For my boutique sellers on the poshmark app and their own Shopify or Wix stores, Here are six themes and trends — color, loungewear, natural materials, sustainability, denim, and face masks — that can inform the way you stock your boutique store with wholesale clothing, in 2020 and beyond.
Patti Carpenter recently shared a wealth of insights about what’s popular for the upcoming fall and winter. Patti analyzes social, political, economic, environmental, and technological current events to help guide accurate assessments of upcoming trends.
Discussing color specifically, Patti shared that color accounts for 50-80% of human engagement with any given product. In 2020, while many around the world are spending more time at home, making color choices in apparel is one of the few ways people can express themselves. Sinae Kim of popular U.S. wholesale apparel brand Sadie & Sage shared with us in an interview how she’s seen an array of bold colors in the orders she’s received throughout the pandemic, a sign of consumers using color to enhance their moods.
Color is so inherently important when it comes to apparel that Pantone releases a report on color ahead of every New York Fashion Week (NYFW). “Offering a rich narrative, the color palette for Autumn/Winter 2020/2021 highlights our desire for versatile, timeless color. Reflecting a ‘less is more’ mindset that is becoming increasingly important to consumers prioritizing value and functionality, our color palette is stripped of excess,” said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute. “Imbued with strength and personality, colors for Autumn/Winter 2020/2021 encourage our ongoing desire for unique self-expression through creative and unusual visual statements that stand out.”
Patti identified several color groups that are on-trend and shared what makes them each appealing.
According to Patti, when we feel untethered and surrounded by chaos — as many people do this year — warm colors can be very comforting. Warmth tends to feel optimistic and nurturing.
Many of the hues on Pantone’s NYFW Fall/Winter color palette are warm, including Amberglow, Samba, Sandstone, Rose Tan, Peach Nougat, and Fired Brick. Patti also commented on the popularity of blush tones, corals, and mustard yellows.
Blue is the most preferred color in the world, according to Patti — it’s the number one “favorite color.” The love for the color blue can be directly connected to the sky and the ocean, both large parts of everyday nature.
The Pantone NYFW Fall/Winter color palette includes Blue Depths, Sleet, and Classic Blue, which is also Pantone’s Color of the Year 2020. Patti shared how navy blue tones have been a bit brighter over the last season, offering a happier and more optimistic color quality than more muted counterparts.
Green is nature’s neutral color. It can evoke notions of foliage, herbs, nourishment, and wellbeing.
Ultramarine Green and Military Olive are both included in Patone’s NYFW Fall/Winter color palette this year. Patti also spoke about the popularity of olive and military greens, as well as icier mint greens.
Tie-dye is an application of color rather than a true color group — but it’s wildly popular this year, which is why it makes our list of colors. This trend has been a hallmark of the pandemic. We continue to see buyers search for “tie dye” at nine times the rate of searches in early March 2020 until present day
Patti also said this trend can be expanded to any type of hand-dyeing techniques, as a return to handmade products increases in popularity. This includes dip dyeing, shibori, and more.
The popularity of loungewear is another wholesale apparel trend that can be attributed to the 2020/21 pandemic. People are in their homes more than usual, and they want to feel comfortable.
During our Faire Summer Market event in August, one of the most popular search queries was for alpaca socks, a style that evokes snuggly comfort heading into the colder months. Likewise, sweatshirts and hoodies — in trending color palettes such as tie-dye — have been popular over the course of this year and will continue to be throughout the fall and winter. One U.S.-based wholesale clothing brand, NYTT, has embraced the loungewear trend with cozy sets and separates in multiple colors and fabrics. Joggers or sweatpants with matching pullovers are the perfect outfit for hanging out at home. Plus, additional loungewear pieces including rompers, jumpsuits, and athleisure styles speak further to the desire for comfort.
3. Natural materials
When it comes to materials, Patti has seen a shift away from sterile, inexpensive products to high-quality, sturdy, and organic fabrics. Buyers are also opting for natural dyes and apparel brands that are transparent about their choice of materials. You can stock your boutique store with natural fibers including organic cotton, bamboo, and hemp.
We’re seeing many high-quality wholesale clothing brands on Faire embrace natural materials in their production. Cansu Cansever of wholesale apparel brand The Handloom is inspired by nature, which makes it easy to infuse into her line of textiles that are handwoven from Turkish cotton. “I am inspired by nature, natural elements, and earthy colors. When I’m in nature I find simple pleasures,” says Cansu. For example, the Canggu maxi dress is made of 100% cotton, and the loose, natural style fits most shoppers.
Sweet Bamboo is another wholesale clothing brand that makes apparel for kids and babies from bamboo-derived fabrics. Wendy Desio, the founder of the brand, chose bamboo after months of research and testing. “I wanted fabric that was different than traditional cotton; something that felt like cashmere and silk combined. I was seeking soft, hypoallergenic, and sustainable,” said Wendy.
As preferences shift away from fast fashion, the importance of sustainability and longevity in apparel will continue to gain traction. Patti shared that consumers will be buying fewer yet higher-quality goods. Shoppers will be more interested in keeping products longer, and even passing them down to family and friends.
This is aligned with many popular trend predictions at the start of the new decade. Now more than ever, consumers crave an emotional connection to the products they purchase and the shops from which they buy. “We now have a consumer that isn’t about packing the closet full of stuff, but is trying to understand what is most meaningful to purchase,” said Susan Reda, editor of the NRF’s STORES Magazine, at the end of 2019.
It means that certain values — eco-friendly, small batch, and handmade — will continue to be increasingly important when you stock your boutique store with high-quality wholesale clothing. The “handmade” shopping filter on Faire is our second most popular product tag this year, and was also a top preference at Faire Summer Market. Plus, in 2019, 37% of millennial women said they would prefer to receive a handmade gift.
Vero Moda is an example of an eco-friendly wholesale apparel brand whose mission focuses on quality and sustainable practices. For example, the Flavia tank dress utilizes faux horn buttons and a 100% cotton fabric.
Line & Dot is another high-quality U.S. clothing line that offers handmade apparel, featuring items such as the River vegan leather short.
According to Patti, on-trend denim is transitioning from dark washes to lighter, worn-in styles. We can possibly attribute this shift to the casual comfort sought by many consumers around the world this year. And denim isn’t limited solely to jeans — products like oversized, vintage-style denim jackets are a popular choice for both men and women in 2020-21
Wholesale apparel brands like Just Black Denim welcome the casual, lived-in-jeans trend. They also offer a variety of rises, washes, and fits in their line.
Kut from the Kloth is another example of a U.S. wholesale clothing brand that offers a wide range of denim options. From jackets to skirts and jeans, the brand offers plenty of choices for the discerning denim stockist.
And when it comes to men’s denim, apparel brand Jack & Jones offers casual styles such as their classic denim jacket.
6. Face masks
This year, many high-quality wholesale clothing brands have shifted their priorities to include the production of cloth face masks. Face masks have been trending throughout 2020, and our marketplace search and purchase data indicates that masks are growing even more popular with buyers as we move into the holiday season. We’re also continuing to see new ways to accessorize cloth face masks, including chains and lanyards.
Face masks were one of the top searched items at Faire Summer Market, and we don’t expect this trend to end anytime soon. Wholesale clothing brands like NYTT have even made masks that match their apparel aesthetic.
Grade & Gather has also created face masks in colors and fabrics that are in line with the rest of their products. They are producing different styles — some with ear loops and others that tie behind the head — for maximum versatility.
Account for the loss of profit when sending offers to likers
When setting the price of your listing, you want to take account of the fact that most people are going to try and get a further discount off of your item.
Depending on what you’re willing to ‘give up’, list your item at 15% to 30% above what you’d like to make from a sale. That way, when someone offers slightly less, you have a higher chance of agreeing on a number that you’re comfortable with.
You can use this as a negotiating tactic as well. By being open to offers that are less than what you listed the item at, you are going to have an easier time selling the item fast.