All those years of perusing the racks, plus several years of working in marketing, make me especially entertained by the efforts to influence our behavior and those who fall for it. Since I feel like sharing, here's a few of the things that have caught my eye lately:
Lie #1 - Shorts are fine for an office job, as long as they're tailored
Wrong. It is not okay to wear shorts to work, even knee length ones with heels, unless your office is exceptionally casual and shorts are specifically permitted. Seriously, don't do it. You'll look like you manage a club.
Lie #2 - You should always wear two shirts (or more!)
It's not a coincidence that mannequins and models are usually wearing two shirts. If a few of you believe that's how you must dress and in turn buy multiple pieces, then it was worth it.
Lie #3 - This shirt will fit like we've shown it on this mannequin
If a shirt is pinned onto a mannequin so that it looks fitted, that means it's not cut that way. Lands' End is the worst about this - their button downs look cute and slim fitting, but the side seams go almost straight down from the armpits and are cut like a man's shirt. You MUST try on the clothes, or be okay with coming back for a return. (Funny, I found a post by my e-friend Sarah, observing the same thing. This is her photo)
Lie #4 - If you've washed or worn it, it's yours forever.
The vast majority of stores will allow you to return or exchange a defective item if it falls apart sooner than you think it should. I end up doing this a few times per year, often with shoes, and have never once had a problem. Here's why they don't mind: the items you buy cost the company usually about 20-30% of what you paid after the first markdown (if that's their pricing strategy) - this is how stores can afford to mark things down 50% and still make money. That means your return amounts to a small loss compared to the lifetime value of your business if you keep shopping there, or worse, the potential bad publicity you'll give them if you tell your blog readers about the bad experience you had.
Which leads me to the final misconception...
Lie #5 - Higher price = Higher quality
Clothing and shoes are worth whatever people will pay for them. Just because the tank top has a $69 price tag doesn't mean it's going to last or be better than the one that's $19.99 at Gap. If you can't tell outright that the seams are well done and fabric is sturdy, someone's probably making a lot of money on it. Some luxury brands mark up their goods 700% more than the cost of making them (especially if that happened overseas in places like China and India) and people happily pay it for the prestige.
Image via Inslee.net
So... who wants to go shopping? :)