Trends come and go, with some standing the test of time, some falling from the public eye only to resurge later, and others dying as quickly as they came to be. As we prepare for 2022, there are a few apparel trends to pay attention to.

From COVID-related comfort styles to retail-inspired gear, influence on trends comes from every direction. In 2022, not only will the current economic climate play a role, but so will the explosion of personalization. Even in the wholesale and promotional products world, retail influence can be seen everywhere. “Retail plays a huge role in [apparel trends],” says Any Weitz, director of business development for Colortone.

Other major movements to pay attention to include the climate conversation. “With the climate crisis in front view of the world, we anticipate an increase in eco-friendly apparel as well as sustainable manufacturing processes,” states Julie Martinez, digital merchandising manager for FPS Apparel.

Also on the forefront of apparel trends is the decorating technologies themselves, with digital leading the way. Weitz notes that direct-to-garment (DTG) is doing particularly well and will continue to do so going into 2022. Sublimation also continues to be a popular process for both apparel styles as well as promotional products.

Color will experience a shift in 2022. “We anticipate an increase in neutral colors and early 2000s influence as GenZ comes to the forefront of fashion influence,” Martinez says. Once again, customization will play a role here. “We expect custom apparel requests to increase as each brand works to stand out among competitors with buzzworthy promotional products.”

That’s not to say there won’t be some pops of color as people explore personal style. “People seem to want something more original and handmade. Basic colors are too basic these days,” says Weitz. And with people slowly making their way out of their homes and back into social situations, the need to pay attention to apparel trends has never been greater.

For those still not sure what specific styles, colors, and overall trends to follow, here are five style highlights to capitalize on.

accent-hoodie

Comfort continues to be a key player in apparel trends, with hoodies expected to stay popular going into 2022. Image courtesy of FPS Apparel

Hoodies and Sweatshirts

While most of us have a healthy distaste for the COVID pandemic, there are a couple good things that came from it. For example, with most of the workforce moving to a work-from-home or hybrid work model, comfort styles experienced a huge uptick. Nearly a year and half after everyone was sent home, hoodies and sweatshirts are still popular.

“Comfort is still top priority post-COVID,” says Martinez. “The shift from office to work from home drove a significant increase in loungewear and sweatshirts demand on the retail side as well as the manufacturing side.”

Polos

On the flip side, polos are anticipated to be a hot trend in 2022. The return to the office and events has some impact on this style, but sports like golf also play a role. “Golf has been a major influence with this style. We expect growth here as well as company uniforms,” notes Martinez.

Jerseys and Sports Apparel

Speaking of sports, Martinez says they expect to see an increased demand for athletic apparel and promo products. “With the return of sports, we are seeing an increase for this style both sport related and streetwear inspired,” she says.

Tie-Dye

“Tie-dye has been super hot the past 12 months and it seems to be gaining strength,” says Weitz. This trend has experienced major influence from the retail world.

Tie-dye can be applied to almost any apparel style: the classic T-shirt, hats, and of course, the red-hot hoodie. “Hoodies are trending big and will get bigger in 2022,” Weitz says. But don’t forget to also think outside the box — offer tie-dye pants, crop-tops, pajamas, and accessories like masks.

Accessories

The pandemic once again part of the accessories conversation. While items like masks and gaiters have seen dips and rises as COVID numbers fluctuate, they are expected to once again be a main item for 2022. But don’t forget there are other hot-ticket items out there.

Martinez lists scrunchies and other low-cost, frequently worn branded items. But what will set these items apart going into 2022 is the emphasis on personalization, and decorating methods that lend themselves to that. “We anticipate an increase in screen printing as the need for fast, budget friendly decorations continue,” she says, adding, “We also anticipate an increase in sublimation for fully custom looks.”