Styled for Success
– From September 2013's "Coat Culture"
3. Think About the End-Use
If your client needs fleece for outdoor use—say, for workwear or athletics—you'll want to offer something sturdier. Mary Ellen Nichols, director of marketing communications for Philadelphia-based Bodek and Rhodes, mentioned breathable fabrics like microfleece or wicking fleece, while Jessica Strain, marketing manager for Dri Duck Traders, Overland Park, Kan., suggested items with technical properties. "Some features to look for include anti-static, anti-pill and UPF sun protection," Strain noted. "These properties can make an ordinary fleece more rugged and appropriate for the workwear industry."
– From July 2013's "Cozy Capital"
ATHLETIC AND PERFORMANCE APPAREL
1. For Golf, Keep Cool
You've heard this one many times before, but it is still the most important element of golf shirts: moisture wicking. "Moisture wicking materials benefit the players by pulling the moisture away from the body keeping them cool and looking fresh which is a great benefit," explained Phillip Ambros, marketing for Sierra Pacific Apparel Group, Houston. "This helps them also become less fatigued during a match," he added.
Kate Souza, public relations specialist for Charles River Apparel, Sharon, Mass., mentioned breathable fabrics are top picks for golf promotions. "Anything lightweight, breathable and with raglan sleeves (for extended range of motion) are attractive properties for golf apparel," she said. "Also, easy care is a huge plus."
– From March 2013's "Fore! Fashion!"
2. Consider Fabrics
Joy Shi, marketing associate for Tri-Mountain, Irwindale, Calif., explained that cotton/polyester blends have traditionally been the most popular for T-shirts, but moisture-wicking and anti-microbial fabrics are becoming more desirable.
"Materials like spandex and nylon in the fabric blend are also popular, especially for activewear shirts," she noted.
– From February 2013's "The Tao of Tees"
3. Look to Celebrities
According to Shi, performance T-shirt styles aren't limited to the field. "Executives will be influenced by what athletes are wearing, styles that were once just team-oriented have definitely found their way into corporate America as a result," she explained. "As one of our sales reps says, what CEO doesn't want to be like Tiger Woods out on the turf? The businessman admires the athlete. For this reason, we increasingly see T-shirts with athletic features in corporate boardrooms and team-building activities."