Trends - White Out

Can't Go Wrong With Plain White Shirts

Plain White ShirtsA plain white shirt is often the key ingredient to a promotional campaign.

Styles come and go, but a classic white shirt will forever hold a place in people’s closets. Whether it’s a T-shirt or button-down, the simplicity of white allows it to work for multiple settings. Specifically within the ad specialty industry, different styles are popular for a variety of markets, such as health care, theme parks, airlines and hotels.

The versatility of this essential is what makes it desirable. But it also has a simple appeal that continues to resurface in fashion circles. Lucky.com recently noted the ubiquity of Equipment’s breezy lace-up white shirt.

For a corporate outfitting program, white button-down options can be spruced up with modern twists. For women, offer a blouse with a significant detail such as zippers, ruffles or bold embroidery. “You can see how a white shirt allows the embroidery to pop without taking away from the style,” says Taraynn Lloyd, vice president of marketing for Edwards Garment Company (asi/51752).

Look to high-end labels, too; designers such as Stella McCartney are changing the traditional style by tailoring a blouse to have a high-low cut, while others have cinched the waist of the shirt to give it more shape.

With limited options, altering and enhancing men’s shirts can be trickier. “The long-sleeve shirt is often worn with neckwear and a suit coat,” Lloyd says, “or you can nix the tie and just wear the blazer for a more casual look.” Details like ruffles would be less appropriate for men, but simply rolling up the sleeves is another way to take the look from formal to laid-back and sporty.

Lloyd suggests giving employees more choice in color selection. “White is a mainstay for any image apparel program,” she says. “However, the trend now is to offer people a choice in how they dress, so oftentimes they provide the white shirt and the same style of shirt in a different color that stays within their branding identification.”

Certain markets may require a specific type of white shirt. “For example a button-down, short-sleeve shirt is often worn at theme parks or arenas for a casual style,” Lloyd says. “A more corporate look is a button-down or point-collar long-sleeve oxford shirt that provides a crisp, clean, polished look.”

Knowing the environment the end-user will be working in can determine the style they should be offered. For instance, a classic white T-shirt with a brand-name decoration, while casual, is more appropriate for workers on the move, such as athletic companies. Dress it up or dress it down, a classic white shirt always works.