Posts Tagged: money

Clothing Consumer Expectation vs. Market Reality

This post has been brewing in the deep, dark recesses of my brain for ages. I’d like to say all that brewing means it’s now fully fermented, but that is yet to be seen. Nevertheless, I wanted to open a discussion about consumer expectations and market reality because I hear many of the same complaints and questions from readers, clients, friends, and family. And I’m betting many of you do, too, and have opinions and insights to share! Here are the main concerns I hear voiced:

  • It frustrates me that many of the stores I love don’t make or stock my sizes.
  • The stuff is gorgeous, but it’s just too expensive.
  • So many clothing companies use shady labor and production practices.
  • I want to support my local economy, but it can be so hard to find items that are made in my home country, state, or city.
  • I love how cheap this is, but it falls apart after a few wears.

All valid complaints aligned with certain needs, wants, values, and expectations. And yet the current fashion marketplace cannot deliver on all of them. Not with current economic conditions, not for all of us, not all the time, and especially not if you want more than one of those concerns to be addressed simultaneously. I’ve put together the Venn Diagram that floats through my mind when I hear folks registering these concerns in multiples. I’m using my own knowledge and research to back this up, but will also set you up with some links to helpful resources at the end of this post. Now let’s dig in. read more

Originally posted 2013-11-01 06:14:23.

Reader Request: When to Make Shopping Compromises

When to make (and when to avoid) shopping compromises. (Think hemming, tailoring, and alterations.)

Reader Monica e-mailed me this question:

You’ve mentioned before that you’re lucky enough to generally be able to wear most clothes off the rack in a standard size. I have my share of fit challenges, being that I’m tall with long arms and legs. My shoulders are proportionally wide compared to my torso, I’m short waisted… you get the idea. Off the rack, very very few clothes fit me just perfectly. Because of this, I’m constantly trying to determine what constitutes “good enough.” Are these pants long enough? Do I love this jacket enough to cope with the sleeves being slightly too short? Is this shirt nice enough that it’s worth altering? Is it better to buy this tee shirt in a smaller size that’s not quite wide enough for my shoulders, or the bigger size that’s too baggy on my torso? I’d be very interested on your take about these questions if you have any thoughts. I am still working on developing my judgement about these issues, and it seems to be a frequent source of confusion for me. read more

Originally posted 2013-10-30 06:41:51.

Reader Request: Prioritizing Wardrobe Wants

Tips for prioritizing the items on your wardrobe wish list

My fantastic client S. e-mailed me this question:

I can see though that this will be a lifelong process and I will never “done.” There are many, many areas where I can continue to learn and evolve. This leads in part to one of my questions, how do you decide how much to buy? I know this is intensely personal and based on many values, but I would be curious how you and other readers make this choice. I filled some obvious holes to make items wearable that I couldn’t even use. I also wanted to have some dresses and other fun pieces and I bought those, but I wouldn’t say I have any real needs now. Yet, I can see areas where I could fill in with items that are more on trend or would look better to my eye and to be a stylish dresser I think that one needs to continue to shop. Angie at You Look Fab had a piece a few months ago from a reader on setting a budget, which I really enjoyed, but for me this is about more than a budget. How do I weigh among wants, which pieces to buy? How much is enough? How many times does a piece have to be worn to have made it a good investment? read more

Originally posted 2013-08-12 06:46:49.