Throughout the next month, SNEWS will recap its coverage of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2013 with select stories from the O.R. Daily we published at the show July 31 – Aug. 3. 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.
Lifestyle apparel pieces on the show floor are kind of like transformers. They may not work together to defend the universe, but clothing for spring ’14 looks like something you’d find at Nordstrom and performs like an item you’d purchase at REI.
The folks at Nau call it “stealth tech.”
“Garments not only need to work and be durable, but they should feel good to touch and wear,” said Mark Galbraith, Nau’s general manager.
Clothing for everyday wear has natural fibers like cotton and lightweight canvas, but also includes treatments like polygiene, a natural silver salt incorporated into fabrics during the finishing stage to help with odor control.
In women’s dresses, we’re seeing more detailed backs and varying lengths that aim to make women feel cozy, yet attractive. Skirts are also big this upcoming season, as female consumers embrace their femininity on and off the trail.
Aventura Mayson Skirt
Patagonia Pliant Side Hike Skirt
Lots of players will be vying for that skirt business: Patagonia with its Pliant Side Hike Skirt (MSRP $59); Royal Robbins with its Discovery Skirt (MSRP $70); and Aventura with its Mayson Skirt (MSRP $62).
On the men’s side, the big pockets on cargo shorts and pants are gone, replaced by hidden pockets to stow phones, lip balm, keys and other essentials. Plus, more men’s apparel is embracing stretch.
Ecoths Oakridge Shirt
The Ecoths brand debuts at Summer Market, targeting men 35 and older. Its Oakridge Shirt (MSRP $67) is plaid with Western-styled pockets and color ribbon tapes that run along the front pocket. Royal Robbins’ Lost Canyon shirt for men (MSRP $70) has a bit of a Western vibe, but the back design has ventilation throughout to keep the wearer cool and dry. Its Fuse Short (MSRP $70) opts for hidden pockets.
For both genders, there’s clothing made from highly technical fabrics previously reserved for activewear. A few companies bring button-up shirts and polos designed for hiking that are sharp enough for a day at the office or a date.
Sierra Designs’ Pack Polo was intended for hiking but looks so good some women might not mind having their beau wear it out on the town. Nau’s Atelier Hoody has that city-slicker look but is made of three-layer water-resistant Atelier softshell fabric.
More companies have been focusing on communicating transparency in the manufacturing process, especially following the recent tragedy in Bangladesh.
“Being transparent and fully aware of how things are made is becoming a more important thing for people,” said United by Blue’s Brian Linton, press president and chief trash collector for the charitable company.
One of the reasons for these trends, experts say, is that the industry is attempting to appeal to millennials — ages 25 to 35 — who prefer slimmer cuts, more tailored fits, more fashionable silhouettes and a humanitarian story.
Yoga-inspired lifestyle collection TheOm Collection has dresses for a woman’s every mood. One key style is the Backless Dress (MSRP $78), which one could throw over yoga pants or wear alone. “My whole line is about bringing femininity to activewear pieces that can take you off the yoga mat and into the regular world,” said owner Katie Armstrong.
Stonewear Designs Solace Dress
Dresses like the Lyra from Stonewear Designs is made with Dryflex Lite, which is 92-percent micropoly and 8-percent Lycra that’s quick-drying, odor-resistant and breathable. Krimson Klover has dresses made from 50-percent cotton and 50-percent Tencel that can be dressed up for work and are comfortable enough for travel. One notable piece is the Lori (MSRP $118), a polka-dot, three-quarter-sleeve shift dress. The maxi Athena Kattan dress (MSRP $100) from Synergy is 95-percent organic cotton with tunic style sleeves, a V-neck and an empire waist.