Information Possibly Outdated
The information presented on this page was originally released on November 6, 2000. It may not be outdated, but please search our site for more current information. If you plan to quote or reference this information in a publication, please check with the Extension specialist or author before proceeding.
Plan Ahead For Holiday Shopping
By Chantel Lott
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- Pre-holiday clothing shopping is a joy compared to the frustration of battling lines at the returns counter when buyers fail to be good detectives.
Each holiday shopping season people stare at rack after rack of clothing in a store wondering which style is best for that special person. The next dilemma is guessing the right size.
If possible, sneak a visit to their closet to take some of the guesswork out of gift buying.
"Snoop in their closet and check out a few tags to find the most common size," said Everlyn Johnson, apparel and textile leader with Mississippi State University's Extension Service."
Size selection can be a problem, especially for women and children.
"Sizes are not standardized for these two groups. A child's size 4, may be more like a size 6 in a different name brand. The same is true for women's sizes. Men's sizes, in contrast, are somewhat standardized. One neck or sleeve measurement for a shirt will be the same from one brand to the other brand," Johnson said.
A person's lifestyle or their hobby is a very clear clue to their true needs and interests. Some examples are gardening, reading, hiking, running and swimming.
Also examine the label. Dry clean only may be impractical for some budgets.
"For teens, shopping can actually be very easy. Most teens will freely give feedback about what they want. Take a moment to thumb through a catalog with them and listen to their comments or surf the web with them at their latest apparel site," Johnson said.
Discovering the size of the recipient is the hard part. Now, head to the nearest mall or to the Internet to purchase a gift.
Johnson said each season introduces new fashion looks, and she related some highlights for this season's perfect gift.
One very popular item this season is zippered vests. Both youth and adults are adding these to their closets. These vests come in a wide variety of fabrics suited for casual or more dressy occasions.
A sophisticated style is returning this season is the classic crew or V-neck sweaters. Johnson said another zippered item for boys and men are the zip-off pants. Their
versatility allows a quick change from pants to shorts.
Fabric favorites will include multi-colored plaids, classic checks and prints, and other retro seventies looks.
For women, a classic look of the long black skirt and white blouse will be a welcomed shift for holiday social gatherings. Other less classic shifts in women's apparel such as animal prints, camel hair, bouclÇ and cashmere will add spice to the classics this holiday season.
For both men and women, garnet red is the exciting and popular color for the season.
When in doubt, gift certificates are money well-spent, especially if the receiver has a favorite store where they shop regularly.
Contact: Dr. Everlyn Johnson, (662) 325-3080