The stage is set this spring for bold style statements. Fresh colors, daring patterns, attention-grabbing decorations and more will command the attention of your clients this season. Technological advances have clearly shaped some of the season's biggest trends, and this year will be survival of the most innovative. Use these themes and tips as guides to help you along the way. Be true to yourself, true to your brand and unleash the creative potential.
– Katie Smart is a contributing writer for Wearables.
Mounted messages (also known as slogan tees) are the new statement piece. For brands with a creative tagline or something clever to say, this is the perfect way to get in sync with pop culture. Check out major players like Wildfox Couture and Forever 21 for witty inspiration. Keep your message simple and your design minimal for maximum effect.
Cotton crew shirt (GG 100) with distressed screen print from Golden Goods (asi/57695; circle 104 on Free Info Card).
Rayon/spandex raglan tunic (R02) with hot fix glitter from In Your Face Apparel (asi/62494; circle 105 on Free Info Card).
Fashion Tip: Dressed up with a blazer, a slogan tee can be work and even trade show appropriate.
All-over prints are an opportunity to turn a mundane wearable into a treasured work of art. T-shirts, bags and scarves boasting repeat patterns or unique designs are rocking retail in 2015. This graphic technique is also perfect for household brands that are comfortable with debranding. A step-and-repeat pattern of a popular brand mascot, character or design can be just as strong, if not stronger, than traditionally logoed merchandise.
Custom all-over printed T-shirt from FPS Apparel (asi/53475; circle 106 on Free info Card).
Blue 84 juniors' burnout sublimated tee (JBST) from S&S Activewear (asi/84358; circle 107 on Free Info Card).
Fashion Tip: From belt printing to sublimation, there are several ways to achieve this fully custom effect. But watch the edges! If you avoid cut and sew, just make sure your client knows there may be discrepancies around the seams.
This All-American trend marched down the runway, giving us a new way to look at plaid for 2015. From wide buffalo squares to Judy Garland gingham, all we can say is checks, please! Stay true to spring by staying away from heavy materials and dark colors, and opt for plaids in light blues, pinks, greens and purple. This trend is lighthearted and has a unisex appeal for the casual, All-American brand.
Weatherproof vintage plaid shirt (154620) from MV Sport (asi/68318; circle 108 on Free Info Card); screen printed by Mojo Art and Image (asi/275280; circle 109 on Free Info Card).
Large utility tote (A879) from Vitronic Promotional Group (asi/93990; circle 83 on Free Info Card).
Fashion Tip: If a full-on plaid look is too bold for your client, opt for a picnic plaid accessory like a scarf or bag, or use it as lining on a custom duffle.
The look is linear, but the options are endless. Stripes stormed the Spring 2015 runway in limitless directions, varying widths and rainbow hues. To really make a stripe statement, use a wide variety of colors or place stripes in unexpected places, such as on one arm of a jacket or one side of a hat.
Fleece pullover (W15106) with screen print from MV Sport (asi/68318; circle 108 on Free Info Card).
Juniors scrunched back tank (DT229) from SanMar (asi/84863; circle 76 on Free Info Card); screen printed by FPS Apparel (asi/53475; circle 106 on Free info Card).
Fashion Tip: With an all-over striped pattern, keep it simple when it comes to branding. Text designs will stand out boldly, or a custom woven label at the sleeve or hip could be just the right touch.
Nautical navy is a classic, but this year top labels have plunged headfirst into blue as a go-to spring neutral. Navy transitions easily from season to season; help your clients see this as an investment in their year-round marketing arsenal.
District rucksack (DT706) from SanMar (asi/84863; circle 76 on Free Info Card); embroidered by FPS Apparel (asi/53475; circle 106 on Free info Card).
Quarter-zip pullover (2386) with appliqué and screen printing from MV Sport (asi/68318; circle 108 on Free Info Card).
Fashion Tip: It's no secret that darker colors retain heat. So before you offer up navy for a destination golf tournament, be sure you're adding value. Show your client that you're thinking ahead by seeking out moisture-wicking, cooling fabrics for those warmer months
black & white
Like a classic movie, some things just look better in black and white. These two classic tones complement each other perfectly, so it's no surprise they never go out of style. It's particularly fresh now with fashion houses mixing textures for a modern feel. Pair an item like an all-white snapback with bold black lettering for a street-style vibe.
Fleece shorts (W1439) from MV Sport (asi/68318; circle 108 on Free Info Card); heat pressed by FPS Apparel (asi/53475; circle 106 on Free info Card).
Striped dolman shirt (R01) with foil from In Your Face Apparel (asi/62494; circle 105 on Free Info Card).
Fashion Tip: With graphic prints, traditional patterns, stripes or colorblocking, there is no wrong way to pair these hues.
From Marc Jacobs to Coach, major brands have ventured into the wild this season with chic safari looks that are anything but utilitarian. Mossy greens and camel tones dominate this spring theme in fabrics ranging from traditional cotton canvas to unexpected satin and silk. Turn up the heat by incorporating organic and recycled materials into the mix.
Army green Fidel cap (H0071A7) from Alternative Apparel (asi/34850; circle 88 on Free Info Card); embroidered by Vantage Apparel (asi/93390; circle 110 on Free Info Card).
Sublimated leopard print yoga pants (2244) available from Bishop the Garment Co. (asi/40585; circle 122 on Free Info Card).
Fashion Tip: For a female audience, accessorize the look with leather accents, big buttons, oversized pockets and belted bags.
day to gym
Physical fitness has never been more in vogue. Franchise movements like Crossfit and Zumba are paired up with staples like Pilates and marathons providing a fitness smorgasbord for the physically inclined. Fashion houses are sprinting to take a share of this market, where comfort blended with a touch of style is key. Collared shirts, lived-in sweaters and comfortable joggers are the new street style uniform.
Fleece sprinter pants (9574) from Alternative Apparel (asi/34850; circle 88 on Free Info Card); screen printed by Mojo Art and Image (asi/275280; circle 109 on Free Info Card)
Athletic contrast tee (RSA2419) from American Apparel (asi/35297; circle 81 on Free Info Card); direct-to-garment printed by Heritage Screen Printing (asi/700490; circle 111 on Free Info Card).
Fashion Tip: Create a polished sporty look by finding fully functional wearables that incorporate technical innovations gleaned from the athletic industry. Waterproofing, sleek colorblocking and mesh are just a few features that transition from day to gym in style.