2011 Style Preview
Keeping up on fashion trends can sometimes be a little like following the latest craze in pop music. One minute everyone is into 15 year-old girls acting 10 years older than they are while pretending they don't sing into voice-correcting computers, and the next it's all about 15 year-old boys writing the sappiest love songs possible while openly using a voice-correcting computer for "artistic" effect.
OK, maybe fashion isn't as maddeningly contradictory and absurd as pop music, but it can still be a little confusing. Fitted clothes are in, but so are baggy ones. Camouflage and military detailing are in, but so are jewel tones and tie-dye patterns. Fashion-forward corporate apparel is becoming more popular, yet so are classic, '50s throwback styles. Combine all this contradiction with the fact that the promotional industry tends to follow trends and styles a little out-of-step with those in retail, and settling on the right designs for an apparel promotion can be daunting.
To help follow the threads of what is and isn't popular, Promo Marketing spoke with several supplier experts in the apparel field, their answers broken down in the following categories.
Color is trending in a couple different directions for 2011. Margaret Crow, marketing director for S&S Activewear, Bolingbrook, Ill., pointed out that certain military-inspired neutral hues, like olive green, sand and camel, are growing in popularity. She also noted a few other trending colors that are useful as complements to the neutrals. "Other colors that are big right now, and will be through 2011, are complements to the overall military neutrals: bold touches of red and bold jewel tones such as purple and teal."
Lauren Cocco, merchandiser for Vantage Apparel, Avenel, N.J., agreed with the coming popularity of jewel tones, stating that Vantage Apparel added orange, deep maroon and purple hues for fall 2010 products. She also pointed to fashion blues and greens as being important for the warmer seasons of 2011, and seconded the value of neutrals as well. "Neutrals such as tans and grays will continue to be important and carry us into the fall season," she said. "Also look for heathered shades and washed-down vintage colors."