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What Retailers Need to Know From The Midlife Woman

what midlife women are looking for in a shopping experienceHope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend! Today, I am asking for you to chime in with your honest thoughts and ideas. One of my most read posts was about the demise of Coldwater Creek. Since then, other popular retailers from Gap to Macy’s have posted lower earnings and need to make changes. I have spoken with retailers who target the midlife and beyond woman and they want to know one thing… WHAT DO YOU WANT? In fact, I was on the phone with one just this past week and that conversation inspired this post.

So, if you could describe your perfect clothing retailer, what would it look like? Why would you go there? What is most important to you? Is it service, quality, price, accessibility, styles? What are the key factors for you when you decide where to shop?

Please, ladies, let’s be specific. In order to help retailers we need to be as detailed as possible. This is not a one word answer. They want to know what we want and what we think is the best way for them to communicate with us. If older models are important to you, say so. Do you prefer to shop online? In the store? Through a catalog? Which is the best method to reach you? Who can earn your loyalty and what exactly does it take?

Are there any stores you have ceased to shop with? And if so, please tell us why. I do believe that to some businesses we are a conundrum. They don’t understand how to buy for women like us. Women who are older, but do not want to look it! Yet do not want to look too young either. And to top it off, many merchandise buyers are fresh out of college. So let’s help them out. Share this post, pass it around and let’s see if we can send our big voice into retailing world with advice which will help some to survive.

Are you game? I’m looking forward to seeing what we share and pass it along to some retailers for their consideration. Use your voices, I (and the retailers!) definitely want to hear them.

Pamela Lutrell

Pamela Lutrell began her blog, over50feeling40, July 2010 with a desire to encourage women over 50 to walk in strength, confidence and joy. Of course, head turning style makes each day fun!

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Robin H Farren

Friday 10th of June 2016

I would love to find clothing like Frankie wears on Grace & Frankie... in plus sizes. I LOVE her style, clothing, jewelry, the whole shebang.

I am especially interested in those very sheer, long sleeved, high necked T-shirts. They look like they would be cool & comfortable, cover a wealth of sins (skin, flab, scars) and be protection from the sun. They can be worn under any sleeveless thing to make them look better on an older woman. Please, please, please... where can we get those? I have seen shirts with sheer inserts, but they would be hot under other clothing.

These totally sheer shirts would be awesome & I would buy one in every color! There are so many items of clothing I would buy, but my arms look funny, or they are cut too low in front or back. I have been avoiding sleeveless altogether unless I can were something over it. This sheer under T would solve all of those problems... as long as they aren't too tight. They would need to cover the size span from tiny to plus sizes, and have arms which are not too tight. The body can be stretchy and more fitted since it won't be seen except at the neck. How is that for specific! ; )

Allison Jones

Monday 6th of June 2016

I agree with all the comments. I also like classic styles, NOT trendy. I prefer neutral colors which are so much more complimentary than bright, printed colors. I don't mind paying for quality items, usually Nordstrom has the best items. I find J.Jill to usually be poor quality, disposables. A few washings and they don't last. Everything looks the same when walk in the store. Talbot's goes in spurts, I think it depends who their CEO is. Sometimes it's very matronly. Never Macy's, it's overwhelming to look at all those racks of clothes. Lately it's Eileen Fisher, or Garnett Hill.. Shopping at this age is very difficult. I guess they need older designers.


Sunday 5th of June 2016

I was sad when Coldwater Creek closed. They had quality merchandise but few clothes that fit my tiny budget. I like Chico's sometimes. It's always enticing when I get a 50% coupon in the mail from them. I'm a sucker for coupons.

I think a lot of women like me, that are over 50, have a few pounds to hide ( no horizontal striped shirts that magnify the pounds). I want to look classy, not trashy. Anything that is half way figure flattering and affordable has my attention.

I love Peter Nygard clothes most of the time and when Reba McEntire clothing goes on sale I'm always interested.

Cathy Lawdanski

Sunday 5th of June 2016

I like a clean, well organized store with a restroom I can use. I don't enjoy shopping, so if I have to dig through a jam-packed rack, I just won't bother. Best customer service in my area is Chicos & Talbots. Clean, well-organized, things that go together displayed together. I like good displays showing me ways to put together outfits that I may not have thought of. I rarely buy clothes at Macy's anymore. Their associates are basically cashiers. I like to be in a store where someone will make a suggestion or run out for a different size. Dillard's is a little better about that. When I know a store's sizing, I LOVE shopping online, but only if the have free shipping & free, no hassle returns. And just because my waist & tummy have expanded, I like classic, tailored clothes. I am not looking for flowy things to cover my body. I want well fitting clothes that flatter my body & are comfortable. I want clothes tha hold up when I wash them.

jodie filogomo

Saturday 4th of June 2016

I know many topics have already been addressed by the comments above, so here are two that I didn't see (or else missed with my older women eyes!!) 1-Show advertising with older women as models. Many of the "newer" trends will look great on us older ladies, but if we've only seen them on young girls, we tend to only associate them with that age group! 2-I realize many women comment on the sizing---but truly I think there is no way to satisfy every person, since every women's body is different. The real answer is alterations---that's how you get items to fit your body. So how about alterations at the store---not outrageously priced (maybe even free or close to free) for every customer! Don't we all know that fit is the most important aspect of clothing? This would make it perfect for every customer. (ok---I realize it doesn't work for online---) jodie

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