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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Fashion Fit Formula

As an independent fashion blogger, I'm fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of dozens of emails each day from various people in the fashion industry. Admittedly, it's difficult to respond to everyone and provide them with the exposure that they're looking for. But this particular pitch caught my attention, as I think the information is particularly relevant and informative, given the sagging economy and resulting changes in consumer behavior. Per the email:

"As the economy slows, many savvy shoppers are cutting corners at their favorite department stores in favor of sales racks. In such financially lean times, it is no wonder everyone loves to brag about that “great deal” they got the other day while shopping.

According to Janet Wood, style expert and founder of Fashion Fit Formula, “a sale is a retail store’s way of flirting with you. They are saying to you, ‘come into the store and see the bargains!’ It is a very temping thing to do, especially when you are trying to supplement your wardrobe.”

Is It Really a Sale?
Many times the higher end stores bring in sale clothing that is not up to the quality of their non-sale items. According to Janet, “they are loss-leaders. Clothing sold at almost no profit to attract buyers into the location where they will then see the high profit clothing.”

This is how it works: the sale garment isn’t as nice as their other merchandise but its cost while lower, isn’t that much lower. Just a few steps away is a rack with obviously better quality clothing and while the price is higher, it’s not that much higher. The buyer rationalizes for just $30 to $40 more, I can get this outfit and it looks so much more expensive. That’s true, but you have just blown your clothing budget.

Are they still a bargain? Sometimes yes, but most often they are not.
Check the quality of the fabric. Is the weave tight or loose?
Look at the zipper; are there any puckers in the seams holding it in place? Does the bottom of the zipper area buckle?
Also make sure to check any stress seams (areas where the clothing will have additional wear). They are usually sleeves and front and back seams on pants, shorts or capris.

Where Can I Find a “True Bargain”?
According to Janet, true bargains can be found as the seasons change and unsold items are reduced in cost. Evaluate the items you may choose to purchase carefully.

Is it a basic staple of your wardrobe?
Do you have the necessary accessories to make this new blend of colors work?
Is this color or style going to be “out” in a year?

Janet says, “unless your lifestyle revolves around dressing in evening clothing and going out frequently, only purchase dressy clothes when necessary. It’s important to think about cost per wearing. If you blow your budget on a “must have outfit” that you only wear once – it was very expensive indeed.” A far better choice would be to invest that money in an article of clothing that you will wear twenty times a season. Evening separates have made it possible to significantly reduce the cost of this look by adding a new top and wearing with evening pants or long skirt.

To battle the long-known dilemma of “it doesn’t fit quite right, but it’s on sale!” Janet invented the Fashion Fit Formula, which is a mathematical system based on 12 vertical measurements of a woman’s body. Once your personal measurements have been entered into the Fashion Fit Formula, you get a specific plan detailing how to tailor your existing wardrobe to be the most flattering on your unique body. Janet says that the Fashion Fit Formula helps women avoid “closet guilt” and can turn those sale items you never wear into your next great outfit."