Thursday, May 21, 2009

45 to 54, Buying Fashion, Online

There is a great article in the style section of the Wall Street Journal today by Christina Binkley, The Forgotten Market Online: Older Women. According to Binkley most online clothing shoppers are women over 35 but fashion sites seem to be targeting a younger age group. Binkley sites StyleCaster amongst others. If I were to poll my friends and clients, I'm almost certain they would agree that some fashion websites and blogs do make them feel like they are crossing a velvet rope, stepping into a night club resonating with house music, when they'd rather be having a quiet cocktail at The King Cole Bar, NYC.

I think Nordstrom does a nice job of catering to older women who shop online, but really, can we just stop saying "older women." I like, stylish women with purchasing power, access, knowledge and confidence. My clients have all been over 35. They are mostly crunched for time, but they usually enjoy shopping and that is why "environmental" department store sites–sites that make you feel as if you are in the store or a spectator at a runway show, sometimes work well for them.

It helps, no, it's critical, to know just what you're after, before shopping online. That is something my clients discover though the styling service I offer at MyStylist. I also shop with clients as many stylists do. Once armed with a good list of purchases to optimize their wardrobe, clients may rely on a personal shopping service provided by a store or a good and honest friend. BUT, be wary of a "good friend." They are either good and not too honest, or they are honest and not too good! I really think it is best to higher an honest professional.

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