6 Retail-Inspired Trends That Are Popular in the Promotional Apparel World

These days, you don’t have to be a fashion expert to know what hot new styles are trending in retail. You just need WiFi access. The rise of digital marketing platforms like social media lowers barriers to entry for retailers, causing accelerated fashion cycles. As a result, promotional apparel suppliers like alphabroder are pressured to keep up with popular retail-esque trends.

We followed up with Andrea Routzahn, senior vice president of portfolio & supplier management at alphabroder, to pinpoint popular promotional apparel styles that got their start in retail. Her answers are listed below:

Corporate Casual




Silicon Valley plays a major role in the radical shift of office wardrobe standards. At the turn of the century, start-up companies redefined the meaning of corporate casual. “Restrictive clothing worn for appearances’ sake was inefficient, and Silicon Valley was all about efficiency,” according to The Atlantic.  In efforts to streamline all aspects of their professional lives, many employees of tech companies traded in their rigid suits for comfortable cotton shirts, full-zip hoodies, and athletic sneakers. In recent decades, Silicon Valley standards have become a baseline for corporate casual workwear.

Outerwear Technology




The fashion retail industry is a breeding ground for innovation. Those innovative trends trickle down into the promotional apparel world. Outwear, in particular, has undergone substantial changes over the past few years as clothing designers come up with new ways to improve the outdoor experience. For instance, the industry standard for your average puffer jacket used to be warm and fashionable. Nowadays, there’s renewed focus on creating warm puffers that are not only fashionable but light-weight, water-resistant, and flexible as well. alphabroder sets industry standards when it comes to tech-driven styles. Learn more about some of our newest innovations here.




Fall is a perfect time to experiment with layers. Fashion experts created new classic staples by simply combining a balanced blend of textures, colors, and proportions. Consumers go crazy for those multi-dimensional silhouettes. Layering options like untucked shirts, vests, and quarter-zips offer fashion and comfort in one. Furthermore, the trend gives wearers the ability to mix and match, allowing for more use out of each individual garment.

Elegant Polos that Perform



The scratchy nylon polo your dad used to wear in the early 90s is a thing of the past. Get with the times and offer your customers something that performs and looks good. Polyester changed the polo game. It gave wearers renew confidence. Thanks to polyester, professionals can now show off their sense of fashion without showing off sweat stains. Moreover, the merging of polyester and cotton adds a combined comfort and performance feature.




Body culture has improved drastically over the past several years. For that reason, promotional apparel designers are pressured to keep up with social norms. Every person has their own unique body shape. In response to the growing demand for more flattering apparel, experts created more options. Take a walk through your modern department store, and you’ll most likely see more style options for more body types. The one-size-fits-all method is gradually becoming an outdated practice.




Some people consider athleisure to be the new business casual. This fashion movement gives people the ability to stay on trend without sacrificing comfort. Despite the fact that the athleisure market has described as saturated, it continues to grow. So get ready to see more new styles of yoga pants, hoodies, tank tops, and sweat pants.

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