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Womenswear Outlook 2024

For custom apparel decorators, education and awareness take centerstage in the womenswear category

By Jennifer Morrell, Contributing Writer

Allmade’s Tri-Blend T-shirt is a unique blend built of sustainable fibers, which create a soft, smooth flexible fabric capable of holding a vibrant print. Photo courtesy of Allmade

February 5, 2024

What’s in a shirt? In a word: everything. Shapes, colors and fabrics, to be sure, but today’s savvy female consumer wants more. She wants to be educated about the manufacturing process of each garment, as well as supply chain transparency—the “pedigree” of the product.

“Women are loving a shirt with a story,” says Laurel Hudson, communications director, Allmade Apparel. “Education over the past few years has really hit home, and ladies want to know where and how their shirts are made. Better for the planet is also better for people. It is important to be transparent about your supply chain, and we love that we can do that.”

Career woman wear blank apparel for decorators

Athleisure is a staple for womenswear. Photo courtesy of SanMar

At first glance, trends in womenswear may seem to be more of the same, from preppy varsity and quiet luxury to core basics and tried-and-true classics. As we examine the details, however, we see the importance of colors, the influence of past decades, the need for functionality and, of course, a demand for sustainability.

“In 2024, fashion is about redefining style concepts more than reinventing them,” says Vicki Ostrom, futurist and trend analyst, Sanmar. “That doesn’t mean that fashion is going to be boring, in fact it’s the exact opposite.”

Creativity allows more control of the style each wearer wants to achieve. Ostrom points to an outfit worn by Billie Eilish at the Golden Globes recently, which was part designer fashion, part thrifted and part something she had at home in her own closet.

“There was incredible creativity in how she put her own unique stamp on that look,” Ostrom says. “I think that the idea of ‘refreshed’ style is really where a lot of women will be finding newness in 2024.”

What might we not see as much of this year? The crop top may finally be fizzling, giving way to oversized, flowy styles and muscle tees. Even crewneck and v-neck T-shirts are oversized—the “tomboy” look.

Sustainability and Blank Apparel

Without a doubt, the sustainability movement is a force in apparel design. Consumers are putting the importance of sustainable manufacturing before instant gratification.

“As customers gain greater awareness of the drawbacks associated with fast fashion, there is a growing demand for sustainability from the entire life cycle of the garment,” says Andi Goeing, product marketing specialist, S&S Activewear. “There is an increasing preference for brands that prioritize sustainable materials, adopt eco-friendly practices, and maintain transparency.”

Goeing cites botanical dyed T-shirts as an example of a newer sustainable trend in the wholesale market. Botanical dye, she says, is a cleaner, more sustainable dying process using natural dyes derived from fruits, flowers and leaves.

Allmade’s Hudson agrees. “Clearly, the movement of a sustainable garment is taking over,” she says. “Here at Allmade, we couldn’t be happier that suppliers are getting on board. However, we believe that creating one or two sustainable garments in your line isn’t hitting the mark. We are proud that our processes and ingredients in our apparel are better for our planet and people. When we think about bringing a new product to market, we analyze everything from dirt to shirt.”

Blank pink t-shirt for apparel decorators

The LAT Relaxed Vintage Washed Tee can be dressed up or down. Photo courtesy of S&S Activewear

Hudson adds that Allmade’s entire line is carbon neutral. The company’s cut-and-sew factory in Honduras features rooftop solar panels, and offsets any emissions created.

“To wear a brand that is known to incorporate sustainable practices carries a lot of credit with people of all ages, not just young consumers,” Ostrom says. “Another part of that sustainability story has to do with wearing the clothing we have in our wardrobes [instead of] buying a lot of new things each season. The ‘doing good’ in their world is in not over-consuming.”

From a retail perspective, the big hitters always will affect the wholesale channel, and this year, the emphasis is on quality, style and fit.

“Retail brands are still very much on trend and in demand for 2024,” Goeing says. “The rising trend of using retail brands for branded merchandise benefits from the appeal and trust associated with name brands. This strategy improves product value, boosts brand recognition, and promotes customer loyalty.”

Companies using retail brands for promotional merchandise can tap into the existing customer base of those brands, creating a competitive advantage, Goeing adds.

Top priorities for these manufacturer are fabrics, textures and colors. The hand of a garment can also be a game changer. Garments need to be soft, but not too thin or transparent.

Texture is rising in popularity as well, not only at a fabrication level, but as a driver of decoration trends and techniques, such as embossing and embroidery. Leather, florals, knits, and garment-dyed and vintage-washed fabrics and textures will dominate, with retro apparel and accessories continuing in popularity, the heavier the weight of the garment, the better.

Apparel Decorators Consider Color

In 2024, “neutral” is being defined in a classic, traditional way. Black, grey and white are back in full force.

Women's blank sleeveless polo shirt for apparel decorators

The Port Authority Micro-Mesh Sleeveless Polo in coral splash is light and breezy. Photo courtesy of SanMar

“It makes sense, because we are dressing up more again,” Ostrom says. “We are going into the office and engaging in in-person meetings more often. We feel the need to look sharp and elegant in a way that these classic neutrals do.”

Pops of color seem to find a way in each year, and 2024 colors of the year include peaches, pinks, reds, blues, lilac and lemon yellow. Where a “refresh” comes into play is with the prominence of ivory.

“Off-white, cream, soft beige, ivory chiffon, warm quartz, Sahara and birch are refreshing the classic concept of white,” Ostrom says. “What’s great is that it still has a minimal-style vibe while being a very approachable color.”

Ostrom adds that bags are a surprising product category where ivory hues have a presence. Cross-body bags, backpacks and overnight bags are becoming important components of a well-styled outfit—a perfect example of the “quiet luxury.”

Marketing Blank Apparel

Marketing has many faces in 2024, and manufacturers are taking advantage of all methodologies.

“Allmade is made by printers, for printers, so it’s extremely important to us to make great garments that give you the best print,” Hudson says. “Our approach for 2024 is to share that love for decoration on social media with an avenue of education. A high-quality decoration on a high-quality garment is the most sustainable T-shirt.”

Similarly, this year, the marketing and sales teams from S&S Activewear says it will be aligned more than ever.

“What better way to get the message out than word-of-mouth that goes straight to our customers?” Goeing says. “With a firsthand view and direct line to our customers and their needs, our sales team is the strongest marketing channel! Of course, we will continue to home in on social media channels and brand stories that resonate with our customer base.”

Jennifer Morrell is an award-winning writer who has written for a number of national consumer and trade publications. For more information or to comment on this article, email Jennifer at