Trends to Watch – Headwear

Looking for a versatile product? Caps are the perfect all-year item for clients interested in apparel. Even better, they can be easier to fulfill orders for than many other apparel items.

Decorators don’t have to order more than 20 different sizes in order to fit the range of recipients their client has in mind; instead, for the most part, one size fits all. “Hats and caps are one of the best branding vehicles in the market,” says Margaret Crow, director of marketing for S&S Activewear (asi/84358). “Hats are popular with consumers, and are worn over and over. And that ensures your customers’ logos are seen time and time again.”

Headwear pieces can also make a great addition to almost any apparel sale. “Hats are such an easy add-on sale for decorators,” Crow says. “Decorators should be well acquainted with the styles of hats available to the imprintables market, and should offer them to customers as affordable and effective branding mechanisms. Hats can be added to corporate gift bags as giveaways.” Hats are also a great add-on for golf and other sport clients, school groups and gift shops, tradeshow uniform items, events and more. “Or, headwear can also stand alone as a giveaway,” Crow says.

In addition to knowing about the different hats and caps available in the ad specialty market, it’s important to recognize retail trends in headwear. “Two new trends this fall are the front-branded caps and flat bill caps,” Crow says. “By front-branded, I mean that the brand logo is already on the front of the hat. For example, some TaylorMade and adidas caps come with their brand logo on the front.”

This type of decoration is a valuable co-branding opportunity for clients and allows them to place their own logos on the back or side of the cap. Another big seller this summer and fall is camouflage hats. “This isn’t a new trend, but camouflage is selling really well this season,” Crow says.

(Reprinted from STICHES Newsletter)

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