Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

“Fashion Foreclosure” and the case for the Maxi dress

August 29, 2008

maxi11.jpgHow to stop shoppers from “fashion foreclosure?” Give them what they need, make it fun, and provide them with an element of escape, argues The Doneger Group’s David Wolfe.

Wolfe‘s presentation on current fashion trends in womens’ wear attracted a large crowd of buyers earlier this week at the Magic Marketplace apparel trade show in Las Vegas, the largest such show in the United States.

To counteract what Wolfe called “a seismic shift in spending patterns” by the American consumer in light of the weak economy, Wolfe pointed to new twists on classics and a return to more tailored dressing.

“Classics are very new to women who have been dressing like Britney Spears,” said Wolfe, who added that texture, whether lace or tweeds, was now replacing over-the-top embellishments, and the color grey was proving a big hit.

Back in the cavernous convention hall where the three-day show takes place, few buyers sported tailored looks — in the August heat of Las Vegas, many attendees show up in casual looks that go from trade show to poolside.

Perhaps the most prevalent trend on display among attendees was the “Maxi” dress, a long sundress that provides a willowy Boho look to taller women, but ends up making shorter women look dumpy, in this reporter’s humble opinion.

According to, a web site that purports to be a resource for awakening one’s inner diva: “Maxi dresses penetrate ever so deeply into the past and romantic theme, having dreamy and flowing full lengths that brush the floor similar to how many odd years ago when women would impart sexuality and grace through the way her dress would sway.”

(Photo: Reuters)

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