Styled for Success
According to Miles, runway and retail trends are more influential now than a few years ago. "The overall imprintable product line was previously fairly static, but we are now seeing fashion trends influence promotional wear in terms of colorways, fabrications and silhouettes," he elaborated. Bayer said it's a gradual process, but color trends are the first to trickle down into the promotional industry. So what colors are predicted to sizzle this summer? Bayer had the hot list. "Tees are coming in a huge range of colors, but the two major trends are brights and vintage heathered tees," she said.
Maggie Magellan, marketing coordinator for Los Angeles-based Bella+Canvas, agreed. "Bold, bright colors such as neons, and new textures that play on color as well, such as Bella+Canvas' new marble fabrication [...] have been hugely successful for us," she said.
– From April 2013's "Warming up in Style"
4. Put on a Fashion Show
Boxy cuts were all the rage in the early '90s, when wearing a T-shirt was more of a grunge-inspired protest against the excesses of '80s fashion sense. But T-shirts are anti-fashion no longer—they're in style, and consumers want fashionable options. "Fitted cuts have now become a fashion staple because the majority of consumers no longer want (or wear) a boxy, unflattering T-shirt," said Yvette Corona, wholesale coordinator for Los Angeles-based American Apparel. "Fitted T-shirts provide a more fashion-forward look so the consumers can feel good in what they're wearing."
Likewise, where buying a plus-size T-shirt once meant forfeiting your right to style, many T-shirt manufacturers now offer fitted options in all sizes. "Many brands are coming out with shirts sized from XS to 2XL to fit a wide range of individuals with a slightly fitted cut to flatter women, while offering a trendier look for men," explained Ashley Adams, marketing coordinator for S&S Activewear, Bolingbrook, Ill.