As 2012 rolls in, we’d like to bequeath upon you our musings on what we believe will be trending this year. Trends ranging from uniforms, sublimated apparel, limited edition equipment and the palms of gloves. View the list below.
Bolder College Unis
Until now college teams have mostly stayed away from patterned sublimated unis. You might have summer ball to thank – or you might have football influences like Nike and Under Armour to thank — but you’ll start to see bolder uniform designs at the collegiate level. Some colleges may be adding these to their regular rotation, while others may break out a game-specific uni or two, but expect more patterns,
Gloves Go Beyond Custom Colors
Gloves have long been one of the staples for customization, but teams have largely been held to customizing colors only. Look for patterns to continue to creep their way into glove customization both on the top shell of the glove and in the palm. Look at what Nike has been able to do with some of the stuff they’ve done in football. Don’t be surprised if that eventually makes its way into lax, too.
Apparel Gets Sublimated
Five years ago there were very few companies in the uniform sublimation game. Today, many have jumped into the sublimation arena. Apparel is where sublimated uniforms were several years ago. There are few doing it. Some – like Pro Athletics – have already moved in that direction. Just as more and more companies began incorporating sublimation into unis, expect more to add this to apparel, including shooter shirts, too.
Most of the jerseys you see are a set – a top with a matching short. Look for designs to start to be implemented across pieces – a design may go between a reversible top into a short – maybe even eeking its way into the helmet design or a shooter underneath. Designs will flow between pieces of clothing for a complete design concept.
Sublimated Uni Battle: Well-Designed vs. Tasteless and Gaudy
Two years ago we said that sublimation would continue to grow but that some summer and club teams would start looking for a well-designed clean and CLASSIC LOOK to balance that trend. We’ve seen teams go both directions but feel this is the year that really splits the lacrosse universe into two camps. There is nothing wrong with a bold design. In fact, we love them if they are done well. But as more players have gotten into the sublimated uniform game we’ve seen some pretty awful designs churned out too. We guarantee you’ll see some over-the-top unis this summer – and some teams return to a more classic look – but we have a feeling you’ll see a bad trend this summer of too many teams trying to one-up each other. And with a number of designers now in the industry that just want to sell sublimated unis – not quality design – you’ll probably see some head scratchers.
More “Limited Edition” Equipment
We saw Warrior and Brine slowly eek in Limited Edition gear the last two years such as the Thriller shaft and now the 2 FACE and Block Party collections this December. Consumers aren’t the only ones who enjoy the limited runs either. Manufacturers take the opportunity to test new designs and aggressive graphics that they otherwise might not be able to explore. The more limited the quantity, the more the product appreciates in value. Look for other companies to do the same.
As Chrome will begin to peak towards the end of Spring, Neon colors will slowly take reign. Neon has been explored before, it’s nothing new, but vibrant colors won’t just be in the uniforms anymore. You will notice it on helmets, padding, accessories, heads, mouthguards, etc…
Got any suggestions or additions? Sound off in the comments below. See if we got it right last year with 2011 TRENDS…