Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Fri, May 25 2007

Will retail clothing stores learn their lesson?

I had to smile at the San Francisco Chronicle's report on Gap Inc.'s recent profit slide, particularly after them chasing the young demographic group and then throwing a bone to older women. Here's a clue for the store execs. I'm well over 35 and I never heard of their Forth and Towne brand until just this moment. If the only place they promoted the brand was in their stores it may explain why they had no takers. Most of us in the over-35 age group haven't gone inside a Gap Inc. store in at least a decade, unless we were gift shopping for a teen relative.

I remember when Banana Republic first began opening its stores. The store was full of jeeps in the windows, odd runs of black trench coats and merchandise we had never seen in a mall. Within a few years the offerings had blurred into the now-familiar washed-out blues and regurgitated mangoes that sit in every clothing store you pass in America's malls.

I chatted with an elderly lady in Sears about a week ago. We both complained of the fact that most clothing is cut either for trim 18-year old bodies. The few offerings one can find that don't make older women look like they're trying to look too young end up cut like a potato sack and have no shape. They're designed to hide, rather than enhance, the changing curves of a mature woman's body.

I've watched Stacy London and Clinton Kelly work with plenty of younger women on TLC's What Not to Wear. Let's see them outfit the 68-year old great grandma who fashion designers, clothing manufacturers and mall stores have thrown away in favor of dressing teens and 20-somethings.

I'm turning more and more to the internet in search of more inventive designers. And I give a hearty hurrah to the young women who have abandoned the likes of Gap, Inc. in favor of making their own clothing creations or simply refashioning ho-hum store-bought items and even vintage pieces.

posted at: 08:07 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry

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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
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