The Top 2022 Apparel, Accessories & Color Trends to Sell Now

New year, new approach to apparel sales? That’s what savvy decorators are doing. A great place to start is to learn the apparel, accessories and color trends to excite your clients. They want you to be their decorated-apparel expert. If you don’t have time to research, we’ve got you covered, (with tools like our newly launched Fashion Feed). Get all 12 top fashion trends in this apparel, accessories and color trends round-up.

Apparel & Accessories Trends

1. Low-slung joggers

Streetwear’s influence isn’t slowing down with joggers (we’re even seeing this casual silhouette in medical scrub pants). Meet the low-rise version of these loose-cut pants that have a grown-up vibe. Etro and Valentino offer these joggers with a ‘90s feel, and Tom Ford debuted silky after-dark versions. Balenciaga and Proenza Schouler turned wide-legged iterations, and Sacai’s color-blocked earthy hue joggers provided a new take on the classic camo pant.  We love these joggers by pop out brand Lane Seven Apparel.

“After two years of Zoom meetings and working from home, the world has embraced and enjoyed wearing comfortable pieces,” says Gabby Eckert, personal stylist, image consultant and CEO at Brave and Beautiful Boutique. “Low-slung joggers fit that bill perfectly. As we move away from the skinny jeans and tighter-fitting options, we continue to move to a more relaxed, loose, wide-legged pant in 2022. The low-slung jogger is a piece that you’ll see dressed up, for example, with heels and a blazer, but also dressed down with a fun tee and a pair of runners for a more laid-back look.”

“Right now, we’re all about the ‘60s. We’re going through a pandemic, so we want to express ourselves and break fashion traditions. Performers like Doja Cat and Tyler The Creator are wearing unique bright, swirling colors to reflect that mood.” Gregory Jerome, Gregory Jerome Image Consulting

If you’re not quite sure whether this is one of the top apparel trends to sell, Gregory Jerome, owner of Gregory Jerome Image Consulting, reiterates that it’s here in a big way. “Besides comfort and the right fit, I’d also look at color-blocked options,” he says. “Color blocking isn’t going anywhere, like joggers, so this is your chance to select colors that vibe with one another.” 

Your takeaway: Joggers have been in fashion for the last couple of years, thanks to working from home and the larger influence of streetwear and athleisure on mainstream style. This comfortable style is great for any company that wants to outfit its staff with branded joggers when they work at home, to schools, gyms, teams and Greek organizations. Plus, pitch those  jogger-style scrub pants to healthcare pros.

2. Catsuits (maybe) and bold leggings (yes!)

Enter Cardi B’s Richard Quinn one-piece in Paris. Kim Kardashian’s hot piece “Saturday Night Live” bodysuit from Balenciaga. Hailey Bieber’s birthday suit. Yes, bold head-to-toe catsuits probably won’t catch on in the wholesale print industry. However, we’re getting big “yeses” on eye-catching leggings in animal prints, graphic patterns, leather, cutouts, and athleisure versions, which wearers can layer under hoodies and tunic tops.

New this year at alphabroder, these ultra-soft, go-everywhere TriDri Ladies’ Performance Leggings (TD531).

“I love bold leggings, and am such a fan of them with skirts, leather jackets and boots,” Jerome says. “For apparel decorators and distributors, the main thing is to understand what message you want to bring to your wearer’s environment, and don’t go overboard, while still making an impact.”

Jerome also recommends looking beyond the obvious: Instead of a cheetah print, look for a legging print with a cheetah face.

Your takeaway: Don’t get left behind with the leggings trend. Like joggers, leggings are great for outfitting employees who are working from home, and want comfortable apparel they can work or work out in. Of course, gyms, spas, schools, teams and sororities are ideal candidates for this trend. Besides finding the right fit for your wearers, the sky’s the limit with pitching get-noticed colors, patterns and graphics that your clients will love.

3. Dresses and mini skirts

Look at lightweight casual dresses as a versatile, everyday staple for warmer days–think of these dresses as pull-on-and-go, with lots of iterations from Chloé and Khaite, and a version with cut-outs from Gabriela Hearst. Another nod to the mod decade and the early ‘80s, you’ll see mini skirts and skorts. Dior modeled Twiggy, and Miu Miu chose an early-2000s prep-goes-pop vibe. 

“Fringe is a fun way to add flair and movement to any outfit. It’s a detail that takes your outfit from boring to eye-catching with little effort. Fringe can instantly transform simple basics like denim or blazers into a unique piece with lots of personality.”
Gabby Eckert, Brave and Beautiful Boutique (@gabbyeckert)

“Minis and dresses are a fun staple, depending on who you’re outfitting and for what event,”  Jerome says. “There are high and low waists, different lengths and shapes like flares, and different patterns and textures. Rihanna recently wore a matching mohair crop and mini that really made an impact.”

For cooler weather wear, Jerome says, you can pair a dress or mini with a chunky cable-knit sweater and leggings.

In dresses and beyond, we’re seeing cutouts of all shapes and locations on the runway (from designers like Stella McCartney and Jacquemas), red carpet and at retail. This widespread trend is a throwback to Y2K wear.

“Cutouts are a detail that’s here to stay, for now,” says Mandy Scanlon, a fashion stylist, hair and makeup artist, and confidence coach. “While they’ve been a runway trend for years now, they’re staying around for 2022 in countless ways. As consumers of all ages are coming out of their pandemic anxiety, there’s a new appetite for romance, so everyone will explore this trend. Right now, Alexander McQueen and Missoni have exquisite tailoring for cutouts.”

Your takeaway: Branded dresses and skirts work as resort or destination merch, as well as pieces that appeal to sororities, band fans and festival goers. Plus, you can pitch these items as uniform pieces or branded casual wear for certain clients, like food and beverage companies, as part of a corporate store offering.

Pro tip: Jerome advises having a tailor on your team (such as on a contract basis) to assist at larger corporate fittings if you want to offer a higher-level service. 

4. Bright bags

Notice-me colors and neons are gaining traction again, so fashion experts forecast that we’ll see lots of ultra-vibrant bags taking inspiration from the ‘80s, but with a modern, 2022 vibe. Designers like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo and Alexander McQueen have put these eye-catching bags down the runway, so chances are, your clients are already excited about them. Look for simple bag silhouettes to balance the bright colors. These bags go great with apparel in tonal neutrals or color blocking.

Jerome, who used to work at Coach and is an external stylist for Ralph Lauren, loves these bright bags as a way to express a brand personality. “Besides working with these fun, vibrant colors, it’s important to know how the bag will be used, so you can recommend the right style, “ he says. “Are you doing a mini bag, a clutch, a shoulder bag or a crossbody? Don’t forget about functionality.”

BAGedge Cotton Twill Horizontal Shopper (BE102)

Remember, bags in general are making a comeback, after nearly two years of working at home and not going out as much. “Neon bags are the perfect way to brighten up street wear and take you right into evening wear, perfect for any party or corporate event,” Scanlon says. “Anything from small to large bags are back in a big way on the runway. Look at Kurt Geiger London and Versace for inspiration.”

Your takeaway: We always like to say that bags are one-size-fits-all (unlike t-shirts or polos). However, pay attention to the brand you’re outfitting and the demographics of the people who’ll be using the bags (and where and for what). The good news is that industry mills offer a wide variety of bag styles and colors to fit any brand. When you add an eye-catching logo, you’ve just created a functional, fashionable accessory that will get used over and over (and get lots of eyes on your client’s brand).

Those Essential Details

1. Fringe elements

Like tie-dye, fringe never quite goes out of style, but has its moments in the sun. It’s back this season, on the edges of denim, blazers, coats, capes, bags and more. People are loving it in neutral shades like brown, camel, cream and khaki. 

“Fringe is a fun way to add flair and movement to any outfit,” Eckert says. “It’s a detail that takes your outfit from boring to eye-catching with little effort. Fringe can instantly transform simple basics like denim or blazers into a unique piece with lots of personality. This trend will also be a hit in 2022 with accessories, outerwear and bags.”

For Jerome, who styles his clients using historical and cultural references, fringe is one of the heavy hitters. “Fringe originated in Mesopotamia in 3000 BC, and everybody in all social classes wore it, although the rich had silk garments and everyone else had cotton and linen,” he says. “Fringe is a statement piece, and we’ll see it on apparel and accessories. It’s historic.”

Your takeaway: We love the fact that you can add fringe to lots of apparel items and accessories in the wholesale print industry. If your client is looking for a statement apparel piece or accessory, definitely show them some pieces with a fringe detail.

2. Bead and pearl details

You’ll see these details go dainty, or big and bold, depending on the designer and garments. Decorators can incorporate these embellishments into their logo and artwork decorations for younger wearers and bolder brands.

“I love Very Peri, a periwinkle blue hue with a violet red undertone. It’s such a happy color that will have everyone smiling this year. Any age or gender can wear this shade.” Mandy Scanlon, confidence coach (@Mandy_Scanlon)

Another carryover trend from 2021, head scarves are all over the spring runways, with so many versions, from classic bandannas, to crochet, to vintage-inspired silk, to Swarovski crystal, rhinestone, bead and pearl decorated scarves.

“This year, we’ll see a huge surge of pearl accessories and embellishments,” Eckert says. “Pearls are elegant and can elevate a look. We’ll see a surge of popularity in layered necklaces with pearls and beaded pieces that add pops of color. For those of us still working from home and attending virtual meetings, accessorizing has become a fun way of expressing ourselves on camera.”

Your takeaway: Like fringe, bead and pearl details will appeal to certain clients, who’ll say yes right away. An easy way to incorporate this trend into your presentations is to use these embellishments as part of a decorated logo or eye-catching artwork.

3. Mod graphic prints

These prints have been trending since 2021, with iterations including checkerboard prints to artsy motifs to retro florals. This year’s spin is the ‘60s mod decade’s influence featuring colorful geometric patterns on shrunken polos and scarves.

“Right now, we’re all about the ‘60s,” Jerome says. “We’re going through a pandemic and we want to express ourselves and break fashion traditions. We’re experiencing a new mood mirroring what’s happening socially. Performers like Doja Cat and Tyler The Creator are wearing unique bright, swirling colors to reflect that.”

alphabroder Fashion Feed, Retro

Your takeaway: You’ll find various garments and accessories printed with mod-inspired designs. If you’re screen printing or DTG printing, you have the creative freedom to develop artwork for your clients with done-up or more subdued prints to fit in with their brand or event.

This Year’s Color Crazes

After two years of video meetings and working from home, the world is ready for bright colors, excitement and joy,” Eckert says. “Bright colors instantly lift a mood and there’s much to be said about the psychology behind colors and how they affect us. Your clients want to feel alive and happy this year, so what better way than to surround yourself with beautiful bold, bright colors in your apparel and decorations in 2022?”

Here’s a rundown of some of the colors you should present to your clients for 2022:

1. 2022’s notable colors

Two of this year’s signature hues are in the bluish-purple and purple family. “These bluish-purple hues reflect feelings of openness, pride, creativity, communication, confidence and strength,” Jerome says. “I always advise my corporate clients to offer their employees or customers a range of complementary colors that reflect the brand as well as flatter each wearer’s skin tone.”

First up, Pantone’s look-at-me-twice Color of the Year 2022, Very Peri, which it describes as “blending the faithfulness and constancy of blue with the energy and excitement of red.” WGSN’s Color of the Year 2022, Orchid Flower, is a saturated bright magenta color that’s about both positivity and escapism.

“I love Very Peri, a periwinkle blue hue with a violet red undertone,” Scanlon says. “It’s such a happy color that will have everyone smiling this year. Any age or gender can wear this shade. This color will be hot this spring and summer from sneakers to dresses. Louis Vuitton has bags coming out in this hue as well.”

2. The neutrals

Key to every apparel decorator or distributor’s apparel color palette, neutrals appeal to a wide variety of companies and wearers, especially for wardrobe staples. Here are the Pantone shades to watch: 

  • Snow White, “a clean and pure white,” reflects our need for inner peace. 
  • Coca Mocha, a deep brown mirrors a rich cup of energizing java. 
  • Perfectly Pale, a sandy hue that recalls the warmth of a sunny beach. 
  • Northern Droplet, a gray hue that’s the shade of quiet, overcast days.
  • Poppy Seed, a deeper, timeless gray that will be around for years to come.

3. The pinks, purple and red

“These hues run the gamut between pinks that communicate love, calm, kindness and even romance,” Jerome says. “Red is always a very powerful color, which communicates dignity and pride. You always need to think about the vibe your client wants to give out.”

Pay attention to these Pantone shades:

  • Gossamer Pink, a shade of sophisticated powdery that’s both grown-up and tender. 
  • Innuendo, a bright pink that sparks a “wonderful jolt of energy.”
  • Dahlia, a bright purple color that’s risk-taking and dynamic. 
  • Poinciana, a “heated” red meant to be worn by the bold among us.

4. The all-moods blues

“Wearing blue promotes happiness, refreshment, rejuvenation and transformation,” Jerome says. “Plus, it fosters communication and stronger analytical thinking.”

Since blue is a staple color, show your clients these four Pantone shades that run the spectrum:

  • Spun Sugar, a pastel blue shade that mimics fresh air.
  • Glacier Lake, a powdery, calm blue hue, references the cold, crisp Arctic. 
  • Harbor Blue, a blue-green color, is about “longing for a safe space.” 
  • Skydiver, a blue hue that’s brighter and more attracting than other calming blue colors.

5. One bright, bright yellow

Pantone’s bright yellow shade, Daffodil, reflects the “spontaneity of a spring garden,” the color predictor says. “Keep this color in your quiver, since it promotes happiness more than any other color,” Jerome says. “Yellow represents rebirth and hope, and connects us to the planet.”

Your takeaways: Of course, when you’re working with a brand, you’ll work within its guidelines to choose the right color palette for apparel and decoration. However, there’s room to create a color story using this year’s brights and neutrals to create a unique experience for a brand’s employees and customers. Don’t be afraid to dive deep or take a chance during your sales presentations!

What to Do Today

Take some time to review these fashion, accessories and color trends to see which ones would resonate most with your top clients. Then, we recommend using some of our tools to easily search for products and accessories that you’d like to pitch to these clients:

Here are some valuable tools you can use on the alphabroder website:

  • Catalogs: See our latest e-apparel catalogs at a glance so you can see what’s trending. You can share our generic versions with your clients.
  • SalesBuilder: Want the power of an entire graphic design department in the hands of your marketing team and sales reps? Whether you’re making a one-page custom flyer, apparel lookbooks or an entire presentation, you can use premade templates to create professional templates.
  • High Stock Inventory Filter: When you use this feature, you can quickly find in-stock products to present to your clients.

Finally, whether or not you choose to enlist the help of fashion consultants like Eckert or Jerome, it’s important to align your client’s brand with the apparel you recommend. “With corporate branding through apparel and color, you need to think about the non-verbal message you’ll send that encapsulates that brand’s culture and values,” says Jerome, who has outfitted corporate staffs at energy company PSE&G and luminaries like Bobby Portis, Jr., an NFL basketball player for the Milwaukee Bucks. “The other challenge is to incorporate individuality into corporate apparel, so that employees can express themselves within that corporate identity. You need to create harmony within all of it.”

Ultimately, remember that at the most basic level, branded apparel lifts spirits, especially during these pandemic times. “You can use decorated apparel to help boost company morale,” Jerome says. “You can express appreciation for your client’s most valuable asset, their employees.”

SHOP alphabroder USA,  alphabroder CANADA and Prime Line BRANDS TO FIND PRODUCTS OF THE MOMENT.

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