5 Clothing Trends for University Retail Stores in 2024

In our latest post, we’ll explore the top 5 clothing trends for university retail stores in 2024. In the dynamic world of campus retail, staying ahead of the curve is essential for attracting students and driving sales.

From upcoming sustainable clothing brands to viral Sherpa hoodies, this post explores five key trends emerging and growing this year. Understanding the newest developments in branded merchandise will help you stay competitive. Allowing you to meet the evolving needs of your student demographic. Let’s dive in and learn more about the biggest and most popular trends in University Retail for the year ahead.

1. Sustainable Style

Your shoppers are becoming more aware of the eco credentials of the clothing they purchase. Consumers are going out of their way to avoid fast fashion. They’re making better choices and making a bigger investment in their clothes.

Through the selection of clothing your retail store offers, you can empower your customers to make choices that align with their values. You can make sure that every purchase they make leaves a positive impact on the world around them.

Native Spirit clothing is driven by a commitment to safeguarding our planet’s precious resources. This brand of eco-conscious fashion specialises in creating premium essentials using eco-friendly, organic, recycled, and sustainable materials, including organic cotton, recycled polyester, recycled cotton, linen, lyocell, and modal.

Their dedication to eco-friendliness extends to the fabric choices, ensuring they leave a minimal environmental footprint. Our sustainable clothing collection showcases distinctive and understated garments. From T-shirts and sweatshirts to jackets, shorts, and trousers, each piece is offered in a diverse palette inspired by the raw, striking, and untouched beauty of our planet’s landscapes.

2. Pastel Colours

Universities are branching out. They’re embracing a fresh palette of pastel hues and making a move from more traditional colour schemes like racing green, navy and burgundy tones to softer more muted colours.

This new colour palette reflects a shift in university branding, catering not only to current students but also to prospective ones and the wider community. Pastel colours can bring a sense of tranquillity and modernity, creating a spirited campus environment that resonates with every demographic. The incorporation of pastel colour palettes including beige, sage green, dusty pink and lilac in new season clothing collections is bringing a new softer aesthetic to campuses and they are flying off the shelves.

We’ve seen a move towards students choosing colours that they feel reflect themselves, a move towards more individuality and choice. This includes natural, neutral tones, a choice that works well with the eco-conscious Stanley Stela or Native Spirit ranges mentioned above.

3. Athleisure

This has emerged as the dominant trend in university retail over the past few years. Athleisure has revolutionised the traditional distinction between activewear and casualwear. This trend represents a newfound love for a fusion of comfort, style, and practicality. It’s a go-to choice for students across university campuses.

The athleisure influence is reshaping the landscape of university retail. Institutions have had to rethink and diversify their merchandise to cater to the evolving preferences of their student body.

Versatile, affordable, and comfortable. The athleisure trend was an offshoot of the pandemic and numerous lockdowns where comfort became the first consideration in the clothes we bought. Athleisure is taking the university retail world by storm. From ringspun hoodies to matching jogger sets, these garments are flying off retail shelves.

4. Retro Fashion

Varsity-inspired fashion is just one arm of the retro fashion trend, but one that’s proving popular with our university retail clients. The origin of varsity-inspired fashion can be traced back to Ivy League institutions such as Harvard University. You may remember the iconic “H” logo sweaters were famously worn by the college’s baseball team, for example. While this trend may have faded in the 80s, it’s back with a vengeance in 2023/2024.

Denim jackets, vintage-style t-shirts, bell-bottom leggings and varsity jackets are just a few retro clothing options popular on campus. These retro garments bring a sense of tradition and sophistication, resonating with wearers and instilling a sense of pride, particularly among students.

5. Oversized Bags and Totes

A trend we’re seeing more of in university retail spaces is the preference for oversized bags and totes among students. Not only are they useful for lugging around books, laptops, tablets etc. but they’re fashionable too. With brands like Balenciaga displaying huge bags in recent runway shows, it’s now making its way to retail stores too.

University Retail Stores are capitalising on this trend, offering a diverse range of designs, from minimalist canvas totes to eye-catching statement pieces with university logos or vibrant patterns.

This shift towards oversized bags reflects a merge of functionality and fashion, catering to the busy lifestyles of modern students.

The fashion scene on campus is always changing to match what students want. From eco-friendly fashion to those huge, trendy bags everyone’s carrying, we’re helping university retailers keep up with what students love.

As universities remain hotspots for creativity and self-expression, we’ll likely see even more cool trends cropping up in 2024, and Streamline will be the first in line. Contact our university retail experts to talk about our trendiest new products.