Hanger Appeal


My phone rang around noon last Saturday…

“Hello”, I answered.

“Hey. Willie-M, are you home?” The voice on the other end asked me.

“Yes, I am here, everything ok?” I answered. It was my niece on the line.

"All good, can I stop by? I am bringing you lunch.”

"Sure, thanks!”

She showed up an hour later with lunch and a hanging suit bag. I didn't ask, but I knew what she wanted. I served some chilled white wine and had lunch as we caught up with our busy life stories. After a while of sipping wine and chatting, I could no longer wait.

“So…what's in the bag?”

“Oh Tio, I just bought this romper and I need your opinion."

“Ok, I'm all eyes”, I told her.

 She unzipped the bag, pulled out this piece on a hanger to which I quickly reacted: “what's THAT?” (I have no filter...) She looked at me a little confused as she replied: "I bought it at the store but didn't try it on as I wanted your personal opinion.:

“Mmm…hmm, thanks for lunch," was my personal opinion at the moment. 

 It was a silk romper with mesh long sleeves and two pieces hanging from the top side seams. The way it was constructed seemed as if she would be closer to naked than clothed when she put it on. 

She tried it on as I wrapped the two pieces from the side seam around her breasts and tied them to the back. 

“Wow, I'm impressed! Jenni, you look hot!" I must say, I was almost speechless.

Here's where I should have known better, actually I do know better - never jump to conclusions on an ill-fitting hanger outfit until you see the piece physically on. 

When I'm at work as a Fashion Designer, we try and focus on the way the client would appeal to a look. We study at all the pieces in the collection from every angle, then begin to accept, improve, or delete.

One of the things we need to pay attention to is hanger appeal. On a personal note, I must say that many of my best designs have never made it to the collection because we decided they were not attractive to the customer’s eyes. The team always jokes around and asks me, "does that dress come with instructions?"

Here are my shopping tips to not get caught in the "play it safe" trap:

- Give that piece a chance to make it into your personal runway. 

- Try to imagine what the designer was thinking when he created the style, give us some credit. We really do try to design figure flattering pieces.

- Dare to try it on. Take risks - remember - you don't have to buy it just because you try it on. 

- Dress for yourself, you will never make everyone happy.

- Have fun!!! If you enjoy it, wear it. 

What's your experience with that piece that didn't look good on the hanger? How did you make it your own? Remember you only have one life and there is only one you, life is too short to try and impress anyone but yourself.

Let's keep the conversation going!  “It's not about money It's about style”. 

#WillieM