Living in the Lap of Luxury
TIME HAS COME to answer the question, which, truthfully, has long been decided by some of the leading fashion houses: What’s in for spring? This year’s answer is not color, nor is it cut. Don’t be surprised that length is not it, either. This spring, fabrics are where it’s at.
“The newest thing in business casual apparel is a gradual swing toward upscale fabrics,” noted Lee Strom, senior marketing manager at Seattle, Wash.-based SanMar. But, it’s not just any kind of fabric that’s in. “Luxury fabrics, like silk, are becoming more obtainable and are available at approachable price points,” explained Strom.
Strom couldn’t be any closer to the truth. Everywhere, it appears that women are more feminine and sophisticated in their dress, while men are more tailored, with a hint of playfulness. A flip through the pages of any major consumer fashion magazine will confirm this. Female models, celebrities, socialites and the like are often covered in flowing, ruffled, romantic blouses, and their male counterparts look dapper in a variety of textured fabrics.
In the promotional products industry, the fabric obsession has gone so far that exotic names, such as Egyptian Diamond Knit, are popping up all over. Outer Banks, Winston-Salem, N.C., offers a collection of garments fashioned from the fabric. “The Egyptian Diamond Knit collection is made from luxuriously soft Egyptian cotton, and is offered in an assortment of 16 beautiful colors,” noted Matthew Waterman, marketing manager.
In addition to the Egyptian Diamond Knit, Waterman said Outer Banks offers the Ultimate Outer Banks collection. Both collections “offer outstanding benefit and style for the business casual customer.” This year, the Ultimate Outer Banks collection will feature both polos and wovens. “The polos have been designed to virtually eliminate shrinkage and fading,” he said. “The 100 percent cotton wovens are wrinkle-resistant, while the ladies cotton-spandex blouse offers stretch.”