What women don't want

The slash-to-60% and more sales have hit the department stores, and one could compile a What Not to Wear guide based on what's piled on the racks. In this city, that would be

1. Blouses:
- Smock or empire tops, especially in fake Pucci-type prints. They looked tired by spring, and now are positively embalmed.
- Sleeveless blouses, especially white. I think that's because they look unfinis
hed, compared to those with at least 3/4 sleeves.
- Very sheer. Bridge designers tried them bowed, tunic'd, even pleated and it looks like every last one is on triple markdown. Women knew they'd have to wear a camisole under them, but when it's so sticky, do you want another layer?

2. Skirts and dresses:
- Wrap dresses: a case of hanger death, with poked up shoulders and saggy waist ties.

- Long, full skirts: after the ubiquitous peasant-skirt-summer two years ago, no one wants lower-calf length, tiered skirts but apparently buyers thought so.
- The colour gray: so hard to get right in a fabric. For me it has to be deep anthracite or the palest nacreous gray like the inside of an oyster shell. Sad grays abound even in a decent bridge line like Anne Klein; the only luminous ones I've seen are from Miyake and Vuitton.

3. Pants/
knee-length cigarette Bermuda apparently flattered 1% of the toothpick-proportioned women who might wear them.

4. Shoes:
- 4-inch platform wedges: you can find them sulking on the sale racks at every price point; this may be because we're a subway

Fall items are slipping in, requir
ing huge signs that say NEW ARRIVALS because there's so much unsold summer stock.

You read it here: an extravaganza of eggplant, maroon, purple. Not a colourway I'm thrilled to buy.


materfamilias said…
In Vancouver as well, I was struck by how very much seems to be still on the racks, on sale at considerable reduction. I picked up only a few things (a pair of flat gladiator sandals I hadn't wanted to bother with at full price, a black cotton simple summer dress) -- and yes, although I rather like a smock or Empire-waist, I've already got enough, so I won't be relieving the sale racks of those, and similarly there are only so many of the slim long shorts one needs. I wonder what this consumer slowdown is going to mean in the shops over the next year or so.
Duchesse said…
materfamilias: Expect to see less inventory and fewer duplicates in sizes. My godfather was a merchant of fine mens' wear, he said, "Never buy except on sale and remember there will always be another sale." I also expect to see quality drop even further at the low end.
Anjela's Day said…
One of the joys of my morning, to see a new posting Duchess....

The stores here in Connecticut are filled with rack after rack of endless mass=produced sameness of color and style Not sure how they manage to sell such jam-packed racks of merchandise.
Hundreds to chose from & 50% off. Then at 75% off and or/Clearance. If that doesn't work it will be heading for TJ Maxx or to a clothing scrap merchant.

I bought a perfect tunic top from Eileen Fisher, (sadly, not on sale) expensive until one wears it and wears it and it goes beautifully with so many things.. The racks and racks seem to fall apart. The quality lasts.
Anonymous said…
I find the sales rack contain two different kinds of items 1 - terrible junk that no-one wants and 2 - everything that i've bought at full price (please don't tell me these two things are the same, I don't want to know).
Duchesse said…
Cybill: Yes! And I saw my cheetah print skirt on sale in 3 different stores, which tells me every other women in this city of 3 million would not be caught dead in what I'm wearing.
Anjela: If one never ever goes to sales, and uses full price as a control, could one have that perfect small wardrobe?
Susan B said…
Alas, I've found that if I find something I truly love and wait for it to go on sale, my love will remain unrequited. (Except for the Nordstrom's pre-season sale, which always seems to empty my wallet.)

There is so much *junk* on the sales racks right now. Ugly, shoddy, will-look-dated-in-six-months junk.
Duchesse said…
Pseu: When I saw those stuffed racks I thought of an anecdote I read about an American industrialist who toured Europe in the summer of 1929. When he saw how much inventory was unsold in factories and stores, he returned home and sold all his stocks, avoiding the 1929 crash.

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