Pea coats Are Both Practical and Fashionable

Early last year, Elle highlighted numerous outerwear trends worn by celebrities, including a bright red pea coat worn by Taylor Swift. On cue with trends, Independent Trading delivers a promotional version in bright colors. “It’s a flattering fit with a detachable hood, epaulets with buttons and a button strap on the lower back,” Crow says. “It’s both practical and fashionable, and it’s much warmer than it looks. It can be worn as an outerwear piece or as a jacket with an outfit. It elevates an outfit and it’s casual at the same time. I can’t say enough about it! It is in junior sizing, but it works for women as well. This is great for the college market or it can also be a uniform for counter employees who work inside but go outside, such as at rental car agencies, car dealerships or restaurants.”

Maximize Impressions With Woven Shirts

Looking for a versatile garment that doubles as a sophisticated branding canvas? Woven shirts keep wearers comfortable while maximizing impressions for your clients.

According to Lisa Denham, marketing director at Executive Apparel buyers seek performance properties and fashion-forward styles. “Clients are looking for a professional and stylish, upscale look that’s easy to care for without breaking the bank,” Denham explains.

Wrinkle-resistant, stain-resistant and moisture-wicking wearables are in demand; wovens with these properties are ideal advertising tools. Denham adds: “Wovens last longer than a knit shirt, which will generally look worn after a few washes.”

Reach Out And Keep Them Engaged

After the holiday season hustle and bustle, your clients (and their employees) may feel the merriment wearing off. The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to reach out and keep them engaged.

Even small gifts can go a long way to warm them up and keep the relationship cozy. “It’s important for your clients to know you appreciate their business and you remember them,” says Murray Siegel, director of marketing for Towel Specialties. Julie Cecchini, president, and Julie Lagoy, customer service representative – both of Americana Terra – emphasize another reason to thank clients in the New Year: “We get to do what we love because of them.”

Help Our Heroes And Be A Hero

The holidays are here, and it’s the time of year we start thinking about giving back. At ImageWear Solutions, philanthropy is high on our priority list: we think it’s important to support our community and the people who help make it a better place.

Today, I want to feature the great organizations we support. The people and places I’m about to talk about work hard everyday, year-round to help others and make the world a brighter place. I also want to give you a gentle nudge to put philanthropy on your list of goals for the New Year.

Without further ado...

Melody’s Angels
Melody's Angels is a group that meets once a month to package and deliver care kits to homeless men and women in the PDX area.

The Dougy Center
The Dougy Center provides grieving children, teens, young adults, and their families a safe place to share and work through their loss. Giving them an outlet, The Dougy Center offers peer support groups, education, and training. Sadly, on June 21 this year, The Dougy Center’s building was destroyed in an arson fire. They’re still helping grieving children and families in a temporary location, but need support now more than ever.

The Humane Society
As an owner of two dogs, animals hold a special place in my heart. The Oregon Humane Society has been working to help animals for the last 140 years. The Humane Society shelters abandoned animals, fights cruelty and neglect, and works to build a caring and compassionate community.

Oregon Food Bank
The Oregon Food Bank recovers food from farmers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, individuals and government sources. It then distributes that food to 20 regional food banks across Oregon. In addition, the Oregon Food Bank works to eliminate the root causes of hunger through advocacy, nutrition education, learning gardens, and public education.

 

Holiday Client Appreciation Gifts

When it comes to selecting gifts for clients, whether for the holidays or just to show appreciation, keep the individual recipients in mind. “Your gift will be impactful if it provides meaning and value to your client,” says Taraynn Lloyd, marketing director at Edwards Garment Co. Lloyd points out that apparel and accessories, such as sweaters, ties or scarves, are thoughtful choices. “And you can decorate the sweater or neckwear with the client’s logo for personalization,” she adds. Other memorable ideas include customized baskets, gift sets, watches, leather-bound notebooks and much more. When building relationships with clients, remember their preferences, likes and dislikes in order to choose the perfect gift every time.

Hot Products For The Coldest Months

Why sacrifice style for comfort when you can have both? “Styling is more important than it ever has been when it comes to winter apparel and accessories,” says Kara DiBiase, marketing coordinator at Trimark. “Consumers now have multiple winter jackets with different looks.” DiBiase cites quilting, heather and mélange as on-trend for outerwear. Also popular is the military look, according to John Ottaviano, director of sales and marketing for Rothco. “Shirt jackets are a hot trend; military styles have been seen on celebrities like Rihanna and Christina Aguilera,” he says. “These looks are popular for both men and women.” In addition, says Nadia Santoli, marketing director at Expert Brand, “When you’re purchasing winter apparel, look for protection from the elements, visibility, and convenience and functionality.”

Plaid Fad Has You Covered

Looking for that staple trend that never goes out of style? The plaid fad has you covered. This versatile print consistently makes its mark in both apparel and accessory markets and is sure to elevate your promotional gear from simple to simply cool. 

"Plaid is huge at retail, and it found its way into the promotional world as well," says Margaret Crow, director of marketing at S&S Activewear. Crow believes the trend's relevance relates to the classic design aesthetic, but additionally the ability to play with various color combinations. S&S Activewear's most successful target market, when working with plaid or flannel, tends to be college students.

Although plaid does sell well to a younger audience, it's important to remember that it isn't the only compatible market, says Jamie Henry, head of product development at Boxercraft. "Plaid no longer only represents a mountain cabin trip in the woods, or a grunge rock concert," she says.

Instead, plaid flannel appeals to those who value comfort. "Lounge wear is for everyone, and people are willing to pay for the best pair of comfy flannel pants, just like they do their favorite pair of jeans," Henry says.

When it comes to decoration, don't be intimidated by the boldness of plaid. "Take a cue from the college student styles," Crow says. Consider printing a large logo up the entire leg of plaid pants, or making an impact with an allover design on the back of a plaid shirt, she adds.

Plaid is everywhere these days, its appeal reaching beyond apparel to spruce up the packaging of everyday household products. "Some people don't notice this, but even Listerine bottles are sporting a plaid print," Henry says. Plaid seems to work for just about every occasion and every individual, making it an ideal trend for the promotional world.

Great Looks Come From Cool Details

Earlier this year Elle highlighted numerous outerwear trends worn by celebrities,
including a bright red peacoat worn by Taylor Swift. On cue with trends, Independent Trading delivers a promotional version in bright colors. “It’s a flattering fit with a detachable hood, epaulets with buttons and a button strap on the lower back,” Crow says. “It’s both practical and fashionable, and it’s much warmer than it looks. It can be worn as an outerwear piece or as a jacket with an outfit. It elevates an outfit and it’s casual at the same time. I can’t say enough about it! It is in junior sizing, but it works for women as well. This is great for the college market or it can also be a uniform for counter employees who work inside but go outside, such as at rental car agencies, car dealerships or restaurants.”

T-shirts Allow For Self-Expression

 

A novelty just decades ago, the T-shirt is now one of the most popular wearables worldwide. “People of all ages wear T-shirts,” notes Kim Hamlin, director of business development at Storm Creek. Glen Brumer, sales director at Royal Apparel, adds: “The T-shirt can be worn from casual Friday to a relaxing day on the beach. It’s one of the most comfortable garments you can wear.”

As a promotional tool, the tee offers versatility and variety. “You can take a simple T-shirt and make it fun with the right graphic, decorating technique, color or a clever saying,” Hamlin says. According to Brumer, “the T-shirt is one of the only wearable items in your wardrobe that allows for self-expression – in essence, it becomes a billboard.” 

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

PROMOTE AN IMPORTANT AND TIMELY cause while boosting your brand this October – Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Michael Kogutt, of Outdoor Cap Co., explains, “By donating your promotional products to an organization or sponsoring a charitable event, you can build emotional equity within your community.”

As long as the end-user owns the product, he or she will remember the cause and associate positive feelings with your organization. "Doing a good deed will gain exposure for the disease, cancer research, survivors and your brand,” Kogutt says.

“Supporting a cause brings people together,” adds Bruce Everakes, president of Wolfmark. He says offering pink ribbon items for Breast Cancer Awareness could be “a great entrée into other types of cause-related projects your customers support.” Raise hope, spirits and a lot more, starting today.