Top Apparel Picks for Collegiate and School Spiritwear Orders

Speak to the latest trends students want by recommending some of these popular styles

Before you know it, the back-to-school season will be here, and all signs point to staff and students returning to campus. Expect to see high demand for education-related apparel, including needs within collegiate wear, booster clubs, spirit weeks, and new student orientations. Speak to the latest trends students want by recommending some of these popular styles.

Retro styles

With throwback, classic and cool appeal, raglans and ringers are a top choice for the education market. These varsity-inspired shirts fit right in with collegiate markets or K-12 school districts. Retro fashions are all the rage in retail, making raglans and ringers a sure shot for education sales success.


Look for styles made with 100% cotton, as these can be printed with almost any decoration method. Or, opt for breathable tri-blends for super soft comfort.


When it comes to apparel trends, athleisure certainly scores high. Performance wear-inspired pieces have stepped out of the gym and are now the go-to staple for running errands, visiting friends, heading to class, or studying up at the library.

Make sure you include athleisure in your sales presentations, especially for high school and collegiate markets. You’ll want to prioritize heavier-weight garments with quality construction like cotton/poly blend raglan T-shirts and hoodies.


You can’t complete a student’s wardrobe without fleece. What was already an essential in spiritwear and leisurewear has only become more popular with the arrival of the “quarantine uniform” (aka sweatsuit sets). Look for a good assortment of fleece hoodies in both pullover and zip-up options. Give your clients choices to match their school colors.

Pro tip: Consider using a different color for the inner lining and drawstrings to represent multiple school spirit colors on the same garment.

Items to offer include French terry pullover hoodies, fleece zip hoodies, and French terry raglan crewneck Ts.

Waffle thermals

Don’t leave transitional pieces at the back of the line. After all, the school year starts in the fall and closes in summer, with varying weather in that time. Waffle knits are versatile, lightweight garments that provide just enough warmth in chilly weather without the bulkiness of heavy fleece.

waffle thermal Next Level Apparel

Because of their retail-inspired design, thermals are excellent for selling in college bookstores and gift shops for students, staff, and alumni. Thermal long-sleeve crewnecks and hoodies are both excellent choices in this category.

garment dyed T Next Level Apparel

Garment-dyed T-shirts

Garment-dye treatments are popular, especially in the college market, for that lived-in look. These Ts are perfect for sororities, fraternities, sports teams, and clubs on campus, as these groups appreciate the fashion-forward vibe.

Good, better, best

And one final piece of advice for school apparel sales: Use the tried-and-true good, better, best method. This is an effective way to always present clients with something they’ll be impressed by and can actually afford, which may be unknown as marketing budgets are still in flux.

No matter which type of apparel your education and spiritwear clients are looking for, they’re sure to find it within these top-trending selections.

Jeanette Chiu

Jeanette Chiu

Next Level Apparel

Jeanette Chiu is the branded content manager for Next Level Apparel.

Related Articles

Back to top button