OPTIMISM IS A funny thing. Sometimes seeing the good side of a situation is all a matter of personal perception. Example: Instead of fretting over snow, rain or even chilly fall days lowering the exposure of your T-shirt promotions, why not look at inclement weather as an opportunity to sell imprinted outerwear? To get you started, below are three jackets, each suited for different T-shirt-unfriendly climes.
Dri Duck Traders—Storm
A thick, tough work jacket that makes rainy, cold or even snowy days on the job seem like a sunny May picnic. (866) 852-8522
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The Storm sports a bi-swing back, which means deep pleats run up the shoulders to improve the range of motion. "Ours differs from the market in that we run a thin piece of elastic from shoulder to shoulder to help snap the fabric back into place after the motion is complete," said Nicole Parker, corporate sales manager for Dri Duck Traders, Overland Park, Kan. "This prevents uncomfortable bunching and unsightly bulging."
"The combination of the heavyweight canvas, the 3 oz. polyfill and brushed tricot lining make this jacket one of our warmest," stated Parker. She added that the Storm's polyester fill is backed by a scrim layer, which holds the fill in place, keeping it from settling at the bottom of the jacket, where it normally gravitates.
Articulated elbows are darted to give a better and more natural bend.
A combination of an outer Teflon finish and special membrane on the back of the canvas makes the jacket 100 percent waterproof. Parker pointed out that even the jacket's seams and pockets are designed to be water-tight.
"The fabric itself is a heavy duty, 12 oz. constructed with a high twist yarn and tight weave," Parker explained. "While we cannot boast an anti-abrasion finish, snags and tears are not a common complaint from our client base."
Vantage Apparel—Women's Soho Button Front Jacket
Fashionable and modern, this professional-looking jacket fairs well in rain or cold. (800) 221-0020
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Princess seams, which the Soho has along its front and back, are vertical folds sewn into a garment to create a more female-friendly shape. The standard, boxier cut of a unisex item is pulled inward by the seams, thus making a better-fitting silhouette.
Vantage Apparel's Zocket system allows for easy access to embroidery areas, zippering open so the lining isn't punctured and closed so the embroidery back won't show afterwards.
Soft and breathable internal taffeta lining.
Sueded polyester body includes a water-repellent finish.
Optional turn-back cuffs are finished on the inside, so when they're rolled back the lining isn't exposed.
A stylish vest suitable for corporate or casual markets, the Surveyor is great for times when a little extra warmth is needed. (800) 824-6464
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The Surveyor uses Tri-Mountain's EmbAccess system, which Danny Tsai, vice president of merchandising for Tri-Mountain, Irwindale, Calif., described as, "A hidden zipper along the jacket lining seam that unzips to give the embroiderer access to hoop the garment without having to go through the lining."
Nylon yoke panels are not only stylistically distinct, but are also water-resistant.
Tsai explained that the vest is color-blocked to give a sporty, rugged look. "We find that the more we're willing to push the 'edginess' of our line—whether it be color-blocking, contrast stitching, piping, etc.—the more distributors like it," he said. "I think today's end-user is willing to take more chances style-wise." The vest is available in four color-blocked combinations and two solid colorations.
Tri-Mountain's Panda fleece goes through a brushing process that removes the pilling tendencies of other fleeces.
As to why you should offer a vest over other light outerwear, Tsai said, "Hooded sweatshirts and some fleece items can sometimes come off as very casual pieces, whereas vests are great for people who need to maintain a more 'corporate' image."
A 10.2 oz. fabric weight is fairly standard for fleeces, keeping it's warming abilities exactly where they should be for days that range from just brisk to a little chilly.