The Trendy & T-shirted
And fit is the most important aspect of finding the right tee or tank, as the end-user wants to feel good when he or she puts it on, Foland added. "What [a trendy tee] offers you is something that's different, because if you compare it to a typical T-shirt that one has worn for years and years and years, which is just a boxy, very generic unisex tee, the eye goes to what is the fashion, and if we're on par with where fashion is particularly, like our Flare Tank or our Pom Pom Pullover, which has the trend along with the logo they're looking for, it's a home run," she said.
Tee or Tank?
We asked suppliers when it's best to offer a tee or tank for a client. "I think it almost goes more with the seasonality, and you can just kind of watch it ramp up," Cumberledge said. "Tank tops right now—they're trending very well against last year, but their numbers aren't huge yet. We'll get into huge numbers as far as what we're selling come May, June, July."
However, it's not out of the question to sell tanks during those not-so-warm months as tanks can also easily be layered to fit any kind of weather, giving the option of providing the client a packaged deal. "When people are wearing their tanks, they're typically wearing them underneath of something—whether it be a jacket or a pullover or another T-shirt or even another tank, but it's a layered piece," Foland said.
But there's no reason to believe that T-shirts, which may be more of a stand-alone item, are not versatile as well. A tee can be dressy or casual depending on how it's accessorized. "Throw a T-shirt on with a pair of dressy pants and a nice belt and you look dressed up with a scarf and so forth," Cumberledge said. "Throw that same T-shirt on in two months with a pair of white shorts and flip-flops and you look totally different. I think that's one thing that's so fun in our industry. You can dress things up or totally just slack them down [and] make them as casual as you need to."