2013 Apparel Preview
Trends: "Casual, yet professional looks continue to be the most popular styles for corporate apparel," said Shelley Renning, general merchandise manager at SanMar, Issaquah, Wash. "Polos easily fit in this category, as do easy-care wovens that incorporate new styling details," she noted. Renning mentioned that functionality will play a key role in trends for the office set. "End-users are always looking for ease of care and functionality in their apparel that still looks polished and put together," she said.
Colors: Color might seem taboo in the working world, but Renning explained how to include it in corporate programs. "Color works best when layered with neutrals or incorporated into an outfit as hits or pops," she said. While women are more likely to heed this advice, men are willing to experiment with color. "We're seeing lots of bold looks–like purples, limes and teals that look great on everyone," Renning stated.
Men vs. Women: Renning mentioned an uptick in the popularity of wovens for men and women. "For men we anticipate more interest in details that have a lifestyle appeal—elements like pockets that are functional but really add a fashion punch, and roll-up tab sleeves and epaulets," she said. "We're seeing a shift in knits and wovens to more feminine detailing for women–things like necklines, sleeve length and detail, hem details, etc.," Renning added. She also anticipates a shift away from what she calls the "shrink it/pink it" mentality for women's styles. Instead, apparel will complement men's pieces while making end-users look and feel good. "It's important to add versatility and features that encourage individuality and personalization, while still creating a team look," she emphasized.
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