Beautiful utility: Spring ’13 lifestyle apparel brings performance fit for the runway

The latest outdoor lifestyle apparel moves away from simple shorts and sport sandals and melds mainstream fashion with outdoor industry fabric function. Check out the top new lifestyle apparel products and trends for 2013 that we encountered at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market.
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Throughout the next month, SNEWS will recap its coverage of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2012 with select stories from the O.R. Daily we published at the show Aug. 2-5. It’s an opportunity for you to catch up on stories you might have missed in O.R.D., and for us to update and upload the articles to our searchable archives.

This SNEWS Outdoor Retailer Summer Market recap is brought to you by Cordura:


Form and function are learning to live together in harmony. As more lifestyle apparel hits stores and the show floor, outdoor consumers are being offered casual pieces that do everything their performance clothing can.

The latest outdoor lifestyle apparel moves away from simple shorts and sport sandals and melds mainstream fashion with outdoor industry fabric function. Kelley Gorder, vice president at Isis, describes the trend as “beautiful utility.” Spring is a great time to have fun with design, she said, because consumers, especially women, aren’t layering as much or covering up under a puffy coat or pullover.

Isis focuses on fashion with its new proprietary sunshirting fabric that “is still going to wick and protect, it’s just going to look good and be more comfortable when you’re wearing it,” Gorder said. Two fun pieces with the new fabric are the button-up, short-sleeved Sole Sun Shirt (MSRP $65) and the Sole Sun Dress (MSRP $89, photo, right), in plaid and solid hues.

Spring/summer styles also are maintaining a commitment to eco-friendly fabrics. “We’re going to see a comeback of linen and material of natural fibers,” said Vanessa Landovan, Lole’s director of merchandising.

“All of the literal techno geek stuff has moved into a more expansive style and a more urban everyday wearable fashion,” said Mark Galbraith, general manager of Nau.

Nau’s notoriously chic silhouette ramps up the performance element with Spring ’13’s Carry-On Blazer (MSRP $200), made from a recycled polyester softshell fabric. The Motil Trench (MSRP $260, photo, left) is another lightweight softshell piece that looks ready for the runway.

Walk through any mall these days and you’ll spot loose-fitting, free flowing tops for women. Millet is taking that trend and running with it with its Sunny Line tank (MSRP $30, photo, right).

“It’s not skimming your body on those super hot days,” said Maro LaBlance, Millet marketing manager.

The outdoor industry can be a few seasons behind the fashion world, said Tom Williamson, vice president of sales and marketing at Aventura, but some trends we’ve seen elsewhere are on the trade show floor in Spring ’13 styles.

Take the popular skinny jean and legging look. Williamson noted that Aventura has the Liz Capri Jegging (MSRP $62) a pencil leg, jean-style legging made from hemp, organic cotton and spandex, showing Aventura’s longstanding commitment to eco-friendly fabrics.

Men aren’t forgotten with Millet’s Clip Line Pant (MSRP $80), made from the company’s proprietary Drynamic fabric, a mix of nylon and spandex that’s abrasion-resistant, quick-drying and offers UV protection.

In true hipster form, Outdoor Research offers up a selection of plaid goodness in its woven Termini Shirt (MSRP $70), a lightweight 100 percent nylon, quick-drying and odor-controlling shirt.

In the view of Outdoor Research’s Jordan Wand, the piece “combines this great technical fabric and properties with an aesthetic that you want to wear and you are comfortable wearing from the moment you leave the house to the night.”

--Ana Trujillo

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