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Promotional Products of the 90s

Published 27 August 10 12:55 PM
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Travel back in time with promotional mini backpacks, Champion sweatshirts and wholesale polo shirts.

I went through my angsty teen years in the 1990s. It was an era owned by Gap fashion, mainstream computing and grunge music. I donned flannels I found in the attic that used to belong to my grandfather and Gap corduroy pants from the 1970s that had been my dad's. Growing up in the middle of nowhere, we still had some 1980s influence, so I spent the majority of the early 1990s in too-big T-shirts, neon colors and tight-rolled jeans.

This post follows along with last week's post featuring 1980s promotional products (and wow, that post is bright). I was going to kill the "decade series" before it began, but friends at work know that on Fridays, I'm often scrambling for posts and will write about anything they send me. In this case, a coworker, Vicki, assembled the following list of promotional prodcuts of the 90s and also sent me a lovely Wikipedia entry on 1990s fashion. The fruits of her labor follow - with my own observations thrown in. While the 80s post was bright, this one is decidedly more muted and all the products I pictured turned out ot be blue.

I recall coveting a mini backpack like whoa back around 1995. I never did find one that I truly liked and that wasn't exactly like one of my friends had (it's a no-no to buy the same one, obviously). We have wholesale mini backpacks at ADVANCE Custom Promotions, and they have a new century twist: these mini backpacks are eco-friendly, made from non-woven, environmentally-friendly materials. These backpacks are a steal, too, at just $1.65 each for an order of 100 or more, and even less when you order bigger quantities. Choose from six colors. Recipients will feel just like the main character in the TV show Blossom. Just add a silly hat.

Next up, my coworker selected these Champion sweatshirts. At first, I didn't get it, but then I remembered my own rather large collection of Champion gear back in the 1990s. I had Champion coats, Champion sneakers and Champion sweatshirts. These sweatshirts feature the "C" on the sleeve and Champion brand apparel is still long lasting and durable, just like it was when I was growing up. Make these yours by adding an imprinted logo, and pick your favorite color out of the 15 choices.

Finally, Vicki picked out custom wholesale polo shirts, inspired by the tech culture gaining steam throughout the decade. This follows right along with a book I just polished off, Microserfs, which revolves around characters who toiled away at coding jobs in Redmond, WA, and the Silicon Valley while wearing polo shirts and khakis because they were easy and comfortable. The women's version of these custom wholesale polo shirts is pictured, but we also have them in men's sizes and youth sizes. They're priced as low as $12.19 each and you can order in quantities of a dozen or more.

Yes, the 1990s style was very toned down in comparison to the loud 1980s. I for one am grateful for that. I have enough embarrassing pictures (I'm looking at you, Lynn with a mullet photo) from the 1980s; I didn't need any from the 1990s.

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About Lynn Jusinski

After an internship at a home magazine where she wrote about media rooms and $500,000 pool renovations from the comfort of a teeny, cluttered dorm room, Lynn Jusinski graduated from a small college in Pennsylvania and then moved on to write for two weekly newspapers in suburban Philadelphia. A column she penned for the papers won an award from the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association. In 2007, Lynn moved back to the magazine world, and worked full-time as an associate editor for ADVANCE for Health Information Professionals. Her work on the magazine led to “Rookie of the Year” honors and a second place feature award in the annual Editorial Excellence Awards presented by Merion Publications Inc. In her free time, Lynn is typically stuck in traffic, shopping, reading, constructing poorly made crafts and hanging out in and around her hometown.
You can reach Lynn at

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    Occupation: Media, Marketing and Merchandising
    Setting: King of Prussia, PA
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