A Short History of the Polo Shirt

Polo itself is a sport that mimics croquet while riding on horseback, and as you may have guessed, the similarly named shirt was worn while playing the sport. Developed in India and made popular by British soldiers, the location and popularity of the sport has everything to do with the evolution of the polo shirt. After all, who wants to ride a galloping horse after a ball with a collar flapping in his face and long sleeves trapping in the heat?

The solution was simple: Roll up those long sleeves and button down the front collar flaps. Several years later, the American company Brooks Brothers introduced the buttoned-down collar to its own line of formal shirts. These proved popular, but the story of the polo shirt didn’t end there.

The creator of the most recognizable modern version of the polo shirt was Lewis Lacey, an Argentine-Irish man who played the sport. Lacey opened a menswear shop in Buenos Aires in 1920 and sold polo shirts that featured an actual polo player embroidered on the front, which is still the most iconic part of the modern polo shirt.

Tennis champion Rene Lacoste debuted his own version of the polo shirt in 1926 when he wore a short-sleeved shirt to the U.S. Open, emblazoned with an embroidered crocodile. It was the first time anyone had bothered to cut off the long sleeves of a sport shirt altogether. Lacoste’s shirt was also made with a special cotton weave that made it both durable and breathable. A soft collar replaced the more formal starched collar.

This soft, flexible cotton polo shirt, branded either with the Lacoste crocodile or the Ralph Lauren horse and rider, is the epitome of a long process in fashion evolution. Unbranded shirts that feature this same cotton weave, soft collar and short hemmed sleeves are also known as polo shirts. Both polo and tennis players in many countries are still wearing a version of Rene Lacoste’s 1920 shirt today.

It just goes to show, you never know how an innocent game could change the fashion world 100 years from now!

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From Cowl to Kangaroo Jacket: The Ubiquitous Hoodie

Hoodies may seem like the epitome of modern fashion – or at least relatively modern fashion – but the truth is this trend has been spreading for 1,000 years. From the secluded monasteries of medieval Europe to the catwalks of New York Fashion Week, the hoodie has certainly come a long way.

Monastical Hoodies

Monks, you ask? Yes, your favourite piece of clothing was created in a monastery! It was called a cowl. The cowl itself was an important fashion accessory at that time, not because of how it looked, but for practical reasons. Life in a European monastery was cold.To keep themselves as comfortable as possible, monks began to sew hoods onto their tunics and robes. It was the birth of the proto-hoodie.

Workers’ Gear

The next step in the hoodie’s evolution occurred during the Great Depression in the United States. During this time, outdoor labourers in New York faced bitterly cold working conditions and little pay. A company called Champion saw its opportunity, and created the hooded sweatshirt. Today, outdoor labourers all over the world wear hoodies as part of their daily work gear. Construction companies, lawn care businesses and many other labour-based companies even have branded hoodies for their staff.

Kangaroo Jackets and Bunny Hugs

Before the word “hoodie” became the internationally accepted name for this piece of clothing, it had a few different labels. Whatever you call your hooded sweatshirt, chances are that you’ve seen all kinds of people wearing them. Skateboarders, band members, fashion divas, workers, tourists, moms and kids; everyone loves a good hoodie.

The funny thing is, hoodies have been integrated into all kinds of social groups as well. From isolated students to outgoing entertainers, the hoodie is more than a sweater. It’s a piece of clothing that binds all kinds of people all over the world. Whether you put up your hood to feel secure, to feel warm or it down and studded with rhinestones, you can’t help but notice how this ubiquitous fashion trend has carved out a niche in every person’s wardrobe.

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Upcoming Winter Fashion Trends

When it comes to fashion trends in the winter months, there’s only one thing you can know for sure: you’re going to need warmer clothes! As far as which clothes you’ll see on top fashionistas and fashion gurus this winter, British Vogue and Elle UK offer some great tips.

Coats

Chanel designers are favouring thick, sturdy frock coats and matching skirts and short leggings this winter. Unfettered tweed hems frequent the collection, combining classic Dickensian fabrics with modern skirt lengths. The heavy material does these winter wearables justice, while still leaving the legs free to breathe in some fresh air. As for modern nylon parkas, both pastels and bright colours are in fashion.

Dresses

Dresses for the 2014/2015 winter season are headed for a floral trend. Not just your average floral, mind you – but finely detailed flowered dresses with embroidery in all the right places. Heavy flowered patterns aren’t on the table just for dresses, but for separate tops and skirts as well. Don’t try to match the patterns to one another – go for a complementary colour scheme instead.

Tops

Woollen knits will be your best friend this winter season, since the temperatures are likely to be lower than last winter. Thick, chunky jumpers have been parading down the catwalks in earthy tones. Many feature block patterns instead of the more intricate patterns of this season’s thinner dresses and skirts, so you’ll have to be thoughtful when it comes to layering.

Footwear

Ankle height seems to be the dominant footwear trend of the upcoming autumn and winter seasons. From vibrant high-gloss leather ankle boots to sparkling pink heeled boots, colour and intensity are featured on feet all over the UK. We’re talking chunky shoes, too. Wondering about indoor footwear? Take note: In some cases it’s expected that you wear thick woollen socks with those open-toed, chunky, wooden strappy shoes. Designers are really outdoing themselves this season when it comes to covering up those cold toes!

Indigo offers a range of promotional clothing which is ideal for the winter. Check our our outdoor fleeces which can be embroidered with your logo. Whatever trend you’re following – or setting – keep warm out there!

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Screen Printing Demystified

For many of us, “screen printing” is a mysterious process that involves a shadowy corner of the facilities in 6th form industrial arts class. Later, the term comes attached to a lot of fun, unique and colourful T-shirts that make their way into our regular wardrobe. But what is screen printing, exactly?

Screen printing is the process by which many artisans press T-shirts and other pieces of clothing or fabric with a painted design. There are several steps involved in the process, each of which must be performed carefully and exactly to avoid making a mess of the project. The screen itself is made of silk or nylon fabric, which is tightly stretched across a wooden frame.

This is how it happens:

  1. Choose the artwork: Screen printers begin the process with a well-defined piece of graphic art, usually digitized with computer software. This makes it possible to correct any errant lines or colour bleeds before imprinting the fabric.
  2. Print a film: There are two types of films you can work with. Both are plastic, but the traditional process is to cut out holes on the film where you want the ink to penetrate the screen. Modern screening films, on the other hand, are light-sensitive so you can cut out the holes with ultraviolet light. This is an important part of the process since only one colour can be printed at a time. You will need one film for each colour.
  3. Press the Ink: Place the T-shirt on a flat, solid surface, and press the framed silk or nylon screen on top of it. Next, press ink through the screen using a sponge to permeate the holes on the film and paint the shirt.

If the pattern calls for multiple colours, you must apply each of them separately, waiting for the first layer of ink to dry. There are many types of professional dryers that may be used, since air-drying and hand-drying with a hair dryer don’t work. Printers work their way up from the lightest colours to the darkest, to avoid any awkward overlapping. Once all the layers of ink have dried, you’re left with a shirt that matches the original artwork!

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Why Choose Organic Cotton Clothing?

“Organic” is not just a flippant product label that means “healthy.” It’s actually a very specific label that means the product has been grown without the aid of pesticides, fertilizers or other chemicals. In the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States and other countries, products must meet specific national requirements in order to be labelled as “organic.” Why choose organically-grown cotton for your clothing? There are plenty of great reasons.

One of the primary benefits of organic cotton clothing is that it is gentler and safer for your skin due to the lack of pesticide residue. If you have sensitive skin, organic cotton can provide immense relief from itchy, rash-producing fabrics, including many non-organic types of cotton. Soft, clean cotton fabrics are also far less likely to trigger allergic reactions during handling and wearing. Chemical-free cotton is very popular for baby clothes and blankets because of its gentle texture.

Of course, choosing organic cotton also promotes more environmentally friendly production practises worldwide. In 2003, more than 55 million pounds of pesticides were sprayed on cotton crops across the globe – not to mention the use of insecticides and fertilizers. When you make the conscious decision to purchase apparel made from organic cotton, you’re financially supporting farmers and producers who do not fill their land with chemicals.

All organically-raised crops – cotton or otherwise – are subject to the natural processes of the land. This means that pests will take their share of the crop, but it also means that the soil does not become polluted with harsh chemicals. In fact, natural strains of cotton have a tough time standing up to repeated chemical use, which is why non-organic farmers usually use genetically modified strains. GMO plants can change the environment of the soil, which often causes production companies to develop more and more altered strains of seed.

If you want soft, gentle, totally natural fabric used for your clothing, then organic cotton is for you! Think of the healthy soils the cotton will leave behind as your own personal donation to the cause.

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Top Colours and Materials to Wear This Summer

Colour blocking is big this season, but which shades should you wear? You might also be curious about which types of fabrics you should put on to stay in fashion. Of course, you can always opt for your favourite colours and materials no matter what kind of outfit you end up wearing. But if you can’t make up your mind and really want to be on trend this year, the following colours and materials are the best ones to wear.

Red, White and Blue Are in This Season

You don’t have to wear all three colours at once. In fact, you probably shouldn’t unless you want to end up looking like an American flag. Plus, it’s encouraged to wear one shade from head to toe this year. Just pick the one that most flatters you. The men on the runways this season are rocking white suits, while the women are pairing white slip dresses with tailored jackets in the same colour. Of course, white T-shirts are classics and look good with just about anything.

If you prefer to wear blue, you really can’t go wrong with any of the many shades. Royal blue happens to be a favourite this summer, but cobalt and azure are also popular. If red is more your thing, you have just as many options. One of the most well-liked colors is cherry red–but you should choose something based on what looks good with your skin tone and the rest of your clothing. For example, if you have beige, caramel or brown skin, a shade of red with hints of orange in it should work well. If you are fair skinned, choose a cool red with a hint of plum instead.

Frills, Pleats and Sheer Fabric Are Recommended Choices for Summer

The material your clothing is made of is just about as important as the colour it incorporates. This summer, for instance, sheer fabrics are in, which is great news when you need to cool off. Both men and women have been seen wearing sheer clothing. Wearing a sheer jacket over a T-shirt or tank top is a good place to start, as is tossing a sheer dress or coverup over a bathing suit on holiday.

When you need to choose a skirt or dress that will please the fashion police, go with frills or pleats. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to find such materials when browsing apparel in most of the shops this summer. If you want to be really trendy, choose a shirt dress that has pleats or frills, maybe with a belt around the waist, since this look is in lately. Pair it with sporty sneakers for an even more fashionable result. Of course, men can take advantage of this fashion trend, too, since pleated trousers and shirts are easy to find.

If you’re not really comfortable wearing any of these colours or materials, but you want to look stylish, you can always let your accessories represent the trends. For example, if red is not exactly your best colour, just add a red scarf or bag to your outfit. The same advice applies if you’re not brave enough to step out in sheer clothing this summer.

You can get a look at a wide variety of clothing that’s in fashion now by checking out our clothing catalogue, so start shopping today!

 References:

 http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/05/30/mens-fashion-2014_n_5419564.html

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/7/47/103447/Life–Style/Style/Six-fashion-staples-dominating-the-summer–catwalk.aspx

http://www.mydaily.co.uk/2014/06/10/shop-all-white-summer-2014s-biggest-fashion-trend/

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Back-to-School Basics to Buy the Kids

As the summer comes to an end and the fall season begins, you might be thinking about doing some back-to-school shopping for the kids. If you are on a tight budget, you will need to just pick up the basics for now. Get an idea of what kind of apparel you should buy before your kids return to school for the year.

T-Shirts

This is among the most common type of apparel parents buy. That’s because kids t-shirts have so many uses. The plain kind can be perfect for layering, and since they are inexpensive, they make great play clothes. You can choose between thin single jersey t-shirts and heavier double layer options, depending on the weather and the purpose of the shirt.

You can stick to plain white t-shirts or choose a few different colours for the clothing your kids will wear. Of course, you can also take advantage of the popularity of graphic design for t-shirts and get some fashionable prints your child will love. For instance, you can get his or her favourite cartoon character printed on a shirt, or have his or her name embroidered onto it. Your options for customising t-shirts are pretty much endless.

Sportswear

Whether your kids are part of a sport after school or just have an exercise class, they will need clothing that is comfortable for them to move around in. For example, look for shirts made of polyester, spandex or similar materials with fabric that wicks away moisture. When it’s cold out, you should browse shops for long-sleeved shirts that can easily fit underneath larger t-shirts and jerseys.

Track pants are perfect for outdoor activities, since they are easy to move in and are even considered windproof. Any shorts you buy your kids for sports should have an elastic waistband with a drawcord tucked inside, along with mesh inserts. As you shop for sports apparel, look for extra features that are nice, like pockets or reflective materials.

Outerwear

Of course, part of your job as a parent is making sure your child has the right clothes for the weather so he or she can stay warm and dry. Luckily, there are plenty of types of apparel that can help with this task without sacrificing fashion. For those windy, rainy days, make sure you buy at least one windproof, waterproof jacket. You can even buy matching trousers made of the same material if you’d like. Hoodies are perfect for when the weather doesn’t call for rain, but it might still be cold. When it’s going to be very cold out, a cozy fleece jacket should suffice. Don’t forget to buy matching hats, earmuffs and scarves when the weather calls for such warm apparel.

You can buy all of these outerwear clothing options plain and in basic colours, or you can choose to get them customised for your child. The latter is best if he or she will likely be using the clothing for a few years and does not want to lose it at school, since having his or her name or favourite characters on the apparel can keep it from getting mixed up with the other kids’ outerwear.

If you are ready to start shopping for clothes for your child, check out our extensive Childrens wear section today!

References:

http://www.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=1296

http://www.familytime.com/showarticle.aspx?articleid=294

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Tricks for Getting Great Promotional T-Shirts

Whether you need to order dozens of t-shirts for promotional giveaways or just want a few that feature your business name and logo, you’ll want quality. There is no point in giving away t-shirts that do not look good or fit right, since no one will end up wearing them. That’s why you should pay attention to these pointers on getting the perfect promotional t-shirts made.

Consider the Brand

When it comes to t-shirts, brand is just as important as with any other type of clothing. Of course, you might not pay much attention to the brand of shirts you just wear around the house. Maybe they all feel the same to you. However, if you do happen to have a favourite t-shirt, take note of the brand.

It might be Fruit of the Loom, Gildan, Continental, or some other major manufacturer of t-shirts. If so, it should be easy to get promotional apparel made in the brand of your choice. If you are still not sure which brand you like best, head to your local clothing shop and try on t-shirts made by a few of the more popular companies. Then order the brand of shirt that feels most comfortable.

Decide on the Material

Another way to pick a shirt you and other people will love to wear is to focus on finding material that is comfortable but still durable. You should first know the difference between the main options. Heavyweight t-shirts are known for lasting a long time, but they are not exactly form fitting. They also might be warmer than lightweight t-shirts since the material is a little heavier. By contrast, lightweight t-shirts can keep people a little cooler due to the thinner material, but they are not as durable as thicker shirts.

Of course, there are other options aside from these main materials. For example, fashionable t-shirts tend to be even softer and more form fitting than lightweight shirts, while organic clothing is available for those interested in environmentally-friendly apparel. The choice is yours, so just consider what kind of material you and other people would want to wear when it comes to promotional clothing.

Once you have some idea of the brand and material you want, it’s time to order the number of custom printed t-shirts you need for promotional purposes!

References:

http://toddshelton.com/blog/t-shirts/t-shirt-weight

http://www.wikihow.com/Choose-the-Right-Promotional-T-Shirt

http://www.pistoncloud.com/2013/06/create-a-legendary-promotional-shirt/

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3 Ways to Wear Hoodies

Hoodies are known for being super comfortable and casual. But with this type of clothing, you don’t just have to throw it on, pair it with sweat pants, and hope no one pays much attention to your “just rolled out of bed” look. Instead, you can actually stay in style without having to get rid of your collection of hoodies. Here’s how.

Wear It with Lots of Layers

Hoodies are perfect for layering, especially on days when you don’t know how cold or warm it’s going to get. So wear whatever you feel like wearing for the day, and then top it all off with a hoodie. Just make sure the hoodie you choose is made with thin material that’s not too thick so you don’t look bulky…unless that’s the look you’re going for!

Dress It Up

Hoodies don’t have to be strictly casual. You can add a little pizzazz and even a sense of fashion to this type of clothing by accessorising it. For example, you should wear some jewelry, a nice scarf, or dressy shoes if you want to look a little classy while still wearing your beloved hoodie. The result is the perfect look for a night out when it’s too cold to wear the typical dressy apparel.

Zip It Up or Zip It Down

Before you put together a whole outfit with your hoodie, try out a few different looks. In particular, check out how your hoodie looks with the zipper up compared to when the zipper is down. You might find that when you keep your hoodie unzipped, it contrasts with whatever shirt you are wearing, depending on how busy the graphic design on it is. In that case, zipping it up might be your best bet. On the other hand, you might discover that the clothes you are wearing under the hoodie complement it well, which means you should leave it unzipped. Just take a look in the mirror or ask your friends what they think if you’re not sure.

Want to customise one or more hoodies? Contact us to get a quote for the custom clothing you want!

References:

http://sovainmagazine.com/2013/09/27/4-ways-to-wear-a-hoodie-for-guys/

http://www.collegefashion.net/trends/3-stylish-ways-to-wear-your-hoodies-and-zip-ups/

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/currency/2013/12/the-power-of-the-hoodie-wearing-ceo.html

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Fashion Trends for Summer 2014

When you want to look your best but are not sure what to wear, it makes sense to turn to the fashion experts for clothing advice. And as usual, that advice changes from one season to another! If you’re having trouble keeping up with what’s cool when it comes to summer fashion, check out this list of what the fashionistas predict.

Bold Colours

This is pretty typical of summer fashion trends, but just in case you didn’t know, bold and bright colours are fashionable once again. Some of the most popular shades include lime green, bright yellow, and fuchsia, but you can just choose the colours that most stand out to you personally. No matter what you pick, it’s sure to be back in style next summer, too!

Colour Blocking

If you’re never sure which colours complement each other, make it easy and just stick to the same shade. Apparently, wearing one colour from head to toe is stylish this year! The best news is that the colour you pick doesn’t really matter – as long as it’s bold! – so you can feel free to choose your favourite shade and wear it with confidence.

Graphic Prints

If you like graphic design, you will be glad to know it’s in style this year. Of course, graphic prints have never really gone out of style per se, but they are now even cooler to wear. And if you can’t find a design you want to wear, you can get your own printed t-shirt made and get bonus points for originality when it comes to your sense of fashion.

Floral Prints

This summer, you can’t go wrong with floral prints for your clothing. This applies to men and women, and it’s certainly not limited to a particular flower. So pick your favourite bloom and find some clothing that can do it some justice, whether you plan on wearing a floral print t-shirt, dress, or pants!

When you browse our clothing catalogue, you will see a lot of these fashion trends, so feel free to take a look if you are in the mood to shop!

References:

http://www.mydaily.co.uk/2014/05/13/flattering-fashion-trends-summer-2014/

http://www.usatoday.com/story/experience/weekend/lifestyle/2014/04/11/10-best-summer-fashion-trends/7594963/

http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/greater_houston/entertainment/kohl-s-summer-fashion-home-trend-report/article_29534873-2e97-59cf-8111-3e2239450028.html

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