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The Homecoming Accessory that is Hard to Find

Many homecomings have events that call for the court to wear dress hats. These hats are usually fall hats in wool felt, often with smaller brims. The wool felt hat shown is a prime example of dress hats for homecoming.

At the same time homecoming is going on, church ladies are also looking for fall dress hats also. This increases the size of your audience and gives you more opportunities for sales.

Dress hats have limited supply, which is good for you once shoppers know you are a source.

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Sunday, October 5th, 2014

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Homecoming Hats

Another Coast-To-Coast Opportunity

Many Homecomings require members of the court to wear dress hats, which are not always easy to find. Since dress hats work as both homecoming and church hats, this minimizes the risk of not selling.

Selection includes felt dress hats in small brims and wide brims. Some retailers have told us in the past that they prefer small brims because the larger brims are overwhelming for some of the girls.

Again, this is another story that you want to stock early so your customers will know you are a source.

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

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Demand for Women’s Dress Hats Continues


The lineup of events for women’s dress hats doesn’t let up after Easter. Kentucky Derby and Mother’s Day are around the corner. Mother’s Day is the second biggest day for dress hats after Easter. In addition, church conventions are starting up-an event that usually calls for women to wear a white dress hat on a certain day.

This has been a special year for women’s dress hats with manufacturers producing more colors and styles in more materials than in previous years. The addition of satin hats this spring offered wonderful styles in new colors. Sinamays, organzas, satin braid, and propylene hats joined in to give retailers a selection that was certain to take the breath of their customers.

Shop now for these dress hats while there is still adequate selection. More white polypropylene hats will come in for church events, but we have received all we can get this year of the rest of the hats listed. At least for now, we have a nice selection of colors and styles.

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Friday, May 9th, 2014

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Wholesale dress hats for women reach new heights in excellence this year.  Colors, shapes, and materials all contribute to a superb year—actually, the most exceptional year in our 30 years of handling wholesale dress hats. First, the range of colors available this year is breathtaking.

 

COLORS IN WHOLESALE DRESS HATS EXPAND WITH SATIN HATS

The addition of satin dress hats this year adds a host of new colors.  These rich colors are onlywholesale dress hats in celery color limited to the range of colors in satin fabric. The palette includes lively colors, basics, and subdued hues.

 

Satin hats add colors like celery, lilac, hot pink, butter, and grape as well as rich tones of brown and navy.  The basics of black and white are also included with the characteristic sheen of satin. These rich colors raise the bar on this spring’s selection.

 

 

MATERIALS FOR WHOLESALE DRESS HATS IN 2014

Wholesale dress hats for women this spring enjoy plenty of choices with a wide selection of organza ladies dress hatsmaterials.  We have already mentioned satin hats with their eye-catching sheen.  Organza hats are similar, but the sheen of organza has a luster.

 

Originally, organza was a silk product with the familiar luster of silk.  Today synthetics capture the look.  Both satin and organza do not have the body to maintain the hat shape.  Wired brims and crowns provide the stability for these hat bodies.

satin braid womens dress hats

Satin braid also has a satin sheen.  Continually sewn cord-like satin creates these hats. The shape usually has small brims and high crowns.  Made from satin, the colors again are rich.

sinamay wholesale dress hats

Sinamay provides a different look with a slightly open weave and matte color.  The Philippines are the main source for sinamay.  It is woven from the natural fiber of the abaca plant in the banana family.  The weave is slightly open and the material easily accepts dye.  After stiffening, milliners shape sinamay into hats with wide brims being especially elegant.  However, small brims are also eye-catching like the one shown.

polyprpylene dress hats fro ladies

Polypropylene is the traditional material for ladies dress hats. Veteran milliners remember when polypropylene was the mainstay of wholesale dress hats.  Polypropylene hats use the sewn-and-braid process used to make Milan straws.  The synthetic material is first braided and then continually sewn to create the hat body.  They use very narrow bands of braided material delivers a quality look with a surprising reasonable price.  These hats date back to the 1950s and perhaps earlier.

 

SHAPES OF WHOLESALE DRESS HATS FOR SPRING

super widebrim organza dress hat

The height of elegance in dress hats is wide brims.  These flattering designs have 5 and 6 inch brims.  This year, 7 inch brims add an even more dramatic statement in headwear.  Widebrims come with a very clean look with little decoration as well as more extravagant looks that include ruffled edges.  This year we see ripple brims that have a wavy shape—perhaps too daring for your conservative customers.

 

Many of these conservative customers are not comfortable with the flamboyant statement ofSAtin hat with rolled down brim wide brims.  They are more comfortable with small brims.  These hats provide endless possibilities.  Brims can roll down, turn up, or be up on one side and down on the other like a cavalier shape.  Brims can also be asymmetrical—narrow on one side and protruding on the other.

 

SPRING IS THE BEST TIME FOR WOMENS DRESS HATS

Wholesale dress hats offer plenty of possibilities for this spring.  And the need for dress hats is at its peak in spring.  In New Orleans alone, major dress hat events include a fundraiser for the New Orleans Opera Association called Mad Hatters and the Parade of Hats at The Fair Grounds for The Louisiana Derby.

 

Easter and Mother’s Day are still ahead of us.  The Kentucky Derby is May 3 and a number of other derbies take place around the country.  Fundraisers calling for dress hats are also very popular.  Teas, luncheons, and outdoor weddings all call for dress hats.

 

wholesale white dress hatsDemand is huge for church hats every spring.  Many summer church events require white dress hats.  Most wholesale suppliers are out of summer hats when these are needed.  We try to be deep in white dress hats to fill these needs.

Yes, there is a lucrative market for dress hats and this season the selection of wholesale dress hats is exquisite.  It is hat retailers dream.

Comments (0) Posted by Michael Gietl on Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Filed under Dress Hats, Uncategorized
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Surely the snow has to be nearly over for  2013.  And with trees budding and blossoms sprouting, everyone will be thinking spring.  Easter comes early in 2013, falling on March 31.  This is the biggest day of the year for ladies dress hats, so there is little time to waste in getting ready.

If we say that new arrivals this year include a mix of innovation, tradition, and vintage inspiration, you would most likely reply—that’s not news.  That’s true every year.  And you would be right so we need to focus on the specifics.

INNOVATIVE LADIES DRESS HATS

innovative church hat

The most innovative ladies dress hat this season has a super wide brim of layered horsehair.  This is a fabulous look, but very hard to capture with photography so hope you get the idea.  Created in shimmering polypropylene, the material blends tinsel in the weave for a shimmering effect.  Both gold and silver are available and this material makes up the crown.

 

But the brim is what is so innovative—layers or horsehair create a sheer super wide brim that has a balance of bounce and body.  We introduced a hat created entirely in horsehair, DH199, about seven years ago and it is still a popular hat today.  Milliners often buy that hat to trim.  It is especially popular with milliners doing Kentucky Derby Hats.

Ladies Dress Hat

But the metallic ladies dress hat that is so innovative this year with layers of horsehair creating the brim requires no trimming.  It is already a finished work of millinery art.   The horsehair lacks the firmness of DH199, providing more sassy bounce.

 

 

METALLIC DRESS AND CHURCH HATS

Manufacturers are emphasizing metallic dress hats with eye-appealing shimmer this spring.  This in not new in church hats and dress hats, but some of the shapes are innovative.  Vintage inspiration is delivering stunning new styles.

Ladies Cavalier dress hat

The Cavalier generates the most attention.  This style in ladies hats reaches back to 1920 with the publishing of the novel, The Three Musketeers.  The milliners immediately incorporated the dashing design into ladies hats and since then it has been reinvented several times.

 

This year’s interpretation uses the metallic material described above to create a body with one side of the brim flipped up and the opposite side flipped down.  The crown has a C crown indention and angles down towards the side with brim down.  Horsehair loops form a ruffle to decorate one side.  The finished product—STUNNING!

Wide Brim Church Hat

Another shape in metallic dress hats finds inspiration in wide brim styles from the sixties.  The era called the hats cartwheels or picture hats.  The wide brim was the defining feature of the hat.  Crowns could be very shallow or deeper.  The most stunning dress hats this season using this style is a metallic body with a wide brim the flips at the edge in the front half of the body while the back continues to angle down.  That little flip at the edge of the brim raises this dress hat from ordinary to fabulous.  The picture hat is reinvented in wholesale dress hats that will capture the attention of ladies shopping for a church hat.

 

TRADITIONAL WHOLESALE DRESS HATS

Is there any more traditional look in ladies dress hats than polypropylene hats with the fine weave that captures the look of quality possessed by Milan straws?  These hats return every season with elegance and traditional shapes.  Like Milan straws, they have a fine weave made in long strips that are continuously sewn to create the hat.  The name of the process is sewn-and-weave or sewn-and braid and the finished product has vibrant colors as well as the quality of fine weave.

Traditional Ladies Dress Hat

Short brims like the hat with a rolled down brim shown create a more conservative look.  Popular as both church hats and Derby hats, this look has wide appeal.  The style shown with short rolled down brim and high squared crown returns every year.    A choice of vibrant color adds to its timeless popularity.

 

Elegant Ladies Church HatDress hats using wide brims in the same material deliver superb elegance.  The style shown with wide brim rolled down brings Audrey Hepburn and the silver screen of the sixties to mind.  This is also an icon in dress hats for Easter, church, derby days, and Mothers Day.

 

 

ORGANZA DRESS HATS

Perhaps the greatest surprise in ladies dress hats in the last few years has been the sudden surge of popularity in organza hats.  They are back in a big way for spring of 2013.  Organza was originally a silk product—a sheer fabric, semi-transparent, with a natural sheen. Today organza is more often a synthetic using polyester or nylon.

Organza hats are lightweight with a natural sheen that catches the eye.  Wired brims help them hold their shape and give them a shapeable quality.  Colors are endless.

So what’s new in organza hats?  This year, organza hats don’t disappoint with spectacular styles like the wide brim shown.  The dress hat combines a shapeable wide brim with high crown squared at the top in solid color.  This makes wonderful church hats for a range of personalities from conservative to more daring.

Two-toning is big this year.  Organza hats combine a crown in one color with a brim in another.  Surging the trim in a contrasting color also creates a two-tone effect.  This is not the first year for this look, but its success last year makes it more predominant this spring.

High crowns with short downturned brims are also popular in both solid colors and two-tone.  The narrow brim organza  hat shown also let you see the tow-tone effect popular this spring.

PILLBOX ARE PLENTIFUL THIS SPRING

Pillbox Hat

With all the pillboxes available in dress hats this spring, the mind has to wander back to the early 1960s when Jackie Kennedy quietly set the tone of the era with classy fashion as First Lady.  The pillbox hat is back this spring offered in sinamay, polypropylene, and satin braid.  No millinery selection is complete this spring without the pillbox.

 

HAT COLORS FOR SPRING

For the third season in a row, brights dominate the fashion palette.  While Pantone gives a palette of bright colors like yellow, nectarine, violet, poppy red, and a lime called tender shoots, they are secondary colors rather than hit you in the face primaries.  The dominant color is blue in four different hues occupying nearly half the palette.

But millinery marches to its own drummer and hat colors always include white, ivory, black, and shades of brown no matter what the palette is.  In choosing colors, be aware of the palette and include some of these colors especially if you are seeing them in ladies suits, but also include the traditional colors of millinery.

Soft colors like baby blue, baby pink, lavender, and yellow are Easter colors that never change and are good up to Easter, but slow afterwards.  Variety is the safe bet that satisfies everyone.

 

Soon to follow is a blog on prom jewelry and accessories—another of the three most important categories for this time of the year.

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

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Fall is here with new fashion statements and color palettes.  In apparel, this can be dramatic, but in dress hats changes are subtle.  Yes, you can look at dress hats from ten years ago and see big changes, but from season to season, developments fly under the radar. 

 

THE CLOCHE IN WOOL FELT DRESS HATS

winter cloche hat

One reason is ladies dress hats are often reinventing vintage looks and that happens again for the fall of 2012.  Most of the felt hats this fall are inspirations from earlier eras.  The cloche from the 1920s is perhaps the most obvious.  The twenties were a real break from styles that preceded it.  World War I was over and fashion became more practical reflecting a new independence experienced by women. 

 

The hat that defined the era was the cloche, a bell shaped hat with little or no brim that was worn at eyebrow level.  The name actually comes from the French word for bell.  Almost anyone that sees a cloche automatically thinks “Roaring Twenties”. 

 New developments for the fall of 2012 have cloches in wool felt with a large diagonal bows on one side, shimmering with sequin fabric.  Others use decoration of wool felt flower arrangements.  This is not the first season to see the revival of the cloche, but the trend continues because of innovation.

 

One of the major markets for fall dress hats is Homecoming.  The cloche is ideal for filling this need because smaller hats are popular for the occasion. Also, since the cloche first appeared in the 1920s, it always had appeal to younger consumers.

 

1940s INSPIRATION FOR FALL 2012 DRESS HATS

 ladies fall wide brim dress hatCount on felt wide brims to be included in ladies dress hats every fall.  This style also works well for homecoming, but is even more popular as church hats.  This fall asymmetrical brims are adding a new look to headwear.  Where do we find these in hat history?  First impression is the silver screen of the 1940s—leading ladies with those sassy wide brims that dipped over one eye in a debonair fashion. 

 

But the look is rooted further back in millinery history as TV enthusiasts will note that watch Boardwalk Empire.  Costumers for these period shows know their stuff and the asymmetrical wide brim pops up in that show. 

 The reinvention of these felt hats makes a striking appearance that will grab the attention of church ladies that want elegance in styles that are different. 

 STRIKING DESIGNS IN SATIN BRAID HATS FOR CHURCH

satin braid church hat

 

Satin braid hats seem to be something new to the headwear industry.  In reality, they have been around for more that 100 years.  A search reveals print advertisements for stain braids from 1870 and later.  The hats use narrow ribbons of satin continuously sewn to create different shapes in headwear. 

 

Today’s market for satin braids is almost exclusively church hats.   Designs are fabulous with high rounded crowns combining with narrow down turned brims and lavishly trimmed.  Colors can be metallic gold and silver as well as any color we find in satin.  Even wide brims are available today in satin braid. 

 

THE FASHION PALETTE FOR FALL

 

The palette is unusually bright for fall and winter seasons this year.  Pantone’s fashion color report includes hues of lime, tangerine, bright fuchsia, and a mustard gold color.  The bright colors are a slightly subdued version of the spring and summer palettes and we will see more brights in the next summer palette.  Apparel is using these vibrant colors and expect them in the spring hat line, but fall hats are more traditional and stick mainly with conservative fall colors. 

 

These traditional fall hat colors include gray, black, brown, taupe, camel, navy, and winter white.  But there are also some color you can call edgy in a conservative palette for fall—colors like rust, red, mustard, and burnt orange.   

 

DEMAND FOR FALL DRESS HATS

 

Fall hats seem to be in short supply this season, most likely because we are experiencing a challenging economy.  The retailers we are in contact with report brisker than normal sales, no doubt because consumers can find fresh supply in their shops while many other retailers are being cautious.  This can be an opportunity for you if you have the customer base for winter dress hats.  So here is a chance to make hay while the sun shines.

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Filed under Dress Hats, Hats
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When daffodils begin to sprout and azaleas begin to bloom, spring is close.  Another sign is the arrival of wholesale dress hats for spring.  Actually, this is far more exciting to fashion retailers than the flowers blooming because new spring hats in their shops create a buying frenzy that rings the cash register.   This year won’t disappoint with a fabulous lineup of new styles in spring dress hats. 

 

ORGANZA HATS

Number one in popularity is organza hats.  This is our third year of carrying organza in dress hats and the first two years they were the first to sell out, so when budgeting for millinery include organzas first.  They may be new to many retailers so the question arise—what exactly is organza? 

 

Originally organza was silk product.  The weave used silk yarn with a high luster, producing fabric with a sheen that was almost iridescent.  Today it is produced with nylon at a more affordable price while still retaining the high luster.  Hats in organza normally have wired brims to help hold the shape. 

 

Organza headwear offered a new medium for dress hats that immediately attracted women shopping for dress hats.  This season organza hats borrow new shapes already proving successful in polypropylene dress hats—shapes with squared crowns that angle down as well as the forever popular widebrim that turns down.  Retailers should consider organza hats first when stocking because they sell out quick. Then they can depth to their selection with polypropylenes and sinamays on their following purchases. 

 

POLYPROPYLENE DRESS HATS

Polypropylene dress hats are the traditional look for church hats.  The material has narrow braided strips that are sewn together in a continuous fashion to create the hat shape.  Straws use the same procedure and are referred to as sewn-and-braid. 

 

Most renowned for this process were hats from Milan Italy called Milan straws.  Actually, the word for milliner derives from Milan.  The wonderful feature about polypropylenes is not only a host of shapes, but endless colors. 

 

This season new shapes include high crowns with short downturned brims.  The top of the crown is squared and angles down to one side.  It has a telescope crease like men’s fedoras and lavish trim completes the look.  Polypropylenes are a must in a dress hat line geared towards church ladies. 

 

In addition to trimmed hats, milliners can also buy untrimmed polypropylene hats to craft their own creations.  The number of styles available to milliners has really expanded in the last few years so now they can be very original in pleasing all the different personalities in their customer base.

 

Perhaps the most elegant of the untrimmed hats offered is the widebrim hat with alternating rows of polypropylene and horsehair in the brim.  This is the utmost classy hat for outdoor weddings, teas, and luncheons.    

 

HAT TRIMS

To make the milliner’s job easier, many pre-sewn hat trims are available to mix and match with hat shapes for endless combinations.  Most are satin decorations that also include the band.  The band and decoration hot glue to the hat for custom headwear that goes together very easily. 

 

SINAMAY HATS

Sinamay dress hats have a sophistication that shows up at royal weddings and classic events like the Kentucky Derby.  This headwear is a favorite as church hats as well. 

 

What is sinamay?  The fabric that makes the hat is an open weave using fiber that was originally obtained from a species of banana trees found in the Philippines.  How did it become a medium for milliners?  HATalk gives a possible answer that they say is unsubstantiated.  A woman passing a flower display everyday noticed the sinamay ribbon tying flowers together.  She obtained some and had good luck with blocking the material, possibly opening the way to sinamay hats.  Regardless, the introduction of sinamay hats seems to date around the late 1980s. 

 

Today sinamays rank with the most elegant summer hats—a favorite even of Queen Elizabeth.  Innovation this year includes widebrims with a gentle wave to the brim, providing design that is somewhat unconventional.    

 

In addition, the high crown shape that is growing in popularity in all dress hats regardless of material, can be found in sinamay also.  This style is straight-sided with a flat crown that angles to one side and has a short rolled down brim—a hit in sinamay as it is in all materials for dress hats.   

 

SATIN BRAID DRESS HATS

Satin braids are the Cadillac of dressy hats.  They have a silky appearance with ribbed texture.  Satin cord-like material is continuously sewed to create the hat styles.   While the finished product is gorgeous, but they are not the fastest selling dress hats because they are also the most expensive.  

 

 

EASTER HATS

Easter is the biggest day of the year for dress hats.  Actually, Easter hats and church hats are synonymous because, for the most part, church is where these dressy hats are worn on Easter morning. 

 

It’s an obvious fact for anyone in the dress hat business that church hats are the number one demand for dressy headwear.  These are the hats that have continued the market for dressy millinery after the 1960s when hats were no longer a required item when dressing up. 

 

The second largest day for ladies dress hats is Mother’s Day.  After that summer dress hats are hard to find so if you have some inventory to get through the summer, you may have no competition.

 

OTHER DEMANDS FOR DRESS HATS

Spring is the best time of the year for dress hats because Easter and Mother’s Day are accompanied by a number of other major events that call for dressy headwear.  High on the list is derbies, especially The Kentucky Derby.  Outdoor weddings and private weddings with few attendees call for dress hats.  Hats are very appropriate for teas and luncheons—sometimes they are required.  Many formal balls and fundraisers call for dressy headwear.  Black hats are often worn for funerals, white hats for weddings, and red hats by those ladies that believe you are never too old to enjoy life.  We are in the peak season for dress has so make room in your shop and take advantage of the buying frenzy.       

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Filed under Bridal Accessories, Bridal Gloves, Bridal Jewelry, Bridesmaid Jewelry, Dress Hats, Evening Bags, Hats, Rhinestone Jewelry, Tiaras
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From coast to coast there are small fashion businesses that are thriving in spite of the mountain of obstacles that seem to be in the way.  One challenge new entrepreneur entering fashion face is competition from major retailers with deep pockets.  The previous two blogs examined niche markets that provide safe-haven where big box companies don’t go.  But there is another safe haven where small business shares the market with the majors.  These are the areas of fashion where consumers simply trust small business over the majors to supply the fashion item.  What does that mean?  Well an example can best answer the question. 

 

CHURCH HATS

There is a very large market of ladies searching for church hats that opens every spring.  Yes, fall is another time for dress hats for church, but spring is more important because it contains the two largest days of the year for church hats—Easter and Mothers Day.  All the major department stores and many of the other big box companies will have a selection of dress hats to meet the demand, but the selection is not extensive, it is not on target with fresh millinery designs, and there is plenty of duplication of styles.  In addition, there is no dedicated area to dress hats that tells a story consumers trust. 

 

What about small business?  This is where the church ladies go to select new hats for spring and fall.  Why?  First, small businesses that concentrate on church hats make this an important part of their inventory.  The shopkeeper is aware of changing styles and colors for the season, not to mention their expert help to customers in choosing the right hat for their personality and stature.  They also have such familiarity with headwear that showing customers how to wear a hat is almost natural. 

 

Then there is the unique factor.  One thing women searching for church hats don’t want to happen is to show up on Sunday morning and others are wearing the same hat.  Small millinery businesses have wide selection, but very little duplication of hats in the same style and color.

 

I don’t believe anyone has ever officially done the statistics, but I feel it is almost certain that the church hats retailed over a season are 80% or higher from small business.  

 

WEDDING ACCESSORIES

What day is more important in a woman’s life than their wedding day?  For that reason everything must be perfect.  This day will be frozen in the wedding album for generations to come so brides want traditional elegance.  While some majors venture into the specialized business of bridal accessories, the wedding party mainly trusts the expert advice of professionals in small business. 

 

Will the bride wear a tiara, a veil, or simply a hair ornament?  They trust small business experts to help make these decisions. 

 

Should the bride wear gloves?  If so, what length and what design?  And what about the bridesmaids?   There are endless options here from no gloves to wrist length, over the elbow, and opera length.  Brides feel much more confident when they have the input of that small business professional that has accessorized hundreds of weddings and has insight on what looks best for each individual occasion. 

 

Jewelry is another area that calls for important decisions. Brides planning a wedding have their hands full with all the details of making the occasion perfect.  Accessorizing the gown is one more decision to be made and it is an important one.  Here they often feel comfortable with the advice of an expert.  After all, the choices will appear in nearly every picture in the wedding album for all posterity.  Some gowns look good with necklace sets.  Should it be pearl or rhinestone?  Others call for earrings only. In addition there is the bridesmaid jewelry.  When that expert in small business makes a recommendation, a lot of weight comes off the shoulders of the bride.  They feel reassured because a professional with a history of experience provides input they trust. 

 

Evening bags are another accessory tailored to each bridal occasion.  Bridal bags for the bride and evening bags for bridesmaids is an option.  Actually, for bridesmaids the evening bags are often given as gifts.  But does the individual wedding call for evening bags?  The small business expert not only helps make the decision, but normally they are the only one selection to provide the bridal bag for the bride and colors for bridesmaids.  Overall, bridal couples trust small business when it comes to an event as important as the wedding day. 

 

FASCINATORS & FAST INNOVATION IN FASHION

Fascinators were on the rise before the royal wedding, but after that event hit world-wide television, the chart of popularity went straight up.  This is a new addition to headwear and who do consumers trust for the latest innovations in fashion?—Small business of course, usually boutiques. 

 

Fascinators will be covered in depth in the next blog, but here they are only used as an example of the fast reaction small business has to innovation.  When small business sees new fashion items making a sudden rise in popularity, they get with suppliers and have it in the store within a week or two.  Big box companies don’t operate like that.  Their purchasing was done months ahead of time and buyers have layers of bureaucracy before innovative items hit the floor.  So for the really “new” in fashion, consumers trust small business. 

 

Fascinators are an excellent example of fashion items that rise suddenly because they are so cyclical.  For centuries they have made a sudden appearance on the fashion scene and then completely disappeared, retuning again for a new generation that views them as entirely new. 

 

A famous picture of Marie Antoinette wearing a fascinator makes the point.  When high hairdos are in style hats can’t be worn so fascinators are the only choice in headwear.  Over the last few hundred years, fascinators came and went with hair styles.  Most recently, cocktail hats and fascinators became an important fashion statement in the sixties.  But today’s generation doesn’t remember that so they appear to be entirely new.  The important point is fashion items that suddenly rise to popularity consumer expect to find in small fashion businesses and that is where they look. 

 

This is only a sampling of the fashion items that consumers depend on small business to supply.  How often is small business overlooked or underestimated when we think of the overall retail picture.  They are there and many are thriving because they provide endless products in niche markets that the majors miss and even more important, because the expertise and personal service of small fashion businesses simply cannot be duplicated by the majors in many markets. 

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Filed under Dress Hats, Fashion Accessories, Fashion Marketing, Hats, Scarves, Uncategorized
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Black Friday sales were up a whopping 6.6% according to a Bloomberg article—a shocking surprise that sent the stock market up over 300 points.  The article, basing its results on ShopperTrak data, reports this is the biggest increase ever.  The figures are relating the success of major retailers, but what is happening with small business? 

This year we have seen a push to make consumers aware of supporting small business in their Christmas shopping.  While this will provide some help, the most important draw small fashion businesses have over the majors is in retail areas that they own—areas where consumers trust small business far more than the majors. 

This blog and the following two will cover twelve categories of fashion jewelry and accessories in which small business excels. 

1) LADIES DRESS HATS

 

First, consider dress hats, especially church hats.  How rare it is to find an excellent selection of dress hats suitable for church in any of the majors. Church ladies simply do not trust department stores or the majors for headwear that they are so particular about.  Furthermore, they don’t want to see anyone else on Sunday morning wearing the same hat they have.  Small business owns this fashion category. 

Small retailers not only have the selection with variety and styles to please these ladies every season, but they are also there with personal service to help the client pick the perfect headwear for a suit or Sunday dress. 

Is this important for Christmas?  Absolutely!  This is a meaningful gift for Mom if she wears hats to church on Sunday.  These gifts are usually winter dress hats created in felt.  Design ranges from simplicity to extravagant for the many personalities the headwear must please.  Small businesses specializing in dress hats will have the color and style assortment that leaves the scanty selection of department stores and majors far behind.  

2) NEW HEADWEAR FADS

 

Fads in headwear can nearly pop up over night.  As we headed into winter, animal hats suddenly were the rage.  Almost out of nowhere, nearly everyone from youth to adults fell in love with the cute designs in animal hats.  They came mainly in two styles—knit and plush.  Knit animal hats had faces of cats, pandas, koala bears and more weaved into the winter hats with buttons often used for eyes and noses.  

The other style is like the plush of stuffed animals.  These cuddly animal hats come in bears, wolves, moose, pandas, and more.  This is a great boon for small business because they can react almost instantly.   The majors placed their orders for winter goods months ago and have scheduled deliveries.  Anyone that wants these trendy new hats will have to shop small business. Yes, and plenty of people will be looking for it for Christmas gifts considering how fast and strong this trend popped up.  This is one example of how small business can take advantage of fads that suddenly appear.  They have the jump on the majors.    

3) SCARVES

 

Scarves can really make a fashion statement when added to an outfit.  However, selecting the right one and how to wear it is an art in itself.  Think of the last time you were in a department store or major retail location.  How hard was it to find a clerk?  Scarves are retuning as an important fashion statement, but retailing them takes a personal touch. 

First of all, the choices can be overwhelming for a consumer.  One style that seems to be timeless in scarves is the polyester oblongs that have a light and airy look and feel of silk.  Available in solids, prints, or themes, these scarves can make an outstanding addition to an ensemble, but the shoppers often need help in making choices.  That’s where the personal service of small business becomes essential.   

Another type of scarf that has enjoyed overwhelming popularity in recent years is pashminas.  The feel is very soft because pashminas are weaved with the undercoat of pashminas goats.  The first herds resided high in the Himalayas, but herds were successfully raised in Mongolia, which is where the wool comes from for Chinese pashminas. 

Originally, the pashminas came in an array of solid colors, but they soon evolved into prints which really have that exotic look of far away lands.  These are definitely boutique-type accessories with a high fashion look.  Yet they are very affordable.

But choosing, coordinating, and how to wear the scarves usually takes some personal service, and how can you get that in a department store when you can’t even find a clerk? Scarves make wonderful Christmas gifts and we can chalk this accessory up as a winner for small business. 

4) SCARF, HAT, GLOVE SETS

These ready-to-go gift sets were originally a darling of department stores, but these major retailers seem to have a short attention span.  The popularity continued long after the department stores dropped out of the game.  Small business can offer more variety, restock faster, and offer the gift sets cheaper than the department stores that seem to have abandoned this accessory. 

How can you be cheaper than the majors with their huge buying power?  Walk into one of those gorgeous retail locations with oodles of square footage in the high rent district.  How would you like to have their overhead?  While most small business doesn’t have that kind of foot traffic, their overhead is not sending them to the poorhouse. 

Now what is new in these ready-made gifts this year?  First there are some sets for men that include a scarf and stocking cap and are super warm. This is practical gifts that you can retail below $15 for your customers that need a gift for friends, office parties, or relatives. 

Also, a cute new set for women has a heavy cable knit scarf with matching knit cap decorated with knit flowers on one side.  Available in a variety of fashion colors, these instant gifts will sell themselves.

 

Other choices have faux fur trimmed fleece hat, scarf, and glove sets or the same combination in herringbone.  More are still coming so you can keep adding variety to your selection to please customers. 

Part II will follow shortly with a look at how small business can excel in fashion jewelry.

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Filed under Dress Hats, Hats, Uncategorized
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BUILD A ONE-OF-A-KIND DRESS HAT SELECTION

 One thing ladies don’t want to see is someone else wearing a hat exactly like the one they’re wearing.  Well, now you can solve that problem thanks to a recent purchase we made of nice fall dress hats from a factory that produces dressy hats for department stores.  The purchase was overruns, which means we got a lot of variety in styles and colors, but not much depth.  It also means you get a better wholesale price so you can please your customer base with variety and price. 

 The hats are felts and range from traditional shapes to extravagant designs that might be over the edge for your more conservative customers.  Many of the hats follow the trend of the last several months with blocking that provides unique shapes in crowns and brims.  But the biggest advantage to this shipment is you can outfit your customers needing church hats or homecoming hats without duplication. 

 Some styles include the classy look in dress hats we associate with homecoming—the kettle hat with rounded crown and small turned up brim.  These hats have that traditional look that is in demand every fall for homecoming.  Decoration is also traditional with satin rosettes and bands.  For homecoming, the style is timeless. 

 Hats can be original and yet conservative like the high crown felt shown, with angled crown and satin covering.  Decoration is conventional with rosettes nestled in leaves, but the overall shape is something new in millinery.  This is headwear that bridges the customers that are more inventive with those that are traditional. 

 One shape that has the elegance that always grabs customers’ attention is a squared crown with brim that extends out and then rolls down.  This style has returned time and again over the last ten years in different materials and with different trims and it always proves popular.  Whether ladies dress hats or semi-casual, this shape has appeal.   

 The new arrivals give a different twist to this squared crown design.  Starting with the shape above of a brim extending out and then rolling down, these hats have the brim blocked on one side to rise next to the crown and then dart downward in a hairpin shape before returning to a gentle angle down.  The other side keeps its original shape–something innovative with a shape that has proven a winner. 

 Some millinery creations in the group will be over the edge for many of your customers.  But a millinery selection has to appeal to a variety of personalities as well as satisfy customers who have done their homework and choose hats to flatter their face shape.  First, most headwear in the new selection have appeal for your conservative customers that are shopping for church or homecoming hats.  But some designs reach out only to your daring clientele.    

 Now for your customers that researched the right hat style to match face shapes.   The goal is balance.  A wide brim balances a long face and a high crown with smaller brim compliments a round face.  Oval faces can easily wear a hat, but adding some angles helps and today’s trend in unconventional blocking fills that need.  Balance the angles of a square face with hats that have a smooth profile.  Need help in determining face shapes?   Style Makeovers breaks provides descriptions and pictures of each face shape.  . 

 Another shipment of overruns is due to arrive soon, so check often because there is plenty variety, but little depth so keep ahead of the curve by selecting your millinery first.

Comments (0) Posted by admin on Wednesday, September 28th, 2011