The segment of sportswear within the fashion industry is perhaps the most challenging. Trends change quickly from one season to the next. What were the hottest items last season are today’s losers. Much of the marketing has moved online. With the Internet it only takes a few sales for an item to go viral. What motivates buyers is the trend. The trend is paramount when it comes to t-shirts and tops. These items are priced within reach of everyone and buyers want to be first with the newest pieces.

There are two rules for t-shirts are creativity and price. Let’s take creativity. No one producer works in a vacuum. You must know the market-what’s out there. What are the newest trends this year? How do you choose what items to produce? While it may be confusing at first there are a few categories that keep repeating. They are Cool, Retro, Hobbies, Family, Humor and Geek. These appeal to different personality types. A geek will likely gravitate to geek designs while someone with a sense of humor will choose the Humor category. These repeating themes then become your “line” for the season. Now enters your creativity. Your creative designer is the backbone of your business. Your bottom line depends on the number of “hits” your designer comes up with. This combined with a top notch marketing strategy puts you in the lead.

There is another t-shirt trend that picks up on broader issues. These include Skulls. It seems that death is popular this year. Birds are the newest category for bird lovers. Trees also catch the fancy of nature lovers. Florals are very popular and Splatter is an open category. Within each of these the design can be the focal point or it can be in the background and can be large or small.

Designer tops take a cue from haute couture. This year’s styles include the Wrap top with lingerie. The wrap is a sweater with lace camisole. Tie- dye is making a comeback. Many designs are off shoulder with bra. The old fashion Stripe is new again. It is pleasing to showing a woman’s curves. Lastly we have the Baby Doll. This design is for the small- busted woman and the woman who has a tummy to hide.

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