A Fashion Fixation

I would be lying if I told you that I didn’t have a massive, industrial grade shoe rack filled with footwear [à la the clearance racks you see at Macy’s]. I would also be fibbing if I told you that each spare closet in my house doesn’t store my off-season wardrobes. And, would you believe that I have a pretty sweet store of handbags as well?

While I don’t believe that I belong on an episode of A&E’s Hoarders [my husband might tell you otherwise], I do admit to a fixation with fashion – fashion on a budget, that is. I don’t pay retail prices for a darn thing.

Shopping for clothing is like a sport for me. I’m regularly equipped coupons, special sales, rebates, ad circulars, Googled promo codes, and even credit card perks. And my goal is to score high quality [sometimes even designer tier] apparel, shoes, and/or accessories at rock-bottom pricing. I even bought my wedding dress on sale…and used a coupon on top of that.

As it turns out, I’m not alone. According to the latest BIGinsight™ Monthly Consumer survey*, the majority of consumers agrees that “getting a great deal on apparel is like a ‘sport’ for me” [56.1% say this is somewhat/very true]. This number rises among both females 18-34 and 35+ and is a near-majority for men as well.

Getting a Great Deal on Apparel is Like a "Sport" for Me [Somewhat or Very True]

But that’s not to say that all consumers enjoy the thrill of the hunt. While nearly a third say that “shopping for apparel is one of my favorite pastimes” is somewhat/very true for them, a larger proportion (43.8%) indicated that this was not very/not at all true. In fact, among men over 35, nearly half (44.5%) would go as far as to say that “shopping for apparel is a necessary evil”!

In this age of smartphones, tablets, and other technological advancements, one might think that catalogs and other print media are a bit passé, but those hunting for fashion ideas might disagree. Nearly half (48.1%) of shoppers responded that they “enjoy looking through catalogs, direct mail advertisements, and circulars for apparel.” This number rises substantially among women 18-34 (61.9%) as well as their 35+ counterparts (57.2%).

But when it does come to new technology, it’s the younger shoppers (18-34) who are surfing sites for fashion trends and tips [some of my personal faves are here, here, and here]. In this age group, two in five women (40.0%) and – surprise! – nearly a third (32.3%) of young men say they “browse social media sites and/or blogs for outfit ideas.” Among those over 35, this figure drops significantly.

I browse social media sites and/or blogs for outfit ideas. [Somewhat or Very True]

Other fun findings:

– Nearly four out of five women 18-34 (78.5%) “enjoy shopping for apparel sales and discounts,” while the majority of young men (55.2%) feel the same.

– While women 18-34 (56.9%) and 35+ (47.8%) are the most likely to “try to re-create high-dollar looks on a low-dollar budget,” a large proportion of young men (46.1%) are inclined to attempt this as well. Men over 35? Not so much (29.2%).

UPDATE: For more on this topic, click over to our press release: Special BIGinsight™ Analysis Identifies Behaviors and Shopping Strategies of Apparel Shoppers. Includes analysis of Kohl’s, JC Penney, Macy’s, Target, and Walmart Women’s Clothing Shoppers.

For more information on this data, please contact BIGinsight™.

* Respondents were posed the following question: On a scale of 1 (“Not at All True”) to 5 (“Very True”), please tell us how true the following statements are when it comes to shopping for apparel for yourself and were presented with a variety of fashion and apparel oriented statements. A sampling of these statements appears within this report.

Source: BIGinsight™ Monthly Consumer Survey – APR-12 (N = 8724, 4/3 – 4/10/12)

© 2012, Prosper®

BIGinsight™ is a trademark of Prosper Business Development Corp.

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