April '20

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 2 0 A P R I L P R I N T W E A R 5 7 gic feel to them and feature plenty of curves, maybe even something a little quirky. You may want to use serif vs. sans serif, which is considered more modern. Choose ink colors that are less vibrant and toned down. Popular vintage or retro color palettes are less saturated and have a flat feel. Colors consist of oranges to yellowish browns to off-white to blues. FEEL GOOD FABRICS You can't expect to print your retro design on just any T-shirt or sweatshirt and get the vintage vibe you envisioned. Not all shirts are created equal. The key is to choose a garment with a lived-in, worn look. A few different options that work well are poly- cotton blends, in particular, heathers or tri- blends. These blended fabrics are inherently comfortable and soft, and generally lighter weight. And since they are made with more than one type of yarn, the inks will react dif- ferently to each yarn, giving it a naturally tonal, muted effect. Next, you'll need to pick a garment color. Neutrals work best for the vintage look but think beyond white, which is too new and bright. Good go-to options are oatmeal heather, heather gray, light blue, denim heather, light pink, military green heather, brown, etc. You can also utilize your garment color in your design, let- ting the color of your shirt fill in empty space rather than adding another ink color. Since designs from 20-plus years ago used only two or three colors, this allows you to utilize less ink and keep your print light- weight, which is key for that soft, worn look and feel. THE RIGHT STYLE Need more vintage? The style of garment you choose can also add to your look. The ringer T-shirt with contrasting color on the collar and cuffs, or varsity striping on the sleeves, is a classic retro style. A crop top can also give you a vintage feel, depending on which era you're following. The fit also depends largely on what de- cade you're going for. The fitted T-shirt was very popular in the '50s and '60s. In the '80s and '90s, T-shirts took on a bag- gier style. If you're unsure, choose a more classic fit that emphasizes comfort. A classic fit is more traditional and looks good on a variety of body types. GET INSPIRED Since there are so many different trends and styles to follow when creating vintage apparel, the possibilities are endless. Have fun with it! Vintage apparel should have more personality than something brand new. Shop your favorite thrift shops for inspiration. Are you interested in a specific decade or are you open to making anything old new again? Look for unique graphics, unusual textures, and pay attention to the color schemes. Search the internet and save your favorite inspirations on Pinterest. While thrifting can be an inexpensive way to shop, consumers are actually willing to pay more for the vintage, distressed look, especially if they don't have to rummage through racks to find what they are looking for. So, cash in on the revival of vintage and your customers will love the nostalgic worn- in look and feel. PW 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 Opposite: Simple graphics in one or two colors are top choices here. Above: Heathers and ti-blends are particularly good choices for this trend.

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