Economy Improving? “Hemline Index” Confirms It

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Hemline IndexBloomfield Hills, MI—Leading economic indicators, such as the S&P 500 and the Consumer Price Index, are widely viewed as authoritative means to gauge the health and growth of the U.S. economy.

Now there’s a new one to add to those measures: the “Hemline Index.” According to a new survey released by BlogHer, Inc. and Taubman Centers has women predicting light at the end of the economic tunnel. This study uncovered a variety of trends, including the predicted future of the economy, how wearable technology can make inroads with women, and where women are most likely to tend toward excess.

Hemlines (and Hopes) Going Up?

A century-old economic notion holds that hemlines rise and fall with the economy. Based on that association, the survey asked women to predict where hemlines would go this fall: Ankle-dusting maxi skirts predicting “uncertain times ahead”; just below the knee indicating “cautious optimism”; above the knee implying “light at the end of the tunnel”; or micro-mini proclaiming “good news ahead!”

The results? 47% see light at the end of the tunnel and “above the knee” hemlines.

Millennials were four times more likely than Baby Boomers to see “Good times ahead!” predicting micro-mini skirts

Nonetheless, 10% took a dimmer view, choosing ankle-dusting maxi skirts to be the trend this fall.

Wearable Tech

Wearable technology is hot on the tech scene, but hasn’t yet crossed over to fashion accessory. Of all the types of current wearable technology, women are most open to joining the “Quantified Self” movement, with 41% stating they would wear a fitness tracker.

Millennials are more interested than any other generation of women in every kind of wearable tech, from glasses to watches to clothing.

And in an indication of how widespread wearable technology could be, 74% now rely solely on their smartphone to tell the time.

Too Much of a Good Thing?

When it comes to what women love, there’s no such thing as too much! One in eight women has more than 50 pairs of shoes. A whopping 43% own between 20 to 49 pairs.

One third of women carry a purse weighing in at 6 pounds or more, with women in the Northeast three times more likely to carry a 10+ pound purse than women in the Northwest.

About the Study

The 2013 BlogHer-Taubman Style Study was fielded to 1,609 female respondents, aged 18 and older. Of the respondents, 821 were members of the BlogHer Visionaries Panel, a diverse panel of more than 4,700 women 18+ recruited from the BlogHer community and geographically dispersed throughout the U.S., and 787 were members of the general U.S. population. The margin of error at 99% confidence is 2.34%. All portions of the study were conducted in August 2013.


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