Saturday, September 1, 2007

Fashion Apparel for Women

Apparel shopping has never been better. There are so many choices, with so many different styles, designer labels, and off-the-rack outfits. The most important factors that women consider when buying fashion are still style and color. Comfort, fit and brand reputations are also significant factors that are considered in purchases. Women look for fashion apparel that they can wear both to work and to socialize. Tailored outfits like pantsuits and the classic white blouse are ideal for office wear, while off-the-rack outfits and jeans remain popular for casual wear.

When shopping for fashion, it�s important to know how to pick the right clothes for you. It would be unwise to merely copy what is claimed to be 'fashionable' or 'stylish'. A wardrobe that is fashionable but still fits your lifestyle, your age, and your figure will be the best. Try to get a good mix of trendy and basic apparel, so that you won�t have to update your wardrobe every time a new fashion season comes along.

One of the hottest niches in the fashion industry is designing and marketing fashion apparel for teens. Teenagers spend billions of dollars each year on clothes and accessories. Anyone will agree that teenagers are habitu�s of shopping malls, frequenting discount apparel shops and picking up trendy clothes that are a rage of the season. Colorful tank tops, sports shirts, short skirts and navel-baring jeans are a must-have on any teenagers' wish list. Teenagers look for trendy apparel that is available at reasonable prices, so they tend to gravitate towards mass merchandisers who offer value with style. As a result, stores like Wal-Mart and Target get more teenage sales than outlets like the Gap.

Denim continues to be popular in the teen apparel market. Jeans, jackets and skirts in denim are all time favorites. Jeans can range from the slim low-waisted ones to bootleg cuts. As with all other fashion apparel, different styles are suitable for different wearers. For example, teens who want to appear more svelte-looking usually prefer low-rise jeans, while relaxed fit jeans help in creating a sleek look for women with full hips and legs. The slim and snug jeans with either a tapered or boot-cut leg suit women who are thin and petite.

And denim doesn�t come in just blue and black anymore. Jeans are now made with colors ranging from the usual blue and black to light brown, red, and ochre. You can even find jeans with military-type designs and colors, like khaki and olive green. One of the factors that make jeans popular is the fact that they can be worn with almost anything. Jeans can be coordinated with jackets, shirts, peasant tops, blouses, or almost anything else you may find in your closet. You can embellish your favorite jeans with beads and crystals to give them a dressy look, as well

Women's Apparel Sellers Become Ragged

SAN FRANCISCO -- If the financial results of apparel retailers like Chico's (CHS - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr), Talbots (TLB - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr) and AnnTaylor (ANN - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr) are an indication of their customers' shopping habits, you'd think all women over age 35 are sitting at home dressed in their pajamas.
How else to explain why so many women have stopped flocking to these stores the way they used to?

Chico's, once a Wall Street darling for its fast growth and soaring demand, has been grappling for the past year with a sudden sales slowdown and merchandise missteps. Late Wednesday, it posted a 28% decline in second-quarter earnings and missed analysts' targets, and shares were tumbling 10% in recent trading.

Coldwater Creek (CWTR - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr - Rating), another retailer catering to older women, was plunging 22% after its own earnings miss. Likewise, Talbots and AnnTaylor each reported weaker second-quarter results last week after the retailers required heavy markdowns to move merchandise.

Amid the weak results for the sector, retailers like Gap (GPS - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr - Rating) and Gymboree (GYMB - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr - Rating) have abandoned their efforts to go after women 35 and up.

So what gives? These women aren't refusing to shop and instead resorting to their old fuzzy slippers. Rather, analysts say the shoppers are spurning specialty stores, where merchandise has been off the mark, and heading to department stores like J.C. Penney (JCP - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr - Rating) and Kohl's (KSS - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr - Rating).

"There's no doubt that the department store business has gotten sharper in focusing on this customer," says Howard Davidowitz, chairman of Davidowitz & Associates, a retail consulting and investment banking firm. "They have raised the bar in their performance. I think they realized this is their meat and potatoes."