Stitches

Niche: Health-Care Apparel and Accessories

When it comes to outfitting professionals in the health-care industry, fashion matters more than you might think. And who says scrubs can't be fashion-forward? "Medical apparel is no longer just the standard 65/35 poly/cotton, boxy V-neck," says Brad Anderson, marketing specialist at Scrub Authority (asi/86018). "It's about functionality, fashion and fit." In his experience, this audience is willing to spend more to get what they want.

"Function and durability are key," Anderson explains. "Wrinkle resistance and easy-care fabrics are in high demand. Many pieces now feature a more athletic and stylish look with hidden pockets for cellphones, badges and more." End-users also appreciate a comfortable fit with fabric that stretches, Anderson says.

Many popular brands are available to consumers, but which would be best for your client's needs? Anderson's advice: "If value is your customer's key consideration, know and pitch the brands that offer the best bang for the buck. If style is paramount and money isn't a sticking point, be able to offer the customer a range of high-end options."

In the end, it comes down to the old mantra that knowledge is power. "Know the range of brands and be able to speak intelligently about them," he says.

  

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This Cotton Surgical Cap (210) from Sparkling Earth Products (asi/88449; circle 101 on Free Info Card) comes with an absorbent terrycloth sweatband. Durable and comfortable, it's made in the USA; decorated by Andrea Dobson, owner of Appleton, WI-based Simply Fetching Designs (circle 102 on Free Info Card).

   

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Sparkling Earth Products (asi/88449; circle 101 on Free Info Card) provides the Banded Bouffant Surgical Cap (214), featuring a flat headband in the front with an absorbent terrycloth sweatband. Made in the USA; decorated by Andrea Dobson, owner of Appleton, WI-based Simply Fetching Designs (circle 102 on Free Info Card).

   

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Constructed from a blend of polyester/rayon/spandex twill, the Luxe V-Neck Top (1999) features an asymmetrical design, tonal snaps, zigzag stitching and front curved patch pockets. Available from Rugged Outfitters (asi/84143; circle 103 on Free Info Card).

 
  

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This Meta Unisex Lab Coat (6116) features four pockets, hand access slits and a polyester/cotton poplin blend. From Scrub Authority (asi/86018; circle 104 on Free Info Card); decorated by Carolyn Cagle, owner of Stacy, MN-based Strikke Knits (circle 99 on Free Info Card).

   

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Scrub Authority (asi/86018; circle 104 on Free Info Card) carries the Wink Origins "The Charlie" Y-Neck Mock Wrap Top (6026), with five pockets, a signature ID bungee loop and an invisible three-part accessory loop; decorated by Andrea Dobson, owner of Appleton, WI-based Simply Fetching Designs (circle 102 on Free Info Card).

   

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Available from SanMar (asi/84863; circle 92 on Free Info Card), the Cornerstone Reversible Scrub Pant (CS502) is constructed of a 65%/35% poly/cotton blend and includes a dyed-to-match drawstring and a back pocket on both sides; decorated by Andrea Dobson, owner of Appleton, WI-based Simply Fetching Designs (circle 102 on Free Info Card).