The fashion-conscious behaviours of mature female consumers

Jinhee Nam, Reagan Hamlin, Hae Jin Gam, Ji Hye Kang, Jiyoung Kim, Pimpawan Kumphai, Cathy Starr, Lynne Richards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


Under-appreciation of mature consumers as a numerous and comparatively wealthy market segment has resulted in not only lost revenues for business, but also lost consumption and service opportunities for the elderly. In response to expressed needs for more research into actual and desired consumption by older consumers, this study examined the apparel and shopping preferences of mature women in America. Independent living residents were surveyed concerning fashion consciousness, fashion information sources and shopping behaviours. Young and mature consumers’ reactions to female apparel ensembles were compared. Mature subjects purchased apparel for pleasure or need, but less for conformity. Decisions were influenced more by fit and comfort than by fashion, despite suggestions that dressing stylishly was important. New fashions were encountered via catalogue illustrations, social gatherings and window displays. Subjects high in fashion consciousness had greater financial and social involvement with fashion, greater chronological-to-cognitive age differences and larger clothing budgets. Young and mature consumers’ responses to apparel illustrations differed significantly. As the mature market expands, attention to age-divergent definitions of fashion (such as those based upon admiration of comfort) will determine the success of apparel businesses. Assessment of cognitive age will facilitate identification of those mature consumers most predisposed toward fashion consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-108
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Consumer Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Apparel
  • Consumer behaviour
  • Elderly
  • Fashion consciousness
  • Mature
  • Shopping behaviour


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