As the new season arrives, many shoppers are looking to refresh their office wear as well as their weekend looks. We’ve talked about how to display the latest spring fashion trends for men and women, but you’ll need a slightly different touch when it comes to items meant for business professionals. Whereas your informal clothing displays should be light, fun and representative of the season, these office wear displays will tend to be a little more timeless, simple and feature darker, natural colors. If your boutique store is completely dedicated to office appropriate fashions, your spring refresh will be easier. If you cater to many different looks, you’ll definitely want to consider creating a professional corner that is visually different from the other areas of your establishment.
Office fashion trends for 2016
Just because the office has a dress code, it doesn’t mean that office workers can’t express their sense of style. In fact, the subtle ways people can express themselves in a professional setting often make for some really unique and great fashion choices. Here’s what you can expect this season:
Perhaps because of hit shows like “Mad Men,” office fashion is trending toward a retro vibe. We saw in the last post that men’s informal fashion is being modeled on looks from the 40s, but women’s office wear is a few decades ahead. Just don’t confuse these trends with hippie styles or the chic housewife look. Rather, the trends Harper’s Bazaar magazine has reported on are more closely like those of the upper echelons of 1960s business women. The magazine reported on popular looks that included wine-colored turtlenecks and monochrome blazers, wide-lapeled dusters and wide-leg pants, as well as Jackie O-inspired skirt suits.
“Many business women are mixing the modern with the retro.”
These looks are ideally displayed on full-bodied mannequins, so shoppers can get a look at the full ensemble. Our female mannequins are great for displaying entire outfits. This is a key idea to remember for presenting any cutting-edge fashion, because displaying the items singly might leave your patrons wondering how they would wear them. Our mannequins come in a variety of poses so you can tailor the look with an attitude that will make it all pop.
If you’d rather sell a more modern look, remember that less is more. According to Glam Radar, professional women are pairing their skinny pants and narrow-cut blazers with small accessories like a smart pearl necklace or petite diamond studs. Try setting up some of our black leatherette jewelry trays near your professional outfits. Shoppers looking for a completely new look will be tempted to purchase an accessory that goes with their new clothes.
As you arrange your store, you might find it best to have a mix of the retro with the modern. Use aisle space to separate the looks, but use the same types of racks and mannequins to preserve some coherence. Your more creative shoppers may want to take something from a modern trend and accent it with a throwback piece. This kind of creativity and personalization should be encouraged by the flow of your store’s layout.
Ditching the suit
More often, male office workers are leaving their suits at home in favor of stylish, slim-fitting outfits that maintain a sense of professionalism. It might sound like that’s asking a lot of an outfit, but Racked has reported on many looks that achieve just that. Matching a simple pair of chinos with a gingham-patterned shirt and solid-colored blazer creates a professional look that’s not as constraining as wearing a two-piece suit.
Our male mannequins are great for showing off full outfits, or you can display a simple shirt and tie combination with a shirt form. Whatever look you’re going for, we have options to suit your needs. If you’re looking to sell a certain pairing of pants and shoes, you can easily show customers using our pant forms. Just like there’s a look for every man, there’s a display solution for every store. Just remember to keep your professional displays simple and well defined, as this will help customers visualize what the clothes will look like in an office setting.
Creating a boutique for professionals
Once you’ve decided on which products to sell this season, you’ll need to craft an environment that encourages buying. For weekend outfits, you might go with something fun, seasonal and extra creative. But when you’re selling more professional pieces, you might want to keep things at more subtle tone. For example, a men’s clothing store that specializes in office outfits might use a Hanson two-way rack to display shirts on one side and matching trousers on the other. In fact, when it comes to displaying spring office attire for men, you might consider sticking to a duochrome color scheme that matches dark wood with black metal. Add a few accents in your store’s signature color and you have an environment that focuses the shopper’s attention on the clothes.
The same basic idea works for women’s outfits as well. Choose a two-or-three-toned color scheme that won’t distract from the items on the racks. Our black boutique table set is great for showing off pants or shirts. Having a complete ensemble displayed on a nearby mannequins would complete the setup and offer something to look at both below and at eye level.
When focusing on professional clientele, you and your staff absolutely need to be knowledgeable about the items you sell and how they can be worn in the office. Many of your customers will arrive already knowing what look to go for, but others will want some advice. Imagine a young woman coming into your store looking for an outfit to wear to an interview. Your sales staff should be able to ask the right questions that will eventually lead to a decision that perfectly fits the shopper’s needs.