Month: February 2021

Wondering What Styles to Sell This Spring? Check Out Our Picks Below

Shades of pink. Stripes. Upleveled hoodies. Unisex styles. Unique details. Wondering what everyone’s wearing this spring? We’ve got the top trends, styles and decoration recommendations all in one place for you.

TREND 1: SHADES OF PINK

Why it’s hot: We’re seeing all shades of pink this season, from bubblegum to pastel, to saturated jewel tones and neon hues. Some shades will be easier to incorporate into everyday corporate looks, while others will be for younger markets or special campaigns. If your clients have favorite styles, suggest that they update it in one of the new pinks. These colors are great for dressing up corporate classic and casual looks.

Product recommendations: Devon & Jones Perfect Fit Crepe Shirts in great feminine “pop” colors, like Crown Raspberry. The Boat-NeckTop (DP613W) is a nice, understated top to layer underneath the Vision Club Jacket (DG700W), for a polished, professional look. The Tie-Front Top (DP617W) is a great style to feature on its own.

Devon & Jones Ladies’ Perfect Fit™ Tie-Front Blouse – DP617W


Who’s buying it:

  • Corporate Stores/Uniforms
  • Trade Show Uniforms
  • Team and Spirit Wear
  • Fitness and Wellness Centers/Companies
  • Collegiate and Greek Organizations 
  • Healthcare
  • Not-for-Profit Organizations
  • Real Estate
  • Professional (Doctors, Attorneys, CPAs, Architects, etc.)

Decorating tip: When you’re outfitting professionals for corporate or trade show wear, let the garment color do the talking. Recommend a left-chest logo or name drop in complementary hues.

And if you’re outfitting a school, team or collegiate crowd in a hotter pink hue, try heat-press vinyl designs to capture the neon and brighter colors that are on-trend this year.

Future-looking fashion includes garments that all genders can wear, as brands move toward designing inclusive garments.

TREND 2: LUXE, ELEVATED HOODIES

Why it’s hot: Yes, we’ve all been living in the versatile hoodie for the last year, for loungewear and WFH wear. The trend isn’t going anywhere soon, but Prada, Hermès, Chanel, Max Mara and Celine took the hoodie up a few notches with upleveled styles. This season’s hoodies will still keep things low-key, but come with a twist of luxe. Lightweight styles are ideal for year-round layering styles.

Product recommendations: Are you as excited as we are that Under Armour finally launched a sweatshirt fleece? The new collection offers a true fashion crossover element, with soft fleece continuing to trend in both retail and promotional outlets. These styles may be your clients’ new favorite warm-up for almost any activity or destination. They’re lightweight, comfy and super-soft on the inside. The 225g cotton-blend fleece is moisture wicking and quick drying, with a cotton-rich 80/20 construction for ultimate comfort and performance. 

Check out the collection:

  • The Stripe Hustle Fleece Hoody (1300123/1300261) has a large classic front kangaroo pocket.
  • The Hustle Fleece Zip Hoody (1351313/1351229) has an elastic cuff and hem in contrast fabric.
  • The Hustle Fleece Crew (1302159/1305784) has a raw finish neck and hem, raglan sleeves and a side vent.

 

Under Armour Men’s Hustle Pullover Hooded Sweatshirt -1300123
Under Armour Men’s Hustle Fleece Crewneck Sweatshirt – 1302159

Who’s buying it:

  • Corporate Stores/Uniforms
  • Trade Show Uniforms
  • Team and Spirit Wear
  • Tech Firms
  • Fitness and Wellness Centers/Companies
  • Education
  • Not-for-Profit Organizations
  • Trade, Professional Associations and Civic Clubs
  • Automotive
  • Construction

Decorating tip: When you’re decorating hoodies, remember that locations are key since you have so much real estate. For starters, you can place a logo or message on the left chest and use the back of the hoodie for a bigger statement. Remember, for 2021, patch-style logos are in for the front of the garment, and font-based graphics using block, bold and retro fonts are popular for the back. Don’t forget: Perfectly placed logos make for great brand recognition on Zoom calls.

TREND 3: UNISEX STYLES

Why it’s hot: Future-looking fashion includes garments that all genders can wear, as brands move toward designing inclusive garments. Flexibility is also key, in styles that can be worn day to night, for work, play and everything in between.

Product recommendations: Team 365 just released a new lightweight water-resistant outerwear piece, the Zone Hydrosport Storm Flap Jacket (TT87), a unisex silhouette in a longer length with a roll-away hood perfectly in keeping with all the athletic trends in apparel. It features a durable, matte-finish shell fabric with a cotton-like hand and a unique convertible storm flap design in the back that can be worn up or down, enabling the wearer to stay even drier while walking (or sitting) in wet conditions.

Team 365 Unisex Zone HydroSport™ Storm Flap Jacket – TT87
Team 365 Unisex Zone HydroSport™ Storm Flap Jacket – TT87

Who’s buying it:

  • Corporate Stores/Uniforms
  • Trade Show Uniforms
  • Team and Spirit Wear
  • Tech Firms
  • Fitness and Wellness Centers/Companies
  • Education
  • Not-for-Profit Organizations

Decorating tip: With Team 365’s new silhouette, we recommend showing your clients how the storm flap offers a unique decoration location to represent a corporate brand or team spirit forward and backward.

TREND 4: STRIPES

Why it’s hot: This season’s stripes—from Burberry to Christopher Kane to Kenneth Ize—are about energy, movement and getting a second (and third) glance. This spring, stripes feel fresh again, in their new iterations.

We’re seeing all shades of pink this season, from bubblegum to pastel, to saturated jewel tones and neon hues.

Product recommendations: Nautica’s newest styles are designed with a refreshed take on heritage with multi-generational appeal. Both athletic and polished enough for wherever the work day takes your end-customers, the Nautica Deck Polo is cut from breathable cotton-rich pique for your all-day comfort. The men’s style (N17165) has a ribbed collar and cuffs with striping tipping and the women’s style (N17168) is designed with a split-neck placket with striped tipping. Both subtly striped styles are the perfect sport-inspired top for any day of the week.

Nautica Men’s Deck Polo – N17165
Nautica Ladies’ Deck Polo – N17168

Check out the new subtly striped offerings for him and her from SPYDER: the Pursuit Jacket (S17298/S17299) with stripe-quilted front chest and back panels, and the Pursuit Vest (S17274/S17299), with its subtly striped stylized front elements. These new layering pieces blend the popular SPYDER Encore Fleece and Pillow Tech Fabrics to create perfect mid layers that move with you for spring. 

Spyder Men’s Pursuit Vest – S17274, Spyder Ladies’ Pursuit Vest – S17275, Spyder Men’s Pursuit Jacket – S17298, Spyder Ladies’ Pursuit Jacket – S17299

We also love Nautica’s new made-in-the-USA Windward Pullover (N17174), made of 100% nylon water-and-wind-resistant fabric with mesh hood liner and a half-zip drawstring hood. Choose from several on-brand color palettes: Nautica Navy/Antique White/True Red; Royal/Antique White/Nautica Navy; and Black/Antique White/Graphite.  

Nautica Unisex Windward Pullover Anorak – N17174

 

Who’s buying it:

  • Corporate Stores/Uniforms
  • Trade Show Uniforms
  • Tech Firms
  • Financial
  • Not-for-Profit Organizations
  • Trade, Professional Associations and Civic Clubs
  • Real Estate
  • Automotive
  • Professional (Doctors, Attorneys, CPAs, Architects, etc.)

Decorating tip: We’ve shown you classic striped styles that cross a lot of markets. We’d recommend sticking with tried-and-true, upscaled embroidery, for logos and artwork. Think about using tone-on-tone embroidery for a traditional look.

TREND 5: UNIQUE DETAILINGS


Why it’s hot: Remember how 2020 was the year of the statement tee? In 2021, we’re continuing to make statements and express our individuality through unique thoughtful details on our apparel and accessories. For example, the sleeves are a focal point this season, along with textured fabrications, color blocking for visual interest, and special performance features.

Product recommendations: The unique Rival Knit Jacket (1326761/1326774) for him and her from Under Armour is a great spring piece, providing just the right level of warmth for a mid-weight, and still performs well with moisture-wicking and quick-drying technology. Features include contrast detail on the sleeve, contrast binding on the cuffs and hem and six colorways, including Stealth Gray/White, Forest Green/White, and Royal/White. 

Under Armour Ladies’ Rival Knit Jacket – 1326774

With a modern corporate cool aesthetic, Columbia’s Utilizer Polo (1772051) features Omni-Shade Sun Protection and Omni-Wick technology, for a quick-dry warm-weather polished base layer. Unique details include a contrast placket. Pair this polo with the new Zigzag Backpack (1890031) with its unique zipper detail, a perfect accessory as more companies redefine the idea of the mobile office, and the ability to work from anywhere.

Columbia Men’s Utilizer™ Polo – 1772051
Columbia Zigzag™ 30L Backpack – 1890031


And we don’t want to forget those head-turning head toppers. We like the Bucket Hat (N17688) from Nautica, with its unstructured bucket fit, Nautica debossed metal side snaps and woven Nautica patch. The classic style features water-resistant ripstop fabric. 

Nautica Bucket Cap – N17688

Who’s buying it:

  • Corporate Stores/Uniforms
  • Trade Show Uniforms
  • Team and Spirit Wear
  • Tech Firms
  • Healthcare
  • Financial
  • Not-for-Profit Organizations
  • Trade, Professional Associations and Civic Clubs
  • Real Estate
  • Automotive
  • Professional (Doctors, Attorneys, CPAs, Architects, etc.)

Decorating tip: If your clients are excited about garments and accessories with unique details, offer them unique decorating options like all-over, full-color sublimated or DTG prints. You can also pair a screen print with embroidered details, like 3-D puff or metallic thread.

This season’s stripes—from Burberry to Christopher Kane to Kenneth Ize—are about energy, movement and getting a second (and third) glance.

WHAT TO DO TODAY

Now that you’ve got six spring fashion trends—and the newest products—to sell, here are two ways to present these pieces to your clients:

1. Pitch good, better-and best-quality apparel basics.

Yes, we’re sure you’ve heard this idea before, but put it into practice. Show clients items that come in around their budget, and then present additional items that cost a little more, but will last longer or have desirable features: a certain fabrication, fashion-forward silhouette, must-have performance features or thoughtful details. The goal? Get clients to understand that when they invest in better garments, their end-users are more likely to wear and use the pieces more often, and for longer, resulting in lots more brand impressions.

2. Put together full outfit recommendations and styling tips. “They” say a picture’s worth 1,000 words. So how much would a client-focused styling guide be worth to your business? When you show your client a sell sheet with the one polo style they asked for, or five polos to consider, how much does that spark their imagination?

Instead, imagine sending your client a sell sheet or presentation with a recommendation for a complete outfit: “Yes, you requested polos, but I’ll show you how to style the polo with a club jacket or windbreaker, and a hat and a bag.” Suddenly, your chances of upselling them to a better polo or cross-selling a windbreaker have skyrocketed. 

Plus, styling help is just a click away: For example, alphabroder’s Spring 2021 Preview Guide shows you how to pair styles with other apparel items and accessories. Yes, let’s do the Spring 2021 Preview Guide.

Finally, try to show clients decorated samples or 3-D virtual mockups of your apparel recommendations with their logo on it.

 #ABDecoratingTip

As a decorator, if you want to totally capture and impress your customers, wow them from your very first interaction. “Show them that you have the skillset and the capabilities to deliver them the killer decorated end-products they’re looking for,” says Craig Mertens, general manager of Digital Art Solutions. When the pandemic hit, the most successful decorators sought out and integrated new digital tools to help increase their productivity, their audience engagement, and their bottom line. 

“By leaning into digital marketing through social media and email  campaigns, as well as optimizing their web presence and investing in online  collaboration tools (like virtual meeting software), these decorators operate more efficiently, and more effectively, than before,” Mertens says. “Plus, they meet their audience where they are—hitting their needs while standing out from the competition.”

Ready to Be a Screen-Printing Rockstar? Try Out These Tips & Techniques

Whether you’re a newbie screen printer or an industry O.G. who knows most of the things, it’s always a smart idea to see what other printers are doing in their shops. We asked around to get some of the freshest technique tips and artwork tricks.

From block-style fonts to weathered overlays to patch-style graphics, industry experts weigh in on what their athletic and corporate clients want in 2021. 

Plus, have you thought about creating a retro-appeal halftone with one ink color? Or removing the white underbase on certain elements of a design for a tonal effect? Some of the best screen printers out there share their insider tips for stunning prints. 

And of course, since masks aren’t going anywhere for awhile, we’ve got a great primer from a mask-printing guru on how to do it right, for maximum art appeal and breathability. So let’s dive in!

Continue reading “Ready to Be a Screen-Printing Rockstar? Try Out These Tips & Techniques”