Making Fashion Modular – Why Decide Betweeen Trousers or Shorts When You Can Have Both?

A modular garment is one that can be disassembled into different parts, or modules, and reassembled at the wearer’s will. This is generally achieved through a variety of fastenings, from buttons and zips to press studs and Velcro.

These fasteners are used to attach or detach optional extras such as collars, hoods and pockets to transform one kind of a garment to another, such as a pair of trousers which can become shorts thanks to detachable leg bottoms.

Customer onboarding

Aligned with the ‘buy less, buy better, make it last’ proposition, modular fashion ticks the boxes of sustainable consumption, while a product serving multiple purposes should also appeal to the value-conscious customer.

However, whether modularity drives a shopper’s buying decision is broadly unknown and fashion-specific research isn’t yet available.

Karin Gustafsson, design director at COS shared feedback on their 2020 capsule: “We were pleased with the customers’ reaction to the collection and heard some great anecdotes about customers discovering these features in the fitting rooms,” she said.

In terms of consumption, modular fashion is similar to modular furniture. That’s because the user is given more agency to engage with the product in creative and exciting ways based on their mood, occasion, season or taste. On the flip side, the customer might resist the cognitive effort required if the fashion item is perceived as confusing and complex, requiring too much thought.

Hence, product marketing is key, whether on the shop floor or in the e-store, according to Liza Amlani, principal and founder of the Retail Strategy Group

Multiple design considerations

Even so, the customer will continue to place a premium on garment desirability. As Gustaffson says: “Functionality is an important part of our design DNA, but the overall aesthetic of each piece comes first.”

Modularity also lends itself to servicing the product. That’s because modular design closely relates to the principle of design for disassembly — an approach that enables products to be easily taken apart for recycling, remodelling or repair.

Fairphone put that principle into practice with its sustainable smartphones. The Dutch social enterprise launched a modular phone in 2013 that allows DIY repairs of not just the battery but also complex components like the camera, display screen and back cover.

Although tech experts say that, by prioritising modularity, Fairphone has managed to attract only a niche group of customers as the product isn’t as sleek as those from market leaders Apple and Samsung.

Switching back to fashion, if a brand cracks a design that looks beautiful, is multi-functional and repairable, the lack of product innovation will likely serve as the biggest roadblock.

Business model innovation

Modular products could also trigger business model innovation by extending the brand-customer relationship beyond the initial sale. When such garments, or shoes, need repairing or altering, the brand would be able to offer ‘spare parts’ instead of prompting the consumer to buy a new item.

Nike took this approach with the limited release of a trainer, called Zvezdochka, in 2004 and 2014. It was made of four interchangeable parts so that a worn part could be replaced rather than the whole shoe.

Amlani says: “There is a market for replacement parts such as handbag straps or chains and sleeves for a convertible jacket/vest combo but production should be limited to made to measure and not kept in stock.

“Think of the extra buttons in your blazers. About 90 per cent of them don’t get used and it’s a waste of time, money, and materials.”

However, she adds that, as the need increases, retailers could start to hold minimal inventory of such items.

Ryan Mario Yasin, founder and CEO of Petit Pli, wants to launch a leasing model for his line of children’s clothing which he feels could make it more appealing to consumers.

His expandable trousers will continue to fit a nine-month-old baby for the next four years, but he’s found that parents are reluctant to shell out £60 for them, accustomed as they are to paying less than £10 for high street brands.

How would you describe the style of your brand in three words?

Bohemian is Back: X Boho Styles For Your Spring/Summer 2022 Wardrobe

Bohemian fashion style immediately conjures up visuals of the mid-2000s Sienna Miller and Nicole Richie who embraced bo-ho chic as the ‘it’ style of the time. But, bohemian inspired fashion’s original incarnation was thanks to the floaty, effortless nonchalance of Talitha Getty or Stevie Nicks channelled through a colourful kaftan, trinkety necklace, an embellished sandal.

The Bohemian lifestyle also has close ties to the celebration of music, and the boho style has become the uniform at festivals across the world, beginning in the ’60s and ’70s with hippies and the free-spirited who also encouraged an unconventional lifestyle. In recent years, the popularity of festivals such as Coachella, Burning Man and Splendour In The Grass, has seen a resurgence of boho fashion.

The elements of bohemian fashion include loose, flowing clothing made of natural fabrics, colourful patterns and layering.

BEST BOHEMIAN FASHION DRESSES

A good boho dress can take you from day to night, beach to bar, pretty much everywhere. Often loose, floaty and dramatic, they’re the perfect piece to pluck from your wardrobe on those days where you can’t work out what to wear.

I like to team mine with flat tan sandals (or a 70s-style wooden heel for dressier events) and some dramatic fashion earrings. If you want to get your hair off your face, choose either a sleek bun, or hold hair back with a headscarf tied as a headband.

This midi dress blurs the line between prairie fashion and bohemian. We love its simplicity with the neutral oatmeal hue and how flattering the ruched mid-section is.

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Got the Blues? Dopamine Dressing Might Be For You

“Much like the dressings you might put on a salad, bright and delicious fabric colors can not only convey a more positive impression, but also lighten up the mood around you.”

What Is Dopamine Dressing

Dopamine dressing is dressing to boost your mood. By wearing a certain color, texture, or style, we can activate the release of dopamine, the feel-good chemical our bodies make. The term was coined by fashion psychologist Dawnn Karen, dubbed “The Dress Doctor” by The New York Times, who wrote about optimizing mood through dress in her book Dress Your Best Life. At the start of the pandemic, Karen started looking for ways to naturally boost dopamine.

Gone are the days of neutrals, with all eyes on dopamine dressing as the fashion direction to aim for. Essentially, the concept of ‘dopamine dressing’ is a theory that wearing certain colours can elevate your mood. Widely considered a fashion legend—given it’s not backed by science—fuschias, citrus oranges and electric blues are worth keeping an eye on as they look to be the top contenders for colour choice. So, it’s time to stock up on the spectrum.

  • Start With Your Closet: One of the most popular aspects of dopamine dressing is that you don’t have to buy anything new. Everything you need is most likely in your closet. You don’t need to buy a whole new wardrobe to feel happy. “Look at the pieces you continually gravitate toward, ask yourself what they have in common, and then double down on those attributes,” says Keefe. So if you find yourself drawn to red dresses or heels, wear them more often.
  • At its core, dopamine dressing encourages us to feel good about our style. It helps us get pleasure from wearing what we truly love, as opposed to mindlessly buying something or getting likes on an Instagram post. “Let’s find joy wherever we can,” encourages Higham, “even if that’s in wearing a fun outfit.”

How would you describe the style of your brand in three words?

Features Your Fashion E-Commerce Store Absolutely Needs in 2022

Ex. Customizable products, inclusive sizing, easy to use mobile shopping website, AR or VR visualization of products.

Size Guides

The first and most important one is to know more about the product. One of the common reasons why customers are skeptical about their online purchase is the inability to try the products before their purchase. Visiting an offline store gives them the ease to try multiple products, see their size and fit, and then initiate a purchase.

However, when it comes to online buying, there isn’t any way of trying the product unless one purchases the same. With an ideal product size chart, you can keep your customers informed about the size and fit of a product. This will give users ample guidance on how to measure their body and finally, select the right size of the product.

Online shopping has become a trend and so has the concept of product returns. From where the industry stands now, there is a 30% return rate of products ordered online. Have you ever given a thought to this?

Or, does this occur to you as a coincidence? Even if it does, return rates are no coincidence and there has to be a reason behind the same. As per a survey conducted by the Body Labs, of the total clothes returned, 64% of the customers complained about the wrong fit.

Though reducing the return rate isn’t 100% controllable yet certain pain points can always be optimized for better results. When it comes to clothing and their return rates, an improper fit is the primary reason and so giving your customers the ease to decide the right fit is one way of reducing return rates.

Custom-made product size charts are extremely helpful when finding the ideal fit for an item of clothing or apparel.

Mobile App

In addition to having a mobile-friendly store for shoppers to make a purchase from any device, also consider having a mobile app for your store.

Mobile apps allow you to keep your brand on your customer’s minds, placing your app icon/brand logo on the smart devices customers use most.

You don’t have to wait for customers to open up a browser or another app for social media or email to get your latest sales messages.

You can push those promotional updates through your app to any customers that have notifications turned on.

AR and VR create virtual fitting room experiences.

With the shift toward digital shopping experiences comes the challenge of ensuring that shoppers are completely satisfied with their purchases. Luckily, numerous smart-fitting technologies are aiding the fashion market in catering to the needs and wants of its customers.  

Some smart-fitting technologies allow customers to find their perfect size by providing their specific measurements, answering a few simple questions or inputting their typical sizes for other brands. The platform then compares product sizes to items that the customer already owns and loves, and using data technology, gives the customer size and style recommendations.

Other technologies go beyond this functionality, using 3D technology and augmented reality to show exactly what a product would look like on the customer or a model. By detecting the customer’s contour and letting them choose which clothing items they want to try on, AR and VR fitting rooms provide a clear picture of the size, fit and style of a product — all from the customer’s mobile device. 

Of course, purchasing any item online (especially one that’s high-cost) may seem risky enough, but purchasing a clothing item without physically trying it on adds a new level of uncertainty. However, augmented and virtual fitting rooms are working to ease the anxiety and provide shoppers with an experience that matches that of a brick-and-mortar store.

Give personalized recommendations using AI.

Two of the primary reasons for ecommerce are its ease of use and convenience. But now, more fashion ecommerce sites are also harnessing its ability to customize experiences and give shoppers what they want in the shortest amount of time. As 43% of purchases are made as a result of personalized recommendations, it’s evident that shoppers are actively seeking online experiences that mimic — or even exceed — those in-store.

Using artificial intelligence and tracking consumer behavior, ecommerce retailers can provide personalized product recommendations based on a customer’s previous purchases, browsing history and situational targeting. 

Perhaps a shopper clicks on a sweater and scrolls down to find a “You May Also Like” or “Customers Also Viewed” section. Or, perhaps they previously browsed through the men’s section on your website, and the next time they return, the homepage features product recommendations for men’s apparel. 

This AI functionality can even go a step further by offering “virtual style assistants.” While some of these assistants may be real people working behind the scenes to customize shoppers’ closets, many are actually automated chatbots. 

Mode.ai — a startup that creates chatbots for ecommerce retailers — helped build Levi’s Virtual Stylist, which assists shoppers in finding their perfect pair of jeans based on fit, rise and stretch preferences. Additionally, the chatbot feature compares product sizes to the customer’s other favorite brands to provide an accurate size and style recommendation.

Personalized shopping experiences.

It’s one thing to offer a great deal, but it’s even better if that deal is catered specifically to your customer. Utilizing AI technologies and tracking consumer behavior are incredible tools for creating a customer experience that is unique, personal and consistent. 

Nowadays, personalization isn’t a rarity, but a norm. And customers don’t just want personalized experiences — they expect them, whether that be including the customer’s name in mass emails or tailoring the homepage of your ecommerce website according to their previous search history.

How would you describe the style of your brand in three words?

Reasons Why The Chic Trend Is Here To Stay Comfortable

More than just being an intentionally unpretentious look for Sunday brunch, the comfort chic trend has found much fanfare among people who miss the practical simplicity of homestyle “covid fashion”.

How To Put Together A Casual Chic Look: A Simple Guide

Casual chic provides comfort for all-day wear and offers a bit of polish. It is the perfect middle ground if you are not feeling like dressing up but at the same time do not want to roam the streets in sweats.

 

The best way to think about this style is a mix-and-match approach. Grab a polished item like a delicate blouse and pair it with a leather jacket, kitten heels, and jeans. You are striking the casual balance with the leather jacket and jeans. And you are adding chic with the feminine top and kitten heels.

Although you can create almost an endless number of outfits, certain elements appear over and over.

  • Classic Blazer

The classic blazer paired with jeans and a tee is the most used case. Style the look with a few accessories and fun shoes, and you are good to go.

  • Dress Shirt

Another timeless classic is a dress shirt that can be paired with a fun skirt and denim jacket.

  • Fancy Skirt

A fancy skirt will work well with a white tee and a leather jacket.

  • Track Pants

Track pants are great to pair with exciting platforms or high heels. You can also add a funky tee and a blazer.

  • Trench Coat

The trench is the ultimate classic that pairs well with almost everything.

  • Sweatshirt and Hoodie

Sweatshirts and hoodies are acceptable if paired with polished items like a dress shirt, straight-cut pants, and dresses. Since these two items are very casual, the rest of the look needs to counterbalance.

  • Dress

A dress, whether it is a classic cut black dress or a fun summer one, can be paired with a blazer, ballet flats, and a few accessories.

  • Accessories

Accessories are a nice touch, especially if your outfit on a more casual side. A white tee can be layered with a bold necklace. A simple white shirt and jeans outfit can be spiced up with bold earrings.

Casual chic looks are also about mixing and matching fabrics, colors, and textures.

  • Playing with Color

Monochrome looks are always in and easy to style. You get an instant upgrade when you pull together pieces in the same color. These could be track pants, trench, and a long sleeve top in beige or camel color paired with nude heels.

  • Playing with Accent Colors

We could pull together relaxed fit jeans, a white top, and a jean blazer accented with a bright bag and shoes.

  • Playing with Volume

Be careful when you are wearing oversized items; you do not want to get lost in your clothes. A good combination could be a classic pencil skirt styled with an oversized sweatshirt and kitty heels.

When you are unsure of what to wear to a casual dinner, brunch, or playdate, select a pair of jeans, a white tee, and a blazer paired with white sneakers. I would add statement earrings or a necklace. Finish the look with mascara and lipstick. This foolproof outfit will never fail.

 

And do not be afraid to experiment. You do not need to follow the established playbook. If there are items that work for you better, then stick with them. If specific shapes and materials do not suit you, pass them by and focus on what works. We are all different, so be you because no one else can!

How would you describe the style of your brand in three words?