Fall Fashions Caught in Time Warp

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Fall Fashions Caught in Time Warp

We are all baking under the hot August sun, but according to the fashion calendar, it is already time to look for wool sweaters, scarves and winter coats. Yes, it is the middle of summer, and the fall/winter season for clothes is already being introduced.

The ultra-competitive fashion industry continues to up the frenzy of fashion fanatics by introducing the new seasons' fashions ever-earlier. However, in the process, life gets more difficult for the ordinary shopper. You might see a beautiful jacket in an advertisement, but if you do not buy it in a hurry, it will be gone. Or it might be too late anyway.

In a country like Korea where the seasons are distinct and pronounced, the months of August and September can be especially confusing because most retailers mix their displays of late overdue summer stock with their new arrivals of fall/winter fashions.

Summer clothes are usually being discounted, while new merchandise is full-price. And to make matters more confusing, retailers often mix their sale items with clothes from last year's fall/winter collection.

All of which means the shopper has to cope with merchandise from three different seasons - last fall/winter, spring/summer and the coming fall/winter.

Many people shopping around now think they have found a great deal, finding discounted clothes from the previous season that still look good. However, those early purchases often end in regrets. Within a couple of weeks, the real new styles of fall/winter become apparent, turning those recent acquisitions into very old news.

Never fear, ardent shoppers. Here is a smart strategy for those who are planning on early shopping.

1. Browse the magazines first.

The fall issue of major fashion magazines will show the dominant look of the new season. If you can get a videotape of new fashion shows, watch that, too.

The most noteworthy news for this fall is that the military theme has entirely disappeared and a nostalgic mode from the '70s and '80s continues. No more camouflage patterns, khakis and ammunition belts; they are being replaced by '70s retro T-shirts and distressed jeans.

The '80s look is back with both the equestrian and heavy-metal styles. Notice how the style from these previous eras has been modified for today.

2. Browse the stores.

You should check out how the concepts suggested in the magazines and fashion shows are applied to actual clothes.

Often magazine editorial spreads and fashion shows exaggerate the trends. If a fashion brand is promoting short skirts, the skirts shown as samples tend to be much shorter to give a stronger impact.

3. Ask the sales person specific questions.

You should ask exactly when the new stock will be available. If some garments are on sale, ask which season and year the garment came from. Also ask why they are on sale. Most salespersons will tell you the reason.

4. Ask about the available quantity of the item you want to purchase.

If it is a limited edition, the item is less likely appear again on sale later.

5. Think small and low when buying tops and bottoms.

Shirts or blouses on top should be close-fitting. Pants and skirts that ride low are all the rage.

6. For accessaries, think big and bold.

Stylish women will wear heavy and large sports watches originally designed for active men. When buying sunglasses, think Jackie O-meets-David Bowie. They are classic and dark, but also gaudy and large.

Belts should make a strong statement as they bear punky "heavy metal" details such as metal rings, studs or spikes.

Bags are made of thick leather, slouchy and large, and they are worn over the shoulder.

7. Be square by donning some buckles in your outfit.

That is, if the suggestion in No. 6 is considered too '80s for your taste. Square buckles decorated on shoes, bags and clothes are reminiscent of the late '70s, which can make a fashion statement.

8. Be ready to wear your newly acquired clothes as soon as the temperature drops.

by Inēs Cho

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