What’s New for 2021: Apparel Styles and Colors

Explore top trends your clients will be excited about in 2021

Want to know what’s trending for 2021 in terms of apparel styles and colors? Check out this breakdown of some of the top trends your clients will be excited about in 2021.

Trending apparel styles

We all know that COVID-19 has accelerated trends that we saw pre-pandemic, namely more casual dress at work and overall. While fashion, in general, has been trending toward a more relaxed and comfortable style of dressing, the massive bump in people working at home pushed it to the fore. That move toward overall casualization won’t go away; in fact, we’ll see it increase over the next year.

Your takeaway? Pitch better- and best-quality apparel basics, like hoodies and T-shirts. Here are three style trends to watch for 2021:

  • Oversized: Roomy, streetwear-influenced T-shirt and hoodie styles meld comfort and fashion. Soft ring-spun cotton Ts and lightweight fleece pullovers elevate these basics and make them perfect for year-round layering. Perfectly placed logos make for excellent brand recognition on Zoom calls.
    Oversize T-shirt alphabroder BELLA CANVAS
    (Image courtesy alphabroder/BELLA+CANVAS)
  • Unisex: Future-looking fashion includes garments that all genders can wear as brands move toward designing inclusive garments. Flexibility is also vital—in styles that can be worn day to night, for work, play, and everything in between.
    Unisex apparel alphabroder Threadfast
    (Image courtesy alphabroder/Threadfast)
  • T-shirts: The long-standing everyday staple for just about, well, everyone, the T-shirt will continue as a statement-making style into 2021, with simpler graphics that express important messages. Buyers may trend toward more premium Ts for basics that end-users can wear on a video call or into the office.
    Threadfast T-shirts alphabroder
    (Image courtesy alphabroder/Threadfast)

The colors of 2021

The spring/summer 2021 colors are versatile. According to the Pantone Color Institute, hues like marigold and cerulean “transcend the seasons and allow for more freedom of choice—colors that lend themselves to original color statements and whose flexibility easily adapts to our new and more fragmented lifestyle.”

The color story for the first half of 2021 reflects natural landscapes and hooks into people’s desires for flexible colors that work year-round and for different occasions and lifestyles.

“Infused with a genuine authenticity that continues to be increasingly important, colors for spring/summer 2021 combine a level of comfort and relaxation with sparks of energy that encourage and uplift our moods,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute.

Here are four color stories to pitch to your clients in 2021:

  • Orange and yellow hues: You’ve got a few comforting earthy tones to show off. Marigold is a warming, golden orange infused with yellow, and friendly Illuminating is an optimistic yellow that offers the promise of a sunny day. Burnt Coral is a shade that works for all genders. And Rust is an earth-inspired brown that calls to mind autumn leaves, so it’s an interesting yet versatile shade for a spring palette.
    Citrine T
    (Image courtesy alphabroder/Gildan Comfort Colors)
  • Blues and greens: The blues have it this season, with light, uplifting cerulean reflecting the sky on a serene, cloud-free day, and French Blue, a stirring hue that engenders a vision of Paris in springtime. On the green side, your clients have two reasonable choices: Mint, an invigorating shade that refreshes and restores, and Green Ash, a cool mentholated color that soothes.
  • Pink and purple pops: Of course, we need shades like Amethyst Orchid, a unique bright floral, and Raspberry Sorbet, an invigorating and tantalizing shade of magenta.
  • Classic neutrals: Heading into 2021, you’ll see a collection of toned-down neutrals that anyone can wear all year long. Inkwell is a deep, intense blackened blue; Ultimate Gray is a medium-tone, reliable staple color; Smooth Buttercream is an effortless off-white; Desert Mist evokes images of shifting sands; Willow brings shaded forests to mind.

What you should do today

Now that you have the top apparel and color trends, it’s time to put some (or all) of these into action and start incorporating them into your year.

Your apparel suppliers, decoration vendors, and online web providers are an excellent source for learning more about what’s available to you. If you want to stock new styles and colors, we suggest you reach out to your supplier shortlist to get a good idea of what’s out there.

Laurie Prestine alphabroder

Laurie Prestine


Laurie is part of the marketing team for alphabroder, a supplier in the blank apparel industry. During her free time, Laurie likes to ride horses, sail, and spend time with her husband and her two children. Reach her at

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