Discounted clothes might have been tagged because they're destined for 'out' list

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

(c) 2014, Slate.

Oh, printed pants: We hardly knew ye. This shopping-centrice weekend (and Cyber Money), retailers are slashing prices on everything from iPads to high-end loose leaf tea. These price cuts are far from random — they're strategic, designed to boost profits and prevent buildup of inventory that might later require even deeper price cuts. To help fashion retailers make the most of their sales, EDITD, a retail technology company with more than 10,000 subscribers, recently released a report containing, among other things, suggestions for clothes to discount because they're about to be unfashionable. The company used its analytics software and crunched numbers from its "apparel data warehouse" of pricing, assortment, and product metrics to determine what's on its way out in the fashion world.

Fashion crime No. 1, it turns out, are printed pants. Discounts on legwear with flair have been climbing since August. At the end of October, the average discount for printed pants was 25 percent. Unfortunately, neither throwback bohemianism nor lovers of geometric pant patterns could keep this movement alive. If you see some of these guys hanging out on the rack come Friday, think long and hard about whether you want to make that kind of commitment, even at a discount.

According to EDITD, statement outerwear (read: intentionally weird coats) are second to go. They've also seen a discount spike since August, averaging price slashes of 22 percent. The Panda Oversized Moto Jacket by Tibi at Bloomingdale's, which indeed is oversized but is baby blue and thus looks nothing like an actual panda, is one of the report's recent examples, although it's mercifully now unavailable.

Fur items are also a no-no — and not just coats, but accessories, too. Sleepwear is next (hopefully because it sells well and makes for attention-grabbing Christmas gifts, not because more people are sleeping in the buff). Next, stores are advised to unload their onesies — to the delight of homebody college students everywhere.

Rounding out the list are Christmas sweaters. We all know Christmas sweaters are timeless — arrivals this October are up 126 percent from last year — but they also don't do much good after December. This being the beginning of the Christmas shopping season only makes it more logical for stores to start dumping green, red and gold coziness on everyone that moves. (From EDITD's discounted examples, I'd recommend for particular ridicule the puff ball-adorned Christmas Pudding Sweater by New Look at ASOS.)

Then again, ugly Christmas sweaters seem to come back every year. Printed pants, furs and weird coats just might join them.

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Bradley is a Slate intern.