Cool Factor Key for Festival Apparel

Festival season is in full swing, and with it comes hot weather and high expectations for fashionable outdoor attire. Distributors and decorators should offer breathable, stylish tops to take advantage of this thriving summertime niche.

The Backstage Tank (05054BP) is part of Alternative Apparel's 50/50 collection. Soft and breathable, it's perfect for music festivals and other outdoor summer events.

Racerback tanks are one of the more popular options when it comes to festival fashion, according to Mark Seymour, chief sales officer at Next Level Apparel (asi/73867), which works with several bands touring this summer on the festival circuit. While the traditional black band T-shirt will always be around, most of — if not all — the bands Seymour has worked with are featuring a racerback tank in their merch lineup for the warmer months.

The vintage look is also big at festivals and concerts this season. “I think there’s a little bit of an aesthetic at festivals that harkens back to the ’60s,” Seymour says. “It’s that kind of ‘original festival’ look: shirts that seem like they’ve been around and that look kind of faded and retro.”

To fit that aesthetic, consider the Burnout Racerback Tank (6533) from Next Level. It has a slightly retro feel, and the 65/35 polyester/combed ringspun cotton blend is soft to the touch and moves effortlessly with the wearer.

Another option is the Backstage Tank (05054BP) from Alternative Apparel (asi/34850), a racerback tank from the supplier’s 50/50 collection, featuring a breathable half-and-half cotton/polyester fabric, loose fit and high-low hemline. “It’s the kind of tank that feels like you’ve lived in it — right from the first wear,” says Nurain Alicharan, social media and PR coordinator for Alternative Apparel. “Additionally, the fabric stays breathable and cool during activity, while also holding its shape and color over time.”

This scoop-neck top is perfect for festivals and other outdoor events because of that comfort factor, which is just as important as the aesthetic, when it comes to summer apparel, Alicharan says.

Consider screen printing or dye sublimation for decoration. The Backstage tank holds up well under soft-hand plastisol ink, according to Alicharan. Water-based ink would work to maintain the faded style and soft hand of the fabric, Seymour says. For complicated designs on the Burnout, dye sublimation creates a worn-out, but lasting look, since the design will bind to the polyester fibers, but not the cotton, he adds.


The Burnout Racerback Tank (6533) from Next Level Apparel has that slightly retro, lived-in look that many festival goers are looking for in their branded apparel.