Posted by: nichemarketplace | May 4, 2008

Expert Tips for stretching your retail therapy dollar!


You work hard and you deserve to pamper yourself with a few affordable indulgences. At the same time, you want to be a wise steward of your finances and get the most “bang” for your retail therapy dollar. You want to be stylish and cultivate a fashion forward image, but you can’t afford to replace your wardrobe every season. Given the notoriously fickle nature of fashion, how do you choose what trends to invest in?

In an article entitled Hot or Not? When Fashion Trends Die, Cynthia Nellis the Women’s Fashion expert for offers some valuable tips.

How long a trend will remain viable depends on where in the fashion cycle you bought the trend. Cynthia describes the fashion cycle as a three-step process.

First, there’s the emergence phase where the trend is highly sought after (what the American Marketing Association refers to this as the “distinctiveness” part of the cycle). In the next phase, everyone wants a piece of the trend and it becomes widely disseminated in magazines, newspapers, television, and the Internet (what the AMA calls the emulation phase). Finally, the trend becomes saturated in the marketplace, usually at very low prices.

Most consumers will buy the trend somewhere between phases two and three (typically, only the elite are able to access a fashion trend in the first phase — fresh off the runway before it appears in stores). As a fashion trend moves through the cycle, it becomes increasing available and therefore increasing affordable (which is good news for those of us on a budget). At the same time, as the market becomes more and more saturated, the less cachet the trend carries and the less appealing it becomes. So the clock is probably already ticking on that totally trendy hand bag that you purchased on “super sale” at the discount store.

In Cynthia’s view, most fashion trends stick around for at least a year. In most cases, she adds, the more difficult a look is to pull off, the more quickly it will fade. In addition, the higher the profile of the fashion trend — or the more radical the cut, color, or print — the more likely that the trend will look dated by the same time next year. Sometimes however, consumer demand can transform a trend into a wardrobe staple. Cynthia identifies capris, crop tops, tank tops and flip flops as trends that have withstood the test of time.

Cynthia advises that the best defense against quickly changing trends is to have a wardrobe stocked with mostly classic looks: jeans, T-shirts, blazers, and of course, little black dresses. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have any fun and funky looks in your closet, but they may not remain in style for multiple seasons. Use the trendy items to spice up your core wardrobe.

Some say fashion trends tend to cycle about every 20 years. So if you hold onto a trend long enough, it may eventually come back into style. Or better yet, you’ll be able to make big bucks selling it as a collectible on eBay.

To read the complete text of Cynthia Nellis’ article Hot or Not? When Fashion Trends Die, click the link below:


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