Living in the Lap of Luxury
Anderson said women look to retail for fashion more than men. “They want to wear to work or receive as a gift something they can find in a retail store,” she pointed out. “Retail brands are an added bonus to business casual [promotions] because they open new doors and can help bring in new clients.”
Like fashion gurus inspecting and dissecting the stick-like figures that strut their stuff down runways around the globe, Strom and Anderson offered a few of their top-picks for spring. For men, Strom said, SanMar’s Port Authority Fine-Pattern Sleeve Easy-Care Shirt is a must-have, and women professionals shouldn’t do without the 3/4-Sleeve Open Neck Blouse. “With its front and back darts, this shirt is an excellent example of a trend that’s sweeping the women’s imprintable apparel market—more tailoring and overall contouring of women’s garments,” he explained.
Anderson said sweaters should always be a part of a woman’s wardrobe. “Our fine-gauge cotton sweaters, including vests and cardigans, are wonderfully lightweight and comfortable, and can be worn dressed up or dressed down,” she said.
Outer Banks is best known for its polo offering in the business casual category, and, according to Waterman, the company is said to be one of the first brands in the industry to offer both men’s and women’s coordinating styles. “It’s now an inherent part of our product development cycle,” he explained. “As new styles are added to the line, we evaluate and market the combined selling power of his/her coordinate sets.”
As for the sales of business casual apparel, the suppliers agreed it’s been on the upswing. Said Anderson, “Business casual apparel has so many applications and there are so many markets to penetrate. We’ve added three new retail brands this year, so this has also helped open new doors and increase sales.” In addition to the Nike brand, River’s End Trading also offers Tommy Hilfiger, Lacoste and Nyne.