PPAI Magazine March 2023

Essentials | In Style 3 Apparel Must-Haves Spotted At The PPAI Expo Walking The PPAI Expo showfloor, attendees sampled the biggest style trends of the year as exhibitors debuted new favorites, reflecting the latest in fashion and lifestyle. by Kristina Valdez TODAY’S CONSUMER IS DEVOTED TO COMFORT, style and sustainability. The idea that “less is more” has never been more relevant. People want clothes that waste less and last longer. This means that the garments they choose will remain fashionable and become favorites, delivering a lifetime of impressions. Caius Olowu, director of merchandise and design at California-based supplier Next Level Apparel, says clients are looking for pieces made with premium quality, comfort and fit. “These garments will hold their shape wash after wash. Comfort comes from garments made from the highest quality fabrics, and fit ties back to cut and construction,” says Olowu. “We use live-fit models and thoughtfully tailor each garment to provide that premium ‘retail’ fit. All our T-shirts have side-seams, which prevent torquing and maintains the original shape after repeated washings.” Consumers are setting boundaries, choosing high-end brands and eco-friendly products, and gravitating toward the softest materials. Apparel trends for 2023 reflect changing lifestyles. Before quiet quitting and The Great Resignation, the soft life trend called for eliminating stress and making peacebased decisions. This online movement began with Black women denouncing the hustle culture on social media, and now the tag #softlife on TikTok has over 543.6 million views and counting. Whether it’s quitting a dead-end job or wearing pajamas most of the week, soft living says do what brings you peace. The Urban Dictionary describes it as “making decisions that leave you feeling stress-free and vibrating higher. Less about wealth (though it helps) and more about making good choices.” Next Level Apparel launched its 3600SWUnisex Soft Wash T-shirt in March 2022, and Olowu says it represents what’s popular this year: “There’s something familiar about our cotton T-shirt. It feels super soft, broken in and slightly faded in all the right places.” Here are three trends your catalog should have this year: 1. Sustainably Made Olowu says sustainability is a marathon, not a sprint: “Every small step we make toward sustainability today counts and has long-term effects on our environment for years to come. People feel good when they know they’re wearing good … and who doesn’t want to feel good?” The 3600SW unisex cotton T-shirt is made with a proprietary soft wash process, using less water and electricity. This also uses fewer chemicals than garment pigment dye processes for less impact on the environment. It’s made from premium, midweight, combed ring-spun cotton and preshrunk. Next Level Apparel / PPAI 272027, S3 / www.nextlevelapparel.com Best Of The 14 • MARCH 2023 • PPAI