Today in her newsletter, image consultant Bridgette Raes clued us in to the method behind the madness of how stores time their sales.
Behold – the sale calendar interpreted by Ms. Raes:
Stores let their stock go low this month because it makes it easier to do inventory at the end of the month. Winter things are on clearance and spring merchandise is dribbling into every department – crocheted handbags in bright fruity colors, fun colorful summer shoes. Cruise Wear is in – flowy print silk pants and linen jackets, straw hats. Spring hosiery colors are in, happy and peppy. Valentine’s Day inspired items appear – red teddies, scarves with hearts on them. If you’ve been lusting for a cashmere coat, this is the time to pick it up. It’ll be 30-60% off.
Spring clothes are in the stores in transition fabrics first – those cottons, linens, silks, rayon, and polyesters that are medium weight in both casual and career clothing. Mid-March is the pinnacle for spring merchandise selection.
This is when you find serious summer clothes – sleeveless, skimpy lightweight fabrics while the late deliveries are again in transitional weight fabrics – clothes that are a little heavier to work into early fall. Navy shows up again because it’s a good transitional color. Look for spring clothes on the sale racks. April has the biggest selection of summer clothes.
This is the month of summer clearances. If the weather has stabilized and you’re just now thinking you’d like to have a couple of summer dresses, run, don’t walk to the stores.
Department stores try to wake you up out of your lazy-margarita pool side reverie by announcing full- page ads of PRE-SEASON SALES. For two weeks they bring out never-before-seen fall merchandise at sale prices to get you to buy wool. Again, the first wool that comes out is a lighter weight or a silk/wool blend to transition you into the thick of fall. Fall handbags appear in darker colors and heavier textures – leather, suede – and leather gloves are displayed.
Summer clothes are gone, the floor is loaded with wool and heavy cottons. You’ll find long-sleeved turtlenecks in transitional ribbed silk. Fall hosiery colors are in. Don’t come later than September for the biggest selection of fall merchandise.
The heaviest weights woolens are in – thick sweaters, merino wool tunics, and skirts/pants appear, as well as velvet and cashmere. Turtlenecks are in wool. Long johns and flannels are here. Holiday clothes appear this month and are often picked over or gone by the end of November and what’s left is on sale in December. “Holiday” is a particularly short season, so if this is the year you have lots of parties to go to, shop early. Mid-October has the best selection of winter merchandise.
Resort Wear shows up for holiday and winter travel to warm climates. Resort influences include nautical colors – navy and white, palm tree prints, chiffon, some sleeveless items.
**Permission to reprint the fashion calendar given by the Association of Image Consultants International