Finally, a Hot Trend: T-Shirts, Cargoes Lead The Stars of Summer

The T-shirt and cargo pants are the runaway bestsellers this summer. Here’s what else is hot at stores around the country.

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Kal Ruttenstein, senior vice president of fashion direction, Bloomingdale’s: “The best-selling item is cargo and/or utility pants, from the Y.E.S. department up to designer.”

Stacy Pecor, owner, Olive & Bette’s, three units in Manhattan: “T-shirts. For July, our number-one vendor has been Jake’s Dry Goods, which are printed T-shirts at $28. The bestseller was of New York City. We’ve got one with Maine and a lobster on it. [The company] did custom colors for us. So far, we’ve sold $18,000 worth in July, and $128,000 for spring-summer. In Michael Stars T-shirts, we’ve sold $238,000 worth for the season. They did custom printing and colors for us. T-shirts and shoes are definitely driving our business right now.”

Jaqui Lividini, senior vice president of fashion merchandising, Saks Fifth Avenue: “The bustier, in all different areas: intimate, contemporary and designer. The only place where we didn’t sell them was men’s. Women are wearing them as foundation underpinnings, and under a suit, and just straight out as a bustier. It was one of our short-list items in our catalog.” She said Saks carried an exclusive bustier from Lejaby for $150 that sold out in the first delivery, and had an 80 percent sell-through in the second delivery. Saks also featured the bustier in their windows. Other bestsellers were the Dolce & Gabbana black georgette bustier for $740, and a Ralph Lauren antique cream light-blue floral beaded cotton corset for $1,995.

Izzy Ezrailson, president, Up Against the Wall, 19 units, Washington: “We’ve had to reorder a sepia-toned Bob Marley T-shirt. It’s our most inexpensive item at less than $30. It’s by far the best item. We sold 99 one week and 167 the week before. In all, we’ve gone through about 1,800 of this T-shirt alone.”

Julie Routenberg, owner, Potpourri, Atlanta: Cropped pants, with T-shirts by Glamour Toujours, especially with asymmetric sleeves and necklines, unusual prints and feminine lace trim, retailing around $70.
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