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Editorial: A Guide To Effective Trendspotting For Better Sales Results |  January 27, 2021 (0 comments)


Merrick, NY—As a former fashion editor, I’ve always got my eye on what trends are coming, going, and classic. Although right now even putting on a pair of jeans feels like dressing up, there will come a time, hopefully soon now that vaccines are on the way, when we will all get dressed again and go out for fun, not just groceries. You’ve no doubt already learned some of my favorite trend-spotting tricks, and it never hurts to be ready. Photo: @JANETGUNNGRATEFULGARDENIA, via Pinterest and

So, my tricks to spot a trend that can translate into better merchandising and sales? To recap:

Three times is a trend. I didn’t make this rule, but this favorite saying from Harpers’ Bazaar is a good guideline. If you see it in three different places, it’s a thing.

Corollary to the three times rule: it takes an average of three years for our eyes to adjust to a radical new look. The cool girls started wearing (Adidas) Stan Smiths with suits about five years ago; by three years ago sneakers and suits were de rigueur for fashionable urbanites, and now even Vice President Kamala Harris famously wears kicks with pantsuits (though she prefers Converse Chuck Taylors.)

Directional, not actual. What you see on the runway or in editorial spreads in high-fashion magazines are extremes, meant to make an artistic or directional statement. By the time a trend gets to the consumer, it’s going to be distilled down. What’s open to the waist on the runway will be a deep V-neck in the store. A shoulder-dusting hoop earring in a magazine will be a large—but not saucer-sized—hoop in women’s ears.

Are my customers too conservative—or am I? Next time you think something won’t sell in your market, pause and ask yourself why not. To that end:

Go people-watching. Literally. Sit or stroll and watch women in their daily lives at the mall, at the grocery store, going out to lunch, in a business park. How are most of them dressed? And what kind of jewelry are they wearing? Is it big? Small? Layered? Necklaces? Bracelets? Earrings? Watches? Keep the mood and silhouette in mind when buying merchandise. 

Scour both Instagram and Pinterest. Instagram is a place where brands and influencers hang out—but Pinterest is a place where ordinary consumers tell you through their “pins” what catches their eye. 

Watch the jewelry when jewelry isn’t the point. I.e., in ads, catalogs, websites, TV shows, etc. That’s going to show you what’s resonating. For example, fashion websites like WhoWhatWear have lots of articles with titles like “9 Trends Women Over 50 Are Wearing.” The clothing is the focus of the article, but look closely at the jewelry in the photos. In that article, I’m still seeing long, layered, and delicate pendant necklaces (obviously, this trend is still going strong!), along with a more substantial 80’s style collar or two, an emerging trend (remember that three-year rule!), and a lot of watches. But there were no big necklaces, bracelets, or huge earrings. 

Seize big-news trends immediately. When jewelry makes huge fashion news like Vice President Harris’s pearls did, you want to make sure you’re on top of the trend ASAP. Test with a few pieces at different price points as soon as you can and make sure to promote it vigorously while it’s still a hot topic. 

Vice president Kamala Harris, shown here as a candidate, wears pearls almost every day.

Classics are classic for a reason. You can’t go wrong with diamond stud earrings. Ever. But you can go wrong with price, so stock wide enough options for everybody.

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