It is no secret that fashion in women’s clothing changes with predictable regularity. The “new look,” the sack, mini-skirts and designer jeans, all, at one time or another, made obsolete billions of dollars worth of clothing.
This has occurred with no great distress to the clothing industry, but the same cannot be said of those who ultimately had to pick up the tab for the new duds.
Each shift in the fashion parade evokes the query, “How do the designers get away with it?” Some theorize that it is the economic cycle, with hem lines rising as the economy falls and lowering in better times. I suppose short skirts provide some consolation for hard times if this theory is valid. A few male chauvinist types go so far as to attribute the whole process to the changeable nature of women–not a very popular stance in this day and age of political correctness.
But the fact still remains that it happens. Styles change, and no matter how controversial they are at first, they catch on, and entire wardrobes are abandoned.
I believe there is a fairly simple explanation for the whole process. Each year, there is a new crop of young women who are starting to build their very first wardrobes. They buy the new styles with complete indifference to prior fashion because they have no investment to protect in an existing wardrobe. The new is all that is available to them, so they adopt the new style, with others usually following along. In years to come they, too, will be hit by a wave they helped build.
There are always some who outsmart the system, however. By avoiding high fashion and sticking with classic lines and basic black adorned with varying accessories, they are able to be well groomed without the trauma associated with wardrobe obsolescence.
Well, what they heck has that got to do with selling insurance? More than might at first be suspected. Periodically, new fashions make their way into the insurance business. In the 54 years I have been associated with this great business, I have witnessed a parade of new ideas that have come and gone, some having very little to recall them besides dashed hopes.