Posted on NABBW.com, April 1, 2016. See it here: http://nabbw.com
5 Key Reasons Why Fashion Designers Should Be Excited to
Design for Women over 50
Written by Karen Mathis on March 31, 2016
Just because women hit 50+ years, doesn’t mean they (we) should no longer be targeted as fashion consumers. Why? There are millions of women 50+ in need of great clothing for their active and busy lives. The clothing businesses can always use more profits.
#1 There’s A Very Large Number of Us
According to the U.S. Census, there are 77 Million Baby-Boomers. Women make up approximately 50%, (inc.com). Forbes magazine and others write about it, “Women represent the largest market opportunity in the world,” (Forbes.com).
Globally, Women control $20 trillion (soon to be $30 trillion) in annual consumer spending, (Neilsen.com)]
#2 We have active, busy lives and need fashion options
Women over 50 are healthy, wealthy, and more active than any generation in history. We now use technology to stay connected. Many of us are active running businesses from different locations. Many of us are recreating ourselves, even going back to school. We need the right wardrobe pieces in quality fabrics at the right prices.
With successful careers, investments made during the “boom” years, and Inheritances from parents or husbands, they are more financially empowered than any previous generation of women, - (Mary Brown & Carol Orsborn, Ph. D.)]
#3 We Can Afford It: If it fits
We need designs with a flattering fit, in easy care packable fabrics, and classic appeal… we‘re sold! Our current issue for fashion for women 50+ is not always whether we can afford the prices, but the fit does not work for most of us.
I was helping a client shop for a mother-of-the-bride dress a couple years ago. We searched multiple departments including special occasion. and there were no dresses long enough. How could this be?!!
Many designers start with size 2 pattern models, and they digitally adjust up in size.
#4 We Are Buying for the Family
“Boomer women are educated, have a high income, and make 95% of the purchase decisions for their households,” (Karen Vogel, The Women’s Congress).] It is not unusual for us to buy for everyone else in the family. We shop for our husbands, our children, and grandchildren. Often we settle for clothes we already have. Who hasn’t bought the same shirt in 7 colors?
#5 We Love to Shop Online
Women are more active online than men, 116 million U.S. women active on the Web, (Nielsen). Who else could make QVC an absolute empire.
WE HAVE EARNED DIGITAL DIVA STATUS “22% shop online at least once a day 92% pass along information about deals or finds to others 171: average number of contacts in their e-mail or mobile lists 76% want to be part of a special or select panel 58% would toss a TV if they had to get rid of one digital device (only 11% would ditch their laptops) 51% are moms” – (Mindshare/Ogilvy & Mather).]
It amazes me to see some of the very brands we started, not tapping into the market that created them.
We are great customers to have on your team. We are loyal, and willing to spread the word about products we love. We need clothing that fits our body type. We are calling on you to remember who brought you to this fashion party. Baby-Boomers, it is time for us to ask for the fashion we need.
Brown, Mary & Orsborn, Carol, Ph. D., Power Consumer -- The Baby-Boomer Woman. AMACOM books. New York.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/85broads/2013/08/26/the-power-of-just-one-woman/ Boston Consulting Group survey “What Women Want”
3 Reasons What We Wear Matters
Written by Karen Mathis
“Fashion is our greatest tool for personal expression.”
Whether we want to or not, how we dress communicates rank, occupation, and group affiliation. We convey this information often by wearing uniforms, office dress codes, and the choices we make for social events. Fashion choices can quickly tell a person who we are, who we know, and whether or not we value ourselves. It’s powerful messaging.
#1 Fashion is powerful nonverbal communication
Our success begins with a fuller understanding of fashion. Fashion is the style of clothing and accessories we use to communicate a powerful nonverbal message. Also our closets and wardrobes are symptomatic of deeper, unconscious choices. It is important that we increase our personal awareness of this, and put a plan together to strengthen our effectiveness.
#2 Fashion is a social process of negotiation and navigation
Fashion helps us express identity. Marketing research explains how individuals, and groups are attracted to symbols that represent specific identities. There are many dynamics at work. There is a strong need to fit-in in most groups. Many easily recognizable symbols of these dynamics are military uniforms adorned with medals, Red Hat Society of women who meet for tea wearing red hats and purple dresses, designer logs, and tattoos. For women who want to stand out from the crowd, fashion offers an opportunity to express some degree of uniqueness. (Susan B Kaiser)
#3 Fashion offers a way to differentiate, and at the same time communicate belonging to the group.
One big change is how following a trend may not mean the same to us at 50+. We prefer personal style to a fashion trend. Style evolves during our development as individuals. Women 50+ have life experience. We know who we are and have established personalities. This puts us in better touch with our personal tastes.
Many may say “But I’m comfortable with what I have. Why change things?” According to research being well-dressed is empowering. We will be better received, believed, and respected by others.(Robert B. Cialdini)
Before you pick out your clothing for the day, ask yourself: What message are you sending about yourself?