Eye On Apparel: Fashion Forward

As always, fashion is reflective of its time—and these are certainly unique times, as evidenced by the latest trends in fashion on display at a recent expo. The apparel on display was particularly of the moment, indicating changes in consumer needs and preferences over the last few years, which were influenced by greater societal changes.

The push from corporate wear to casual and then comfortable understandably emerged from the onset of the coronavirus, which saw stay-at-home mandates, business closures and a mass transition to remote work. Coziness as a trend has stuck and is likely to stay. According to Future Workforce Report 2021: How Remote Work Is Changing Business Forever—a report by freelancing platform Upwork—40.7 million Americans are projected to work remotely by 2025, which is more than double the number of pre-pandemic remote workers.

The home-wear market, which has shaped into a mix of loungewear and activewear that would be considered “Zoom-appropriate”—hence, “upgraded” lounge and playwear. When not on their webcams, consumers are happier than ever to throw on sweats, make some popcorn and cozy up inside with a good movie from the endless scroll of Netflix or other streaming platforms.

When millions of people first quarantined at home, many of them sought new ways to keep busy and active, experience a sense of adventure and find peace of mind—and this quest led them to the great outdoors. By now, most of us have discovered new outdoor activities we enjoy, from running, hiking and camping, to fishing, rock climbing and nature photography. However, the majority of people could benefit from an option that’s also wearable enough for every day. Consumers are searching for functional solutions to encourage continued activity and help them to meet and exceed personal and fitness goals. Brands are seizing the opportunity to take their impact a step further by partnering with nonprofits dedicated to environmental action.

Continued education and awareness on diversity and inclusivity, coupled with the blurring lines of gender, has led to an increased call for gender-fluid fashions. Allowing brands to design clothing for all consumers and body types, rather than targeting a specific gender, is not a “trend,” but likely here to stay. Also referred to as “genderless” or “unisex” fashion, gender-fluid collections feature items that extend beyond track suits and hoodies, and also include skirts and dresses.

Given the unique social climate we’re in and the opportunity for brands to connect with new consumer pools, some suppliers on the show floor tapped the magic of loud, in-your-facing branding—in a most fashionable way, of course. Allover dye-sublimated clothing was a technique first made popular in the ’90s, but it’s one that produces designs that are vibrant and permanent, and thus have the potential to be memorable. And according to show floor exhibitors, it’s back in a bigger, more vibrant way this year.

Read on for a selection of trending wearables this year.

With popular shades including Millennial pink and Gen Z yellow, and Very Peri as the Pantone Color of the Year 2022, bright, cheerful colors are on full display in consumer apparel this year. Over the past few years, we saw neutrals, such as beige and taupe, have a moment in fashion, but now vibrant color combinations, such as pinks and purples, blues and reds, and electric yellow and lime green, are adding color to closets everywhere. One of the most popular color combinations seen on Instagram right now is black with neon or emerald green. Also popular are pastel shades, blends and gradients, and holographic, iridescent chrome finishes.


Wow customers and their friends, too, with a bold, dye-sublimated design like the one shown in this Pull Over Hoodie. With this particular allover custom print paying homage to some of the quirky characters on Cartoon Network, it’s also set against a dye-sublimated black-and-white background, showing design overlay. This heavyweight, super-soft fleece is made from polyester and cotton, and has a front pouch pocket for storing a phone or warming hands. Add personalized details with a custom drawstring and neck taping, and a custom-printed, woven label. Available in unisex sizes, S-2XL.


For many consumers, a pair of good ‘ole joggers have become a popular grab-and-go choice for every day. The Unisex Jogger Sweatpants are made from the softest blend of Airlume-combed and ring-spun cotton and polyester. Maintain a snug fit all day with the elastic waistband, while storing small belonging in the side pockets. Available in unisex sizes, XS- 2XL, in 15 colors, shown in tan and black.

The 382R Unisex Impact Raglan tee is the softest blend of sustainably sourced cotton, rayon and spandex, and has a high-end feel without the price tag to match. Its four-way stretch, performance fabric is designed for movement, and the tee is built to retain its shape over time. Available in sizes XS-3XL in black, heather gray and heather black (shown).

The Men’s Pacesetter contributes to two good causes, so recipients will feel good while wearing it, both inside and out. The shirt is super soft but also super stretchy, allowing for ease of movement and superior comfort. It’s also made using 50-percent recycled polyester, or the equivalent of 10 plastic water bottles. This sueded jersey, quarter-zip shirt is also part of a buy one, give one program the supplier is running, #HealthCareStrong, which, for every shirt purchased, sends another shirt (featuring the campaign logo) and an optional note to a health care hero of the recipient’s choosing. Available in sizes S-4XL in seven colors, shown in dark heather grey.

A casual but clean approach to loungewear, the Inspire Women’s Bonded Sweater Fleece Jacket is something that remote workers can wear while dialing in from home, and also in casual work environments. This fleece is made from water-resistant performance polyester, but gives the look of a woven sweater. Details include pockets on the chest, front and back hip and a faux leather toggle at the main zipper. Machine-washable, it’s available in sizes XS-3XL in carbon heather, navy heather and light heather (shown).

The Unisex French Terry Heathered Hooded Full-Zip Sweatshirt is an easy-wear option with a laidback feel, and something recipients will reach for. The Independent Trading Co.-branded shirt is made from a cotton and polyester blend and features functional details, such as thumbholes at the cuffs and a media player holder and eyelet in the front pocket. Available in unisex sizes, XS-2XL, in seven colors, shown in salt and pepper.

The truly vibrant colors that are achieved with dye sublimation can be used to add excitement around outdoor sports and activities, while also building association between the brand and the pastime. The Fishing Hoodie is made using a fully customized dye sublimation print, and the example here uses a mix of brilliant yellows, greens and blue to celebrate this outdoor activity. The hoodie is also anti-snag, offers UPF 40+ sun protection and it’s made in the U.S. Available in unisex sizes XS-4XL.

The All Weather Jacket provides recipients with functional outerwear that celebrates your client’s brand year-round. Windproof, waterproof and breathable, this nylon jacket, with a minimum order quantity of one, can be customized to your recipients’ particular needs and preferences. Useful year-round, choose to add on a removable hood or right and/or left chest pockets, and select from various fit options: ultra-slim to ultra-full, and short, regular, or long length. Available in 21 colors and in inclusive sizing, men’s XS-5XL and women’s XXS-4XL. 

The Original MAX Hat is available for a 30-day turnaround, and is a unisex option for everyday use and all types of weather. Available in a low-profile unstructured or mid-profile structured style, choose from premium brushed cotton or premium twill fabric. The cap includes two free logos and a free logo set-up, and secures with a hook-and-loop closure. Whether you’re advertising a new bar, a landscaping business or an outdoor company, this cap will get the message across in a way that’s trendy and wear-worthy.

No matter what the year or the season, a t-shirt can go a long way with advertising your brand. A good, high-quality t-shirt is something people wear again and again. The US Blanks Unisex Pigment-Dyed Destroyed T-Shirt is made from 100% combed and ring-spun cotton, so it’s super soft, and features distressed detailing, adding personality to a brand message. Made in the U.S., the tee is pigment-dyed and is available in six colors, shown in pigment sunset gold, in sizes XS-2XL.


If you have questions about a specific project please contact your rep directly or send an email to hello@gorillamarketing.net.