Fierce Femme Fashion
AVOID CROSSOVER AND COMPLEMENT STYLES
It might come as a surprise, but the biggest thing women want in apparel is stuff designed for women. That means complement styles and features typically associated with men's wear are out, and the feminine look is in. "Ladies prefer a more flattering silhouette and dislike restricted and formal polo collars," Kwok noted. "Feminine and unique styles with functional fabrics are a must. Women tend to prefer breathable, comfortable and easy-care fabrics." Joe Bunsness, vice president of sales, Western U.S. for Ash City, added that women's corporate wear, in particular, has been a trouble area, as too often women's corporate styles are modeled after men's versions. "Tailoring garments to a woman's silhouette is essential in satisfying the ladies' apparel niche [of women] who want to look like women, not women in men's clothing," he said.
Basic T-shirts are a go-to for promotions not only because they're affordable and easy to decorate, but also because, well, customers don't necessarily know they have other apparel options. Make sure your client knows what's available. "By providing a number of various basic tees and fashionable T-shirts/tops that feature diverse fabrications, textures and colors, it contributes to a wider collection of styles for our consumers to gain a multitude of innovative styles to consider as compared to traditional T-shirts," Mai explained.
Meanwhile, Kwok recommended starting off with basics, then expanding your product offering once you've built clientele. "Then, offer an assortment of more fashionable items with an abundant selection of knits, sweaters, woven shirts and jackets," she suggested.
LISTEN TO FEEDBACK
If you've ever confused a cheongsam for a chemise, you already know how important it is to keep up with trends and understand fashion lingo. Still, that will only get you so far if you don't know your customer. "You must listen and engage with your users because their feedback will be a key element to understand not only your product, but also what your consumers are looking for," Mai said.