Shop Talk: How New Tariff's Will Impact The Cost of Apparel in 2019

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During our Monday morning meeting this week our conversation turned toward the China tariffs and the effect that they are going to have on the cost of clothing (among other things) in the very near future. Many of our past colleagues and friends in local retail buying offices have also hinted at future price impacts. As we started talking more in depth, we thought that it would be a good idea to update all of you about what to expect to see in the coming months.

Stay Stylish (and Savvy),

Megan and Kimberly


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What is All This Tariff Talk?

In case you haven’t been following the tariff situation as closely as we have, here is a brief breakdown of what is slated to happen in the new year. The current administration recently imposed tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, including clothing, shoes, home goods, children's products, and furniture. After an initial 10% increase in late September, the tariffs will increase to 25% at the start of 2019. 

How Tariff’s Will Impact Clothing Costs?

According to the National Retail Federation, it is estimated that currently more than 41 of clothes and 72 percent of shoes sold domestically are Chinese-made.  That means that the 25% duties will likely be passed along in the retail cost of apparel and other items to protect seller’s margins. While many retailers are looking to shift manufacturing from China to other countries, this will take time as seller strategies solidify. In addition, be prepared for a likely shift in quality as new factories are getting up and running and skilled labor is developed. Many large retail brands may already be diversified in their manufacturing base but in recent weeks even they have warned about impacts.

What to Buy Now

While we can’t predict the future, we can be more savvy shoppers in how we invest in our wardrobe. Be proactive and look at your favorite pieces in your closet, then look at the tag—Where was it produced? Being aware of what you are buying and from where is the first step.

You can expect to see prices rise in early 2019 across the board on clothing items and we are predicting is may range anywhere from 10-25%. If you apply that across an entire wardrobe it certainly adds up. That said, you will probably feel it more in certain categories, where the US imports primarily from China.

Here are a few items that we recommend for shopping now:

  1. Eyewear/Sunglasses - The U.S. imported nearly $1 billion worth of sunglasses, goggles, and other eyewear last year from China. according to data from the U.S.

  2. Scarves/Shawls - China is also the top source for scarves and shawls.

  3. Sweaters - Your cold weather favorite is about to get pricier. The U.S. imported $4.6 billion worth of sweaters from China in 2017.

  4. T-Shirts/Tank Tops - $606 million in T-shirts, tank tops and other casual shirts were imported from China last year.

  5. Intimates - America imports more women’s underwear from China than from any other country. Last year, Made-in-China bras, girdles, corsets, suspenders and garters sent to the U.S. were worth $1.2 billion.

  6. Denim- Your true blues may get a hike as much of our “American” denim is now loomed and produced in China.


Curious to read a little more?

Here are a few educational articles we found helpful around the impacts of the current trade war conversation:

Bloomberg: China's Factory Heartland Braces for Trump's Big Tariff Hit

Retail Dive: Retailers warn of price hikes as China tariffs take hold

WSJ: Holidays Gifts May Escape Tariffs, but Retailers Won’t

Refinery29: Why Is The European Union Going After Our Jeans?


Posted on October 18, 2018 and filed under Style News.
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Changing Seasons: What to Pack Away for Fall

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Megan and I often get the question from clients, “How do you dress in the Bay Area when there are no seasons?!” While it is true what we largely have two seasons in SF - Fog and No Fog - that doesn’t mean you couldn’t benefit from a shift with the season.

Unsure what to pack away or shift to the back of your closet? Read on for our list to help you shift to a new season with ease and pack away seasonal pieces with care.

Stay Stylish,

K&M


Yes, Store Your Clothes For A Season

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There are many professionals in our industry and organizational gurus who strictly direct to never packing away anything in your closet, but we support pausing pieces for a season or two (i.e. Fall/Winter). This cycling will increase the life of the garments by stretching their wear and help you to be more intentional when adding new pieces.

The Canvas Guide To Storing Your Summer Staples

Give It a Fresh Wash: Before packing anything away send it out to the dry cleaner or machine wash so that there are no stains. This also ensures that everything is fresh and ready for the following season when you take it out of storage.

Look At Fabrication: Anything that is light weight and cannot be layered under a sweater will likely not be your first pick in the morning, which is why we recommend packing away linen and light weight fabrics. By putting them away and out of sight, you can see your true choices in your closet and are less likely to always reach for the same thing.

Pro Tip: If you store your linen or summer sweaters in a box or plastic tote, slip in a paper wrapped bar of your favorite soap or sachet. Kimberly recommends picking up a set of Portuguese or Florentine soaps from World Market.

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Color and Prints: It can feel tricky deciding which clothes to put away for Spring/Summer, when the weather is mostly the same all year round. We recommend packing your lighter colors and prints (pastels, bright florals, summer stripes), and leaving your jewel tones, deeper colors, and plaids for the cooler months.

Spring/Summer Accessories: Apply the pack-away strategy to your accessories. Straw sun hats, strapy sandals, and light weight scarves can be stored until your next vacation or season shift.

Pro Tip: Roll your scarves and store them in your hats. Not only will help your hats keep shapes, it will also help make the most of your storage space.

Storage Picks:


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Jewel Tones: Color Mixing for Fall

Last week Kimberly blogged about how she is incorporating the plaid statement jacket into her wardrobe this fall. Today, Megan is sharing her favorite tones for the season and what pieces she is coveting the most.

Stay Stylish,
M&K

 Outfit details: H&M pleated midi skirt ( similar ), green crop sweater ( similar ), patent leather studded flats ( similar ),  Cuyana circle crossbody

Outfit details: H&M pleated midi skirt (similar), green crop sweater (similar), patent leather studded flats (similar), Cuyana circle crossbody


Jewel Toned Color Palette

One of my favorite things about fall is all of the incredible jewel tones that come out. I have always preferred the rich, deep colors of the season that feel luxurious and indulgent. Oxblood, deep greens, rich blues, and golden hues all make up this fall’s color palette. Most jewel tones wear well together, so take some time to play around and see what combinations feel the most natural for you.

Pick Two Main Colors

The easiest way to colorblock with jewel tones is by starting with two colors that complement each other. I first picked my foundation piece, which is this deep purple pleated skirt I found at H&M. Then played around with what to wear on top.

Often times when I am getting dressed, I start with one item that I know I absolutely want to wear and then look for another items to plays well off of it.While black or white would have gone fine with the skirt, the forest green sweater felt more in line for fall and added extra color.

Pro Tip: Have fun with mixing and matching jewel toned prints to your outfits like a floral against a black background or a burgundy plaid.

Keep Your Accents Simple

The jewel tones are really the star of the show, so everything else can be muted or simple. I decided to add my patent leather flats (if only SF was a heel friendly city!) and round blush bag from Cuyana since the soft color can also serve as a neutral. Since the colors of the skirt and sweater were so bold, I opted for a softer pink lip and matching nail polish to keep the overall outfit from looking too severe.

If I were to mix this up for evening, I’d swap the bag for a metallic clutch, pop on some patent leather heels and add a darker lip. I wish I could say that I’d take my hair down too - but I am always just more comfortable with it up in its usual bun!

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Not Everything Needs to Match

If you’ve been following this blog for awhile, you know that I have a bit of an eclectic sense of style. I always like to incorporate the unexpected into my daily outfits.

One of the easiest ways to do that is with jewelry. I find my jewelry to also be the most personal part of my wardrobe - most of the pieces I’ve either been gifted or have inherited - and I like to mix and match pieces for a high-low effect. If mixing silver and gold doesn’t feel authentically you, then try weaving in beads or stones with your metals to create depth and texture.

Pro Tip: Travel is the perfect time to add to your jewelry collection. The pieces don’t have to be expensive and they are a great way hold onto memories. Look for local markets to find authentic items.

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Posted on October 5, 2018 and filed under Stylish Living, Style Stories, Women.
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