Where Women Spend Money: Does It Help Us or Hurt Us?

Feb 06, 2018

The Fall 2018 Ready-to-Wear collections have begun being revealed starting with New York Fashion Week yesterday and so will follow London, Milan concluding with the grand finale of fashion weeks in Paris.

Admittedly I enjoy these annual reveals of the fall style trends in February/March and the spring in September/October; however, many fashion insiders are predicting in 10 years, this annual tradition may be entirely disrupted.

Even looking at the variety of new and unique ways designers are choosing to showcase their collections this season as reported by Vogue, it is apparent, at least at the bare minimum, experimentation is not something designers are afraid to try and who knows what will stick.

Financially, these runway productions, which can cost upwards of a couple hundreds of thousands of dollars for a 12-15 minute show, it doesn’t seem to be a feasible business option if there are better avenues to interest buyers and eventual shoppers.

The seemingly inevitable shift in fashion week prompted me to think about fashion and shopping in general when it comes to women’s clothing and women’s spending. As there are many a reason for being in the know and supporting the fashion industry, there are just as many reasons to forgo the seasonal hype and walk away altogether. After all, our budgets are limited, and often are enticed or tempted to be stretched every six months (at least) only at the expense of depositing more into our 401K (retirement savings) or saving for experiences that will shape and inspire us along our journeys. On the other hand, dressing well has its rewards as it exudes the confident individuals that we are and cultivates a first impression that lingers in others’ minds. The power of psychology is not a power to be ignored either.

When it comes to shopping for our wardrobes as it pertains to living our best lives and reaching our full potential, how does navigating the fashion month and the consumer marketing that swirls around us best fit into our lives?

First and foremost, knowledge is power. Both knowledge of ourselves — our needs, our boundaries, signature style, etc. — and knowledge of the techniques and realities of the industry. Knowing which brands to support, knowing what exactly we are supporting when we spend our money, but also knowing how to first and foremost support ourselves before spending money to support someone else’s dream.

As I have shared previously on the blog, style is a tool, not the end goal. It is a means to communicate, to exude confidence as we make the necessary impression to step into new roles in our jobs and career, as well as a means to pay respect. Knowing how to exude your best style, your signature style, is a powerful tool, and just as it is important to master the tools we have been given such as our mind, we must not allow them to master us.

As someone who is inspired by what I see on the runway as I look ahead to the seasonal shopping guide to assist readers as they build their capsule wardrobes and not necessarily someone who will buy what I see on the runway, only in special occasions and if in my price range, I look forward to fashion month. This season, as I have done every season, I save my favorite looks from each fashion week on Pinterest – view Fall 2017 from NYC here (and in coming days, view Fall 2018 here). However, the one time I had the opportunity to attend fashion week, while happy to have had the chance to experience first-hand, I recognized quite quickly that for my own purposes, professional and personal, my presence wasn’t required. Now this isn’t the case for many others who are in the industry such as buyers, editors, designers, business managers, etc., but I took note of the role clothing should play in one’s life if they are not immediately in the industry of fashion.

On that note, I will do my best moving forward as I always have to share with you quality options, not cheap options, investment options, not one-season-and-done options, and options that while you may never purchase, will inspire an idea for how to compose an outfit from what you already have. Because again, our outfits, our clothing choices, are the background which complements the lives we choose to live, but are not the star of our lives.

Images: Proenza Schouler Fall 2018



5 thoughts on “Where Women Spend Money: Does It Help Us or Hurt Us?

  1. You are so right Shannon. Knowledge is power knowing one’s own style and boundaries. A few years ago I made the conscious decision to only buy clothes made sustainably respecting the people who make them and the environment. In addition I buy second hand or vintage. I have to put more thought into shopping this way but it works for me. 😊

  2. Haute couture is a work of art and is the realm of the same small group of people who can afford to collect art. But just because most of us don’t own Picassos, it doesn’t mean we can’t have art in our lives. Same with fashion–we can have fashion–more importantly we can have style–even if we can’t afford couture.
    Although business models in fashion and other things (home interiors, cars, phones, electronics, you name it) are built on increasing sales, we see that it comes at the price of destroying the environment. Likely new business models will come along to disrupt that, but in the meantime, quality over quality, and a Year Without Shopping.

    1. I do as well Valerie, but I enjoy them via photos and video. I do think an adjustment may happen so long as their images are able to be shared broadly which is what social media has enabled them to do without such a high cost.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *