Fashion Accessories - July, August 2010

July 2010


In This Issue:


Summer Fashion Accessories

bracelets #55

Cuff Bracelets


fashion scarves #55

Fashion Scarves


shell jewelry #55

High Fashion Shell Jewelry


hoop earrings #55

Hoop Earrings



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New Arrivals

gemstone jewelry #55

Gemstone Jewelry


July and August--does it get any hotter than this? For most of us the answer is no. So in the fashion accessory business we meet the heat with two high flying accessories that are not only essential, but look really debonair in the hot summer months--hats and sunglasses. Many accessories may slump in the heat, but these two are in their peak season, so let's examine what is moving fastest.

Michael Gietl

wide bri hat #55

Wide Brim Hats

Headwear that Gives Sun Protection with Style

After cowboy hats that we will look at next, wide brims are the fastest selling category of hats. And wide brims cover a wider spectrum of the market than any other headwear. All the things for dress-up like teas, luncheons, outdoor weddings, and derby day can use wide brim hats as well as the most causal of times like going to the beach, festival, or vacation. Wide brim hats are big for summer cruises, resort wear, or just bumming around close to home.

This season the super-wide brims continue in popularity, a trend introduced by Ralph Lauren on the runways two years ago. Five to six inch brims are most popular in super widebrims and the sassy flop these hats provide adds instant personality to an outfit. Women would probably gravitate to this look even if it didn't provide shade from the beating sun. It's the Audrey Hepburn and Sophia Lauren look of the sixties.

Materials create different looks to satisfy all the occasions wide brim hats serve. Those dressy outdoor events look good in polypropylene widebrims that give the Milan straw appearance. Especially popular are six inch brims with alternating rows of horsehair and polypropylene that have just enough dip in the brim to make the wearer feel like a sixties silver screen star.

Boutiques will want to include the quality look of raffia wide brims that are ideal for cruises and resort wear. Five to six inch brims in natural straw are always classy. Normally simple black grosgrain trim is all the hat needs to look high fashion.

Then there is toyo widebrims for women that like color. These can range from sophisticated combinations suitable for any dressy event to floppy solid color for sassy look at the beach or on vacation.

widebrim hats in your accessories because popularity is on a steady rise beneath the radar and most retailers are overlooking the item. That is good for you because what can be better for sales than high demand and low supply.

cowboy hats #55

Cowboy Hats

John B Stetson Invents an American Icon in Headwear that Will Never End

At the end of the Civil War, John B Stetson was going into the cowboy hat business with his famous "Boss of the Plains" hat that went West for cattlemen, Texas Rangers, and anyone that wanted the rugged look that became the trademark of individualism. Little did he know that he pioneered an American icon that would never die. Cowboy hats have modified over the years, but their unflinching popularity makes them our most popular selling casual hat year after year. In 2009, cowboy hats were about 50% of all casual hat sales and in 2010, they are selling at an even higher rate.

The only area of the US where cowboy hats are weak is the Northeast. The rest of the country can get a strong boost in headwear sales by including these American classics. Summer is the best season for cowboy hat sales. Country music is definitely helping these hats that appeal to all ages. You will see them at festivals, the beach, as outdoor work wear, on the farm, at country music dance halls--where won't you see them?

What sells best? Not a lot of change here--distressed shapeable straws in a pinch front shape. Nearly the same as last summer except elaborate beaded bands are picking up in popularity. But don't limit your cowboy hat selection to this style because every personality has their favorite and cattlemen with a plain country look are also very good. Cowgirls especially like color and special events like rodeos and horse shows call for fancier hats. Start with variety and then you can concentrate on certain styles as you see what kind of cowboy hats work best for your market.

fedoras #55

Fedoras, Newsboys, and Ivy Caps

Headwear for the Younger Market

When the younger trade is not wearing cowboy hats, they are looking at fedoras, newsboys, and ivy caps. Especially fedoras are on a rage this summer with sales much better than a year ago. Celebrities started the trend that is catching on very well now. If younger clientele makes up a serious portion of your customer base, this is important to you.

Most prefer the stingy brim fedoras that mature customers will associate with Frank Sinatra and sports fans with Tom Landry or Bear Bryant. Today it is more gals than guys wearing this unisex headwear. Photos in celebrity magazines are constantly promoting these hats with every imaginable star--Jessica Alba, Reese Witherspoon, Britney Spears, Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore. But guys aren't left out with images of Zac Efron, Justin Timberlake, Johnny Depp and more wearing fedoras.

This weighs huge on young shoppers that want to look like their idols. Straw fedoras are especially important for summer and the wider brim fifties style fedoras that Grandpa wore are back in a big way for musicians and some stars.

Fedoras have definitely jumped to the lead in trendy hats for younger trade, but don't count out newsboys and ivy caps because celebrities show how to look cool in these hats as well. They grew in popularity first. Many young customers have seen their friends wearing them and feel more comfortable with this headwear.

These hats will continue through the fall so jump on the bandwagon if you have a younger customer base.

sunglasses #55

Sunglasses-The Suave and Practical Accessory

Instant Personality with Accessories

Have you noticed how sunglasses go way beyond eye protection today? Each person has to have a particular style that spells out his or her personality. No match--no sunglasses. Yes, fitting the personality outweighs the practical use in today's market. Think about it! Those huge wrap-around sunglasses a person gets from the eye doctor after cataract surgery--not cool. Looking like Paris Hilton, Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise, or P Diddy--very suave.

The message for us is have variety in sunglasses that matches the personalities of our clientele. A customer base predominantly career women will obviously call for a different style than the customers of a sporting goods shop. But if your base includes both, then you need both in your selection.

This season oversize continues, but not as dramatically large as in past seasons. Anything on the wild side is risky in an economy that is still fragile. So this summer error on the side of conservative. Plastic frames continue to capture a bigger percentage of the market with tortoise shell growing in importance, second only to black.

Aviators remain the top choice in men's sunglasses with many women also choosing this look, imitating the glamorous look of stars like Jessica Simpson. Both teardrop and square lenses are good here with each appealing to different face shapes. Matching face shapes to sunglass styles can be valuable help to your customers and builds your image as a trusted supplier.

Finally, consider reading glasses in your eyewear selection. This is a needed item with plenty of mark-up potential. Attractive designs in readers are hard to find at reasonable prices. You can not only provide a must-have item for your customers, but also make a handsome profit while still looking very reasonably priced.

What generated most interest in our June newsletter? Crystal bracelets followed by casual hats. Our next newsletter will come in August and will give a preview of fashion jewelry trends for fall as we gear up for the run towards the holidays.

Copyright 2010 Accessory Wholesale Inc. Feel free to reproduce the newsletter as long as the copyright notice is included and a link to

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Fashion Accessories - July, August 2010

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