You may notice changes in clothing options whenever you walk into a store at different times of the year. New fashion lines typically appear on shelves at the start of the calendar’s four seasons. As a fashion designer, it is important to keep seasonal appropriateness in mind when designing garments, as customers tend to change their fabric, color, and design preferences based on holidays and the weather. Keep reading to learn more about the seasonal appropriateness of certain fabrics and customer shopping motivations at different times of the year.
Apparel Color and Print Designs
Prints and colors send customers messages about current trends and the season, so I recommend adapting yours to the different seasons. For example, changing a light pink floral dress to a deep red tattersall pattern alters the feel from spring to winter.
If you’re a fashion designer who uses a certain color palette, you may find this challenging. However, even with a limited color palette, you can change color tones to a slightly darker or lighter version to meet the season and still remain on-brand. Take the designs of Lilly Pulitzer for example. Her designs are famously recognized for being very floral, bright, and perfect for spring. However, even with her bright pastel color palette, she shifts the tones of her colors and patterns to adjust for other seasons.
Fabric Material and Fibers
As a designer, it is important to remember your own personal fabric preferences for attire. During the winter, you probably prefer wearing fabrics that are thicker in material and weight, while in the summer you may prefer fabrics that are lighter and allow for air-flow on warm days. Apply your own personal preferences to your designs, as your personal preferences are likely what others are looking for in their apparel as well.
During the winter season, most customers shop for apparel that is more durable and thicker to fit the cold climate, while also shopping for darker tones to fit the holiday season.
The most common fabrics customers tend to indulge in include:
- Various Wools
Silk and cashmere are good choices for the winter season, as they feel luxurious, and carry warmth. Fabrics like flannel and wool are known for their insulating properties while not sacrificing breathability.
The spring season is perhaps the wackiest season of the year, being a blend of warm, cool, and humid weather. As such, fibers like cotton and linen tend to be the most popular fabric choices for customers, along with bright color tones. Cotton has high breathability and the ability to absorb perspiration without irritating the skin, making it a must for humid weather. Fabrics like linen, on the other hand, are made of slightly stronger fibers, but with low heat conductivity, it is extremely breathable and doesn’t lose its look during humid weather.
Summertime commonly brings extreme heat, so designers should consider creating apparel that is breathable and absorbent. Fabrics like cotton and rayon are ideal for this season. Rayon can substitute for silk and its semi-synthetic fibers will keep the skin cool and breathable. Cotton is also breathable and light and another ideal choice for warm weather.
The fall season is a little different than the others because many people layer their apparel to fit the cool and warm weather. This gives designers a lot of flexibility in the types of fabrics and fibers they incorporate into their apparel. However, this can also confuse shoppers with seemingly limitless options. Traditionally, the fall season serves as a transition to the winter season, leading most people to indulge darker tones and in fabrics like silk, wool, and cotton. With a mixture of breathability and ability to conduct heat, these fabrics are ideal for layering during the fall season.
At first glance, these seasonal adjustments may seem difficult to incorporate in designs, especially for designers with a limited color or design palette. But, with slight color tone and fabric changes, any fashion entrepreneur can maintain consistency with their label’s standards and create consumer engagement.