Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What Women Want From Clothing

According to research by Mintel, women are still enjoying shopping for clothing but they are picky about what they want -- and even pickier about what they don't want. And what they don't want is clothing that requires dry cleaning, hand washing, or ironing:

Indeed, three out of four female clothes shoppers (75%) say they avoid items that require a trip to the cleaners. Meanwhile, 59% are loathe to purchase clothing that has to be hand washed separately—and women aged 65 and up are even more likely to pass on fashions with tags that bear the hand wash separately mandate, with 68% reporting as much.

“Dry clean only or hand wash separately account for one more errand or household chore that busy women simply don’t have time for,” says Kat Fay, senior beauty analyst at Mintel. “When you consider the demands of work, family obligations, children and a social life—some women may just find it easier and less time-consuming to purchase an item that doesn’t have specific cleaning instructions.”

...So, if women are turned off by dry clean only or hand wash separate garments, what clothing attributes constitute the perfect fit? It seems 84% of female clothes shoppers are seeking out easy to mix and match separates, while 78% are drawn to classic styles that don’t go out of style and 71% are looking for items that don’t have to be ironed.
While it's true that dry cleaning is expensive (and the chemicals are no good for the planet), and that hand washing and ironing take time, perhaps if more people know how to iron and launder clothing by hand, it would be less a matter of "fuss" and more a matter of pride.

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