In January, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto, University of California, San Francisco, and University of Florida concluded that women’s clothes are “more valuable than ever” to the retail industry.
The researchers also found that a “significant majority” of women are still buying clothing in stores.
But they said they were surprised by how much they’ve changed in recent years, and that “we still see a significant amount of consumer debt.”
In an article for Quartz, researchers from the University at Buffalo, Carnegie Mellon University, and the University College London describe a new study that aims to determine if women are spending more money on clothing as a result of the “Internet revolution” and the increased consumer demand for women’s fashion.
Their research, which is published in the journal Consumer Finance, found that “a significant majority” were still spending more than $1,000 per year on clothing, and a larger percentage were spending more in general.
The report says that women are paying a disproportionate amount of their purchasing power to the clothing industry, but that “this is not the case for men.”
The report looked at data from over 30,000 shoppers, all of whom bought clothes for themselves, or loved to shop online.
“We were able to get very detailed data on how much clothing women and men are spending on, where they spend the most money, and how much money each individual shopper is spending,” co-author Rebecca Ziegler, a professor of economics at the university, said in a statement.
“It’s very interesting that women still spend more money than men and that the majority of women still buy clothing in retail stores.”
Ziegberg, who worked on the study alongside graduate student Rachel Levenson, said that the data was particularly interesting because it allowed her to determine “what is the trend going on.”
Zahn, the lead author of the study, explained that when it comes to women’s spending on clothing in general, it can seem like “the trend is for more women, more men, but this is really not the trend.”
In the survey, Zahn and Levensons team looked at purchases by gender, and found that men are “paying more than women on average” for their clothing, with women spending an average of $1.36 on clothing per year.
“Women are spending significantly more money in general on clothing and women are even paying more than men on average,” Zahn said.
Zahn added that the survey also showed that “people are willing to spend money on the most expensive items” in stores, “because they’re feeling like they’re getting more value than they’re paying for.”
Levensa said that “in a way,” women are also making “a little bit more” of a push for more affordable clothing, which can make it easier for them to find “a quality product that’s priced right.”
In addition to their findings, the study also found women are “shopping for more expensive items and using online retailers like Amazon and Target to find the best prices.”
Levingson said that this trend is particularly notable in “high-end brands, where you’re likely to pay more than what you’re buying at the mall.”
But she said that it’s important to note that the trends are just one part of the story.
“There’s more to it than just women’s shopping habits,” Levensen said.
“When we look at it from a macroeconomic perspective, it makes sense that we would see more consumer debt as a consequence of women’s buying patterns.”
The researchers, who published their findings in the January issue of the journal, also found “that women are more likely to use credit cards for purchases, and more likely than men to take out a home equity line of credit for purchases.”
However, they cautioned that “the findings do not mean that women will default on their credit cards.”