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girl in a dress

 

(NewsUSA) – There’s not a wardrobe staple that transitions better from one season to the next than the dress. And it’s no surprise that the dress has caught the attention of leading stylists and editors, with everything from sleek A-line to wrap-styles gracing the pages of fashion magazines. The key trends right now? Ruching and pleats, along with embellished necklines.

Brands like Liz Claiborne new york have especially capitalized on the dress trend at their outlet retail stores this season, with the design team putting special emphasis on patterns, prints and texture in the collection. And with good reason — retail statistics have shown that despite the lackluster economy of 2009, the dresses category was actually up 5 percent while the rest of the apparel market trended down, according to data from The NPD Group, a leading consumer and market research firm.

“Dresses have become one of the very few growing categories in apparel, with consumers seeing them as ‘great investments,’” says Marshal Cohen, Chief Industry Analyst, The NPD Group. “They create the basis for a complete outfit with the right accessories in one garment, and consumers just love the idea of one-piece dressing — it’s simple and economical.”

It is clear why dresses are such key wardrobe components of so many women who lead multi-faceted lives — they’re beautiful, feminine and oh-so-versatile. “All-occasion styles” of dresses are particularly popular within collections like those found at Liz Claiborne new york because they can be dressed up or down by changing out various accessories, like a colorful cardigan, heels or some great jewelry. The best part? They are available at over 90 outlet retail stores nationwide and come in petite, missy and plus sizes, making them a perfect fit for every body type.

Look for dresses that are easy to wear and easy to care for — Liz Claiborne new york dresses are almost all machine-washable and made of soft, breathable cotton- and in bold colors, soft prints and textured fabrics like eyelet. And don’t forget those accessories! Take a simple gingham shift dress from day-to-dinner with the simple but stylish addition of some strappy high-heel sandals and statement jewelry.

female-shopper

 

(BPT) – Every day, people use data to influence their decision making — from where to go for dinner, to selecting stocks in which they should invest, to where to live. Every Google search we perform, every Yelp review read or written, each item of clothing, houseware or electronic device we put in our virtual cart, is another data point companies can use to personalize our experience with their brands.

Despite all the data at their disposal, it seems many brands still don’t fully understand what consumers want from them in terms of products or services or how to best engage with their end buyer. A recent survey from cloud and big data integration company Talend shows 88 percent of information technology leaders believe their organization truly understands its customers, while only 61 percent of consumers believe companies understand their needs.

This begs the question: How do we differentiate between those brands that are using our data the right way, versus those that have a long way to go? Second, how do we help the brands we love understand us better without sacrificing our privacy?

1. Understand which data to share.

Think about your favorite shopping app or website. Does it know which brands you prefer? What about your shoe size? Does it have your zip code stored for shipping estimates? Does it make appropriate recommendations? The strongest relationships in life work both ways, so if you want a brand to know what you want from them, perhaps it’s time to share a little. Taking five minutes to fill out some basic profile information in your “preferences” could, at the very least, save you time on future shopping excursions and might even lead to a surprise find.

2. Use data to get the best deals.

When you’re shopping online, you can quickly compare prices for the exact item you want to purchase across multiple vendors, and, if you have time to wait, be alerted should the item go on sale. The best example is travel. There seems to be a never-ending list of websites available for booking flights and hotels, but booking the first flight you see without shopping around is rarely going to get you the best deal. Countless studies have shown booking on certain days of the week, or a particular number of weeks ahead of your trip, will yield the best results. From there, one still has to compare prices against different websites to find the best fare. Luckily, some of the top search engines are making this even easier for consumers by indicating whether the price is high or low. The art of finding the best deal is really in comparing the data.

3. Know where to draw the line.

At the end of the day, privacy is still important, and it’s prudent not to share too much personal information. Think critically about which data is going to be absolutely necessary to enhance your experience with the companies you rely on. For example, it’s not necessary to share your contact list, your geolocation or (if you’re on a mobile device) access to your camera if you’re using a music or financial app. Some brands ask for too much, and it’s up to each individual to determine which data makes sense to share with each brand and what doesn’t. For example, don’t be too quick to provide broad access to an app you’ve just downloaded. Also, as painful as it may be, do read the privacy policy of the sites you frequent and understand how they use and protect the personal information they collect on you.

Ultimately, most companies today are still just scratching the surface when it comes to understanding the impact customer data can have on the profitability and success of their business. There is still a lot of room for growth when it comes to companies effectively using data to address consumer needs. It’s up to each one of us to make sure we are sharing the right data with them, while also using that data to our advantage to get the best deals and online experience possible.

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