Fall apparel apparently a second-tier purchase item


A new study suggests that the gradually-improving economy is not improving quickly enough for consumers to start splurging on clothing purchases. Among those planning to upgrade or add to their wardrobe for the upcoming fall season, more than half are going to hold the line at $100 in total expenditure or less.
The percentage, according to a survey from CouponCabin, is 53%. Almost all respondents – 92% — plan on spending no more than they spent last year.

CouponCabin found that three dominant shopping strategies will be in play: Only buying items on sale (71%); using coupons (52%); and cutting back on the number of items they plan to buy (4%).

Harris Interactive conducted the poll for CouponCabin. The poll commissioner has a vested interest, since it offers coupons to consumers online.

“While the economy has improved, shoppers are still being careful about how they’re spending their money on non-necessity items,” said Jackie Warrick, Chief Savings Officer at CouponCabin.com. “What many people don’t realize is that you don’t have to sacrifice style just because you’re on a budget!”

Warwick had a number of tips for consumers to use to maximize what money they do intend to spend. We pass them along here to retailers who may wish to learn what consumers who choose to follow Warwick’s advice may be looking for, or for broadcasters who want to have suggestions to make to retailers.

* Clashing – Think bold patterns in bright colors. Don’t be afraid to rock stripes with polka dots – this season, anything goes.

* Bright colored pants – You don’t have to throw on boring black or denim anymore. Punch up your look with a pair in hot pink, electric blue or orange.

* Plaid – Britney Spears isn’t the only one who can pull off a plaid skirt. Try this versatile pattern in other ways – a fitted shirt, dress or coat can add preppy polish to your look.

* Make one fashion investment per season and fill in the rest of your wardrobe with bargain finds. Your investment doesn’t need to break the bank – retailers like Target and H&M regularly partner with fashion designers on affordable, on-trend collections.

* Shop the sales and outlets for basics to pair with your new fall items.

* Shop your closet! While you might not find this season’s trends, you may find a basic black blazer to wear with your new pink pants for a balanced look.

* Remember, less is more, so focus on one trend at a time.

RBR-TVBR observation: Clearly, value and pricing are the points to drive home in commercial messaging – and we suspect this will be the rule of thumb straight through the holiday shopping season.