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Why Are Women Clothing Sales "Disappointing?"

By Guest blogger, Mary Schmidt, Marketing Troubleshooter

NYT Headline: Retailers Face An Ominous Holiday Sign

Sales of women’s clothing, a traditional pillar of the holiday shopping season, are unusually weak so far this year, according to a major credit card company, an ominous sign for the retail industry.

From high-end dresses to bargain coats, spending on women’s apparel dropped nearly 6 percent during the first half of the Christmas season, compared with the same period last year, according to MasterCard Advisors, a division of the credit card company.

Analysts blamed a rough economy, which has discouraged women — and mothers, in particular — from splurging on clothing for themselves and a lack of compelling fashions this winter.

My Take: It had to happen eventually - for three reasons (economy, schnomey)

1. The same ol' same ol'.  You see the same things in every store, with little variation. You can get the "Chico look" in J. Jill, Coldwater Creek and  Ann Taylor - and that's just in one strip in the Albuquerque Uptown "upscale" shopping center a mile from my house.

2.  Real women want real clothes.  Us aging baby boomers simply do not look good in the low-rider, skin-tight, belly-baring, fluffy puffy stuff that fills so many stores.  When I do see someone of my generation wearing such things, I shudder. Trying way, way too hard and failing.  We have hips, thighs, wrinkles (and I'm happy with all of it, thank you) - so a lot of the "new" stuff only works on very young, very thin girls who would look cute in anything.

And, my days of sacrificing comfort for looks are long gone.  (You can look good and be comfortable, but it's a chore to find the right clothes.)  No, I don't want to look like my grandmother...but I don't look good in mini granny dresses either.   

3. The China Syndrome. Perhaps we're starting to check labels.  I know I am.  If it says "made in China" I move on.   I'd rather spend the same dollars in a fair trade clothing store...and get something really interesting and unique.  (Here in Albuquerque, I shop at Celebro Natural Living).   For what I would spend on a boring, badly-made jacket that looks like everything else - I can get something that's quality, fun and age appropriate! And I know it didn't come from a sweatshop. 

What do you think, fellow femmes? 

Comments

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wholesale womens clothing

This post really interesting. it seems you tackle a wide variety of topics about clothing for womens. I definitely agree of what you say on your post. it gives me a lot of sense!

-altheya-

Yvonne DiVita

Ah, the pursuit of the perfect outfit. I never had the problem... as I was once one of those "thin" gals who could wear off-the-rack clothes, which I gave little thought to. Now, I run a business, I'm not 22 anymore, and I've put on a few pounds. I want clothes that are attractive AND comfortable.

Style is the last thing on my mind because... as you note... it doesn't exist for baby boomers. We are NOT our mothers or grandmothers... and we are NOT our daughters and granddaughters.

We are individuals, business professionals, women of note, we care about how we look, but you and I (and hundreds of others) refuse to "look" the way someone else thinks we should look.

Which is why I'm glad I work primarily from home... I can wear jeans and sweatshirts. Tres' comfy!

Lena L. West

I agree 100%.

All the stores today seem to have forgotten about a little thing called PERSONAL STYLE.

No one has it anymore. I think all the buyers for these stores left their personal style at the import/export docks in foreign lands.

I used to be a turtleneck, slacks and high-heeled boots gal (or sling backs and a v-neck in the summer).

Now, as I'm doing more speaking and my business is on a bigger playing field, I've fallen in love with the 'cardigan as jacket'.

I make it my business to find interesting cardigans than have shape and definition that I can wear in place of the staid suit jacket.

I always get great compliments and because I'm comfortable, I give a better presentation.

All that to say, to hell with what they're saying about the economy. I don't want to see myself walking down the street and I want to know that my clothing comes from people who care about the Earth and their communities - and to do that, means just saying no to Ann Taylor.

-Lena

Mary

I'm holding out until they provide 100%organic, cotton, wool... something that will wear beyond one season, and that I can wear into a business meeting instead of a gym.

Jennifer

Thanks for posting this! I hope retailers see this. I agree fully. This is why I am anti-mall most of the time. It's so hard to find good fits, styles and fabrics if you're not stick thin. In a country that prides individualism, it's quite ironic that everyone strives to dress the same! The other irony is that though it's made in China, India or other countries, those same items are never found on shelves of those countries, though people there can afford it and will buy it. The dollar exchange rate forces them to think they are worth only the inferior rejected pieces or imposter labels.

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