FOTL

Back-to-School Styles

Jeanene Edwards

Jeanene Edwards is the VP of marketing & merchandising for Fruit of the Loom/JERZEES Activewear. She has over 20 years of experience working with global apparel brands.

With summer on its way out, a new school year is on its way in, and as the colder weather will soon roll in, the demand for sweatshirts, team gear, and uniforms will be at the top of your shop’s order list. Here are a few trends in back-to-school wear that should be sell-ready for this year.

Athleisure and performance wear in the classroom

Athleisure is a familiar trend that continues to grow on and off school grounds. This trend takes the comfort of athletic wear and blends it into the everyday, making it ideal for back-to-school. The great thing about athleisure for school is the ability consumers have to go from the classroom to gym class to team practice without worrying about sweaty, smelly shirts. Performance gear often has built-in odor-protection and moisture-wicking properties for those who work hard and play hard.

Above: Athletic wear and blends are ideal for back-to-school wear. (Image courtesy JERZEES)

Spirit gear

Similarly, to the athleisure trend, spirit gear brings the sidelines to the classroom. A decorated ringer T adds a vintage, varsity vibe that is all the rage in 2018. Spirit gear is for class and the Friday night football game. School pride is a major win for both students and their grades. Schools with spirit tend to do better academically. Whether you’re decorating for consumers at the middle school level or the college level, spirit gear will never go out of style

Joggers for the guys

As an athleisure staple, joggers have become a menswear-must. Until recently, guys haven’t had many clothing options, especially in athletic wear. Look out basketball shorts; the joggers are here. The jogger gives sweatpants a modern feel and fit that is sure to be a great sell. 

Right: Sweatpants and basketball shorts take a backseat to joggers, the new athleisure staple. (Image courtesy JERZEES)

Fitted layers for the ladies

Fashion trends for back-to-school aren’t always about the look. Practicality never goes out of style. With the fall semester approaching, ladies are looking for classic fit sweatshirts that are great for layering in colder weather. Jean jackets and vests are a must in ladieswear for back-to-school, making lightweight zip-ups and quarter-zips ideal for added comfort and warmth. 

Right: Layer up with fitted full- and quarter-zip hoodies and jackets. (Image courtesy Fruit of the Loom)

Vintage vibes

You may have noticed that what’s trendy in fashion has been slowly shifting back in time. With the oversized glasses and graphic Ts making a comeback, we are in the midst of a '70s revival. The bohemian (or boho) craze is pulling in the distressed prints and bold but earthy colors.

Softer than soft graphic Ts

Graphic Ts are hot this season, and so are super-soft T-shirts. This year, graphic Ts are a style staple for back-to-school. Consumers are looking for added comfort to fit in with the athleisure trends of 2018. Our current generation of students are all about self-expression, and graphic Ts are a great way to appeal to consumers. These consumers are looking for garments that speak to their individuality. This is excellent news for decorators. With this, you have creative freedom. Make sure you have soft and easy-print shirts on hand this season. 

Left: It's all about the graphic T this school year. (Image courtesy Fruit of the Loom)

From performance wear for everyday wear to soft, graphic Ts, there is a growing demand for personalized, retail-style apparel. Stay on trend with this must-have list of back-to-school clothing to meet the style needs of your consumers.