Purpose – This study sets out to explore the application of psychological research methods (as yet not applied) in the fashion arena. The aim of this project is to quantify, formalise and explore the causal relationships between clothing style, preference, personality factors, emotions and mood with a view to a better understanding of the psychological profile of the fashion consumer. Design/methodology/approach – Using a uniformly composed sample of females, explorative quantitative research was carried out. Two sets of questionnaires were administered to the sample to examine emotion, mood and personality before trying on a set of eight garments categorized according to style; and again afterwards to examine emotion and mood while wearing each outfit. Photographs of participants were taken wearing each of the outfits. Participants then ranked the eight outfits in order of preference. SPSS analysis identified relationships and preference indicators. Findings – The results indicated strong relationships between mood and significant relationships between three out of five personality factors and clothing style preference; mood was a significant predictor of preference, whilst personality was moderate. Research limitations/implications – The research methodology necessitated lengthy time commitments from the participants and therefore limited the sample size, making generalization difficult. Based on the findings, the research requires further exploration of methods for practical application with a larger sample size. Practical implications – Personality, emotion and mood were shown to be managed and reflected through clothing with implications for assistance in consumer clothing decisions, service training, and strategies for personal shoppers, market segmentation and design. Originality/value – The methodology derived from a combination of research methods coupled with actual wearing experience, previously not studied together. This is original and demonstrates how important this combination is in order to fully appreciate the psychological profile of the fashion consumer.
Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 2, 2010
Keywords: Individual psychology; Personality; Clothing
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