores on this list. Utilizing their tactics but making it your own with your unique branding and products will ensure success. Once your store gains traction, engage with your customers and listen to their feedback to strengthen your brand.

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Explore Instant today to start building high-converting landing pages and sections, no-code required.




© Instant