As an Indianapolis Women’s Stylist, I am always in the mall shopping – sometimes I am in the women’s stores and then I find I need to update my knowledge about men’s offerings.
In this post I am going to talk about some stores I have shopped at and how they’ve either improved and or not and why I use them – or not.
Because consumer needs and wants, as well as the economy and our lifestyles are always changing, that means stores try to keep up as well. It’s a constant guessing game; although I am sure retail chains have a host of research tools available to them to predict consumer buying, etc.
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Of course, obviously, during the pandemic, there were so many choices in leisurewear. It was everywhere. Most of us stylists agreed that retail buyers over-corrected. While everyone knows people did practically live in their leggings and comfortable T-shirts, that is not the case now. As I listen to some of the business channels, it seems many companies are asking employees to come back to the office by Labor Day. I can agree with that considering the types of clients I am working with right now who say – I haven’t been in work clothes for two years, and my wardrobe just doesn’t work anymore.
Anyway, as leisurewear slowly fades into the background, and some type of work uniform surfaces, most of us agree — we won’t be wearing shorts and leggings every day at another time in our lives — until retirement, that is.
I have noticed that Athleisure stores such as Athletic are starting to offer more mainstream clothing to keep people coming back even after the pandemic. Dresses, soft jackets, work-appropriate blouses, and shirts. Some of the knit pants are especially nice for travel when you don’t want tight spandex but do want comfort. I think customers who started buying comfortable clothes in the last two years will continue to support these types of brands. I also noticed the most crowds at these stores during the pandemic.
The Banana Republic is a store that has certainly changed in the last couple of years. I am still trying to decide what I think of it. The store offerings are much smaller and more color-coordinated. The fabrics are richer and have a different feel and style than before–an aspect I like. I do think in many ways the brand is going back to its foundation of good-quality cottons and khaki coordinates. The dresses, however, tend to be very flowy and silky. The quality is higher with a more-designer look and feel. It does set the Banana Republic apart as a more high-end store instead of a JCrew clone as I think it was becoming. This change I applaud. Here is an overview of BR’s khaki and woven ensembles:
The other store that has surprised me some — in a good way — is Express. I always see lots of Expressclothing in my younger clients’ closets. It has been lower priced and trying to break into the “professional” wear market. In a recent web search, I noticed especially the dresses were really high quality and on-trend. I liked them and am considering adding one or two to my collection. It seemed there was more of a strategy behind the collections and a more “grown-up” look about all the pieces. Here is one dress I really like (that is also one of the hot Pantone colors for fall):
And a men’s ensemble:
Need some help navigating the stores because you “hate” shopping. Message me for more information about being your Indianapolis Women’s Stylist – I promise it will be pain-free and productive!
Keep it sassy, Indy.
Beth Divine, MA, AICI-CIC
Indianapolis Women’s Stylist