The King of Casual - Quarter-Zip Fleece 

WHEN THE TERM “normcore” first appeared in 2013, its inventors attempted to describe the appeal of apparel that promised “the freedom that comes with non-exclusivity.” Which is just a fancy way of saying that it’s cool to belong.

The fleece pullover is one of the linchpins of this (non) movement, a “supremely utilitarian” garment that exists outside all the turmoil of changing tastes. It’s what people wear when they are comfortable with themselves and their environment.

And as a branding tool, it’s the perfect item to capture the attention of other people, similar in their ease among friends and coworkers, and in their universal desire for comfort and community. 


COVER UP WITH Cardigans 

CARDIGANS GAVE FALL/WINTER 2014-2015 Fashion Week an extra cozy and majestic feel. Gorgeous getups from the likes of Saint Laurent and Calvin Klein dared to reach the floor and made for a rather glamorous match with heels, knee- length boots and fur coats. 

“Long-length cardigans for ladies made from soft and delicate fine-gauge cotton blends are a significant trend,” says Taraynn Lloyd, marketing director for Edwards Garment. “The women's styles have a flattering silhouette and complement curves. They are also lightweight, have a smooth drape and are easy to care for.” Women can choose between a traditional V-neck button-up or open neck, while Lloyd says men’s traditional V-neck button vests and sweater cardigans are back in force. “These styles have been freshened up by providing a more youthful fit and eliminating pockets,” she says. 

“Cardigans and cover-ups are comfortable and attractive corporate-wear items,” adds Shurli Allinott, president of Brandwear. “This season, styles are primarily long and draping ... and oversized for that boyfriend look, great for the office or on the move.” 



From Chanel's metallic pink running suit to Dior’s cotton-candy-hued fur trenchcoat, pink, of all shades, is a notable frontrunner this fall. This playful and lively pastel is intent on staying in the spotlight post-spring and summer, primarily as a result of 1960s-resurgent clothing and styles.

“While our fall color palette is typically comprised of neutral hues, things changed in a big way this season. Alongside classic shades of gray, camel, black and ivory were electrifying jolts of fuchsia,” notes a recent article by Style.com. Pink is an excellent way to get rid of the coming winter blues.

Shakira Parks of Boxercraft also mentions fuchsia as one of the hottest fall shades. “Fuchsia in particular has become much more of a staple than a trend,” she says. “It’s one of those colors that energizes, commands attention and gets you noticed. It’s a great transitional color you can wear all year-round, plus it can easily be incorporated into any wardrobe.” 


Performance Features That Work Harder 

When discussing performance apparel, one typically refers to special fabrications, fibers and finishes that add a moisture management or antibacterial function to the garment. There are, however, features that have nothing to do with “technology.” They’re simply style components that have been used for decades in the construction of apparel to make it more comfortable, durable or useful. Here are five classic options that will complement a performance-engineered fabric:

1. Cord Lock keeps a cinching cord from retracting into the garment while pulled taut; it is usually a toggle or a stopper.

2. Drop Tail refers to the back hemline of a shirt; the back of the shirt is longer to keep the shirt tucked in or from riding up too high. It might also be called an Extended Tail.

3. Eyelets are the small holes finished with either a grommet or stitching that are meant to improve breathability. For example, they might be placed in the armpit of a shirt.

4. Side Vents are the slits placed at the hemline on each side of the garment, allowing a greater range of motion.

5. Storm Flap is the flat piece of fabric that runs either on the outside or inside along a zipper or other closure. It helps to keep rain and wind from penetrating a jacket. 



TAKE A LOOK at the latest fashions from Missoni, Givenchy and John Galliano, and one thing you won’t fail to notice is that stripes abound. Given fashion’s current obsession with all things geometric, it’s no wonder this pattern is showing up in abundance.

“Striped apparel is expected to do very well throughout 2014 and 2015,” says Shurli Allinott, president of Brandwear. “When you go into any retail store, you find a mix of striped apparel that creates interest.” Allinott is a fan of stripes for the instant fashion statement they make. “The beauty of stripes is that they can stand on their own. They can also be worn with a neutral or a bright color to add some fun to your wardrobe.” She makes a special note that neutral- based stripes for apparel “can be seen as quite progressive in terms of style.”