Trends – Light Jackets

THE CHALLENGE OF offering users all the weather protection they require while maintaining style and wearability has clearly kept jacket suppliers busy.

THE CHALLENGE OF offering users all the weather protection they require while maintaining style and wearability has clearly kept jacket suppliers busy. Thankfully, the results make for a brace of attractive outerwear that refuses to yield to rain, wind or the limits of imagination. Warmth, dryness and style aren’t the only qualities these jackets embody, either. These are pieces built for active, dynamic individuals – exactly those people who make the most inspiring ambassadors for your client’s brand. Chock full of features that keep the wearer comfortable, yet ready for action, these jackets are prime examples of how the industry combines consumer desires with advertiser demands.

Light Jackets

Left: Ladies’ lightweight jacket (229329) features polyester outer fabric with 4% spandex. Available from Holloway Sportswear Inc. (asi/61430; circle 118 on Free Info Card); Center: Air-Block soft shell jacket (7307) is made of 100% polyester with a waterproof and breathable membrane. Available from Vantage Apparel (asi/93390; circle 78 on Free Info Card); Right: Lightweight polyester jacket (J1735) features a windproof and water-resistant shell with reflective tape. Available from Tri-Mountain (asi/92125; circle 117 on Free Info Card).

Light Jackets

Left: North End ladies’ soft shell waterproof jacket (78801) is made from 100% ripstop bonded polyester fleece. Available from alphabroder (asi/34063; circle 77 on Free Info Card); Center: Extra-long men’s soft shell jacket (365) blends bamboo, cotton and 5% spandex for natural wicking properties. Available from Brandwear (asi/41545; circle 115 on Free Info Card).; Right: Men’s lightweight color-block jacket (FW3060) is made with 100% polyester dobby with a self-mock neck. Available from Fersten (asi/53974; circle 116 on Free Info Card).

Three Selling Tips

1-Be a team player. Light jackets are the ideal apparel piece for an across-the-board coordinated look that remains professional without being overly stuffy. “Over the past few years,” says Ken McDowall, Owner of Proforma Adam Promotions (asi/490845), “manufacturers have focused their attention on ‘team wear’ as opposed to ‘corporate.’ ” Christening this new appearance the “trade show” look, McDowall stresses the appeal of lighter colors but still lauds the classics. “The standard black, white and navy are still the go-to colors,” he says.

2- Tap into small wonders. Considering the impressive water and wind resistance specs of many of these jackets, it may be easy to overlook the appeal of smaller features. “Pockets, hoods and packable features all add value to the purchase,” says Gina Barreca, manager at Vantage Apparel (asi/93390), 2015 Counselor Distributor Choice Award winner for decorated apparel. She cites drawcord hems as an example of a small feature that makes a big difference. “Drawcords are great as they give the wearer flexibility with size and length,” she says, while McDowall cites features such as smartphone pockets and related ports that add to the state-of-the-art appeal of these jackets.

3-Get physical with clients. Besides being great uniform pieces, technically advanced light jackets are a natural fit for some of the industry’s most lucrative markets. “The more technical the garment,” says McDowall, “the more it can be positioned by companies to be a part of their ‘wellness’ campaigns. Breathability, seam-sealed and high-tech fabrics are necessities.” These jackets are a great choice for an entire range of health-care clients and promotions, encouraging vigorous activity – and constant brand exposure – even in the most inclement of conditions.