The Trendy & T-shirted
It felt like spring would never get here, but it's finally time to put those sweaters and heavy jackets away and pull out the tanks and sandals. In the promo industry, we plan months in advance, so selling your clients apparel that is not in-season is common, but you have to make sure you keep them in style too. You may feel more comfortable suggesting basic T-shirts and tanks since they are wardrobe staples, but why not toss some trendy alternatives at your clients to give them some hip exposure?
Brights and pastels have been trending for a few years. However, 2014 may be charcoal's big year as it begins to rival fellow neutrals, mentioned Shelley Foland, CEO of Boxercraft, Mableton, Ga., which added the color to its entire T-shirt line this year. "What we see is our charcoal is such a beautiful color because it has such a richness to it. So when we were out visiting some customers more recently, they just really loved the depth of that color," she said. "So it works really well as a really good common-ground color that everyone can use, as they have done in the past with black or white."
Additionally in terms of fabrication, polyblends and tri-blends are fashionable, Marcia Cumberledge, vice president of merchandising and purchasing for Cincinnati's TSC Apparel, said. "I think it's all about comfortable, soft fabrics, a lot of heather colors, and that's what those blends are all about," she noted, adding that antique colors, which are woven with white instead of black, are gaining popularity as well.
Basic tanks, raglan-sleeve baseball tees and racerback tanks should all be big sellers this year, Cumberledge said.
In terms of fit, tees and tanks are moving away from a short, croppy-types and to a long, fitted looks—with a few exceptions. "Even our Flare Tank, which is not as fitted, gives you an alternate option so that you can layer," Foland said. "So in that case, you still have your fit underneath with a tank top or racerback, but you'll wear the Flare Tank on top so you get that flowy feel. So it looks great together."