Looks like fashion does have an impact on your wallet after all:

"Must-have fashion bolsters retail sales by making people feel their current wardrobes are out of date. That was the case in 2003, when color made a comeback and suddenly the black and gray of the previous decade looked stale. It happened again in 2004, when lady-like styles such as boucle jackets and ruffled blouses replaced the utilitarian looks of prior years. And again, in 2005, when a bohemian wave, marked by peasant skirts and tunics, flooded stores. Most recently, in 2006, there were skinny jeans and baby doll dresses -- styles that ushered in a whole new silhouette known as the "inverted triangle."

"What concerns me more than any of the macro-economic issues is the lack of excitement in fashion right now," said Marshal Cohen, the chief industry analyst with NPD Group, the market research firm. "As a retailer, if you are telling me the biggest trend out there is skinny jeans, good luck trying to grow your business."

It's not just analysts who are lamenting the lack of exciting new fashion. In explaining why women's apparel was one of the softer categories during the third quarter, Karen Hoguet, the chief financial officer of Macy's, told a group of analysts "there does not appear to be enough in the fashion offering that is compelling."

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