If your client needs fleece for outdoor use—say, for workwear or athletics—you'll want to offer something sturdier. Nichols mentioned breathable fabrics like microfleece or wicking fleece, while Strain suggested items with technical properties. "Some features to look for include anti-static, anti-pill and UPF sun protection," Strain noted. "These properties can make an ordinary fleece more rugged and appropriate for the workwear industry."
Anti-static properties are particularly important for farm or agriculture markets. "Most fleece tends to attract animal hair and hay," said Strain. "Dri Duck's anti-static fleece is a great alternative to traditional fleece options because the anti-static finish helps repel pet hair and eliminates static shock and cling."
Strain recommended providing samples so that prospective buyers can compare fleece styles and features firsthand. "The most important aspect of fleece is comfort, and the only way to experience comfort is through touch, feel and wear," she advised. Nichols agreed, noting that "good, better, best" options should be included in any fleece pitch. "Many times, even if your clients say they have a tight budget, when they feel the difference they sometimes select a better piece," she said.
"Don't be afraid to show more upscale variations on fleece," she added. "Sherpa or thermal linings, fashion fits—you never know what the customer might upgrade to until you present it."