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Trends

Trends We're Seeing: The Perfect Picnic

Trends We're Seeing: The Perfect Picnic

Warm weather has arrived and what could be more "summer" than enjoying a meal or snacks outside with friends and family. While we know the real perfect picnic begins with the company, the right gear can add comfort and convenience to enhance the whole experience.

As we share our top picnic product picks, keep in mind that these make great gifts and giveaways for all kinds of summer events, including:

5Ks/Run-Walks

Company Picnics

Food, Music and Arts Festivals

Golf Outings

Alumni Get-Togethers

So while the weather is sunny, check out the picnic and summer promotion ingredients that really knock it out of the park.

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Content compliments of PCNA. Check out their products for your next promotion by clicking here.

Trends We're Seeing: Business Uniforming

Trends We're Seeing: Business Uniforming

A good uniform is a statement. It tells your employees they’re part of a team, tells your clients what to expect, and most importantly, a good uniform tells your story.

Modern companies are abandoning the “one size fits all” approach to uniforms. Today’s uniform is all about creating a unified office experience and allowing your employees’ personal styles to show through. The days are numbered for stiff fabrics and restrictive styles. Today’s uniforms are built around fashion basics—polos, wovens and tees—and are enhanced with athleisure features like moisture wicking and performance-shaping that allow for easy movement. This year, color is at the heart of uniforming trends. Whether you’re making a striking monochromatic statement or adding bold color splashes to accentuate your logo, color is key. For an ultramodern look, think soft pastels when updating your company’s style. T-shirts and other fashion basics can be combined with traditional business attire like blazers to create a stylish look that works across generations. This sort of mix-and-match flexibility keeps your team looking fresh and ready for anything.

CORPORATE

Is your company a stalwart corporate institution built on tradition and the strength of your reputation? Project a sense of confidence with updated classics like a 1/4-zip fleece over a colorful, woven button-down.

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CASUAL

Perhaps your company is a casual local establishment. Try street-ready styles that can be worn on the way to work, to the gym or for a night out on the town.

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COOL

Or maybe your office operates on the cutting edge of cool. If that’s the case, explore styles that emphasize comfort and encourage personality.

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Content compliments of SanMar. For more on this trend, click here.

Trends We're Seeing: Connected Outdoors

Trends We're Seeing: Connected Outdoors

From climbing mountains to walking in the park, consumers desire to reconnect with nature, and the Connected Outdoors trend celebrates items inspired by the great outdoors. With these product options, you can pack it all in — from business to leisure, and satisfy your sense of adventure and exploration, no matter where your travels take you.

Brands are continuing to make great strides to show their care for the environment and the measures they are taking to protect the earth. According to Waste 360, 70 percent of millennials said a company’s environmental focus impacts their purchasing decisions. For example, The North Face is committed to creating durable products that stay out of landfills as well as incorporating more recycled fabric into its clothing. The brand also has a Clothes the Loop program, which rewards customers for donating old clothing and shoes.

Additionally, brands are joining the “give back” movement by donating to or partnering with major charities in an effort to raise awareness on various causes. The company Brandless believes in making better products accessible and affordable for more people, and has partnered up with the Feed America organization to donate meals to people facing hunger. Their mission is deeply rooted in quality, transparency, and community-driven values – on their website, they have three defined sections; 350+ High Quality Products, Simple Fair Prices and Tangible Acts of Kindness. Brands will continue to catch on to the the vibe of doing good, especially with members of the upcoming Generation Z demographic expecting it. Consumers believe that our world needs a lot of help right now, so there are plenty of causes to support.

You can see the Connected Outdoors trend in promotional products through rugged, earth-tone travel-style backpacks, drinkware with a purpose, and activewear or sports gear that exceeds expectations. Vendors are offering backpacks that encompass nature's colors such as olive, tan and brown. These styles of backpacks allow wearers to travel with ease due to their quality, structure and portability. Additionally, consumers today are more inclined to help protect the planet, and many companies are offering products that will benefit the environment – for example, metal drinking straws to help eliminate plastic straw waste and backpacks made from recycled plastic water bottles. These outdoor-inspired products connect consumers with their passion for outdoor experiences, no matter where they travel.

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Content compliments of Pinnacle Promotions. For more on this trend, click here.

Trends We're Seeing: Today's Fearless Fashion

Trends We're Seeing: Today's Fearless Fashion

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In 2014, an incredible book came out called Advanced Style by Ari Seth Cohen, followed very shortly after by a documentary of the same name. It followed a number of stylish women of “advanced” age (thus the title) in New York City who dress in what is considered a maximalist way.

What strikes me when watching them on screen or flipping through the pages of the book is how the proportions and the mix of everything they wear just works. Instead of being too much, wearing six different colors or patterns at once looks right. This is what the trend of maximalism is all about.

To me, I see joy. The pleasure they get from the outfits they put together is clear. As we get to know them through the pictures in the book and through the documentary, we feel joy as well. They believe in what they’re wearing. They know themselves and they love every item. They’ve carefully collected each piece, finding them at luxury stores or vintage sales or flea markets, mixing any and all of them together, heeding only their own rules. They are the early adopters, the fashion leaders, of the resale market trend!

Just a few of the resale brands you may have heard of in the news recently are The RealReal, Poshmark, and threadUP. An article in Yahoo! Finance released a report on March 19 predicting the resale apparel market will be worth $51 billion within five years. Not everyone who buys vintage or pre-owned clothing wears the pieces in a maximalist way, but almost everyone who buys them loves to tell the story of how they acquired each piece. The story is as much of the outfit as the actual garment.

Iris Apfel, a 96-year-old style icon and major Influencer on Instagram, is well-known for saying, “More is more and less is a bore.” That perfectly describes the essence of maximalism.

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I’m here to tell you a secret though. As brands, we can be maximal even when we are showing individual styles or looks that are definitely not maximal. Think about how many white, black and grey tee shirts and woven shirts and jackets we sell in the promotional products industry! Companies want to put their own colorful logos on those items and they don’t necessarily want to have the color of the garment compete for attention.

Also, many people want to have a minimalistic wardrobe when it comes to color. White, black and grey items all mix and match, stretching a small wardrobe easily across a whole year. There is a movement to reduce the number of things in our closets (think Marie Kondo). Having a particular set of clothing you can layer up or pare back to accommodate for temperature, career, lifestyle or setting is becoming a trend to pay attention to.

Take another look at the image at the top of this page. Do you see how I’ve incorporated a mix of patterns through the ties, pants and shoes I’ve chosen for the models? Those patterns are paired with the SanMar items District Women’s Perfect Tri Tee (DM130L) in white and the Slim Fit SuperPro Oxford Shirt (S661) in white. That’s minimal color but presented in a maximal way. I’ve used as many patterns as are appropriate for my looks and I’m showing them on a bright yellow background with red accents. It definitely gets your attention while not taking away from the core products I want to show you.

Whether or not maximalism is for you as a way you want to dress personally, what we can all take away from this style is the joy that it can bring both the wearer and the observer. To me, that makes this a trend I hope stays around a long time, don’t you?

Content compliments of SanMar. To learn more about this trend, click here.

Trends We're Seeing: Recharge

Trends We're Seeing: Recharge

This trend encompasses mental wealth, positivity and physical well-being. It encourages a more holistic focus on the mind-body connection and inspires your best self by creating a better balance between your mental health and physical well being. This trend sparks a collection of products ready to nourish your spirit, reflect on your thoughts and feelings, and recharge and unwind with quality time.

Over the past few years, we have seen more and more companies offer office perks to make it easy for employees to stay healthy, both physically and mentally, while on the job. According to Working Mother, “Most employers know that one of the keys to workplace productivity is having happy and healthy employees.” Companies such as Nike, Google, and Microsoft have taken this concept to the next level and offer wellness zones such as quiet places to meditate and napping to fully functional gyms.

Today’s culture is particularly intrigued (or borderline obsessed) with the practice of genealogy. People use the DNA test, 23 and me, or Ancestry.com to not only find out how it relates to health but they also use the results to feel included and part of something “bigger.”

With all the surrounding chaos and commotion during our everyday lives, people are looking for mindfulness and seeking happy places. As discussed in the 2019 apparel trends bloghygge – a Danish word describing a comfortable feeling that engenders contentment or well-being – is an ongoing lifestyle trend. It promotes one to enjoy cozy time; whether that's snuggling up in a soft sweatshirt, taking a candlelit bath, or enjoying sofa-side chat with a loved one, glass of wine in hand. This also speaks to the athleisure fashion trend. Athleisure clothing is designed for athletic activities, but can be worn in other settings, such as at the workplace, at school, or at other casual or social occasions.

The Recharge trend translates to the promotional product world through the warm, happy, and fantasy color palettes, various journal options, and active accessories such as yoga mats and travel pet gear bags. Products will feature pops of color that highlight warm and happy hues such as the the Pantone color of the year, Living Coral. Journals can be used to write down your thoughts, reflections, or doodles to ease your stress – some journal options are composed of lined paper and coloring pictures to add another element of relaxation. And yoga mats and travel pet gear urge one to keep fit and active, promoting mental health, positivity and physical well-being.

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Content compliments of Pinnacle Promotions. For more on this trend, click here.

Pantone's Color of the Year 2019: Living Coral

Pantone's Color of the Year 2019: Living Coral

Last week, Pantone announced its 2019 Color of the Year: Living Coral. An animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge. Vibrant, yet mellow PANTONE Living Coral embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment.

In reaction to the onslaught of digital technology and social media increasingly embedding into daily life, we are seeking authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy. Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity. Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral embodies our desire for playful expression.

Representing the fusion of modern life, PANTONE Living Coral is a nurturing color that appears in our natural surroundings and at the same time, displays a lively presence within social media.

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PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral emits the desired, familiar, and energizing aspects of color found in nature. In its glorious, yet unfortunately more elusive, display beneath the sea, this vivifying and effervescent color mesmerizes the eye and mind. Lying at the center of our naturally vivid and chromatic ecosystem, PANTONE Living Coral is evocative of how coral reefs provide shelter to a diverse kaleidoscope of color.

How to Use the Pantone Color of the Year 2019

Pantone has created five different color palettes that feature PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral to help you bring this year's special shade into your designs and illustrate the dynamic nature of this color within various combinations.

FOCAL POINT  Immediately drawing our attention like a beacon of light, PANTONE Living Coral warmly engages, vivifying the palette as it becomes the focal point in this understated and upscale, composed and cool color grouping.

FOCAL POINT
Immediately drawing our attention like a beacon of light, PANTONE Living Coral warmly engages, vivifying the palette as it becomes the focal point in this understated and upscale, composed and cool color grouping.

SHIMMERING SUNSET   Bold and brilliant, a palette evocative of the dazzling portrait of color splashed across the sky as the sun rises and sets, one where PANTONE Living Coral energizes and enlivens, adding to our feelings of pleasurable warmth.

SHIMMERING SUNSET

Bold and brilliant, a palette evocative of the dazzling portrait of color splashed across the sky as the sun rises and sets, one where PANTONE Living Coral energizes and enlivens, adding to our feelings of pleasurable warmth.

SYMPATICO  Paying homage to skin tones around the world and the shades we use to enhance our complexions; Sympatico is comprised of a beautiful array of colors that humanize; fusing together a panoply of international skin tones with those soft and warm colors we layer on to create that healthy glow.

SYMPATICO
Paying homage to skin tones around the world and the shades we use to enhance our complexions; Sympatico is comprised of a beautiful array of colors that humanize; fusing together a panoply of international skin tones with those soft and warm colors we layer on to create that healthy glow.

TRIPPY  A palette of hallucinogenic shades with dizzying effects, the wildly hedonistic color range we see in Trippy is pure and unadulterated; an exuberant range of joyful color that speaks to irrepressible fun and spontaneity that includes the life affirming PANTONE Living Coral.

TRIPPY
A palette of hallucinogenic shades with dizzying effects, the wildly hedonistic color range we see in Trippy is pure and unadulterated; an exuberant range of joyful color that speaks to irrepressible fun and spontaneity that includes the life affirming PANTONE Living Coral.

U  Awash in color suggestive of the watery environment that lies beneath a tropical island paradise, Under The Sea places PANTONE Living Coral at the center of our naturally vivid and chromatic ecosystem, evocative of how coral reefs embrace with their warmth and nourishment and provide shelter to a diverse kaleidoscope of colorful sea life.

U
Awash in color suggestive of the watery environment that lies beneath a tropical island paradise, Under The Sea places PANTONE Living Coral at the center of our naturally vivid and chromatic ecosystem, evocative of how coral reefs embrace with their warmth and nourishment and provide shelter to a diverse kaleidoscope of colorful sea life.

Content sourced from Pantone Color Institute.