Want to reach this group? Give them apparel they’ll actually wear. Here are some of the latest options.
Teens and tweens: They’re at an in-between fashion stage. They don’t want apparel their parents would wear, nor do they want garments that are too youthful. Not sure who’s included in this group? Tweens are classified as 8-12 years old and teens are 13-19, according to the American Heritage Dictionary. PPB asked Commerce, California-based supplier Kavio! (UPIC: Kavio672), which specializes in apparel for this age group, to shed some light on apparel trends. Here, Jessica Clifford fills us in.
What’s popular: “For this age group, soft vintage washes and burnouts. Teens and tweens want color, comfort and fun. They also want more fashion-based apparel.”
Best decoration techniques: “Rhinestones and glitter are most popular for this age group, however as long as the decoration is young and fun, it will be appealing. Something to consider is the durability of the decoration. Due to this group’s active lifestyle and their tendency to wear things they love over and over again, a decoration that holds up well will do best.”
Hot colors: “We see a high demand for bright, fun colors. Specific colors like bright pinks, purples and oranges are more in demand than other colors. Black and white are always popular, and are especially so when combined with these lively colors. When it comes to this age group, the more colors the better.”
Selling tips: “Distributors first need to find markets that have demands for tween/teen apparel. Then it’s about selling this young and fun image. Distributors should understand that trends are a major factor for this age group. Looking into how the junior market sells and offering the latest trends will make selling easier for distributors.”
Look at licensing: “The licensing market is great for this age group because their interests are put directly on apparel. They’re at an age where they feel that what they wear defines who they are. By being able to sport their favorite show, character, game or brand, they are making a statement. Licensing allows tweens and teens to take what they love and make it part of their style.”
It has a traditional sweatshirt design, but the Bonded Polyknit Sweatshirt is silkier than most—it’s made from smooth-finished polyknit bonded to microfleece. Design details include drawstrings at the hood, a front pouch pocket and a banded hem and cuffs. This unisex sweatshirt is available in three colors: black, grey and navy.
Charles River Apparel UPIC: CRA 800-225-0550
Teens can show love to Mother Earth when they wear this Ladies’ Tank Top, which is made from 100-percent certified organic cotton. It’s washed, not bleached, and is offered in the creamy color of cotton fresh from the field. It’s also available in black and pigment-dyed Red River, and features a scoop neck, rib knit trim around the neck and armholes, side seaming and double-needle stitching.
SOS From Texas UPIC: SOSTX 806-256-2033
Add some kick with Cutie Booties, which are available in six patterns such as bubblegum, electric blue plaid and zebra. Made from 100-percent cotton flannel and lined with fleece, this footwear can be customized by embroidery or screen printing. TIP: A standout accessory such as this footwear can help create unity for dance teams, cheer squads or sports teams when they’re not performing or competing.
Boxercraft UPIC: BOXER 800-914-7774
|For The Guys
Whether worn as a uniform or a practice jersey, this raglan-sleeve baseball jersey, Style 7066, is made to last. It’s preshrunk to ensure size integrity and features contrasting colors on the collar and sleeves. This 100-percent cotton shirt is pigment dyed and enzyme washed to create a worn look. Get it in one of six color combinations.
Barry T Chouinard dba Comfort Colors UPIC: ComfortC 800-545-6366
Get the Junior 2×1 Rib Tank in fresh colors such as eggplant, olive and raspberry. It’s made from 100-percent ringspun cotton and features double-needle ribbed binding on the neck and armholes and double-needle stitching along the hem. TIP: Juniors love layering pieces, so reach this segment with a tank top they can wear alone or paired with a cardigan, camisole or jacket.
L.A.T. Sportswear UPIC: latsport 800-414-5650
The Badger Youth B-Dry Core Long-Sleeve Tee is the ultimate apparel for athletes. It’s constructed from 100-percent polyester with sport-paneled shoulders for maximum movement, double-needle stitching on the hem and a self-fabric collar. This performance t-shirt features moisture-management and antimicrobial properties plus a heat-transfer logo on the left-sleeve.
Bodek and Rhodes UPIC: ULTRACLB 800-523-2721
|A Classic Tee
Your clients can’t go wrong with the AAA™ Youth Retail T-Shirt, which is made from 100-percent cotton tubular jersey and features double-needle stitching on the sleeves and bottom hem. Shoulder-to-shoulder taping makes it durable. Pick from short or long sleeves and an assortment of colors such as banana, lime and Texas orange. TIP: Want teen and tween boys to wear your client’s logo? T-shirts are a top pick—they’re easy to wear and can transition from the classroom to Xbox after school.
Alstyle Apparel UPIC: Alsty754 800-225-1364
Sideseaming gives the Bella Girl’s 1×1 Baby Rib Crew Neck T-Shirt a contoured fit and capped, set-in sleeves make it stylish for tweens. It’s made from 100-percent ringspun cotton and offered in classic colors such as black, chocolate (shown) and white, as well as fun shades such as turquoise and very pink.
Broder Bros. UPIC: BRODER 800-521-0850
No need to worry about sizing with the Classic Deluxe Bio-Washed Polo Cap because one size fits most. This unstructured cap is made from 100-percent bio-washed cotton and features a removable ball marker clip and a sliding buckle closure. It’s available in a kaleidoscope of colors including lime, moss and periwinkle.
Magic Apparel Group UPIC: mhi 888-869-6777
Add instant energy to your next campaign with the Junior Burnout Zebra Sublimation Crew Neck. This tee, made from a blend of cotton and polyester, features a burnout zebra print in army green, baby pink, brown, purple or silver. A twisted crew neck is the finishing touch.
Kavio! UPIC: Kavio672 888-586-9989
|A New Hoodie
Give juniors a style just for them: the Sleeveless Hood. It’s made from ringspun cotton and features ½-inch binding on the neck, armholes and hood, plus double-needle stitching on the bottom hem. It’s available in seven color varieties.
AS Tees UPIC: ASTee764 803-691-8100
Online extra: Wondering what real-life teens want in their apparel? Meet Lizzi Hayes, a 13-year-old fashion blogger who reveals the clothing trends, inspirations, likes and dislikes of her generation. Read the interview and access her blog by clicking “Online Exclusives” at ppbmag.com.
Fashion From A Teen’s Perspective
What’s hot one minute in teen/tween apparel can fizzle out before the next class bell rings. So how can your clients reach this skittish set that’s constantly changing its mind? By understanding a few basics about how teens and tweens choose their apparel.
To get the scoop, PPB went straight to the source—13-year-old Lizzi Hayes. She writes a fashion blog with her mom (http://13goingon47.wordpress.com) and offers up some interesting insight on how her generation chooses apparel. Here are six nuggets you need to know.
1. Don’t assume every trend fits every teen. “The biggest trend right now is UGG boots worn with leggings. But the biggest trend for me is to not follow the crowd. I follow the trends that are big in the fashion world such as bold shoulders, crazy tights, mixing and matching patterns, etc.”
2. Teens put a lot of thought into their clothing choices. “The top things I want in my apparel are an awesome fit (because I am extremely small for my age), really cool styles, a sophisticated design, comfortable but high-quality fabrics, and bold and different patterns. It’s really hard to find all these elements in clothing, especially because I’m very picky. I only like clothing that is fashion forward and unique.”
3. Sometimes footwear can outshine apparel. “The top brand for teens and tweens is UGG Australia. They’re not something that I like to wear but they are extremely popular. I seriously don’t think there is one girl in my grade who doesn’t own a pair of either UGGs or ‘Fuggs’ except for me. And I’m proud of that. Some other top brands for teens are Juicy Couture, Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister Co. and Forever 21.”
4. Clothing is a form of self-expression for this age group. “Clothing—or rather fashion—is definitely a way that I express myself. I have a different style every day depending on my mood or an inspiration from the day before. Any art form really is the way I express myself. I also dance, act, sing and paint/draw, but fashion is the way that I express myself the most.”
5. Teens and tweens take note of what celebrities wear. “Celebrities are a big influence on my apparel choices. Some celebrities that I look up to for inspiration are Chloe Sevigny, Emma Watson, Rachel Bilson and Blake Lively. My biggest fashion inspiration out of those four is Emma Watson, though. She doesn’t have a personal stylist because she chooses to dress herself. She is completely fashion forward and I love seeing what she wears to premieres.”
6. Teens wear promotional apparel if it resonates with them. “I own a Fashion’s Night Out 2009 t-shirt. I wear it all the time, usually as a tunic. It’s super comfortable and I love the style of the t-shirt. I also wear it because it reminds me of the awesome night I had on September 10 last year.”