Not Just Jackets
The latest promotional outerwear has you covered, from head to … fingers.
Though current temperatures make it hard to believe, it won’t be long before frost appears on the lawn and you have to throw on a jacket and sweatpants to take the dog on its morning jaunt. In fact, many weather experts predict that La Niña, a widespread cooling of ocean water in the equatorial Pacific, will bring colder temperatures to much of the Northern Plains, Midwest, Northeast and West Coast this winter. Given the memory of frigid temperatures from the winter of 2013, which led to a whopping $6.9 billion in retail spending on outerwear and outdoor footwear and accessories according to market research firm The NPD Group, it’s always better to be prepared for the cold.
Knowing the probability of impending colder-than-normal weather in much of the country this winter, you can already anticipate the opportunity for promotional outerwear to keep brands visible. There’s no doubt that people will remember the name of the company that kept them warm. Start pitching ideas to clients and potential clients now and jump ahead of the competition. Here are some great items to get you started.
Outerwear With Flair
The Alpental jacket can keep up with those who prefer extreme adventure. The 100-percent nylon plain weave style is fully insulated and lined with soft fleece. The jacket is fully seam-sealed, waterproof and breathable. The stand collar conceals a hood, adjustable cuffs provide added comfort and Cutter & Buck pennant embroidery at the back collar finishes the look.
Cutter & Buck UPIC: CUTT0001 www.cutterbuck.com
This classic leather bomber jacket not only looks great with dress slacks, jeans or khakis, it also blocks out the wind and cold. It features a soft satin quilted lining with leather cuffs and waistband. Two interior pockets hold personal items. It comes in black and sizes S-XL. Tall sizes are available in XL-4XL.
Beacon Promotions UPIC: BEACONP www.beaconpromotions.com
The wooly mammoth of sweatshirts, this full-zip sweatshirt jacket is lined with the insulating warmth of 5.5-ounce Sherpa fleece and has a generous fit for layering. Colors include army/natural, cocoa/natural and navy/natural, and it comes in sizes XS-3XL. Black/natural goes up to 4XL.
Independent Trading UPIC: Trading www.independenttrading.com
Take a stroll—or a jog—in the Run Away Jacket. This water-resistant, woven full-zip jacket protects you from the elements, while its secure side zipper pockets and headphone loophole offer additional convenience and functionality. Other features include a reflective zipper chest pocket and center back for visibility in low light, a drop tail for extra coverage and antimicrobials to keep you clean and fresh. It’s available in sizes S-2XL.
Expert Brand UPIC: Exper698 www.expertbrand.com
Stay warm while texting with these 100-percent acrylic three finger activation text gloves. Conducting fiber located in three fingertips makes these gloves fully compatible with touch screen devices. Each glove is decorated with a Fusion Embroidery patch or Fusion DigiPrint patch up to 1 ¼-inch square. Available in eight different colors.
SunTex Industries UPIC: SUNTEX www.mainstsun.com
With a 100-percent polyester shell, this sleek, water-resistant wind vortex jacket has side welt pockets, a contrast full-zipper front and a contrast zipper on the right chest pocket as well as elastic cuffs. Choose from size S-XL. Colors include black, granite and navy.
Heritage Sportswear/Virginia T’s UPIC: HERI0002 www.heritagesportswear.com
Lightweight quilting adds warmth without weight, while stretch bonded fabric adds extra mobility to this hybrid jacket. The jacket is water repellent and has an elasticized draw cord at the bottom for fit flexibility. It’s available in men’s and women’s sizes S-3XL.
Vantage Apparel UPIC: vantage www.vantageapparel.com
Keep off the chill with this 52-inch USA-made custom elite scarf with contrasting or single-side designs.
Cap America UPIC: CAPAMRCA www.capamerica.com
Made in part with recycled polyester from plastic bottles, the Champion® Double Dry Eco® Pullover Hood includes eight color-block options. These optimized color pairings are ideal for practice squads, booster clubs and student organizations. This nine-ounce, 50/50 cotton-polyester fleece is comfortable, durable and environmentally conscious.
Hanes/Champion UPIC: HBIINC www.hanesbullseye.com
Stay warm and comfy wearing this camo knit cap. The 12-inch knit is a mix of cotton and polyester. (The Oilfield camo is a cotton twill, and the blaze orange is 100-percent polyester.) An acrylic lining ensures a warm, snug fit. It’s available in one size and 13 patterns, including Realtree® All Purpose in brown, tan, white, pink/brown, blaze/black; Mossy Oak® Breakup/black; and Realtree Max 5.
Kati Sportcap & Bag UPIC: KATI www.katisportcap.com.
With a classic fit, this fleece-lined all-season vest has a 100-percent polyester shell with water-repellent finish. The anti-pilling microfleece liner and full-length storm flap combine with zippered pockets and a drop tail back to make for a comfortable jacket for cool fall days or warmer winter days.
Landway International Corp. UPIC: landway www.landway.com
Relevant Retail Trends
When consulting with clients on promotional outerwear choices, take your cue from what’s popular at retail. Here are three outerwear trends to consider:
1. Dessert-inspired colors—new fall and winter colors are inspired by sherbet flavors like orange, lime and strawberry.
2. Technology friendly—outerwear that has pockets for smartphones, or even better, charging capacity, is highly desired by today’s tech-obsessed end users.
3. Easy on the earth—if it’s made from recycled or renewable materials, people, especially Millennials, want to wear it.
Innovations In Outerwear
Solar energy has been around long enough that rooftop solar panels barely register a passing look these days. But now outerwear is harnessing the power of the sun. The ThermalTech jacket, made with strong yet lightweight stainless steel mesh fabric, uses solar power rather than capturing body heat to warm the wearer. According to its website, “ThermalTech is designed to capture the sun’s ultraviolet rays and energy from artificial light sources to convert and store as heat—increasing the in-clothing temperature by 18°F in only two minutes!”
Voormi, a small Colorado-based company, has produced a technology that can create a waterproof, breathable textile with only a single layer of material. WIRED magazine called it “the most significant advancement in outdoor clothing since the first Gore-Tex jacket with a waterproof-breathable membrane debuted in the mid-1970s.” Foul weather gear, sleeping bags and other outdoor items just might get a little lighter.
Spider silk has been the envy of manmade fiber for years, given its natural durability and elasticity. Now outerwear brand The North Face has partnered with a Japanese company named Spiber to create the Moon Parka, which is made out of QMONOS (the name is derived from the Japanese term for spiderweb), an all-new fiber created from bioengineered bacteria that has the same look and feel as spider silk, which is considered the toughest material in the world.
Julie Richie is associate editor for PPB.