As 2021 is coming to a close, we’ve compiled a list of the top trends in apparel decoration this year. With the pandemic we’ve seen huge changes across the industry that are predicted to continue into 2022, so take note and jump in on these trends for your own brand to maximize sales!


When ordering in bulk, it can be hard to decide to how many of each size to order.  In 2021, garment sizes ranked as the following:

  • XS: 1%
  • S: 7%
  • M: 28%
  • L: 30%
  • XL: 20%
  • 2XL: 12%
  • 3XL: 2%

So when ordering, use the ratio 1-2-3-3-1 as a general rule of thumb.

For every 10 garments order:

  • 1 S
  • 2 M
  • 3 L
  • 3 XL
  • 1 2XL

Obviously knowing your audience is most important, but with unisex clothing and oversize fit being popular we’ve seen XL, Large, and Medium as the most common sizes for the year.


Ranking at #1 is Black — doesn’t stain, unisex, matches with anything, and looks great with most graphics. Black has a 35.2% market share, followed by greys (14%) and white (13.3%).
Top Garment Colors:

  1. Black
  2. Grey
  3. White
  4. Navy

As you can see, neutral tones are the crowd favorite.


Top Decoration Methods:

  1. Screen Printing

Screen Printing is the classic when it comes to apparel decoration. It is cost effective for bulk orders, can be used for a wide array of fabrics and garments, and results in a high quality print that holds up over time.

  1. Embroidery

Nothing achieves that classic look like an embroidered front chest logo. Add to products that may not be able to be directly printed on like outerwear, beanies, or polos. See Transforming Garments with Embroidery for inspiration.

  1. Sublimation

The perfect option for all-over printing, patterns, photos, activewear, and home goods. More ideas…

  1. DTG

DTG has become popular with the rise of Print On Demand, allowing for one-offs or smaller batches of high color garments at an affordable cost. Check out DTG vs Screenprinting for more information.

  1. Transfers & Other

Check out our Decoration Guide for examples and information on all types of transfers and other decorating techniques.



Top Industry Trends

  1. E-Commerce

E-Commerce sales skyrocketed with the pandemic and most shoppers have converted over to the convenience of having everything delivered to their doorstep. E-commerce transactions are expected to make up 36% of total fashion retail worldwide by 2022. Check out our E-Commerce Holiday Checklist for creating the best online shopping experience for your customers.

  1. Sustainability

Younger consumers are holding brands accountable and prefer to buy from companies that use eco-friendly materials. There’s also been a surge in resale clothing as people sought out more affordable options during the pandemic — social media based retailer, Depop, has become a popular way for people to resell clothing. Upcycled fashion is in demand as well, with painted denim jackets and patchwork tops made from recycled materials.

  1. Athleisure

As gyms closed, people turned to at-home workouts to get their fitness fix and pass the time during lockdown. Even as things started to reopen, people found work from home attire migrating back to the office. Almost 2/3 of American adults say they are wearing sports apparel daily. Following in the steps of streetwear, more relaxed clothing is now becoming the norm with track suits replacing pant suits.

  1. Gender Neutral

In 2021 we’ve seen a demand for inclusivity in fashion, with a movement for more plus size offerings and brands showcasing all body types — but also for clothing that removes gender from the equation. Many brands are moving away from slender fit women’s clothing and offering unisex silhouettes for their garments. Hoodies, tees, and joggers in neutral colors have been a hit this year.

  1. More Payment Options

Following along with the e-commerce trend, the demand for more payment options like PayPal as well as “Buy Now, Pay Later” services like Klarna or Afterpay are crucial to gaining more customers. Almost 50% of online shoppers will exit the checkout page if they do not see their preferred method of payment listed. Check out some tips on how to avoid abandoned checkout carts.



Top Products:

  1. T-Shirts

It’s no surprise that t-shirt continually ranks as the best selling merch item year after year. It’s a timeless classic that all ages love, and is usually the first sell out at merch tables as it is at a lower price point (average t-shirt priced at $35 in the music merch industry this year). Start designing yours on one of the best t-shirts for screen printing.

  1. Athleisure

Leggings, biker shorts, tanks, sports bras, and gym bags are all great items to add to your collection. Poly spandex fabric is great for moisture-wicking material that accommodates movement, making Sublimation the perfect option for activewear.

  1. Home Goods

Searches for home goods skyrocketed over the pandemic while more people wanted to personalize their space while stuck inside. Add your artwork to throw pillows, blankets, tapestries, and wall art so people can rep your designs in their home. More ideas…

  1. Totes

In relation to the rise of sustainable products, tote bags are perfect for running errands, travel, or taking to the office — not to mention, they gain a ton of brand impressions! Customize yours.

  1. Hoodies

Another popular wearable, print on one of the best hoodies to screen print.

We’re excited to work with you in the New Year! 
Reach out to our team to restock quick before Christmas: sales@culturestudio.net

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