Eye On Apparel: Snuggle Season


When it comes to branded apparel, one of the surest ways to guarantee your client’s brand gets the exposure they are looking for is to offer styles that end users want to wear. When the temperature drops again and it’s time to pile on the layers, it’s not only important that form meets function—that clothing is warm, cozy and easy to wear—but that it’s on trend and complements the wearers’ unique needs. If a brand gets it right and selects pieces that are fashion-forward and perfectly aligned with the target demographic, there’s a much greater likelihood for that item—whether it be a jacket, sweater, gloves, scarf or hat, or all the above—to be worn as intended and provide maximum exposure for the brand.

When selecting promo apparel that is fashionable and purposeful, it’s important to be up to date on the latest looks in retail, which draw inspiration from high fashion and runways around the world. For the coming winter season, there’s a lot of room for playful experimentation, with outerwear trends ranging from neutrals with pops of color to shearling accents and animal prints—especially tiger prints, according to The Business of Fashion. In addition, expect to see bold, lush colors, such as mustard, in coats, trenches and longer jackets, and touches of shearling incorporated into coat collars, cuffs or other details, says StyleBlueprint. Wool accents are also appearing in high fashion as a substitute for fur from designers Stella McCartney, Valentino, Petar Petrov and Celine.

And gone are the days of matchy-matchy styles. The coming fall and winter seasons welcome the pairing of saturated, in-your-face colors with equally brilliant prints—a perfect combination for brands that want to leave a lasting impression. 

Another trend that may be particularly well-received by end users is the oversized, puffy coat, as well as the poncho—styles by designers Isabel Marant, Max Mara and Etro lit up runways—and even blanket-style coats and accessories, seen in styles by Gabriela Hearst, Proenza Schouler, Libertine, Chloe, Balmain and Givenchy. This coming season, brands can offer end users styles that’ll keep them snug and warm all season long. Being able to wear stylish blanket-like clothing that’s also fashion-forward is any homebody’s dream come true.

Following fashion into the cooler seasons is this year’s ongoing push toward sustainability and eco-friendly selections. Look for jackets made from 100-percent polyester that mimic sheepskin—like Stella McCartney’s skin-free skin jacket—winter apparel made from 100-percent recycled cotton, and wearables made with production processes that provide work to people in developing countries.

Read on to see how some of these trends translate into popular promo apparel.

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Straight from New York’s fashion runways, the Pantone Color Institute says these 10 colors will make the biggest splash:

  • Pantone 16-1350: amberglow
  • Pantone 19-1662: samba
  • Pantone 16-1328: sandstone
  • Pantone 19-4052: classic blue
  • Pantone 13-0648: green sheen
  • Pantone 16-1511: rose tan
  • Pantone 18-5338: ultramarine green
  • Pantone 19-1337: fired brick
  • Pantone 14-1220: peach nougat
  • Pantone 19-2428: magenta purple

And these are the four rich neutrals that’ll complement them:

  • Pantone 12-0713: almond oil
  • Pantone 19-3940: blue depths
  • Pantone 16-3916: sleet
  • Pantone 19-0622: military olive

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Winter and cable knitting practically go hand in hand. The Cap America Cable Knit is a 100-percent acrylic knit cap with an inner fleece ear band to ensure a snug fit—in style and in warmth. Opt to add a faux fur pom-pom for a classic winter look. Available in black, maroon, navy and ivory (shown).

BIC Graphic NA   /   PPAI 114187, S13  /  www.bicgraphic.com

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In line with the sustainability focus, this 100-percent polyester, BIC Graphic-exclusive jacket will keep wearers warm with its fleece lining and self-fabric waistband and cuffs to block wind. Made for the outdoors—and a great choice for students, employees and teams—the Champion Victory Jacket also includes a drawstring scuba collar for easy adjustment. Available in S-XL in nine colors, shown in champion purple.

BIC Graphic NA  /  PPAI 114187, S13  /  www.bicgraphic.com

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When end users are bundled up, one of the easiest ways to express personality—and get the word out about favorite brands—is to layer on accessories. The Jacquard Knitted Scarf and Beanie are both made from 100-percent acrylic and feature a double layer. Add a jacquard knitted logo to the scarf using up to six colors, and on the beanie, up to three colors, with 48 yarn colors available. The scarf also features a 2.5-inch-long fringe with a three-color option; the beanie can be accessorized with an optional 2.5-inch cuff and pom-pom.

Terry Town  /  PPAI 230911, S7  /  www.terrytown.com

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As the temperature cools, many end users will be spending more time indoors. The Sweatshirt Hoodie Robe is the perfect complement to those homebound days, offering the comfort of a favorite hoodie and a cozy robe. Made from a blend of 80-percent cotton and 20-percent polyester, details include knitted sleeve cuffs, a hood with drawcord, two patch pockets, double belt loops and a self-fabric belt. Available in a 44-inch-long one-size-fits-all option—and a 50-inch-long option, the complementary Sweatshirt Hoodie Robe Large Size—this selection makes the perfect gift for the whole family.

Terry Town  /  PPAI 230911, S7  /  www.terrytown.com

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The Men’s Hiking Combo, available in a complementary women’s style, is an ideal gift or giveaway for brands operating in the outdoor space. The bundle features one pair of men’s USA-made Merino wool-blend socks, each decorated with a 1.5-inch by 1.5-inch applique, and a marled knit beanie cap, decorated with a two-inch by four-inch or three-inch applique, using the same design on all pieces. As an add-on, opt to have all items packaged in an embroidered satin gift bag.  

Suntex Industries  /  PPAI 113094, S5  /  www.suntexindustries.com

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Loosely following the trend of loose-fitting styles is the Denali Jacket, a 100-percent polyester fleece jacket featuring solid-woven-blocking in the most popular logo areas. Details include 100-percent polyester fleece lining, an inner storm flap with chin guard, left chest and back yoke blocking, a left chest zipper pocket and stretch binding on the cuffs. Available in women’s XS-3XL and men’s S-5XL in natural/navy and natural/black (shown).

Vantage Apparel  /  PPAI 113235, S10  /  www.vantageapparel.com

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The Turin Jacket is a sure choice for end users or employees—and one that’ll likely become a go-to favorite in their closets. Made from 100-percent polyester stretch-bonded woven fabric with a brushed back, details include a water-repellent membrane to keep wearers dry, a grey-accented, molded zipper, an inner storm flap with chin guard and stretch binding at the cuff. Available in men’s S-5XL and women’s XS-3XL in black and white (shown).

Vantage Apparel  /  PPAI 113235, S10  /  www.vantageapparel.com

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Anyone who’s braved the cold could argue that beanies are one of the utmost outerwear essentials. The Champion Ribbed Knit beanie, available in nine colors—including pink (shown), which is similar to one of the top 10 colors of the season according to Pantone—is made from 100-percent acrylic, and features a seven-inch cuff and the Champion logo on the front. And best of all, they’re “in” year-round.

Kati Sportcap  /  PPAI 113758, S5  /  www.katisportcap.com

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For a look that’s 100-percent on brand, this down jacket is designed to be 100-percent custom. Using an interactive, distributor-only platform, the user can select from 23 colors, which vary across six panels and zippers, with the option to add a hood, extra down insulation or chest pockets. When it comes to size, there are five different fit profiles, ranging from ultra-slim to ultra-full, from sizes XXS-5XL. And best of all, there are no minimums. Shown here is a collection of styles designed for Vitamin Water.

Hexa|Custom  /  PPAI 767010, S1  /  www.hexacustom.com

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In line with this year’s coming trend of ponchos and wearable “blankets,” the Eco Custom Text Wrap is a great option for making a loud—and proud—brand statement in an effortlessly stylish way. Made in the USA from 75-percent recycled cotton and 25-percent polyester, it’s available in a one-size-fits-all with a 12-piece minimum.

In2Green  /  PPAI 748975, S1  /  www.in2green.com

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This coming winter will be all about unexpected pops of color, and this Ladies’ Heavyweight Aurora Jacket incorporates one of the most popular colors of the season: magenta/purple. Made from 100-percent polyester matte-brushed tricot with a contrast color asymmetrical insert wrap from the wearer’s right arm around the back. Details include a slim fit through the torso, set-in sleeves, front pockets, an open bottom and half-elastic cuffs. Available in S-2XL in six colors, shown in black/power pink/metallic silver.

TSC Apparel  /  PPAI 174523, S12  /  www.tscapparel.com

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Sherpa has a look that’s similar to the big trend of shearling, and this Ladies Full Zip Sherpa Jacket, a best-seller, is nothing short of lush. Made from 100-percent polyester Sherpa, the jacket features a flattering shape to complement feminine contours, with pockets for functionality. Details include a collar and half-moon facing at the back of the neck, gathered sleeve opening with elastic cuff and welt pockets on the front. It’s a great look for end users to wear with a pair of jeans when they’re out and about. Available in XS-3XL in frosty grey, black, charcoal, navy and natural (shown).

Boxercraft  /  PPAI 159420, S5  /  www.boxercraft.com

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A cross between a poncho and a blanket, the Women’s Crossover Wrap Cardigan is a great choice for employees who are working a seasonal event. Made from a tri-blend of 71-percent polyester, 25-percent rayon and four-percent spandex French Terry knit, it features a snap closure and button corner closures and welt pockets. Available in XS-4XL in black, heather charcoal, dark maroon and heather royal (shown).

Tri-Mountain  /  PPAI 134335, S11   /  www.trimountain.com

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For a seasonal, themed giveaway or as part of an annual gift to employees, brands can’t go wrong with a pair of super comfortable socks. And with more companies transitioning to the work-from-home environment, they’ll likely gain more use now than ever before. Socks are also a great choice for employees who spend most of the day on their feet. These 100-percent acrylic Fashion Fuzzy Feet are available in 10 colors and patterns with a non-skid bottom.

Suntex Industries   /  PPAI 113094, S5   /  www.suntexindustries.com

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Danielle Renda is associate editor of PPB.

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