Want to get the pulse on the lifestyle apparel segment for spring/summer 2010? Check out this quick hit list gathered from the floor of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market:
- The top trend seems to come from the bottom up: Skirts and dresses are huge. Numerous lifestyle apparel makers had expanded their dress collections or finally made the leap, like Merrell Apparel. Reversible and convertible styles popped up from the likes of The North Face, Horny Toad, Carve Designs and another newcomer to dresses, GoLite.
- Lifestyle apparel is using true technical materials and constructions, including textiles treated with UPF and insect-repelling properties. ExOfficio alone has 60 styles of sun protection apparel that have UPF 30 to block 98 percent of the sun's rays. And hybrid apparel is combining actual urban fashion with function as seen in Canada Goose's latest jackets.
- Vintage and tried-and-true stylings are making a comeback. Prana's plaid button-up shirts for men are inspired by the late '70s Americana era.
- Various apparel makers are creating clothing not only to fit the lifestyle bill but also be travel savvy, using travel-friendly fabrics for wrinkle resistance and quick drying, and adding security pockets. Included in this push are Lole, Clothing Arts, GoLite, Merrell Apparel and Isis.
- Wider bands are popping up more on stretchy yoga-esque pants, offering easy fit and good camouflage to combat that much-aligned "muffin top." Taking this new widely traveled road are Stonewear Designs with the Swing Capri in an organic cotton/rayon/Lycra blend (MSRP $50), and Blue Canoe's Tie short, crop pant and pant (MSRP $44, $64, $72, respectively) in an organic cotton and Spandex blend. Others offering styles include Horny Toad, New Balance and Prana.
- Lightweight scarves for spring weather are still around with snazzy colors, prints and burnouts from SmartWool, Horny Toad and Ojai for $18 and up.
- Colors had more pop with occasional undercurrents of bold, rich tones. Making the rounds were aqua blues and greens, apple green, rusty and bright oranges and reds, yellowish green, brown and plum.
Product highlights for spring/summer 2010:
Canada Goose: Canada Goose is embracing hybrids and straying from its iconic "arctic" look. Highlighting its lifestyle line, the techy but classy pinstriped Pearson three-quarter-length jacket has a classic urban look -- with four flap-over pockets, rear vent, waist drawcord, low-profile "Members only" collar (with stashed hood) -- and wears almost like a blazer. Available in gray and back, it has Schoeller four-way stretch fabric and a waterproof/breathable membrane (MSRP $550). There's also a women’s version called the Safari. www.canada-goose.com
Clothing Arts: Founder and designer Adam Rapp took his traveling expertise over the last three years and across four continents to create P^cubed pants and shorts and a T-shirt line. The pants have what he calls "pick pocket proof" pockets that can be zipped then covered with a fabric flap to keep thieves out, and a second attachable bottle holder pocket. Pants are available in an Adventure Traveler style with side cargo pockets and a Business Traveler design with a classic straight leg. Produced in Turkey, the men's pants (MSRP $80-$95) and shorts ($70-$80) are made of cotton gaberdine in light, medium and heavy weights. The short- and long-sleeve T-shirt line is made of dense cotton weave and features graphics that are reproductions of ancient works of art (MSRP $27-$35). Clothing Arts donates a portion of its earnings to local children's charities in the countries Rapp has visited. www.clothingarts.com
Craghoppers: Banking on the popularity of the television show “Man vs. Wild” starring Bear Grylls (click here to see what the hype is all about ), Craghoppers, a British travel and adventure clothing company, decided to attend Outdoor Retailer Summer Market for its first time to debut the U.S. launch of the official Bear Grylls 2010 line. The clothes offered are designed in partnership with Grylls we are told and are wholly based on the designs and fabrications of clothing he wears during the show in extreme conditions. The Bear Survivor t-shirt is made with organic cotton (MSRP $40) www.craghoppers.com
ExOfficio: When it comes to UPF and insect-repellent apparel offerings, ExOfficio rules the roost. An early adopter of Insect Shield, it can be found in the new FlyBye shirt for men and women -- a 60/40 cotton/poly blend with long sleeves and one angled pocket on the chest (MSRP $70). The Vent'r pant in men's and women's sizing is nylon ripstop, has UPF 30 protection, a fixed waistband and cargo pocket (MSRP $68). www.exofficio.com
Five Ten: Dipping into apparel, the Five Ten team designed the men's Yosemite jeans for climbers in their down time. Made of cotton with a smidge of spandex, the preshrunk pants have a cool outline of Half Dome stitched on the back pockets (MSRP $79). www.fiveten.com
GoLite: It has lightened a customer’s load on the trail and now GoLite is looking to bring that same philosophy to travel with a full apparel line for men and women. Ideally, travelers will be able to take to the skies with just a carry-on bag filled with garments for a week or more and bypass laundry service while on the road. Made of poly blends, the polo, T-shirts and travel shirts have classic styling with crisp lines like the Wicklow short-sleeve polo with a secure passport chest pocket (MSRP $45). For the bottom half are a pant, capri or shant, and short with concealed passport and key pockets. And for cool nights, there's the Sarek soft shell travel hoody (MSRP $125). The women's line is larger than the men's with the addition of three different T-shirt styles, two tanks, a skirt and the Cayambe reversible travel dress that's sleeveless, hugs the bustline and flares out at about the knee (MSRP $80). www.golite.com
Gramicci: Gramicci's credo for the show was "hip naturalists," featuring apparel that allows wearers the company said to be active, comfortable, hip and cool. After its big push in apparel for bike commuting last year, it's taken that label away as some outdoor retailers weren't embracing the bike aspect. Now the emphasis is on clothes you can live in while on the go. The company continues to expand on its dress styles and is also outfitting the lower half with great-looking pants and a push in board shorts for the younger millennial set. In women's pants, both the Dysis Mountain and Bali 3-in-1 are made of cotton with 2-percent spandex for two-way stretch. The Dysis (MSRP $68) has a mid-rise waist and a flare leg, and the Bali (MSRP $85) will make hikers feel stylish with various pockets, removable belt and zip-off legs. The Galene Stride pant (MSRP $58) is made of quick-dry nylon with a low-rise waistband, gusset crotch and roll-up legs that clip in place. The men's Descender in Kallio-Tek fabric (MSRP $68) has a relaxed fit, articulated knees and gusset crotch, and also comes in a Kallio corduroy-like fabric (MSRP $72). www.gramicci.com
Helly Hansen: Ask and Embla -- the Norse equivalent of Adam and Eve -- are the inspiration behind the namesake men’s and women’s lifestyle lines from Helly Hansen, and the company hopes its offerings become just as legendary it tells us. To accomplish this, Helly Hansen paid tribute to another legend -- its founder -- and the maritime roots of the company. But these pieces are not your grandparent’s sailing clothes; they blend the look of old with modern technologies for protection from the elements. The elegant women’s CIS Catalina three-quarter-length jacket features a PU-coated cotton outer for water resistance (MSRP $450). While the antique (and recycled) metal hook closure on the front, and blue and white horizontal stripes inside the extra high collar, add a touch of sailing lore. The men’s three-quarter-length Hybrid jacket offers a similar combination, also featuring antique closures, along with a sailor-style, stowable and adjustable hood and flap-over pockets (MSRP $400). www.hellyhansen.com
Horny Toad: Horny Toad's line is tighter with every style earning its place in the collection and every stitch meaning something, we were told. Eco-wise, 99 percent of the offerings have some type of sustainable aspect. Layering is still important as folks are using pieces in multiple seasons -- wanting those favorite go-to pieces to transcend from summer to winter. Men are also wearing the long-sleeve, button-down shirt all year-round, so the company incorporated some lighter fabrics for spring and summer. With dresses flying off the shelves, it’s added even more styles for the ladies, like the Trey, Devan and Gia. A blend of organic cotton/Tencel/spandex, the semi-fitted Gia has a sweetheart neckline with ruching on the sleeves and an A-line silhouette that hits above the knee (MSRP $64). For the travel bug, the women's Shadow trench-style jacket is handy because the left pocket doubles as a stuff sack for the mid-thigh-length jacket. Made of recycled nylon with a DWR finish, it has a classic fit, fold-over collar and double-breasted front with button closures and a belt (MSRP $99). www.hornytoad.com
Isis: The mandate at Isis is to achieve a more youthful sensibility and silhouette to expand its customer base among young women. The new Journeys collection features pieces with wrinkle-resistant stretch and microfiber fabrics, UPF 30-50 protection and hidden security pockets in tops, pants, skirts and dresses. The Walkabout pant is a nylon/spandex blend that rolls to a capri length with a loop and adjustable snap button hem and a low-profile side-leg zip pocket (MSRP $85). The much-expanded Life line relies on cotton for its tops and hemp/recycled poly in bottoms. The Toorak Street tunic (MSRP $59) and Madison Side Tie short-sleeve shirt (MSRP $55) are slightly bohemian in styling with pin tucks at the shoulders, side slits at the hem, and geometric and floral prints. www.isisforwomen.com
Lole: Lole is pumping up the fashion and travel features in its apparel and incorporating more travel components where applicable. The Explore capri is a stylish example with fabric that is lightweight, antibacterial and quick drying. It's fitted, has UPF 50 and a passport-sized pocket (MSRP $85). Hitting mid thigh, the Marigold dress is made of merino with Dri-release and has a spot floral print. It has a passport pocket and dries overnight (MSRP $80). www.lolewomen.com
Merrell Apparel: Designed for all-day comfort with some sassiness thrown in, Merrell Apparel's Performance Made Beautiful collection emphasizes feminine designs -- including its first foray into dresses -- and features Opti-Wick, wrinkle resistance, moisture wicking, UPF protection and discrete venting. Among the dresses is the Lily, a polyester/elastane blend with Opti-Wick, that has a criss-cross back with grommet detail on the strap, a shelf bra and peek-a-boo mesh along the hem (MSRP $55). For a little more va-voom, the Merigold dress has an empire waist, a fitted bust with stitched horizontal lines, and an A-line cut that follows the body's natural line (MSRP $49). It's a cotton/polyester/elastane blend with a back strap detail. The Salute to the Sun line features UPF styles for men and women with Opti-Wick, like the Kalamatan and Krabi woven shirts (MSRP $69-$59) with concealed zippered pocket. www.merrell.com
Mountain Khakis: After six years of making pants, Mountain Khakis has made the leap into synthetic with the debut of the Snake River collection. Both men and women each get a pant and short, while the guys get an additional convertible pant. They're made of lightweight 6.3-ounce nylon that dries quickly and has a UPF 50 rating. The company told SNEWS that it's following true sizing (sizes 0-16 for women and 32-42 for men), and has a fixed waistband rather than an elastic one found on many synthetic pants. Available in ash and birch colors, pants will retail for $73, shorts for $55 and the convertible pant for $80. www.mountainkhakis.com
Ojai: If you are looking for T-shirts that pop, always-daring Ojai is your go-to. It has bright-colored, floral-print burnout henleys and tanks in blue, kiwi green, flamingo and black (MSRP $44-$48). Short- and three-quarter-length sleeve T-shirts and tanks have can't-be-ignored prints featuring flora and fauna, koi fish and fantasy-like trees (MSRP $52-$56). Although Ojai tightened its line down to 28 pieces, it has five dresses and designer Annelle Beebe said buyers are grabbing them over capris and shorts. The cotton/poly Sea Side dress has wide tank straps, a puckered bustline, and is above the knee with a print trim on the hem (MSRP $68). www.ojaiclothing.com
Patagonia: Themes running though Patagonia's lifestyle apparel focus on lightness, efficiency and the use of more technical fabrics. Many men's pieces are surf inspired and more fitted. To meet demand, it's offering even more dresses for women, including the flowing jersey-knit Kamala with V-neck, shirring under the bustline and an A-line hem that falls above the knee (MSRP $69), and the Lithia with a gathered neck and waist, A-line silhouette and handkerchief hemline (MSRP $79). For sun protection, women get the stylish Sun Shelter shirt with a mandarin collar, full front placket and flattering yoke detail in a quick-drying recycled poly/nylon blend with UPF 40 (MSRP $69). The men's El Ray is made from a highly breathable, wrinkle-resistant, recycled poly/nylon fabric with UPF 40. Available in short and long sleeves, it has two snap-down chest pockets and reportedly dries quickly (MSRP $69-$75). www.patagonia.com
Prana: Americana, Bohemians and the open road are among the inspirations for Prana's spring/summer '10 apparel with an emphasis on easy-to-wear styles and well-worn construction. Throughout the line are organic cotton, vintage washes and subdued colors. And, 52 percent of its collection is made with organic, recycled or sustainable materials. Women's pieces have small embellishments like intricate embroidery, sublimated art prints, and delicate beads and buttons. The women's line includes four new dresses, like the Heidi, a cotton halter that's semi-fitted and hits mid thigh (MSRP $70); and six new skirt styles, like the organic cotton Louisa with an appliqué flower pattern on the side (MSRP $65). The 29 styles for men are built to travel, play and work, like the cotton Cuban short-sleeve, button-down shirt with printed mini floral stripes and textured embroidery on the chest (MSRP $50), and the Sawyer Vintage Chino that's had a heavy washing for a worn-in look (MSRP $70). www.prana.com
White Sierra: White Sierra has brought in Doug Prentice, former vice president and general manager of outerwear at Columbia Sportswear, to head up the implementation of its performance-to-value initiative for "functional and affordable outdoor apparel." Part of that is the debut of the Sierra Shield line with Insect Shield, which is being offered, we were told, at prices 20 percent to 25 percent below the competition. Men and women each get a long-sleeve, button-down shirt in nylon weave with roll-up sleeves and back mesh venting; a bamboo/polyester knit long-sleeve crew with UPF 30; and a nylon pant with zippered thigh pocket. Nylon shirts and pants retail for $80 (wholesale $26.50) and the crew is $55 (wholesale $19). There is a youth line with the same styles: nylon shirt and pant retail for $70 (wholesale $22.50) and crew for $50 (wholesale $16). www.whitesierra.com
Woolrich: Not surprisingly, Woolrich has re-branded its Spruce Creek line after three years to Woolrich Performance Series. The techy collection, which uses Dri-release and Cocona textiles and Teflon fabric protector, has done well at retail and Woolrich wants to ensure its name is now prominent on pieces. Among the collection is the Topo shirt for guys, which has convertible sleeves, a sun collar and UPF 30 sun protection (MSRP $80), and for women, the Garnet Peak half-zip pullover made of Cocona (MSRP $50). www.woolrich.com
--Wendy Geister with contributions from Scott Boulbol
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.