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While we're not out of the woods recession-wise, things are getting better and will probably continue to do so, since we do live in a consumer-driven society and all. California Apparel News reports that e-commerce sales were up 15.5 percent compared to sales figures from last year's holiday season. And overall, retailers and designers are gearing up to keep their sales numbers climbing, albeit slowly. So what will be the key for fashion success in 2010?
One word: Simplify, simplify, simplify.
Designers are focusing on basics for Spring 2010, offering customers pieces with value-add, things that can be kept for years and worn multiple times and ways. Think khaki pants and dresses, lots of denim and strappy sandals in neutral color palettes combined with whites and olives. Think everything matches. Think classic instead of twenty layers of hobo chic. Spring's new mantra: What Would Ralph Lauren Do? And then go buy the look at the Gap or H&M.
If that's not your speed, good luck finding a retailer to stock something wilder than a bold floral print or a metallic handbag. Most are playing it incredibly safe. Alisa Loftin, owner of LA's Aero & Co, tells CAN that while her boutique will carry unique pieces from emerging designers, there will not be many design chances that may "turn off skittish customers." Also, expect prices to be in the $100 to $200 range, since that's considered the "sweet spot" that gets customers to open their wallets these days.
Apparently, there will be no escape from the overall concept of playing it safe in 2010. Heck, even manties are going back to basics. (Was men's underwear really too complicated before?) But try to look on the bright side... the new year will be a great time to invest in some basic pieces that will anchor your wardrobe until you're just too darn old to cast off the Snuggie and even bother to get dressed in the morning.