Corporate apparel can create a distinct and lasting impression of your company – internally and externally.

Branding your business with corporate apparel improves your image with both employees and the public. It promotes communication and increases morale and loyalty among employees, while boosting public perception of your brand’s quality, service and reliability.

With that kind of power to influence people, you want your corporate apparel to convey the right message about your brand, and at the same time you want employees to look good and feel proud wearing it. So how do you choose the right pieces?
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If you couldn’t make it to New York’s Fashion Week to see the latest styles, all is not lost. Here are some of the key trends to note as you develop your branded apparel program for 2012.

  1. Custom Caps – With end-users seeking something unique, it’s no surprise that custom caps are hotter than ever. The sky is the limit. If you’re looking to stand out, headwear is a great way to achieve this result. Whether it’s a frayed out visor, woven label, or taping on the inside seam, there are numerous ways to customize and get the “Wow” factor. 
  2. Performance Wear – This category’s comfort and easy maintenance make it a top buy. Performance wear is functional, multi-purposing and has great properties like antibacterial, moisture-wicking or UV protection. Performance fabrics are used in everything from polos to long-sleeve T-shirts to hoodies to jackets.
  3. Jackets – Lightweight jackets are popular because their weight and style offer a lot of versatility. They can go from winter chill to spring rain; from the office to the weekend. Because they are so versatile they give more exposure to your brand and a greater return on investment.
  4. Color Blocking – A major runway trend this year is colors. Instead of soft colors, bold colors are getting extra treatment with color blocking. Bold colors and patterns tend to keep people’s spirits high and give them a sense of hope.
  5. Non-traditional Decoration – While traditional left-chest embroidery isn’t going away, hot new decorating techniques and imprint locations are taking off. New techniques like full sublimation, heat press and laser etching give apparel a more retail feel and give your brand a customized, embellished look.