For the most part, imprinted apparel is timeless. A two- or three-button placket polo is a classic. A crew neck T-shirt will always be in style. Even certain fabrications like burnt-out are steady favorites. Yet, in the fashion world, few items are timeless. The word "trendy" can almost be seen as an insult depending on what it refers to, i.e., "Wow, that flannel is so trendy circa the grunge era of the mid-90s." (I have nothing against flannel. It is awesome and makes winter much more tolerable.)
Despite the often short lives of trends, selling trendy apparel may make the difference when you attempt to land a sale, especially within the youth market. Here's a brief guide to some current trends so the apparel you sell can last beyond the New-York-minute interest of the fashion world.
This trend was originally popularized in the Amy Heckerling teen classic Clueless. Think of Cher's definitive "I love Josh" moment in the movie. Or, just think of every teenage girl in the 90s wearing platforms, knee socks and a sheer long-sleeve shirt. The sheer trend is back and working its way into retail corporate apparel lines. Mind you, it can be done tastefully, but that requires layers of undershirts and scarves. Best sold with accessories.
The width of ties tends to fluctuate with the economy. Thinner ties are more popular in troublesome financial times, and thicker ones take preference in booming economies. This is less a trend to avoid, but one to be aware of.
Any supplier or distributor familiar with apparel knows that slight color changes make a big difference. A muted shade of pink can work for all ages, but a highlighter pink is better for tweens. Right now citrus shades like yellow and orange are popular. A few years ago electric blue was the "in" color. No color ever really goes out of style, but some or more prevalent at times. Staying updated on current color trends for retail and promotional apparel will benefit your apparel sales.
I love studs. I have a pair of sandals with spikes and studs on the back. I always get compliments on them and I love them. I realize a few years from now, I will see pictures of myself in them and gawk at the trend I am currently embracing. They do add a fun element to apparel so for a one-time promotion geared toward teens, they'll be a hit.
As you embark on trendy apparel selling, remember it is always better to go with a toned down version of a trend, like a blouse with sheer sleeves not entire shirt front. Keep it somewhat classic and you'll survive the ever-changing preferences of fashionistas.