When shopping for an outfit for a special occasion you'd think that a woman's biggest qualm would be dress size. Wrong.
In a recent survey carried out by fashion retailer, Kaleidoscope in Britian, 81% of women said that their social media channels were their number one concern when shopping for special occasion clothing. How women will appear in photos on social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were ranked as more important than the fit, style, colour and even cost of an outfit for a special occasion.
The study revealed that:
- 77% of women feared being judged by their followers and friends for their outfit choice
- 71% did not want to be tagged in the same outfit as a friend or another guest
- 56% were worried other people would look better than then, and
- 43% were concerned their partner might realise how much they had splurged on a new outfit.
This revelation shows how the rise in popularity of social sharing platforms are transforming our shopping habits. While fit and colour were once seen as the most important factors influencing buying behaviour, the focus has now sharpened on how their purchases are perceived by others on social media.
One Melbourne woman working in the fashion industry says the results are no surprise.
"The findings reflect the rise in social networking. In the same way that we watch celebrity style, the consumer is concerned that their own style will be similarly judged by their family, friends and followers,” said dressmaker Grace Koh.
Ms Koh said that the best way retailers can inspire more confidence in consumers is to offer exclusivity.
“Shoppers need to look for detail which is different and is not something that can be found just anywhere. I am often asked to vary an ‘off the peg’ item by adding something to it, or making an alteration to give it a point of difference - such as beading on a dress.
“But I think the best idea is to ‘make your own’. I guess I would say this as I’m as dressmaker,” she laughed.
Ms Koh said that for really special occasion wear, quality fabric shops that also offer dressmaking services are on the rise.
“You can get your own outfit, made to fit perfectly for you, using beautiful fabric from Italy or Switzerland, in a colour and design no-one else will have.”
She said this option is usually costly, but it’s a way of ensuring a special occasion outfit is truly unique. Her clients include bridal parties, racegoers, black tie events and business women.
“If it’s high quality fabric and workmanship, and a timeless design, it will last forever.”
"It's one way of looking fantastic on Pinterst or Facebook or wherever else you might end up, knowingly or unkonwingly!" said Ms Koh.