Hey, Mr. Good Looking
Neckties, particularly, are good promotional products because they’re the only canvas gentlemen have to differentiate themselves, he further explained. In recent years, Schleif said customers have been interested in ties that feature an allover print, similar to the retail brand Jerry Garcia. “[Neckties provide] an opportunity for some personal expression and creativity, or as far as the industry is concerned, it’s also the opportunity for the company to try to enhance its marketability and branding.”
One of the newest techniques in necktie embellishment is the wet-dye printing process. Schleif explained the wet-dye process is a form of screen printing that uses a water-based dye as opposed to the plastasol ink used in traditional screen printing. “With wet-dye printing, you’re able to [achieve] completely retail quality,” he said. “You’re able to do a 100 percent coverage ... all dyed, all Pantone color matching, very precise detailing.”
TRENDS IN MEN’S DRESSWEAR
A perusal of today’s top retailers will confirm the cyclical nature of fashion. Nearly everything once considered passé has been resurrected with endearing terms, such as “retro,” “vintage” and “old school.” Schleif joked, “So, your checkered disco pants and your two-inch white tie, if you hang on to them long enough, they come back in style.” However, he also observed styles are influenced by the economy. “I have noticed when the economy is doing good, [people] tend to [dress] more casual. Everybody is having a bit more fun,” he said. “But, when the economy ... goes down, it’s a little more competitive ... and everyone tends to formalize a little more.” He cited the economic slump that followed the Sept. 11 attacks as an example of how a recession revived formal office attire at some companies.
Don’t know who would buy men’s dresswear? Lloyd said the garments are being sold to hotels, casinos, office parks, financial institutions and restaurants. And when selling the garments, she advised distributors to consider their personal nature. “You want to know when you are purchasing a suit that there is quality and value not only in the design, fabric and style, but [in the] coat and pant details,” she said. For instance, Lloyd said distributors should know if the suit coat is fully lined, if there are inside suit coat pockets and a breast pocket, as well as the number of buttons on the lapel. “These are simple style details, but [they are] very important to the purchaser,” she pointed out.