Russell Athletic Is Back and On The Streetwear Scene

Crewneck sweatshirts — you know them, you love them, you break them out the moment a brisk wind hits your cheek and a leaf falls to the ground. They’re a classic, All-American comfort staple that will never go out of style, and we have Russell Athletic to thank for that. 

While there have been many variations over the years, the first crewneck was invented and put into production in 1930 by Benjamin Russell’s son and former Crimson Tide football player: Benjamin Russell Jr. The iconic new sweatshirt swapped the uncomfortable, itchy wool of practice football jerseys of the time for durable cotton, and featured the iconic “Eagle R” logo. In the decades since the first prototype, the brand has become a well-known and trusted name in sportswear and athleisure. 

Though, even with such an iconic contribution to apparel, the Russell name eventually fell out of the front pages — until recently. 

The once popular logo and brand has traveled from the field to the streets, and we’re all in. 

The Ultimate ‘90s Resurgence

After decades as the go-to for uniforming needs (from local sports teams to the U.S. Navy), Russell Athletic solidified their spot as a sportswear giant when they were tapped by both the NFL and MLB as the favorite to outfit teams in the 1990s. With the nation’s biggest sports stars rocking the brand, business was booming. Little did they know the classic athletic aesthetic they were producing in the ‘90s would set them up to Continue reading “Russell Athletic Is Back and On The Streetwear Scene”

The Fanny Pack Resurrection

Whether you love them or loathe them, fanny packs are a topic of fashion buzz dating back to arguably the 1950s. From must-have festival bags to high-fashion statement pieces, the handy pouches’ origins were designed to serve as functional and convenient mini packs that have had quite the evolution into today’s modern society. 

The Rise and Fall — and Rise Again 

Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, the fanny pack is back, with no signs of fizzling out of the mainstream market anytime soon. 

Origins of the convenient pouch remain unclear — some mentions seemingly date all the way back, 5,000 years ago, to the Ice Man, whose mummified body was found wearing a fashioned belt with a pouch attached. Recent legend has it that the fanny pack was invented by an Australian woman in 1962 who was inspired by the pouch of a kangaroo. Whether we chalk that particular possibility up to urban legend or not, the combination of belt and bag has existed in different iterations across varying cultures and eras due simply to the concept’s utility. Similar designs to the modern fanny pack over time have included the Medieval Scottish sporran (in a day where most clothes did not have pockets, belt bags just made sense), and the chatelaine purse, a stylish Victorian era belt bag.


(The Scottish sporran was born out of necessity for pockets)
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The Top Seven Color Trends Predicted by Pantone for Winter 2019

Each season, Pantone Color Institute graces us with their Fashion Color Trend Report based on the stunning pieces flaunted down the runway by top designers at both New York and London Fashion Week. The Fall/Winter 2019/2020 report includes a radiant display of bold and classic colors, proving that this year is all about individuality and expression

Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, describes the collections as ranging from, “easy and sophisticated to strikingly different and unique.” 

As high fashion always seems to trickle down to the mainstream, it serves as a valuable piece of information to help make guided decisions for your upcoming inventory for the colder months ahead. 

Of the total 32 colors chosen as inspirational highlights (16 for New York Fashion Week, 16 for London Fashion Week), we chose the top seven most wearable hues you can expect to see in every shade this winter—along with a few products in similar color options. 

Pantone’s Top Seven Color Trends for Winter 2019

1. Chili Pepper: Pantone 19-1557 

A spicier cousin to Pantone’s spring ‘Fiesta’ shade, Chili Pepper is listed as the leading color for fall and winter this year. Incorporate a touch of the hue for added drama within your designs by selecting tees with statement sleeves, or showing some flavor with an all-red fabric and simple embroidered logo. 

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4 Ideas for Mini-Me Matching Themes

In light of the “mini-me” fashion craze, we’re seeing everything from parent-child tees to dresses to hats pop up in the market. In fact, if you search the hashtag #minime on Instagram, you’ll find over seven million results

High-profile celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Beyoncé are no strangers to the style, as they are often seen flaunting matching outfits with their kids. So, why are we so obsessed with looking like our children and having them look like us? Let’s dive in. 

The Mini-Me Craze

If we travel back to the 1960s, mothers used to make clothing for themselves and their children using the same fabric. However, back then these matching styles were usually considered outdated. If only they knew how the style would be highly popularized today. 

Conversely, elegant mini-me matching has long been popular in Russia and the Middle-East. Only in the last couple of years have we seen an uptick in trendiness in the U.S., due in large part to celebrities and social media influencers. 

According to Carolyn Mair, author of The Psychology of Fashion, family members want to dress similarly because it creates a sense of belonging and show of good-standing. Mair explains, “It makes a positive statement about the family to observers, as it’s doubtful that a family or couple who were not in a good place emotionally would dress the same.” 

Not to mention, it pulls at the heartstrings. All in all, the trend is well-received globally by parents and kids alike and offers an opportunity for brands to expand their product offerings. 

The luxury market may be leading the charge, but that’s not stopping retailers from throwing their hats in the ring, and it shouldn’t stop you either.

We’ve rounded up four fun ideas for mini-me matching themes below.

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The Top 4 Fashion Trends for Summer 2019 You Need to Know

Fashion is like a boomerang: trends and styles always come back around. This is undoubtedly the case for the summer 2019 lookbook, from old-time grungy favorites to sporty-turned-chic statement pieces. Regardless of your opinion of high-fashion, what goes on the runway always trickles down to the mainstream.

We’ve sorted through the popular SS19 runway apparel and assembled the top four fashion trends for summer 2019 that your business should keep in mind:

1. Tie-Dye

Tie-dye made a comeback as a fashion favorite last year, and the psychedelic style is at the forefront of this summer’s trends—from blazers to maxi dresses to tees. Though now the resurgence of this hippie wardrobe staple displays a modern update. Luxury labels were seen mixing tie-dye and floral, experimenting with kaleidoscope patterns and trying more subtle design approaches across the runway. Everyone from your old art teacher to Insta-famous celebs will be rockin’ it soon.

Continue reading “The Top 4 Fashion Trends for Summer 2019 You Need to Know”

Has Next Level Created the Perfect Fashion Tee for Women?

A t-shirt is the most basic and powerful clothing item women can own. There’s something intrinsically satisfying about a blank canvas that pulls together an outfit with such simplicity. A good tee, when you find it, is the epitome of the “no-makeup” makeup look.

For decades, women have had to scour men’s closets to find a quality tee thanks to the “shrink it and pink it” marketing era. So, when it comes to t-shirts what exactly are women looking for?… 

Continue reading “Has Next Level Created the Perfect Fashion Tee for Women?”

Tommy Hilfiger: America’s Favorite Preppy Brand

Following bankruptcy in the late ‘70s from his first apparel business, The People’s Place, Tommy Hilfiger set out to master not only the creative pulse of fashion, but also the business of commerce. By this time, preppy style had manifested into a class of its own, with aspiring designers opening doors to wealthy clientele left and right. With the style originating from upper-class Ivy League college students on the East Coast, it drew inspiration from popular New England sports like sailing, fencing, golf and polo. Preppy became so much more than a fashion statement, it was (and is) a culture and lifestyle. So, how exactly did Hilfiger go from bankruptcy to iconic, internationally-recognized, “preppy American luxury”? Continue reading “Tommy Hilfiger: America’s Favorite Preppy Brand”

Goodbye Casual, Hello Fashion: Athleisure is Here to Stay


The days of the “Mad Men” era, with separate attire for work, dinner, and a night out, are long gone. We’re living in modern times where “casual Fridays” are becoming a daily occurrence. Close to 40 percent of the U.S. workforce is freelancing and style has officially been paired with comfort.

As the workforce continues to change and high-fashion consistently transforms activewear into fashionable, yet functional pieces—the need for the suit-and-tie is decreasing. Instead, people are opting for more versatile clothing, such as athleisure options, that allow them to be ready for whatever. In fact, the style that was once thought to be a trend has become a multi-billion dollar market.

Athleisure is expected to reach $83 billion by 2020 in the U.S. and the Global Activewear Market is projected to reach $567 billion by 2024. Marshal Cohen explains the phenomenon best, “When you have comfort and function combined with fashion it’s difficult to go back to anything else on a regular basis.” Simply put, athleisure is here to stay.

ss activewear NPD blog quote

A Style Evolution

From Casual to Fashion Statement

Over the last couple of years, athleisure has shifted from “casual wear” to “fashion statement”. Even A-list celebs (like Kim Kardashian West) and prominent fashion influencers can be seen flaunting the style at various occasions. Its growing popularity can be attributed to an increasing amount of people embracing healthy lifestyles (or wanting to be seen as healthy), and the versatility of the style that can easily take you from day-to-night.

The growing popularity of #athleisure #fashion can be attributed to an increasing amount of people embracing healthy lifestyles, and its style versatility, which can easily take you from day-to-night. Click To Tweet

The New Athleisure Trends

The new trends of color-blocking, earth-tones, and a focus on the surfer/skater lifestyle give the fashion an every-day appeal. This, combined with technological improvementsto synthetic fibers, used to make activewear (making it more flexible and durable), has created endless wardrobe opportunities.

While the initial athleisure style exuded a more casual approach, recently we’ve seen athleisure paired with fashionable pieces—taking a formal but comfy approach. The popular pairing has aided in more acceptance of athleisure in the workplace.

Growing Acceptance in the Workplace

In the early ‘90s, corporations started including “casual Fridays” in the dress code policy as a way to boost office morale in a cooling economy. However, it always begged the question that if you could be casual on Friday, why not other days too? After all, suits and heels were never really comfortable.

As athleisure first began to grow in popularity, there was (and still is) initial skepticism about what’s “professional” to wear to work. However, by wearing athleisure in a “fashionable” way (i.e. leggings with a nice top and blazer), it satisfied the employee’s need to remain comfortable and the company’s wish to have professional balance. The growing acceptance for most businesses is really all about how the outfit is styled.

It’s also important to note that the workforce itself is shifting with more people freelancing and working from home, at least half of the time, thus creating a much greater need for multi-functional apparel in the office.

One company making waves with their stylish athleisure fashion is Badger Sportswear. We’ve listed three of our favorite pieces from the brand that can easily be transformed from work to gym to play:

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This Badger Ultimate Softlock™ quarter-zip is a must-have at your business. The sleek color-blocking provides a stylish element that can be dressed up with slacks for work or a night on the town. It can also be worn with a pair of athletic shorts for a gym session and checks all the comfort boxes by using The Softest Fabric In The World.™

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These fleece joggers, in the earth-toned color ‘graphite’, are extremely comfortable and trendy. They can be paired with a t-shirt or hoodie for running errands or grabbing a drink at the bar.

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These women’s performance fleece pants can be dressed up with heels for a high-fashion brunch look, dressed down with your favorite sneakers for exploring the town, or with slippers for a lazy day at home.

Badger Sportswear creates stylish activewear that goes through rigorous testing to ensure garments of the highest-quality that keep your customers ready for whatever. You can view the full Badger Sportswear line for your fulfillment needs on the S&S Activewear website.

Adidas: The Rise and Evolution of an Icon

Three stripes, a simple signature, has grown to become as ubiquitous in global fashion as the crossed C’s of Chanel or the Nike swoosh. Without even mentioning the brand’s name, you probably already know who we’re talking about—that’s the power of Adidas. What started as a small dream in a laundry room has manifested into a cultural empire. But how did they become such an iconic brand?  Continue reading “Adidas: The Rise and Evolution of an Icon”

5 Tips for Successful Custom Embroidery

Often when the term “custom apparel” is heard, our minds jump to the ubiquitous methods of screen printing and sublimation. However, the art of embroidery should not be forgotten. Embroidery creates an added level of detail and lends a sophisticated, high-end look to any garment. From adding decoration to jeans to logos on company shirts to fun designs on casual wear – the options are endless.   Continue reading “5 Tips for Successful Custom Embroidery”