Once T-shirts made the jump from underwear to outerwear back in the glory days of black-and-white celluloid heroes like Dean and Brando, there was no going back. The tee became the go-to symbol of cool, relaxed, be-yourself confidence, and an American style staple was born. Everyday at ArtLab we print all kinds of t-shirts for our clients.
But the basic T-shirt has moved on from its simple origins, evolving alongside youth cultures like punk and hip-hop, becoming cheekier, more irreverent and – under the direction of industry leaders like Bella, Canvas & District Threads – much sexier. Deep V-necklines, chaotic burnout patterns, wild colors and super-snug fits all fight to augment the standard tee as it settled into a comfortably dominant niche in the imprinted tee industry.
These are still new frontiers for many customers, and the explosion in fashion tees hasn’t come without its share of anxiety on the part of clients unsure of how to market & use them. But the desire for retail-worthy wear is winning out. End-users want what they see in retail, they want to look fashionable, and sometimes they want fashion over comfort, but they want both. People want a retail-looking and -feeling T-shirt, and they want the best bang for their buck. If you get someone a better shirt, they are going to wear it 100 times more than an inferior product.
There is a reluctance in the market due to the saturation of cheap tees, and the extra buck or two a fashion-forward shirt may cost can influence the decision. Also the more form-fitting nature of fashion tees may frighten off clients who anticipate a less shapely end-user. These styles trend younger, and as such they are a natural fit for companies whose products resonate with younger demographics.
Along with the fashion-forward styles of today’s tees, there are branding rules that printers and their clients should follow. Chief among them, is to avoid large, complicated artwork and multiple logos. There has been a huge trend of minimizing colors in prints and designs. In stores, almost 85% of shirts are one to three colors max.
While the fashion tee has quickly burst onto the scene, suppliers say the trend isn’t going to be short-lived. It’s reenergized this market, we’re always going to sell a lot of normal T-shirts. But people want to look good, too, and it will only continue to explode.
Ask one of our experienced ArtLab sales staff to help you navigate the many different styles and fabrics available today. Check our online catalogs or stop in and pick up a hard copy, we are here to help.
Call ArtLab T-Shirts and Graphic services today 321.984.8844 or find us on facebook.