For decades, wholesale garments were mostly a one-size-fits all proposition, with garments cut to fit men, and women left wearing baggy, oversized and ill-fitting garments. That changed, and for years, women’s garments were smaller (and often extremely fitted) versions of men’s garments.
Now, garment decorators have a host of women’s styles to choose from — so many, in fact, that it can be difficult to determine which styles to offer your customers. There are four primary elements you’ll want to consider when choosing women’s garments: Fit, style, fabric and color.
For a long time, the wholesale garments that were marketed for women focused on making a smaller version of men’s sizes. These garments were often extremely fitted. These days, women’s garments are made to fit and flatter the body without being overly tight. When choosing the fit of your women’s garments, you’ll have to choose between a junior’s fit and a women’s fit. A junior’s fit is made for preteen or teenage girls, so they tend to run at least a size smaller than women’s fit clothing. Determining which fit is right will mean determining who your likely buyers are. The junior’s fit is fine if you’ll solely be making a product for teenage girls; women’s fit is the way to go if you’re decorating garments for adult women or a mix of teenage and adult women.
More and more, we’re seeing garment styles go nearly straight from the runway to garment wholesalers. On one hand, this is fantastic because there are plenty of trendy options that will appeal to your customers. On the other hand, that can be a challenge because trends can change quickly, and you’ll find plenty of options to choose from. In general, the women’s styles that are most popular include A-line shaped shirts that better follow the line of women’s bodies and shirts with more open necklines, including scoop-neck and V-neck styles. The once popular woman’s cap sleeve has largely been abandoned for a more traditional short-sleeve fit, and three-quarter sleeves remain popular. Longer, more relaxed styles have been the trend in recent years, and for professional garments, such as button-ups and polos, the more popular options have been shirts that look neat when worn tucked or untucked.
When it comes to fabric, softer materials with ample draping have been popular for both men and women. That often mean tri-blend fabrics or soft, combed ring-spun cotton. Performance fabrics have become popular for both sexes, and women’s styles might have some added stretch. For trendy, casual garments, sheer and burnout garments that are geared toward layering are popular. In general, the popular fabric choices for women’s garments are softer and more lightweight than their unisex counterparts.
Color selection might seem universal to both sexes, but depending on your audience, women’s garments often sell better in updated, trendier colors over the more classic colors of men’s and unisex garments. Depending on your market, look at color trends for the season or year when selecting your women’s garments. Jewel tones, pastels and even neons often appeal more to a female demographic than primary colors or neutrals.
The wholesale garment market has been flooded with options for women’s apparel. Choosing the right fits, styles, fabrics and colors and colors for your garment decorating ultimately means considering your target customers and what they’ll be looking for in apparel. Taking the time to understand the different options for women’s garments will help you understand how they might appeal to your target customers so you know which garments you’ll lay down your logos and fashion prints on or which garment you’ll recommend to your customers based on their unique needs.