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.”


Help Our Heroes & 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, as well as providing support and serving meals at the  Portland Rescue Mission!.

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.

Kid's Toy & Clothing Drive


When choosing promotional products for a clothing or toy drive, or for kids in general, remember to appeal to the end user. "Children start establishing their purchasing influence as toddlers," says Marketing Coordinator Lindsay Schultz of Vitronics. "Buyers want to find fun promo items that children can play with, plush animals they can form an emotional bond with, or items kid's minds associate with brands they love."

According to Dan Girard, merchandiser for Dyenomite, "If kids fall in love with an item, they'll wear it or use it often. Kids are natural product ambassadors, as long as they love an item." Girard points to day care centers, schools and camps that promote with children's clothing.

Healthy Business Travelers


We all know the sinking feeling of waking up the day after a flight with a stuffy nose and a sore throat. What’s even worse is that now you’ve got to endure a day full of meetings and corporate networking events when you just want to be in bed watching Netflix.

Before you know it, your whole team is sick, and the endless cycle of cold and flu season continues. Many people think that getting on a flight is an automatic prescription for a cold or flu, but the truth is that there are ways to protect yourself. With promotional antibacterial and health-focused promotions, your client could provide the immunity boost business travelers need. 



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.


Winter Apparel & Accessories


Brighten up your clients’ winter with a rainbow! According to Brett Straff, president of 20 Degrees Below, people prefer branded winter apparel and accessories in an array of color choices.

In addition, people are looking for branded apparel with the “current styling and technical design elements found in retail trends,” says Jeff Nero of Tri-Mountain. “They’re also looking for apparel suitable for the environment where the apparel will be used, like snow, cold, rain and wind, along with technical features to counter these elements.”

Schools, athletic teams, corporate offices, truckers, outdoor workers, as well as youth groups should consider promotional coats and jackets this fall and winter.

Fashionable & Practical Pea Coats

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.”


A Salute To Nautical Stripes


Nautical stripes date back to 1850s Europe, when they became standard issue in the French Navy – the theory being that blue and white stripes would be easier to spot if sailors fell overboard, according to Ralph Lauren’s online style guide.

But it was Coco Chanel who really put the horizontal stripe on the map, when she created a nautical-themed collection in 1917, according to a history of stripes posted by experimental fashion label UMd. Chanel herself was known to pair a striped Breton top with wide-legged trousers, helping to spark the enduring trend.

Though they’ve been around for more than a century, nautical stripes are timeless. They look outstanding with most brands and are popular by water and on the mainland.

Stripes are the new black, according to Megan Erber of S&S Activewear. They add extra flair to a casual piece of apparel. Erber says she’s been seeing stripes used to give a garment a color-blocked effect or just to jazz up a plain design. Striped sleeves evoke the look of a vintage football jersey, and colorful stripes on a shirt’s midsection can add a feminine touch, she adds.

When decorating striped apparel, Erber suggest staying away from multicolored imprints because they would distract from the actual stripes. For example, try embroidering white thread on a blue stripe, or vice versa, she adds.


Take Your Cue From Hot Hues

When it comes to promotional branding, color is paramount.  It’s the first thing that catches the viewer’s eye. Client most frequently request “plenty of variety”, when it comes to the color of their branded products. They want a large to choose from, and they consider how their own logo might look against different backgrounds.

It’s very common for color to balance elements of design. The promotional industry often takes it’s hue cues from fashion’s Pantone Color Institute, which has released its Fashion Color Report for Fall 2017. It’s always advisable to offer on-trend wearables in several up to the minute shades.