The Shifting Shore
As for the shape and cut of T-shirts, Engel and Pfeil both detailed a few current style leanings. A few of last year’s trends are experiencing continued growth, like burnout styles (a tee that began as a cotton/poly blend, then has the cotton burned away, leaving behind a wispy poly shell) and the V-neck. The V-neck, however, has been building significant momentum since last year, so much so that Pfeil said, “V-necks are more popular, it seems like, than crew necks for girls.”
Engel seconded the V-neck style’s growing popularity. “We’re seeing a huge demand for V-necks,” she said, specifically mentioning designs with a higher V-shaped neckline, and therefore, a more unisex style. Admitting surprise at the demand increase, Engel suggested the style has become popular simply for the different look it offers.
While the demand for V-necks may seem the height of fashion capriciousness, there is another major shift in T-shirt style that is a little more rooted in rationality. Engel and Pfeil both name pocket tees as an additional structural trend.
“We’re seeing a real rise in pocket T-shirt demand,” Engel noted. “I think it’s because people throw [in] their cell phones or iPods. It’s an interesting shift.” She added that she’s seen many retail stores, like Urban Outfitters and Abercrombie & Fitch, starting to screen print on pocket T-shirts.
Pfeil agreed there is increasing emand for this design, saying Alternative Apparel is adding pockets to a lot of its new styles. She also stated a pocket can be used to enhance the style of a shirt. “[It’s] just for something a little unique and different,” Pfeil said. “I think the styles right now are sort of, not tomboyish, but there’s a lot of oversized fittings, so the little pocket makes it seem more feminine. It’s kind of a nice balance.”