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Women are less brand-oriented than men when it comes to fashion

The German Fashion Association ventures a look into German closets. The conclusion: when shopping, people pay less attention to design and exclusivity than to good fit and comfort. And there is also a difference between men and women when it comes to buying behavior.

Almost one in three people in Germany is a fashion slacker and is not at all interested in fashion trends, which is also reflected in their buying behavior. This somewhat humiliating result for trend-loving fashion designers was revealed by a survey of more than 2,000 consumers published by GermanFashion, the German fashion association.

Not surprising was the complete lack of interest in fashion among men (32 percent), which is even more widespread than among women (28 percent).

Fashion buying behavior: fit and price are decisive factors

The survey showed that for the vast majority of consumers, clothing – must above all fit and be comfortable. In addition, a good price-performance ratio and quality are important. Anyone who underestimates these criteria in their collection policy is neglecting the most important selection criteria of almost all consumers,” said brand researcher Christian Duncker, summarizing the results of the survey. Fashion trends and exclusivity, on the other hand, play a subordinate role for the majority of consumers.

Basically, practical, comfortable and timeless styles dominate in German wardrobes,” it says. In contrast, the very fashionable or unusual styles that are the most hotly debated among fashionistas are not very widespread.

Buying behavior in fashion is cheap

According to the study, consumers prefer brands from the entry-level price segment and the mid-price segment. According to the survey, not even one in ten people in Germany predominantly wear premium brands, and only one percent have luxury brands in their closet.

It is striking that entry-level price brands are much more common in women’s wardrobes than in those of men. In the survey, the men of the wardrobe proved to be significantly more brand-oriented than women. Premium brands are found in their wardrobes twice as often as among women.

Despite Corona, according to the survey on fashion buying behavior, chain stores are still the most frequently used points of contact when looking for new outfits, followed by local fashion retailers. However, online providers have continued to catch up with "classic" fashion retailers in the pandemic. No wonder, since according to the industry association bevh, online trade in textiles continued to grow at double-digit rates in the third quarter of this year.

Second-hand trade more and more on the rise

However, it was not only Internet providers that gained ground in the pandemic. "In the past two years, there have been two winners in the retail sector: online retailing and second-hand retailing", says the study. Only about one-fifth of consumers still buy used clothing. But the trend is clearly pointing upwards.

After all, even established fashion retailers are now experimenting with the sale of second-hand clothing. The study “Fashion 2030: See what will be fashion tomorrow” by management consultants KPMG and the Cologne-based retail research institute EHI believes it is possible that second-hand clothing will achieve a market share of 20 percent in the next ten years. Finally, the reuse of textiles is particularly sustainable.

Sustainability rather secondary

According to the survey, however, the issue of sustainability only occupies a mid-table position in the purchasing decisions of clothing buyers. For most consumers, it is not as important as fit or comfort, but it is clearly more important than getting goods with the latest design. What is striking is that women were far more likely than men to say that the sustainability of products and their manufacture was important.

However, according to Duncker, who led the study, such statements should be taken with a grain of salt. If you look at the actual behavior of both sexes, women are in fact much more likely to buy new items of clothing and also much more likely to buy from fast fashion suppliers,” he emphasized. Men, on the other hand, buy their clothes less frequently, but at higher prices and for longer-term use, he said. The study raises the question of whether men are not in fact the more sustainable consumers.


With material from dpa
– bevh on the development of online retailing
– Fashion 2030 study: Seeing what will be fashionable tomorrow