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5 Up-and-Coming Trends in Racing Apparel

by Steve Welk
5 Up-and-Coming Trends in Racing Apparel

For ambitious racing teams, team apparel goes beyond being a mere fashion statement. It is a powerful tool to establish your team's identity and embody the values you wish to represent. By elevating your team's status through sleek and modern racing apparel, you can distinguish yourselves from the competition and unify as a team. Therefore, whether you’re a new team or looking to update your team’s established brand, crafting great team racing apparel should be at the top of your to-do list. 

Every successful racing team has a strong and distinct brand, and by putting thoughtful effort into your team's apparel, you lay the foundation for a memorable racing brand that will contribute to your success on the track.

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New Racing Apparel Trends

One of the most critical steps in creating your racing apparel is considering up-and-coming trends. These trends are constantly evolving, driven by the ever-changing tastes of fans, the needs of teams, and advancements in technology. 

As subject matter experts, we closely monitor the industry to provide our clients with the latest and most relevant insights, ensuring our racing apparel and fan merch stay ahead of the curve. By embracing these innovative trends, racing teams can outfit their teams with the best apparel possible and capture the hearts of existing and new fans, creating a strong and loyal community around the sport.

Here are some of our favorite trends in racing apparel.

1. Quicker Turnaround for Dye-Sublimation Orders

A 4- to 6-week turnaround is standard for dye-sublimated products, especially those produced overseas. However, in today's fast-paced racing environment, teams frequently run multiple sponsor programs throughout a season, so this turnaround time doesn’t work for their needs. This has prompted the demand for more customized, fully dye-sublimated crew shirts on a shorter turnaround.

Working with vendors that have a quicker production time of 2-3 weeks gives race teams the much-needed flexibility to achieve their goals. Collaborating with a vendor capable of delivering apparel quicker is a significant advantage for modern race teams, as it allows them to work closely with partners and offer more customized programs that can lead to increased revenue.

For instance, in motorsports like NASCAR, where teams often have multiple main sponsors throughout a season, swiftly producing custom apparel becomes essential in promoting and showcasing various sponsor partnerships effectively. With faster turnaround times, race teams can optimize their promotional strategies and better adapt to dynamic sponsorship arrangements.

2. Screen Print vs. Embroidery

Recently, a noticeable shift has occurred from using extensive embroidery on Oxford or button-down style shirts. Notably, Toto Wolff (Mercedes Team Principal) has popularized the trend, as seen on Drive To Survive, by opting for printed designs on his white button-down shirts instead of embroidery. The advantages of screen printing include cleaner and crisper logos, resulting in a shirt that feels much lighter and more modern. 

Toto Wolf

This trend also extends to outerwear, such as overcoats and rain jackets. Printing logos and designs on rain jackets offer a significant advantage as it preserves the garment's integrity. Unlike embroidery, which can poke holes in the fabric and compromise its waterproof properties, screen printing ensures that the rain jacket remains fully functional, keeping the wearer dry during inclement weather.

3. Old is New in T-Shirt Design  

For a significant period, the Sports Car and IndyCar communities witnessed a shift away from loud and gaudy big prints filled with numerous colors, car graphics, and background visuals (think flames and checkered flags) ). Instead, there was a preference for cleaner, more refined designs featuring smaller prints. However, recently, a few drivers have embraced the return to that bold and eye-catching style.

Notably, Formula 1 driver Daniel Ricciardo launched a line of personal apparel reminiscent of the mid-90s NASCAR fashion, drawing inspiration from his admiration for Dale Earnhardt. By exploring and adopting styles from different eras, brands have the opportunity to differentiate themselves and connect with diverse fan bases. Leveraging past design elements and collaborating with apparel vendors can result in innovative creations that feel fresh and unique to the brand. 

Racing apparel brands can partner with designers, artists, and influencers to create unique collaborations and limited-edition collections. These exclusive releases generate excitement among fans and collectors alike. 

4. Athleisure Influence

The athleisure trend has impacted the racing apparel industry as well. More casual and comfortable styles with racing aesthetics are becoming popular beyond the racetracks, catering to fans who want to incorporate their passion into everyday wear. As the athleisure trend continues to gain momentum, racing apparel brands are embracing the fusion of fashion and functionality, creating versatile pieces that seamlessly transition from the racetrack to everyday life. 

The demand for athleisure-inspired racing apparel has grown significantly, with fans seeking comfortable yet stylish options that showcase their love for motorsports. This trend expands the reach of racing culture and allows enthusiasts to proudly display their passion for racing in various settings.

5. Sustainable and Eco-friendly Materials

By embracing sustainable materials and eco-friendly production methods, racing apparel brands are taking a proactive stance towards protecting the planet and contributing to a greener future for the industry. Organic cotton ensures the apparel is free from harmful pesticides and promotes ethical farming practices. At the same time, recycled polyester reduces the reliance on virgin materials and helps divert plastic waste from landfills.

Moreover, using eco-friendly dyes minimizes water pollution and energy consumption during the dyeing process. As more consumers prioritize eco-conscious choices, these sustainable initiatives attract a new wave of environmentally aware fans and set a positive example for other industries.

Your Brand is More than a Logo on a Shirt

Our Styled Aesthetic System has been meticulously tailored to cater to the racing industry, ensuring your team's apparel stands out in the competitive motorsport world. By combining cutting-edge design principles with a deep understanding of racing culture, our system promises to elevate your brand's image and leave a lasting impact on your fans and sponsors. Discover how this innovative approach can give your business a winning edge in the dynamic world of racing apparel. See our system today!


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