Warming up in Style
The summer style showdown is around the corner. This season, the jackets are the team to beat. They've been enjoying frigid winter conditions, and they won't go down (into plastic storage) without a fight. With summer on the horizon, however, tees and tanks have been hard at work conditioning (supposedly with Mark Wahlberg's trainer). Fans are sure they'll reclaim the title as the everyday essential, and with the right style knowledge, you can take advantage of their victory. There's no need to be a bandwagon fan because we've got expert insights into the promotional apparel that's sure to be hot this season. So cue the Rocky music and the ultimate comeback.
THE FRESH PRINTS
With the T-shirt expected to be the center of this summer's everyday wardrobe, new comfortable fabrications are essential. Kristin M. Bayer, merchandising manager/designer for LAT Sportswear, Ball Grand, Ga., explained what's new for fabric. "The hand-feel of the fabric for the tee is extremely important for 2013," she said. "It is all about soft, supple and buttery, and lightweight, but not sheer."
While the fabric might be delicate, the patterns are eye-catching. Kevin Miles, imprintables marketing manager for Alternative Apparel, Norcross, Ga., predicted prints, such as stars and stripes, houndstooth and colorful camouflage to be in demand this season. He advised distributors to encourage their clients to take advantage of these bold prints for a sales boost in promotional apparel. "Leveraging patterns and prints allow advertisers to tap into these current fashion trends for their promotional efforts," he said. "Because these fashion-oriented items get more repeat wear than the standard white imprinted tee, they translate into increased exposure and a better return for the customer."
THE READY-TO-WEAR REMIX
Along with new styles, Miles predicted a new spin on classic trends, noting Alternative Apparel's retake on burnout. "Inspired by our favorite well-worn vintage tees, we've now formulated a new process to produce a fabrication that represents the next evolution in burnout," he said. "It is a heavier weight that is hand-treated, perfectly washed and authentically weathered to replicate years of wear and tear. The result is a perfectly worn in look and feel that you will want to wear everyday."