Raglan tees have found a secure home in promotional apparel programs. This revamped retro design imbues regular tees with that cherished "old-school" feel. Short-sleeved or long, showcasing classic colors or updated ones, raglans impart a certain nostalgia – hence their popularity.
Mary Ellen Nichols, marketing communications director for Bodek and Rhodes, offers some compelling history of the raglan style. "The origin of the raglan sleeve came from Lord Raglan, the British force commander during the Crimean War," she says. "To fight the bitter cold, he had soldiers cut holes in blankets and use the flaps for warmer sleeves, which coincidentally also allowed for better movement of their arms." More than 150 years later, the raglan shirt style remains a favorite, particularly among athletes.
Janine Toner, marketing coordinator for Broder Bros. Co. asserts that even though raglan makes "an ideal top for just about any sport, raglans are not solely for athletes anymore," she says. "They're also considered a trendy piece for fashion-forward people."