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Promotional Women's Wear

Cardigan Sweater By Kim Mitchell

Research the subject of how women shop and you will find many cleverly titled articles along the lines of "Men are from Sears and Women are from Victoria's Secret." It is all very witty, but it shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that for many women there are actual psychological and emotional aspects of clothing acquisition that simply do not seem to exist for men.

Women know that in retail, clothing sizes vary wildly from store to store and manufacturer to manufacturer. With men, everything seems to be measured in inches, making shopping a fairly irrelevant process. Men know their collar sizes, pant inseam and waist sizes, etc., and because of the way their clothing is measured, they don't even have to try clothes on. Just pick a color and buy it. Even the sizing concepts of small, medium and large are fairly reliable for the male form.

There is nothing reliable about those sizing concepts for women, however. We curve in wildly different directions. And the idea of being handed a men's size small - no matter how nice the logo - just doesn't cut it for most of us. Oh that it were that easy.

Keep this in mind: women don't like it when things don't flatter. As Karen Benton Schoettlin, senior designer at King Louie International in Grandview, Mo., sagely notes, "Women may take an improper fit more personally than men."

So if women are built differently and shop differently, doesn't it make sense that we need to take a different approach to promotional clothing for them as well?

Women's Button Down Blouse In the end it can be said that women want wearables that are mainstream, but snazzier than what their male colleagues are wearing.

"This industry is not and never will be runway-fashion forward," says Gabrielle Rohde, vice president of Minneapolis-based Gabrielle Rohde-Royce. "It should, however, keep up with current silhouettes and fabrics. No man would wear a polyester leisure suit with a company logo just because it was given to him. Likewise, no woman wants to wear a shirt cut from menswear fabric that she would never find or want to buy at retail."

© 2003, PRIMEDIA Business Magazines & Media Inc. All rights reserved. This article is protected by United States copyright and other intellectual property laws and may not be reproduced, rewritten, distributed, redisseminated, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast, directly or indirectly, in any medium without the prior written permission of PRIMEDIA Business Magazines & Media Inc.
Kim Mitchell

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