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Women 45+ Turning on Fashion Brands That Leave Them Behind

Vibrant Nation Research reveals that women 45+ resent fashion retailers, but not all fashion brands. They’ve given up on Eileen Fisher, asking whether others will be there for them.

Louisville, KY, December 18, 2013 --( A recent fashion and retail survey by Vibrant Nation, the leading online community and influencer network for women over 45, reveals that fashion retailers continue failing to meet the needs of these highly desirable shoppers, and that several major brands have lost their hard-won loyalty.

According to the Vibrant Nation survey, 64% of Boomer women find it more difficult to shop for clothes after turning 45:

• 78% say it is more difficult to find clothes that don’t skew “too young” or “too old,” and
• 78% say it is more difficult to find clothes that flatter a changing body.

At the same time, some of the clothing designers they have come to rely on most seem to be leaving them behind. While Liz Claiborne and Ann Taylor remain consistent crowd-pleasers with over 80% approval, brands like Eileen Fisher, Banana Republic, White House Black Market, J. Crew and Michael Kors top the list as the biggest “turn-offs” for women 45+. A surprising 47% of women 45+ claim that Eileen Fisher is “not my style,” followed by 45% for Banana Republic.

Ralph Lauren, Talbots, Coldwater Creek and Chico’s remain in the middle of the pack, with many fans, but not for everyone.

Added Stephen Reily, Vibrant Nation’s Founder and Chairman, “We’ve always known that fashion retailers fail to meet the needs of these big spenders. But we were surprised to see how quickly women have turned on brands that previously won their loyalty. Five years ago, women 45+ loved Eileen Fisher, but now the brand – targeting a younger woman – seems to have stopped loving them. In a different way, Chico’s may have aged with the 50-year olds it captured twenty years ago. Vibrant women 45+ continue seeking designers and retailers who will truly appreciate their needs, and the dollars they spend on clothes.”

“Active empty-nesters are willing to spend money to look as good as they feel, and it isn’t always easy to find the right looks for their bodies,” said Carla Dearing, CEO of Vibrant Nation. “When they do find that look, they want to be able to find it again, a challenge made harder by retailers’ belief that constantly rotating inventory is what keeps shoppers loyal. 54% of respondents told us that they can’t find the classic pieces they love because they quickly become unavailable.”

About is the leading online community for women over 45 – the place where they connect and support each other on issues unique to their stage of life, including fashion, beauty, family, work, relationships, health, fitness, money, and sex. A trusted resource for women 45+, Vibrant Nation features a growing network of midlife bloggers and influencers to help understand and activate this influential and fast-growing demographic. It has managed online marketing campaigns for major companies like Pfizer and Coca-Cola, and compiled its ongoing research in a book, Vibrant Nation: What Boomer Women 50+ Know, Think, Do & Buy. For more information, visit
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Ceci Conway

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