Is the Shopping Mall headed for Extinction?

Hello Indianapolis Fashionistas,

Happy weekend. Who doesn’t relish weekends, especially in the summer. Anyway–enjoy them while you can. This week’s blog is a big of a diversion. Today, I am going to talk about retail, and the seemingly sad state it’s in. A New York Times article was the background for my post:

I was recently interviewed by The Indianapolis Star newspaper about my styling business, and the reporter, Jess Hice, interviewed my client as well. Foremost on her mind was whether the changes in retail was affecting my business and did my client prefer shopping online. My client, who is a larger size woman, said no. She does not shop online due to fit issues. And, who can blame her. There is no such thing as universal sizing…in one store you’re a size 10, in another store a size 6.

But, I would be living in a hole if I didn’t realize online shopping is here to stay. It’s going to continue to grow. Who doesn’t love the convenience of it?

Thoughts on the Downside of Online Shopping from your Indianapolis Personal Stylist

But as a stylist, I know, it doesn’t work for everyone. Many of the clients who contact me to help them do shop online. They find it easy, yes, but they become frustrated when clothes don’t fit and don’t like the hassle of returning them–even when the retailer makes it very easy to return clothes. You just tape the package, put on a mailing label and drop it off at the post office.

Another downside of online shopping is that you cannot see and touch the quality of the fabric. You can’t predict fit until you have the garment in hand. Something looks great on the website but might not work for you. This takes time and energy.

I am a huge advocate of making sure clothing fits properly. Trying on a garment, sitting down while wearing, and pairing some existing accessories with it better assures the piece will fit into your existing wardrobe. That saves time and develops skills in putting together outfits. Believe it or not, the most common problem people have with their wardrobes is not having enough clothes, it’s putting together outfits from the clothes they already have in their closet.

I am often asked to help with this process! Such as how do you take jeans and make an outfit that is perfect for dress down Friday? This can be confusing to anyone, even those who are somewhat astute in knowing what looks good on them.

It’s hard to know what the future will hold for retail shopping. Will we still have sprawling, suburban malls that we have now? Or will mom and pop shops rule, which would not be a bad thing, and we will get our basics from Amazon, along with our groceries (lol). I cannot predict.

I wonder if people will seek out more specially make clothing such as a suit from a tailor. I don’t know. But what I think will happen is something in the middle. We will still have storefront retailers, but they may not be the big, generic Macy’s or Gap. We will probably buy those staples online. What I do think will survive is smaller, personalized stores, and how can that be a bad thing?

Keep it sassy, Indy.

B. Divine, Indianapolis Personal Sylist