Today's Fitness and Active-wear

Fitness and active-wear has come a long way from boxy gym shorts, white T-shirts and baggy sweatpants. Today’s apparel is making its way from the boardroom to the golf course; from the cubicle to the rock-climbing wall; and from the manufacturing line to the restaurant. Style and function matter, so high-tech and performance properties are important too. Fersten’s Women’s FERST-DRY™ Polo with contrasting collar and shoulder panels, feature anti-snag and anti-bacterial polyester polymesh fabric, so the wearer can breathe and bend. Fitness and active-wear, as well as accessories, are appropriate for company stores, gyms and spas and golf pro shops. 

 

Women Get Their Kicks With Bucket Bags

More than a mere drop in the fashion bucket, the very popular bucket bags have become a go-to accessory for women. “The bucket bag has a universally appealing shape,” writes fashion and style website Refinery29.com. “It’s structured, but not too structured – fashionable, but not too out-there.” Both high-end designers and fast fashion retailers have thrown their considerable weight behind the bag. Its roughly square proportions, structured bottom and typically drawstring closure define it. Common fabrics include leather (real and faux), canvas, denim or a lightweight parachute fabric. “They are comfortable, stylish and extremely versatile,” says Jeffrey Mayer, president of LBU Inc. Easily foldable into a bag or carry-on, they are the ultimate stylish bags for travel.

Reusable Totes - More Popular Than Ever

More cities are banning plastic bags, meaning reusable totes are more popular than ever. Grocery stores, farmers markets, festivals, trade shows – anywhere people carry things. They also have appeal for youth markets, for day cares or as birthday party favors. Be strategic with design placement. You can imprint the whole bag, so try sublimating the front and the back. If you want to do an allover print, plan your graphics.

Consider your audience. When creating artwork, use larger lettering so it’s readable across an aisle. It’s not like a cell phone case that’s in your face. Use bigger text. If you use photos in the design, avoid squares. They’re hard to align; it’s easy to spot mistakes. Instead, soften the edges: Then, if the picture is skewed, it won’t stand out as starkly on a rectangular bag.  

Clothing Gets Smart

It looks like a sweater. It feels like a sweater. It does not, however, act like a sweater. The Fallline jacket from clothing manufacturer Voormi may feel like a fleece, but it functions like a soft-shell that wicks away snow and wind. “From the beginning, what we said we wanted to do was figure out how to basically work from a natural fiber platform and start developing these unique constructions,” says Timm Smith, the Colorado company’s marketing director. Voormi isn’t alone in its innovation. A handful of organizations are studying ways to blend technology and textiles to create apparel that can respond to outside weather conditions. At the University of California at San Diego, for instance, researchers are creating prototypes of clothing that would keep wearers’ body temperature at a comfortable 93°. “HVAC uses 40% of energy consumption in buildings,” says Renkun Chen, an associate professor in UC San Diego’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. “If we can extend the set point of our thermostats, we can save energy. To do that, we need to have a garment to keep the wearers comfortable.”

Hawaiian Punch

Tropical locales continue to top the lists of favored travel destinations. Their enduring popularity makes tropical prints on apparel and accessories a perennial favorite for consumers. “Tropical prints are functional, fun, festive and extremely popular", says Taraynn Lloyd, director of marketing at Edwards Garment Co. Edwards’ camp shirts are in high demand for uniforms at restaurants, resorts, theme parks, museums and even medical offices, because “the vibrant colors attract attention and quickly identify the employee to the guest,” says Lloyd. 

Promote Your Brand With Company Stores

Company stores provide businesses with an opportunity to promote their brand by selling a variety of wearable items as well as hard goods. Companies should showcase items – blazers, dress shirts and sweaters, for example – that will fit an office and business environment. But, you’ll also want to include clothing for times when employees are more relaxed. Tip: Hoodies and apparel for children are also often sought-after products within a company store. Finally, when setting up a company store, consider a variety of additional products that are perfect for the office (adult coloring books for stress relief) or a night on the town (a fine leather wine tote).

Life’s A Beach

Cool T-shirts are perfect for summer fun-in-the-sun promotions for beach resorts, surf shops or as part of a senior class trip to the tropics. The vintage acid washed T-shirt from Colortone is constructed of 100% heavyweight cotton and is perfect for the beach, skateboarding or just knocking around the house or pool. When putting programs together for clients, consider adding on a variety of products that go together swimmingly with this tee, like totes and coolers. 

See Your Brand Everywhere This Spring

Winter's finally over; the birds are singing a lovely song, the sun is shining brightly and plants are sprouting. Make sure your logo is in full bloom this season by stocking up on spring giveaways. We offer all the best and brightest items to help you stand out this spring. Choose items from our selection to remind people how much they love your brand. As the weather warms and spring fever takes over, pass out these intoxicatingly cute giveaways and watch your brand exposure soar. While people switch out their wardrobes and start spending more time outside, you can make sure that they see your brand everywhere by imprinting it on any number of great spring promos.

Give Tie-Dye A Whirl

The psychedelic swirls of tie-dye apparel are no longer reserved for '60s throwbacks. This mainstay of music festivals and DIY enthusiasts has seeped into high fashion, and the trend is especially evident for Spring 2016, with designers like BCBG Max Azria and Raquel Allegra incorporating tie-dye looks onto the runways of New York Fashion Week. The promotional appeal of tie-dye can't be denied, either.

"Everyone is into the nostalgia of tie-dye. It spans generations: baby boomers, younger kids and everyone in between are fans," says Margo Scavone, director of marketing and creative services at Bodek and Rhodes. Matching the trend to the appropriate event is still very important, she adds. Think outdoor concerts, camps and family reunions.

Tie-dye is particularly well received in the tourist market, especially at beaches and theme parks, due to its fun and whimsical nature, says Laura Turner, vice president of marketing at alphabroder. Make sure the logo going on the apparel won't be overshadowed by the boldness of the tie-dye, however. "High-energy, youth-focused, trendy brands work well with tie-dye, and logos can really pop off the bright backgrounds if they are simple, but bold," Turner adds. The next time you're looking for a fun, visually exciting apparel trend, give tie-dye a whirl.

Let’s Get Physical

When Puurnafit, a fitness education and yoga equipment company, needed professional help developing its website and e-commerce store, the staff looked into going from one core product to a full line of apparel and promotional products to promote the brand. The branded T-shirts sold at the company’s e-commerce store are screen printed with PMS-matched colors that meet their strict graphic standards. As of this writing, Puurnafit has sold 288 USA-made T-shirts and more than 500 Body Beams, yoga mats, water bottles and workout towels. When designing fitness apparel and accessories, it’s important that they be something you would work out in and use yourself. If you wouldn’t wear it or use it, it’ll be difficult to sell them.