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Fall & Winter 2018 Style Trends Report

It's that time of the year again! The turning of the seasons is the perfect time to refresh your corporate apparel and branded merch collections. The temperatures are dropping, so it's time to rework your wardrobe to fit the cooler weather. Plus, with the holidays right around the corner, there's no better time to stock up on personalized corporate gifts before it's too late!

Clothing and accessory fashion trends can change just as quickly as the leaves. But don't worry, we've got you covered on all the apparel and merch style trends from our Fall 2018 & Winter 2019 Merch Lookbook in this style trends guide. Because your logo should only be displayed on the trendiest brands and styles of the season.

Logos are Hip Again

People are identifying with brands more and more, so larger or more prominent logos are becoming increasingly popular for both clothing and accessories. There’s a higher perceived value on a personalized t-shirt with the Nike swoosh or Adidas three strips logo on it rather than with just your printed logo. Luckily that’s what we specialize in: Your Logo + Brands You Love.  

Materials & Textures

One undeniable trend for accessories and corporate gifts is the use of non-traditional materials and finishes to make a product stand out from the competition and add value. Think metals and woods in places you wouldn’t normally find them or unique and fun finishes like metallic or matte. Here’s a look at some materials and finishes that are turning heads this year. 

Cork

Cork makes a great addition to promotional products like drinkware, journals, and notebooks because it’s durable, eco-friendly, and adds a touch of warmth to any product.

Leeds Navy Valhalla Copper Vacuum Tumbler with Cork 16ozJournalBooks Tan Sintra Cork Soft Bound

Copper

A twist on the more commonly used stainless steel, copper provides a warmer and more elegant look for drinkware and accessories and is a classic look for corporate gifts.

BIC Copper Executive Vacuum Tumbler - 18 oz.Leed's Copper Moscow Mule Mug 16 oz

Wood Grain

Woodgrain makes any product feel closer to nature and has a timeless style. We offer custom accessories that are both made from real wood and that feature woodgrain prints.

Woodgrain iPhone Case

Metallics

Metallics are a great way to make products shine bright without that fake gloss look. Finishes like silver, gold, rose gold or copper makes that shine look much more elegant and natural than a normal gloss finish.

Thermos Rose Gold Direct Drink Backpack Bottle - 12 Oz.Beats by Dre Rose Gold Solo3 Wireless Headphones

Matte Finishes

Metallic finishes and matte finishes are both in style at the same time? You read it right! Matte finishes have a different kind of cool factor than their shiny counterparts, and they’re usually scratch resistant too!

Custom Printed Portable Charger with Corporate LogoYETI Seafoam Rambler-30 oz. Tumbler

Leather

Custom debossed or embossed leather accessories like wallets, keychains, glass sleeves, and padfolios have always been fantastic corporate gifts. In fact, leather never really goes out of style when it comes to accessories. Apparel is another story… we’re looking at you leather pants of the eighties.

Gemline Black Glenwood Leather WalletNorthwind Supply Chocolate Personalized Circle Key Fob

2018 Color Trends

It all starts with colors and color schemes when it comes to style. Your standard colors like black and gray are safe and don't really go out of style, but where's the fun in that? We've got apparel and accessories available in every color under the sun and we can almost always make an exact match to your company logo Pantone colors for customization. Check out our Screen Printing Color Options and Embroidery Thread Color Options to find your match!

Bold & Bright Colors

If the Pantone Color of the Year, Ultra Violet, is any indication, then bright colors are officially back in style. At New York Fashion week Pantone also named bright colors like Russet Orange, Crocus Petal, Limelight, and Quetzal Green as trending colors.

Pantone 2018 Colors of the Year

Bold and bright colors are a great way to draw attention to your logo or design and it’s not limited to just apparel. Brighter colors are becoming increasingly popular with accessories, especially with drinkware brands like YETI and S’well. Much of this change is driven by millennials’ affinity with playful and quirky colors according to the ASI 2008 trends report. Promotional products, in general, are moving towards a younger and hipper appeal.

Monochrome Looks are In.

The “groutfit” trend is the casual apparel trend that nobody saw coming. But monochromatic clothing trends aren’t just limited to the 50 shades of gray seen in a groutfit. We’re not sure if black on black was ever out, but its trending on runways around the world again. Even denim on denim, aka the “Canadian Tuxedo”, is making a comeback!

Fall 2018 and Winter 2019 Classic Colors

The Fall and Winter 2018 Classic Color Palette from Pantone features more traditional, everyday colors. These core color trends apply mostly to apparel and tend to stand the test of time better than other trending colors. That’s why these colors are perfect to build your personal wardrobe or corporate apparel collection around.

Pantone Fall and Winter Colors

Apparel Trends

What you wear says a lot about you. That’s especially true if you put your logo on it. You don’t want your brand to be considered out of touch, boring, or lacking style. If you’re going to purchase corporate apparel for your team, you might as well make sure that you pick something that’s fashion-forward, right? Right. Follow along for some of the biggest fashion trends for late 2018 and early 2019.

Comfort First

Get ready, because your favorite weekend apparel might be coming to an office near you! More and more people are ditching restrictive suits and traditional office attire for more comfortable options. Relaxed fit apparel, performance fabric, stretchy fabric, and fleece are all highly desired apparel features in 2018.

Athleisure

Under Armour. prAna. Bella + Canvas. Lululemon. These are just a few brands that are leading the charge when it comes to athleisure apparel. This is very closely related to the comfort-first trend. Athleisure apparel is typically made from cotton or a cotton blend for maximum breathability and often features some kind of 3-way or 4-way stretch technology. It’s fantastic for the gym or the yoga studio, but now athleisure apparel is even breaking into corporate America. Things like Under Armour quarter zips and Nike polos are replacing suits in offices with millennial workforces across the nation. Check out our Corporate Athleisure Collection to see some athleisure options with your company logo or read our Athleisure Apparel Buyers Guide for all the info you need to outfit your team in the finest athleisure threads.

Under Armour Custom Athleisure Quarter Zip Sweatshirt for MenOGIO Custom Athleisure Full Zip Sweatshirt for Women

Sustainable Apparel & Accessories

We live in a more environmentally conscious world than we used to, and people are making concerted efforts to shop responsibly. It’s especially important for your business to buy eco-friendly products if your business stands for sustainability as a principle.

 Patagonia Corporate Logo     Recover Corporate Logo       S'well Corporate Logo     Econscious Corporate Logo   RuMe Corporate Logo     Castelli Corporate Logo   Parkland Corporate Logo

Here at Merchology, we partner with retail brands that are leaders in sustainability to offer a wide range of sustainable apparel and gifts. Drinkware companies like S’well are leading the charge in cutting down the consumption of plastic bottles and Recover and RuMe actually use plastic bottles to create t-shirts and bags! We’re not just sitting on the sidelines either. Through our partnership with Patagonia, we are now 1% for The Planet Members, meaning that both Patagonia and Merchology will donate 1% of the revenue to environmental causes when you buy Patagonia products through us!

Larger Jackets

We’re not sure if this trend started simply because people just hate being cold, but it’s looking like larger and heavier jackets will be the style this winter. Unless you live in Miami, you can expect to see more down puffer jackets and parkas this winter. The good news is custom jackets make fantastic corporate apparel because it’s something that people will wear out and about every day, all winter long, so you get maximum branding exposure. Check out our Custom Jacket Buyers Guide for even more of the hottest jacket trends.

Spyder Women's Black and Red Supreme Puffer jacketPatagonia Men's Navy Blue Nano Air Jacket

Fabric & Textiles Trends

As apparel style trends shift, the most desired materials and fabrics used to make the apparel changes too.  We’ve got you covered on up-to-the-minute fashion trends when it comes to the most in-style fabrics for the season, so your team can look their best all year round.

Sherpa & Shearling Fabric

Sherpa fabric is made from polyester, acrylic or cotton, while shearling fabric is made from sheepskin. Both of these fabrics are used to create “Sherpa-style” jackets and outerwear. They’re called Sherpa jackets because it’s what South American and Asian Sherpas used to stay warm in sub-zero temperatures atop mountains. We’re confident they’ll keep you warm on your commute too.

Charles River Men's Charcoal Newport FleeceCornerstone Men's Brown Heavyweight Sherpa-Lined Hooded Fleece Jacket

Hemp Apparel & Bags

It’s safe to assume that the increased popularity of hemp has a lot to do with the increased focus on eco-friendly apparel. There has also been a shift towards natural fibers and away from synthetic materials.

Toad & Co. Men's Brick Heather Epique Crew Hemp SweatshirtEconscious Olive 6.8 oz Hemp Market Tote

Tweed Clothing

Another natural fiber, tweed is a rough, woolen fabric that rose to popularity nearly 200 years ago in Scotland. Hey, they say fashion is cyclical, right?

Mountain Hardwear Tweed HatThe North Face Men's Asphalt Grey Tweed Millerton Jacket

Quilted Fabrics

Don’t you wish you could wear your blanket to work? Quilted fabric pullovers and sweatshirts with your custom embroidered corporate logo are probably the closest things you can get to that. The quilted cotton fabric will keep you warm, cozy, and comfortable all day long. You might even forget about your bed.

Cutter & Buck Women's Satsuma WeatherTec Altitude Quilted JacketPatagonia Men's Navy Blue Cotton Quilt Snap-T Pullover

Plaid & Houndstooth

Plaid and houndstooth are also throwback fabrics that are typically made from wool. However, plaid never really went out of style and has always been an Autumn staple. Some companies take it far enough to organize “flannel Fridays”.

Field & Co. Blue Plaid Sherpa BlanketDrake Waterfowl Men's Dark Red Plaid Wingshooter's Madras Plaid Long Sleeve

Trends in Accessories

The term “fashion” is most commonly applied to apparel, but you don’t have to wear something for it to be fashionable. Just like clothing, accessories experience style trends for everything from headphones to backpacks.

Drinkware Trends

For years not much changed when it came to custom drinkware. You had your boring printed water bottles and personalized coffee mugs. However, in the past couple years there’s been a widespread shift in what expect from their drinkware. Here are a few trends that have popped up recently.

Quirky Colored Drinkware

We previously touched on this, but if you weren’t paying attention, fun and quirky colors are becoming more and more popular for drinkware.

bkr Holiday Little Bottle - 500MLS'ip by S'well Bubblegum Pink Bottle 15 oz

Engraved Stainless Steel Tumblers

Companies like YETI and S’well have led the way in the surge in popularity of stainless-steel tumblers and water bottles. We love them because they keep our cold drinks cold and our hot drinks hot all day long.

Stainless Steel YETI Tumbler Cup

Custom Fruit Infusers

Who wants water that just tastes like water? Boring. Fruit infusers enable you to flavor your water with any fruit you desire.

Cool Gear Green Sedici Fruit Infuser Tumbler 24ozH2Go Blue Fresh Bottle 27oz

Custom Glass Drinkware

Glass water bottles check off two of the major style trend boxes for 2018 – they’re environmentally friendly and they are made from a material that gives it a higher perceived value. And to think, all water bottles used to be glass!

CamelBak Passion Fruit eddy Glass 24 oz. BottleH2Go Red Karma Glass Bottle 16oz

Bags & Luggage Trends

People are ditching messenger backs for upscale backpacks the same way that they ditched briefcases for messenger bags in the past. These custom backpacks are usually made from a tough and durable fabric like canvas or leather. They’re also designed with the urban professional on the go in mind, so they must have a safe and secure place to put a laptop.

TUMI Black Alpha 2 4-Wheeled Medium Trip Garment BagBugatchi Men's Black Leather Backpack

In terms of luggage, consumers are expecting more out of their suitcases. Just holding your gear is enough anymore. The best travel bags and luggage should provide high-tech features like portable chargers, tracking devices, and specialized pockets for all your essentials. Custom backpacks and luggage are always a hit when it comes to corporate gifts. The holidays are right around the corner…

Trends in Technology

The biggest trends in electronics and tech are largely centered around cutting the cord. Tech giants like Apple and Motorola have started removing headphone jacks from their products, so consumers have no choice but to adapt. Here are a few tech trends that you can leverage to promote your business.

Wireless Headphones

These are becoming the only way to listen to music on new devices, and we’re not complaining. Remember what a hassle it was untangling your earbuds that were in your pocket? We won’t miss that. Check out our Bluetooth headphones selections from Origaudio and Beats by Dre, the latter was an Oprah favorite, so you they're good.

Brookstone Black Bass Boost Bluetooth HeadphonesBeats by Dre White Studio3 Wireless Headphones

Custom Bluetooth Speakers

Wired speakers are another casualty of the cord-cutting wireless revolution. We love these portable speakers. You can take them with you wherever you go, and you don’t need to have your phone plugged into the speaker – if your phone even has a headphone jack still.

Beats by Dre Beat Pill SpeakerOrigaudio Black Hive True Wireless Portable Surround Sound Speaker

Custom Drones

We’re sure you’ve heard the buzz by now. Drones are huge and they’re probably here to stay. But did you know that you can add your corporate logo to a drone? That’s a surefire way to show how tech-savvy your company is.

Origaudio Black Flyington Selfie Drone

Wearable Tech

While wearable tech has a wide variety of applications, it’s health and wellness features are probably the biggest benefit they provide. In general, people are more health conscious now and love having access to statistics on steps, heart rate, and sleep provided by fitness trackers like Fitbit and Under Amours’ UA band.

Fitbit Grey Alta HR Activity Tracker + Heart Rate (WITH LOGO)Under Armour Black UA Band

Need more info on custom Electronics? Check out our Custom Electronics Buyers Guide.

Next Steps

That’s a wrap! You’ve got all the information you need to make sure that your custom apparel or corporate gifts are as fashion forward as possible. Congratulations, your co-workers are actually going to think your stylish now. Check out our Fall & Winter Merch Lookbook and Lookbook Collection for the season’s hottest trends that we’ve discussed here. If you have any questions, or you desperately need more fashion tips, don’t hesitate to contact us!