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. 

Award Winning Hoodie

Award season is here and Trimark has captured the Apparel Design Award for the best hoodie/sweatshirt with their Williamslake Hoody. Trimark designed the Williamslake Hoody with a little inspiration from their popular Sandylake Hoody. The Williamslake combines a classic relaxed style, modern fit and stylish details. With a kangaroo pouch that includes a hidden media pocket, this lightweight hoody offers a high-impact decoration area that puts your brand front and center. The versatile Williamslake has lots of distinctive features, too, from the rib-knit cuffs and hem to the thick drawstring for the hood. While the mens style has a traditional neckline, the women’s features an open V-neck. But what they have in common is what matters most – the unmistakable comfort and style of Roots73.

Time To Shine

SPARKLE IS HUGE this season. Designers like Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger and Oscar de la Renta were heavy-handed with sequins and gleaming metallic fabrics for their fall 2016 collections. Metal detailing and glitter were also big on the runway. But you don’t have to go overboard with head-to-toe gold lamé to capitalize on this trend. 

Give your designs a hard edge with a few strategically placed nailhead embellishments, or employ some glitter thread or metallic ink to put some pop in your logos. Also, consider incorporating metal hardware, like custom cuff links, into company stores and incentive programs for that on-trend touch of metal. Surprisingly, these traditional accessories are a hit with the younger set.

Stripes Never Go Out Of Style

From understated to big and bold, stripes offer fashionable flair and promotional panache. “Stripes are versatile, simple and elegant, and they never go out of style,” says Anne Zimmer, president of SailorBags.“Their versatility allows them to be executed in ways that can make them fit very different demographics,” Zimmer adds, pointing out the universal appeal of the pattern.

One such demographic, according to John Anderson, national sales manager at The Antigua Group, is the golf apparel market. For brands, Anderson says, “Stripes are a way of standing out without being too flashy.” To spice up your striped apparel, one-color embroidery is best, Anderson advises. “Horizontal stripes make a nice canvas for company logos,” Zimmer says, “as they provide baselines and visual anchors to the decoration.”

DRI DUCK: Quality, Comfort and Love of Outdoors

DRI DUCK is built upon a foundation of uncompromising quality, worn-in comfort and a love of the outdoors.

It is the most comprehensive performance workwear line in the industry and is broken up into three important product collections; rugged essentials apparel, technical performance outerwear, and authentic wildlife series headwear. The rugged essentials collection features their heritage canvas products constructed from their exclusive 12oz Boulder Cloth™ canvas. Through their proprietary quarry wash process, each Boulder Cloth™ canvas garment embodies rock solid comfort.

The technical performance collection, DRI DUCK Extreme, also referred to as DDX uses modern fabric technology to build high quality performance workwear. From anti-static fleece to waterproof fabrics this collection combines rugged fabrications with technical performance features to accommodate the most demanding outdoor lifestyles.

In addition to their outdoor apparel, they are the innovators behind the Authentic Wildlife Series headwear. Each cap features a highly detailed embroidered wildlife scene that has the propensity to become a collector's item for outdoor enthusiasts everywhere. With over 50 designs, you'll never have a shortage of designs to sell.