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Fabrics - Hot Time for Summer Apparel

Distributors have multiple options when it comes to pitching warm-weather apparel.

Fashionistas rave about the trendiest of looks for summer, such as pastel colors, geometric prints and boxy cuts. What really matters for promotional apparel, however, is how it feels.

Performance becomes imperative as temperatures rise. Margaret Crow, director of marketing at Top 40 supplier S&S Activewear (asi/84358), steers distributors to 100% polyester that is breathable, light and soft. “The addition of performance characteristics, such as moisture wicking and odor control, is a bonus to these fabrications,” she says.

Oakley, a reputable brand that’s new to the imprinted apparel market, makes summer-worthy styles with performance front and center. “Oakley is known for its innovative fabrics and design,” Crow says. “Their attention to detail means that their polos will be comfortable through the hot summer months.”

Choosing garments that are easy to wear with a relaxed attitude reflect the summer mindset. In fact, the Burnside brand is inspired by a youthful surf/skate culture. The line includes everything from board shorts to short-sleeve button-up shirts in a cotton/poly blend. “Lightweight fabrics are really popular right now, and are great for summer,” Crow says. “Men’s shirts have become more fitted and style-conscious. The mini-check short-sleeve shirt from Burnside is more fitted than woven shirts of a few years ago.” It features other popular details like two front pockets and contrast stitching.

Suggest layering apparel for warm-weather logoed apparel programs. Tank tops, which can be worn under T-shirts or with unbuttoned short-sleeve shirts, double the look without adding a huge price tag for the overall style. Windbreakers are another layering option, particularly for outdoor events at night or along the shoreline where cool breezes often follow sunset.

And don’t forget the accessories, which can be especially important during summertime promotions for corporate clients. Summer apparel programs are a good opportunity to sell hats that shade the face, flip-flops for the pool, and sunglasses for all-day wear. For beach-themed promotions, sunshades, large tote bags and swimwear cover-ups make profitable add-ons.

It’s those kind of wearable items that give distributors such a variety and wealth of options to pitch during the summer.