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Apparel Is Trending Down For 2011

07/06/2011

Americans are not into buying clothes anymore.

The results of a Harris poll, from May through June 2011, show that the number one reason (36 percent) Americans shop for clothes is necessity. Number two – it’s on SALE (20 percent)! Considering the price of gas, uncertainty about the economy, job security – this is understandable. Seemingly no one shops for clothes unless they have to or know they’re getting a discount.

But does it mean that style, fashion and the pleasure of looking your best has to go out the window as well? Apparently not. Getting more mileage out of a core group of clothes is easier if you follow some basic principles.

I asked Andrea Sapon of Color and Product Solutions what can people do to get the most out of their wardrobe.

“First thing I’d do is change the mentality of the ‘throwaway wardrobe'”, said Sapon. “And here’s how you do it.”

  1. Put money in basics, the core pieces of your wardrobe – whether you wear casual, tailored, or business separates, buy the best you can afford
  2. Accessories are an instant fashion update – especially for women. Obviously handbags, belts and jewelry for her. New shoes and watches go a long way for him
  1. Putting it all together…this is almost the easiest part… Choose a color story. Use 2-3 core colors to pull your look together. Take your basics and dress them up and down. Take care – read the label. Your clothes will last longer, looking better if cared for according to instructions
Ms. Sapon’s advice is pretty straightforward but it makes perfect sense.
As I’ve stated previously much of the current retail predicament is self-imposed by designers and merchants. Precious few are giving consumers any real reason (other than sales and markdowns) to buy. Innovation has been lost to “play it safe” planning. Crappy merchandising begets the crappy response. Retailers need to bring their “A” game to market before the final bell has been rung.
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