We have polyester fatigue. The traditional woven poly polo is falling out of favor, because of the synthetic feel of the fabric. Instead there’s a “huge shift” to cotton-feel performance fabrics. No one wants to give up the ability for stretch and wicking, but people miss the feeling of cotton against their skin. We’re seeing that in the retail markets. As a result, there’s a rise in cotton/poly blends that still feel a lot like cotton. We also work with mills that feature polos that have plaiting, where the cotton yarns are spun on the inside with poly on the outside.
Fits should be flattering. Top mills are making a conscious effort to differentiate the silhouettes and features of their women’s polos compared to the men’s counterparts. We are seeing strong sales with women’s polos, which are different from the traditional three-button placket. “The women’s style has no buttons and more flattering to the female body.
Change is constant. “There’s a distinct movement away from the solid traditional rib-collar polo. Gift shops and company stores are embracing items inspired by leading retail athletic brands with new twists, such as asymmetrical details. Texture is important and exciting. Sometimes it’s new fabrics, other times it’s subtle prints that create the feeling of dimension. Individualism is driving new variations in collars, sleeve lengths and variations on color blocking.”
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