PPE and Pandemic Aware Fashion Guide for Merchants and Crafters

Peacock  Every crafter with a sewing machine or good hands should already be aware of the need for reusable gear for medical professionals. While you’re at it though, you may be able to fund your projects or supplement your income by being aware that masks are here to stay. Those who have gotten ill and their loved ones are leading the charge to encourage people to be considerate by wearing masks and barriers, and practicing good hygiene.  This is not a passing fad. Even those who haven’t gotten ill enjoyed that fact very much.

So, as part of preparing for the future, which I mentioned will be important to surviving and emotionally weathering the coming “twindemic”, get ready to make some money by getting ahead of the mass producers. Something I learned from my crystal hugging Goddess figures in the 90’s, you won’t outrun them forever. Whatever ideas you come up with, if they can’t be patented or copyrighted and defended, someone will steal them and make them cheaper. You may have some advantages at the moment though, with mail moving slower and people avoiding crowds. In addition to this, people are putting on a lot of lockdown pounds and exercising at home. So custom orders are the new standard. People are starting to appreciate local and bespoke crafters and designers more.

Street Pajamas.

In the coming year, because of things opening too soon and having to be on lockdown again repeatedly, a lot of people’s street clothes have been gathering dust. So folks won’t be buying much non functional clothing. What they will buy a lot of though, is pajamas and house clothes. If you’re selling or making clothes, you will do better putting out things that can do double duty as pajamas or sport or street wear. In many places, people are allowed to walk around for exercise purposes close to home even during lockdown.

Remember that fad from the late 80’s/early 90’s where people were wearing long johns and thermal underwear as leggings? Well, that’s coming back. “Harem” pants and palazzo pants are back too, but not everybody is into the poufy leg look. People have also figured out that thermal underwear tends to be more durable and warmer than standard leggings as well.

So your shop offerings should be mostly work clothes and pajamas. People are and will be buying mostly sweats, thermals, house dresses, and hoodies.

Intimates That Actually Fit.

Because nobody is going to spend all day at home in a tight fitting harness or with crunched up toes or other uncomfortable things, it is becoming more important to find stuff that actually fits. Bras need to fit. Socks need to fit. Underwear needs to fit. If things don’t fit they won’t be worn and definitely won’t be bought again. Whatever you’re selling should not just be by size but by measurement. You will sell more if you post centimeters or inches than you will by tag size because tag size has become meaningless.

For example, I know that in tops, I am an American 3X, a UK 30, and a Chinese 5 X. I need a bust size of about 130 cm. I have however seen my size with bust measurements below 90cm. About 3 years ago, there started to be a problem with manufacturers attempting to save money by making a general “plus size” but marking it with different sizes as if. So a lot of stores lost a lot of money buying what they thought would be big enough for their buyers but was not just small but so small they made people angry. It’s not a good idea to make big people feel bad. A couple of chains that were on top of the plus size marker here in Israel closed because they had bought a lot of things and people stopped buying. Their buyers didn’t check measurements. I’m told this happened with many stores around the world.

So we’re all a little shell shocked from that three years where almost nothing fit. If you want to sell to us now, you need to be able to tell us the measurements of an item. Lead with that information because the more we have to dig for it the less likely we will buy that item.

The socks issue affects many men. There is the comfort issue, which is important, but an even bigger deal is the health issue. Wearing socks that are too small has caused many to have foot problems including but not limited to ingrown toenails. So in this time when they’re looking for comfortable clothes, they’re looking for bigger, roomier socks.

Stylish Stud Earrings.

People wearing masks will of course be buying more stud earrings because dangle earrings get tangled in the strings or loops. Those who usually wore dangle earrings before though, will be looking for things a bit more stylish than the average stud. So stock or make designs of studs and small hoops that pop but wouldn’t get easily snagged.

Don’t throw out the dangle earrings though. Put necklace clasps on them so they can be hung on the ear loops or ties of masks.

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