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Reinvention of party dress for cash-strapped women
Dec '11
Fashion retailer Debenhams has launched a new variety of party frock - the 18 hour dress.

The garment was created following revelations that 80% of women want dresses capable of taking them from the school run to work and on to the Christmas party this festive season. That's an 18 hour day with just one dress.

Says Debenhams spokesperson, Carie Barkhuizen, "Our research shows that cash-strapped women now want 'desk-to-dance-floor' looks at great prices; the pressure on the purse due to the economic climate has resulted in a new breed of party dresses for 2011.

"Women no longer have the time or money to have an outfit for every occasion - and so the 18 hour dress is becoming the holy grail of every working lady's December wardrobe.

The research also revealed that over 70% of women are willing to spend up to more than usual on a dress, if they could get extra wear out of it.

Continues Carie, "This trend is all about maximising cost-per-wear; the dress works from 7am to 1am and can be worn more than once, with just a lipstick and shoe change to mark the transition between occasions."

Debenhams buyers are now looking at expanding the store's market leading range of occasion dresses to offer more in the '18 hour dress' genre to ensure demand is met.

When asked to describe the perfect '18 hour dress', the most common requests given by customers were:
• Not too short (work appropriate)
• Figure hugging/enhancing but not revealing too much cleavage
• Something you can wear a shirt underneath for work
• Appropriate with flats and party shoes
• Crease resistant

Women agreed that putting on statement jewellery, high heels and bright lipstick sufficiently takes a dress from day to night.

Debenhams Plc

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