Tee Off This Season With Athletic Attire

WHEN IT COMES TO GOLF APPAREL, the best way to discover what’s trending is to go straight to the source. Jeff Nero, sales representative from Tri-Mountain, advises decorators and distributor salespeople to “turn on the TV and spend time watching a PGA tournament. See what the top pros are wearing, and get ideas on the fashion and styles they’re wearing on the golf course.”

Golf apparel buyers, according to Nero, look for trending colors and designs, as well as modern fabrics and fits. “It’s a smart move to take advantage of the millions of dollars spent in research and development by top apparel companies like NikeAdidas and others,” he notes.

Spring Fashion Trends

RING IN SPRING with fashion-forward apparel that gets your clients’ brand buzzing. On-trend promotional clothing “often becomes the end-user’s favorite item to wear,” thus increasing visibility, says Glen Brumer, sales director at Royal Apparel.

RING IN SPRING with fashion-forward apparel that gets your clients’ brand buzzing. On-trend promotional clothing “often becomes the end-user’s favorite item to wear,” thus increasing visibility, says Glen Brumer, sales director at Royal Apparel.

According to Brumer, this season, clients are seeking eco-friendly, sustainable styles, made-in-USA garments, “athleisure” – including leggings and tank topsmilitary chic camo, vintage looks, soft-hand fabrics and polos.

In terms of color, greens are extremely popular for spring, says James Andres, marketing coordinator for S&S Activewear. “Between St. Patrick’s Day and Earth Day, there are tons of events and promotional opportunities for green,” he points out. Themes of sustainability and growth also tie in to the hot hue.

Placket Possibilities

Placket shirts are found everywhere, be it as school uniforms, a professional look at the office, or any time the situation calls for a clean-cut flair. Here are just a few of the styles available for your apparel program.

Pocket Polo
The Port Authority pocket polo features a soil- release finish to combat stains and odors. Made of 5.6-oz. 60/40 cotton/ polyester double piqué knit, style K559 has moisture-wicking properties and resists wrinkles and shrinkage. Other features include a self-fabric collar, a left-chest pocket, a double-needle back yoke, a four-button placket with dyed-to-match buttons, open-hem sleeves, and side vents.

3 Button Polo
Style CGM550 from Callaway Opti-Dri Polo, is made of 5.3-oz. 95/5 polyester/spandex jersey knit fabric. The polo’s Opti-Dri technology has moisture- wicking properties, and the Opti-Shield creates a layer of UPF 50 ultraviolet protection. The Opti-Stretch fabric includes interwoven layers of spandex to ensure a maximum range of motion. Other features include a rib-knit collar, a three-button placket with Callaway embossed buttons, a double-needle hemmed bottom with side vents, a heat-sealed label, tonal embroidered Chevron, embossed Chevron on the back of the neck, and contrast embroidered Callaway logo on the right sleeve. Available in eight colors, sizes S–4X.

Double-Pique Shirt
The DryBlend Adult Double-Piqué Sport Shirt, style 72800 from Gildan, is made of a 6-oz. 65/35 polyester/ring-spun cotton blend. Featuring moisture-wicking technology, the shirt has side seams with side vents, a contoured welt collar, and two color-matched buttons on a placket with a clean finish. The women’s companion style features a semi-contoured silhouette. Available in 14 matching colors, men’s sizes S–5X and women’s sizes S–3X.

Jersey Polo
Izod offers a great jersey polo in men’s and women’s styles. Made of 60/40 cotton/polyester, the women’s polo features a five-button placket and a feminine silhouette. The men’s style has a three-button placket and a regular fit.

Artwork Dilemma: Displaying Your Products

YOUR ARTWORK DILEMMA: One decision every shop will face is how to show off what it produces. Will a permanent display be part of the shop layout? Does it need to be portable for shops that work at craft shows and other events? What’s the budget for creating a display? How will customers be interacting with it? An ideal display will meet a shop’s needs, while also acting as a dynamic selling tool that best presents items in an appealing, inspiring and informative way.

Solve this dilemma: The first thing to do is to sit down and answer the above questions. It may be that some shops will want one permanent display for use in the shop proper and another to take on the road. Other shops that operate in a space that isn’t open to customers, or sell exclusively at events will only need a traveling display. Another consideration is what the display is intended to do. Will it include blank shirts to give examples of types and sizes available?

Will it encompass multiple decoration techniques? Finally, consider the budget. For smaller budgets, a look book with pictures or a home-built display may the best. For shops with larger budgets, custom-built displays may suit.

Takeaway Tips
1. If you’re designing a display that will be taken to events, remember that lightness and portability are key. Also consider ease of setup. The display must be durable, as it’ll frequently be taken down and put up. A fragile display won’t stand the stress of constant moving. A display that’s too heavy or complicated will cause stress of a different sort for shop employees. The ideal combination is some- thing lightweight and strong that can be set up easily.

2.  Another thing to consider with a portable display is how much room it takes to transport. Most shops that travel to events use a car, van or small box truck. A display that takes up too much space will be costlier to transport and harder to set up. Collapsible displays require less space and are generally easier to set up.

3.  Displays range in cost from $20 for simple cardboard setups to hundreds of thousands of dollars for custom wood and metal devices. A good display will pay for its own cost by helping sell additional product.

4. Make sure your static display is durable enough for your needs. Ask yourself: Is this display intended to be part of my shop fixtures, or will things be changed or removed frequently? Will customers be able to take parts of the display down to feel materials or prints?

5. A display is a form of advertising and should echo your shop’s branding. So, if you sell primarily heavy metal band T-shirts, don’t set up a display decorated with pastel colors, for example.

Blog post written by MIKE ROMANO

Tri-Mountain’s Award Winning Styles

Tri-Mountain was a big winner in the annual Wearables Apparel Design Awards!

BEST OUTERWEAR: Tri-Mountain took its classic Summit Jacket (8900) and created the updated Edge with contrast yoke panel and more open bottom hem for a fresh style. Danny Tsai, Tri- Mountains's vice president of merchandising, says the contrast paneling makes the Edge Jacket a stand- out piece. “It’s a classic contrast yoke, but the subtle angles make for a modern look,” he says. The jacket features Tri-Mountain’s EmbAccess system that conceals embroidery backing. “The logo will really pop off the top contrast yoke panel,” Tsai says. “It’s perfect for anyone working outdoors. I also see ski resort written all over it.”

BEST POLO: Tri-Mountain designed the Lady Streak Polo (KL025) to “stand out in the very competitive polo apparel category,” says Danny Tsai, vice president of merchandising for Tri- Mountain. It’s made of 100% polyester mini- pique and features Tri- Mountain’s UltraCool wicking technology. “The printed stripe across the top contrast yoke matches the body color while framing a company logo perfectly,” Tsai says. The Lady Streak Polo would do well with embroidery, heat transfer, borderless heat transfer and laser etching. “Heat transfers and laser etching are ideal because they’re weightless,” Tsai says. “Heat transfers allow the logo to pop more than laser etching, which is more subtle.”

March Madness - Your Next Slam-Dunk Promotion

March Madness! According to Benn Chazan, national sales manager at BamBams LLC, ad specialties surrounding this event fall into two categories: cheering products (noisemakers, attention grabbers) and premium products, which are kept and valued after the event. “A combination of these two things will be the most effective,” he says, “or a single item that’s effective in both ways.” Chazan advises, due to the fast pace and uncertainty of March Madness games, products focus on branding for the event (March Madness/NCAA Tournament) instead of specific teams, and items should feature the tournament year, references to Indianapolis (location of the Final Four), and/or some type of brackets in the artwork. “These are staples of March Madness,” he explains, “and they’ll increase the value of the giveaway to the end-user and, by extension, to the advertiser.”

Athletic Wear Is On-Trend

Build your fan base with promotional athletic wear. Wherever end-users go, your company’s message will be proudly displayed. “Athletic wear is on-trend, comfortable and easy to wear,” says Leah Hulon, a designer for Expert Brand. “Gone are the days of athletic wear only being worn during a workout” or during a game.

According to Jim Dusbiber, promotional products sales manager at CHAMPRO Sports, clients prefer athletic attire that has “a contemporary look and feel” as well as modern performance fabrics and the ability to offer a wide range of branding opportunities. “Athletic wear can help a company tie in a ‘teamwork’ theme or foster a culture of physical activity and healthy living for employees,” Dusbiber points out.   

A New Twist On Camo

A new twist on traditional camo, which has been hot at retail, is offered by the Independent Trading Co. snow camo hoodie. “The snow camo has been a big hit,” says Margaret Crow, director of marketing for Americana Sportswear. “The camo trend seemed like such a fad when it first appeared at retail, but it continues to strengthen, whether it is a licensed hunting pattern or digital camo or retro like the snow camo. The gray, black and white shading of this offers an alternative to the more typical green and khaki camo shading. This piece is perfect for the college market.”

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.”