On the opposite end of the spectrum, "We have seen a growing trend for fleece requests in spring and summer," Brunner said. She explained that resorts stock up for cooler evenings, and businesses give fleece garments as corporate gifts. "Just because a fleece is given as a gift in the height of summer doesn't mean you have to wear it at the time," Brunner added.
Right Here, Right Now
For those summer wearables meant to be used in the moment, however, there are a few ways to make apparel more, shall we say, hot?
Color choice, while important to keep in mind in all seasons, becomes especially pressing as the seasons change. Lori Anderson, marketing manager for River's End Trading Company, Hopkins, Minn., said blues will be especially popular in the coming months in a wide variety of shades. "This is definitely a popular color … and we see it as a top-selling color this summer," she added. In addition, Brunner predicted lilac will be big, and explained that pastels are historically more attractive and appropriate for the summer months. Proffit also echoed the purple sentiment, and added yellow, turquoise and red to the projected palette.
While retail usually drives color trends across the board, keeping color in mind isn't necessarily limited to fashion-related reasons. "For the summer months, colors determine whether or not the garment will attract sunlight and make the wearer perspire or deter sunlight to keep the wearer comfortable," Brunner said.
But color can only do so much. No summer promotion (or article about summer promotions) would be complete without a mention of fabric technology. "With golf and outside activities, we see an uptick in blends and performance polos and tees versus cotton apparel," Anderson said. Moisture-management technology, anti-microbial treatments and UV protection are all selling points that go a long way when sweltering weather is anticipated. And despite the fact that moisture-wicking breathable fabrics have become an industry standard, she added, they're no less sellable. "Performance qualities are important this time of year, especially in polo shirts, because … many of them are worn outdoors … in the hot and humid weather."