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You Told Us: How You Really Feel About Fashion

Call us nosy, but we want to know what’s up with your fashion sense. Kimberly Cihlar reports on what we learned.

Thanks to all of you who took NextTribe’s “What’s In Your Closet?” survey (respondents were in the triple digits), we now have a stylin’ snapshot of what you like. We gleaned favorite hem lengths, how many pairs of shoes and jeans you own, preferred shopping methods, night-out outfits of choice, and more. Your answers were often unexpected, sometimes shocking, but always illuminating. Here are the fashion analytics:

Dollars and Sense Count

Note to retailers: Only 30 percent of our audience buys online; the majority prefer brick-and-mortar shopping. Most shell out less money on clothes and accessories today than they did a decade ago.

‘It’s frustrating to clothes shop because many designers tend to think that ‘old’ equates to ‘frumpy.’

Around 20 percent spend more; 30 percent the same.

Spending varies: Fewer than half of you drop $1,000 a year, while

40 percent invest $3,000 annually in their wardrobe. Five percent of you are big-budget fashionistas, spending about $12,000 a year on clothes.

When it comes to a big event like a wedding or special party, half of you buy new, 36 percent shop their closet, 9 percent swap with friends, and 8 percent go hunting at a thrift store.

Which styles you’re stalking

Most (44 percent) dress for ease in activewear or loose clothing. A third of you said you dress less conservatively than in the past and anything goes; over a quarter of you say you’re on the hunt for “slimming” looks.

Half of you favor mid-thigh to just above-the-knee lengths for dresses and skirts.

For weekday dressing, 54 percent of you have a uniform of jeans and a nice top or sweater; 25 percent say leggings with a loose or tunic is their daily vibe.

When you do wear a skirt, half favor mid-thigh to just above-the-knee lengths; 36 percent prefer below the knee; 15 percent love a maxi; and almost five percent love to rock a mini.

When it comes to nights out, more than half of you say it’s got to be an LBD, 10 percent seek sparkly, 6 percent of you are very low-maintenance and wear whatever you have on.

What your closet is packed with

Denim, for starters—half of our survey-takers own five or more pairs of jeans. And you love shoes, you really do! Over 25 percent own 25 or more pairs.

In Your Own Words

Some of you shared with us how you feel about dressing at midlife, and you sure put it well. Listen to what other NextTribers shared:

“It’s frustrating to clothes shop because designers tend to think that ‘old’ equates to ‘frumpy’ in many cases. Just because my body isn’t shaped like it used to be doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be able to find fashionable styles.”

“I’m a 59-year-old university professor. It’s important to me to dress professionally but in a feminine way—I love dresses and beautiful pumps.”

‘I do not follow rules about age or size, and I wear what I want when I want as long as it flatters me.’

“As I get older, I am buying higher-quality and more interesting styles and fabrics. I am pickier with my purchases.”

“I like vintage styles, getting stuff from clothes swaps and thrift stores and adapting them.”

“Wearing clothing is an art, and I have lots of fun with it. I do not follow rules about age or size, and I wear what I want when I want as long as it flatters me.”

“I think it’s a public service to look good. My style is casual, but I put some effort into it!”

“I buy well-cut classics and like to accessorize with more trendy items. I shall never give in to frumpiness!”

By Kimberly Cihlar


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