What's In: Color Blocking
Color blocking has been a trend for a few years, but newer styles are using blocking as a shaping technique. The goal is to make feminine silhouettes appear more flattering. "Innovative and flattering color blocking really puts the finishing touches on an item," said Florence Wong, public relations and marketing associate, Tonix Teams, Fremont, Calif. She explained how color blocking is different on men's and women's garments, even when they appear the same. "The men's shoulder color clocking is more broad and angular, whereas the women's is more soft and round, and it is placed more on the front rather than the shoulder," she explained. "The women's side body blocking is designed to have a deeper curve to give the appearance of an hourglass figure. The back color blocking displays a more rounded look for the rear end," she added.
Wong listed pants, polos and V-neck performance tops as garments that benefit from color blocking. "[The women's] Aero (pictured right) and [men's] Attitude are often ordered because of the stylish color blocking. These two are the same shirts, except the [women's] is a V-neck and the [men's] is a polo," she said. Companion styles like the Aero and Attitude can give a team look without losing a flattering fit. "We want a team or staff to still show unity and pride without compromising on fit because it's co-ed," Wong said.
What's In: Girly Garb
Wong listed cheer, dance and gymnastic academies as big sells for ladies' performance gear. "They like things to be girly and have a feminine cut," she said. "This market is great because many companies use these teams for promotional events."
What's In: Longer Shirts
"Longer shirts have always been a request," said Wong. The need derives from the mobility needed during sporting events. "There is a lot of reaching done in sports, so we make sure our shirts are long enough to cover things meant to be covered," she explained.
What's Out: Shirts Without Breathability
Wong noted the important of moisture-wicking qualities in performance gear. "Breathability is a must," she said. "Perspiration is bound to happen. We can't prevent it, but we can control how quickly we can get it away from the body so the athlete can focus on the game." She mentioned that Tonix Teams only sells garments with moisture-management properties. "We use polyester for our women's SoftCool shirts," Wong said. "This provides the ultimate in breathability and has a very soft, comfortable hand feel. Some of our shirts are treated to be colorfast, and some are treated to have UV protection." These extra elements keep the shirts from fading so team colors stay vibrant.