Outdoor Trade Shows

Outdoor Retailer Summer Market ’10: Lifestyle apparel pops with color, design details

Following a year of neutrality that was befitting the economic turmoil, tepid optimism reigned at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2010 and apparel makers were embracing a brighter palette of colors, as well as a variety of design details.

Following a year of neutrality that was befitting the economic turmoil, tepid optimism reigned at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2010 and apparel makers were embracing a brighter palette of colors. For women, jewel tones, like turquoise, fuchsia pinks and purples, and brighter greens ala kiwis and Granny Smith apples, ruled…making us wonder at times if everyone had gone to the same trending agency for the season’s color wheel. Men’s hues included greens, blues, browns and oranges in shades that went from vibrant to subdued.

Trending for spring/summer 2011:

>> In women’s tops, we saw adjustable draw cords at the waists and at the shirts’ hems, giving the garment a bubbley or scrunchy look. The styling allows tops to be customizable and accommodate a variety of body types.

Exemplifying the look are Lole’s Statima tank with built-in secret pocket and its Touring top with adjustable straps and security pocket (MSRP $55-$60). Adding an extra twist was Isis with the Vista Flip tank that can be worn with a scoop neck or flipped around for a V-neck in front (MSRP $35, photo – right, www.isisforwomen.com). Others on the bandwagon are Merrell Apparel, Mountain Hardwear and Horny Toad, as well as Sherpa Adventure’s and its Basanti shirt with traditional Nepali print (MSRP $29).

>> Prints, plaids, chambrays and textures in men’s shirts from the likes of The North Face, Merrell Apparel, Horny Toad and others.

>> Dresses and lots of them…skirts were also pervasive. Of note were Icebreaker’s Pisa, Roma and Villa dresses (MSRP $100-$110, photo – left, www.icebreaker.com) in a superfine knit, and Isis’ Dream dress that was mildly ‘30s flapper-esque with straps and a wide waistband with drawstring.

Also in the mix now are dresses with belted waists like Horny Toad’s Ska dress (MSRP $62, www.hornytoad.com), and shirt-style and tunic dresses on the short-short side from Gramicci (the St. Tropez in organic cotton/modal with adjustable belt, MSRP $48) and With a Twist (Daisy racer-back tunic in linen/rayon blend)that can be worn alone by the daring at heart or with jeans or leggings for the more modest.

>> Relaxed cut, wrap-around pockets with a bit of a baggy look on shorts, skirts and pants as seen on Horny Toad’s Flourish Skirt in linen with a 17-inch length (MSRP $64, photo – right).

Also seen were capris and shorts with side drawstrings at the leg hem to adjust length from Icebreaker, Mountain Hardwear, Prana, among others, as well as asymmetrical embroidered lines and tiered paneling on capris, shorts and skirts.

>> Layering continues: Tees and tanks, dresses with jeans or leggings, wraps and cardigans, or tees under dresses or just about anything on top of the other. One-size-fits-all cardigan-style wraps with flowing sleeves were everywhere.

With a Twist had three different wrap knit styles: the striped Columbine in a linen/rayon blend; the solid-colored Orchid in pima cotton; and the floral-inspired Buttercup also in pima cotton (MSRP $100-$120, photo – left, www.twistknitwear.com). Prana’s Anya wrap is a rayon/Lycra jersey blend with lots of drape for versatility in layering (MSRP $85, www.prana.com), and Sherpa Adventure’s Karuna wrap has bell shaped cuffs (MSRP $49, www.sherpaadventuregear.com). Also, the Camille cardigan from Stonewear Designs has inverted pleats and unfinished hemlines in a new lighter-weight jersey of organic cotton, rayon and Lycra (MSRP $70, www.stoneweardesigns.com), and Ojai’s wrap has a burnout print in a cotton/poly blend (MSRP $58, www.ojaiclothing.com).

>> T-shirts with a story to tell. Prana is working with the Liberian Women’s Sewing Project on the Fair Trade Certified Soul T-shirt made of organic cotton with a floral screen print that wraps from the front to back (MSRP $40). Based on consumer demand, Jake ain’t alone anymore as Life is Good (www.lifeisgood.com) adds a mascot for women and girls: ponytailed Jackie. She launches into the line for spring 2011 and will be found on any graphic for women. It’s also offering a new price point in shirts based on a good-better-best tier rating.

>> Companies continue to dabble in jeans. Marmot, which told us its sportswear category is growing, debuted jeans for men and women made of organic cotton and a bit of stretch for $100 (www.marmot.com). Lole also has stretchy organic cotton jeans for $90 (www.lolewomen.com), and Prana has the new Jeannie jean for women in stretch denim and fitted styling (MSRP $70).

–Wendy Geister

The SNEWS® team of seasoned reporters covers a trade show to seek out product highlights, indications of a trend (to a product category, a company or the industry) or products that are new to the market. In our post-show reports, we do not write about every last piece of gear or equipment we have seen, although, promise, we have most likely seen nearly everything. Even if not in a show report, you never know how information may be included in a future report, trend watch, product review or story. If you have any comments or questions, please email us at snewsbox@snewsnet.com.