So I saw this event on the Evans facebook page, ( Evans at the Trafford Centre "Whats your shape". ) thought mmm not sure that I believe all this shape nonsense. However I figured I would go along and see what it was all about as I had a coat to take back.
Re the Coat.
Surprisingly enough it was the "Evans Black Faux Fur Trim Coat" that a lot of the ladies on the Facebook page loved. I bought the coat because I liked the way it looked on the model. Although not a massive fan of black, I bought it anyway. When I tried it on however, it just hung off me like a sack, shame really!.
I think with a few detailed tucks to fit the waistline a tad, and maybe a detachable collar, with a bit of different color detailing specific areas, given those alterations I think it could have been a good coat.
To be honest, this is the problem, that I often have, unless clothes are bespoke/made especially for me, I do find myself having to vamp things up a bit. I generally have to put a few alterations in here and there - good thing I can sew :0), but I shouldn't have to do this - Should I?.
Anyway back to the event, I was greeted by Carina the lovely lady who commented on my facebook query, and who is also located at the Evans Head Office. She recognized my name and my face which was lovely to be honest, I was quite touched :0).
I filled in a form detailing my contact details and I was pointed to a a lovely young lady who was there, to give me shape advice. So the session started and I was taken into the back to get measured.
Now I knew after going on the Evans calculator that I wasn’t, but I let her carry on.
She finished measuring me and said actually you’re border line Hour Glass, which I think surprised her.
( Lesson Number One, here is to take a good look at your customer and don’t make assumptions)
The second half of the Shape session was getting an overview of what would suit me and what to avoid, this was basically read to me from a list on a card that the lady was holding. I didn't really see the value in this and pretty much thought I could have done that myself.
We did however look at some clothes hung on one of the rails. The sort of clothes that I was being shown were so not my style and I was also surprised that she didn't ask me to try anything on!.
This was when Cardinal Sin number two was committed, lovely though this young lady was she referred to a black cardigan ( one of my loathes at the moment is everything's black) , she pointed to the sequins around the collar and said even her own mother had this cardigan. ( Oh dear I thought , how can I run away without being nasty. Please don't ever tell your customers that your mother is wearing said object, you don't want your customers to feel older than they are. We all want to be told we look youthful and are beautiful lol) .
I was then showed a very matronly flowery top and advised it would be good way of reducing my bust. ( Errm okay, I'm quite happy with my bust and believe in accentuating my best assets) .
I was also asked if I ever considered palazzo (wide legged) pants, and was advised that a flower print with a plain top would look great on me . Again I disagreed, I had in fact tried the "Swan" ones on and they were definitely a contender for "is my bum big in this" and reminded me of pyjamas.
So not me and I have to admit feeling very very deflated.
So the session ended with me actually giving the young lady advice around types of customers, how everybody is different, what type of clothes goes with what and that assumptions shouldn't be made based on age/shape etc.
Now heres the good bit!
Fortunately for me , I then met the Manager of the Trafford Evans store, fantastic lady, totally clued in,.
She asked me for some feedback on the session , I explained the above and she was a little surprised I think but got it. I said to her that experience in this game really matters and that Evans need to ensure that they understand their customer set, that everybody needs to know the Shape thing off by heart if they are going to push it.
I also talked about how as an Evans customer I used to love the varied quality designers as well as the Evans own brand. We discussed the quality/cut and great value for money the clothes used to be. I wanted to understand why the online concession pieces took over , in my eyes this was a move in market for Evans and really effected the quality and fit of the Evans product and caused a lot of the issues that I see re fit that we are seeing today.
BTW , I have been told that Evans is moving away from having these online concessions, in my book I was glad to hear this.
Vintage Evans Tee
We then talked about the good old days of the amazing tees that Evans used to have, remember those Punky Fish and the tees with Blondie and David Bowie - everybody needs good trendy value for money basics.
I also remember wool jumpers and cardigans, I personally hate all of this nylon stuff, I cant quite get myself to pay nearly £50.00 for nylon.
Remember "The Seven Collection", I remember driving so excitedly to Sheffield and buying everything, the collection was so me and I cried that I had hold of so many beautiful clothes.
I also remember in-store, items from "Anna Scholz", "Dawn French" and the amazing "Beth Ditto Collection", all amazing collections good quality fabrics and amazing for the money. It was good to talk to somebody so knowledgeable from the Trafford Evans store.
See below for Beth Ditto vintage dress and Shoes ( see moi 2nd to left in my band).
At the end of the event I was given some money off vouches to use in store - so thank-you so much for those and I hope you didn't mind me being totally honest.
I did spot a great top (Evans Red Animal Print Shirt) , perfect for most shapes, I think it would look great with skinny pants or a pencil skirt. Plus I saw some great pants Evans Black Coated Jeggings.
Good news for us , is that Evans are taking our views seriously, I think this type of event is healthy and constructive and a very clever marketing ploy.
So all in all , an interesting experience, I was chatting with Carina , at the end and she was very keen to get our views, so get commenting and I'll pass any comments through.
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