To fulfill the need for more feminine and fashionable garments, suppliers are updating cuts on their ladies' styles. Robinson noted, "Women are tired of the 'unisex' boxy tee and want apparel that fits their bodies. With junior and misses cuts now available, we can celebrate all the curves." Tsai also noted the value of focus on fabrics that fit womanly bodies. "On our wovens we're doing a lot of our styles in a polyester/spandex blend—either 96 percent poly/4 percent spandex or 88 percent poly/12 percent spandex—because of the nice balance of comfort and upscale look," she said. "I think these kinds of materials, which are easy to care for and also are extremely comfortable, will continue to take the lead this year," she explained. One such material or fabrication is burnout. "The burnout tees will continue to stand out," she said. "It's an item that looks great with print or blank. You can layer it to make it appropriate for the corporate casual environment or wear it after hours with friends."
Tsai predicted that embellishments and colors are in order for future seasons. "We're playing with feminine embellishments like ruching and ruffles," she said. "Color is huge in the retail world, and we feel it's our duty as a fashion-forward brand to bring that liveliness and variety into our market," Tsai continued. Such lively colors include strawberry, eggplant, soft orchid and lilac.
Catering to Cotton
Due to bad crops in China and Pakistan and restrictions on imports from India, the amount of raw cotton in the U.S. has dropped rapidly. The decrease has led to a spike in the cost of cotton, thus impacting the budgets of apparel suppliers in the retail and promotional world. The price increase has caused a demand for cotton farms in the U.S., but American farmers are hesitant to commit to a crop that might not supply them with as much revenue as their current harvest. Recent press has predicted a decrease in the price due to cotton factories appearing in Kansas and other states that usually produce different crops, but for now, suppliers still need to absorb the extra cost.