This season’s new prints: How dark florals are driving sales

As the seasons change from warm summer nights to the gentle breeze of autumn, the retail offerings also change.

September means back to school and back to business, with office attire that reflects this change in temp. Enter: the dark floral dress, which is a current retail hit in the womenswear market.

“Dark floral dresses allowed the floral print to make a 2pp new-in gain YOY the w/e Aug 29,” says WGSN’s Instock Editor Jessica Fioriti.

High street retailers like Warehouse (with its newly revamped style direction for A/W16 under the watchful eye of  Emma Cook and Alasdhair Willis), ASOS, Finery London and Forever 21 have all embraced the trend for the dark floral. Dark floral dresses work perfectly for this time of year as a key transitional item that can be worn on its own, layered with a polo neck/turtleneck when it gets colder, or teamed with a leather jacket for daytime to nighttime dressing.

In additional to dark florals, we’ve seen stripes steal the limelight in recent transitional top and knit campaigns for this season, as new-ins rose to 30% from 22% in 2015.

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“The bridge between floral and stripe narrowed YOY by 5pp, and both prints monopolised the P&G mix, holding a combined 64% vs 56% in 2015, as animal print and check lost share by 4pp and 2pp, ” says Fioriti. “The luxury market backed florals vs value players who focused on stripes, and benefited as stripe out of stock mixes grew 9pp YOY to 29%”, she adds.

Get used to seeing more variegated stripes too through this autumn and into winter, says Sara Maggioni, WGSN Retail Director: “For A/W 16/17… variegated stripes are used as palette cleanser at the beginning of the season. Understated colourways are set to be the key direction for winter.”

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