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My colleague C.J. Mittica, Wearables magazine editor and recent newlywed, takes on an interesting topic in this month’s cover story – 5 fashion items that are begging to be added to the industry.
It’s a fascinating, and bold, read, if I do say so myself. Why bold? Well, when you see the five items C.J. discusses, it’s just difficult for me to imagine the promotional apparel industry offering such products. But, oh boy, wouldn’t it be nice?!
The following are the five items, along with a teaser explanation on what we’re missing with them, as well as my take. For the complete story on five items the industry needs now, click here.
- What We’re Missing: Peruse the footwear selection on ESP and you’ll find plenty of golf shoes and flip-flops. But despite all appearances, the majority of the world is doing more things than playing a round of golf or hitting the beach. Not only is footwear an essential part of a uniform, but it’s a defining proclamation by the wearer. So what could work? Consider a branded partnership with an iconic footwear style – something like what Dickies (asi/49675) has recently done by partnering with Converse and its Chuck Taylor All-Stars. Chucks offer instant brand currency and consistent retro cool.
- My Take: Since I golf and go to the beach about as often as I watch Lifetime TV (not that there’s anything wrong with it), I gotta say footwear in this industry just, well, doesn’t do it for me. Chuck Taylor’s, on the other hand? Gold! Of course, I say YES!
- What We’re Missing: Plenty of people are content going through life with a solid-colored wardrobe. But for those who want to let their personality shine, bold prints can certainly do the talking. Styles like florals, polka dots, argyle and tribal add a dose of visual pop without being too over-the-top. Plus, they are constantly in vogue among the fashionistas and trendmakers.
- My Take: As a guy, I’m all about solids and the occasional pinstripe, but my personality shines just fine without any bold prints, thank you very much. But that’s not to say I don’t like them – just not on me. In my humble opinion, there’s nothing more beautiful than a woman in a nice floral print, preferably on a sundress. So I say YES!
- What We’re Missing: There is nothing more all-American than a pair of blue jeans. And when it comes to clothing that is worshipped, the cult of denim is unmatched. So why is it so hard to get a pair of leading-edge fashion jeans in this industry? For one, the durability of denim is unmatched. Plus, jeans have emerged as a tried-and-true casual uniform alternative – something that can be dressed up with a blazer or dressed down with a T-shirt. Offer them at a sensible price tag (compared to what some people pay for jeans) and you’ll have people in blue heaven.
- My Take: Here at ASI we not only have casual Fridays, but casual Mondays as well. And on every Monday and Friday you can count on me wearing one specific apparel: blue jeans. So, of course, I say YES!
- What We’re Missing: It’s the great unexplored territory in the branded apparel industry, and it’s time that bottoms (especially for women) got their just due. We’ve covered jeans, but there’s a whole world of additional options out there – everything from skirts to trendy shorts to capri pants to high-end corporate apparel pants and more.
- My Take: As a big fan of ladies’ bottoms, I give this a resounding YES! (And the garment ideas ain’t bad either!)
WIDER VARIETY OF MATERIAL
- What We’re Missing: The modern classy dresser is a material connoisseur. They pay attention not only to looks, but texture and feel. So while industry manufacturers (rightly) love cotton and continue to push the limits of technical fabrics like polyester, bamboo and rayon, the classic fibers and weaves are left behind. Linen is a staple of summer cool and unique construction. Khaki has emerged as a versatile all-purpose fabric, ready to be deployed for down and dirty work or as an alternative trendy suiting option. Tweed is a winter favorite of men and a supremely durable choice. Chambray can be used for more than everyday workwear. It’s time to take these materials off the bench and insert them into the starting lineup.
- My Take: There’s only one fabric for me, cotton. And it’s a big — albeit, expensive — part of the industry. You can keep your khakis and tweeds, and definitely linen. That stuff wrinkles when the wind blows. So, NO on this one.