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The cost of style: women who want to look good do spend more on clothes

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), Jul 2012 – Jun 2013, women 14+ n= 11,434

It’s true: looking good does come at a price. The latest results from Roy Morgan Research reveal that women who try to look stylish, are label-conscious, or think it’s important to look fashionable all spend more than average on clothes.

While the average annual amount spent on clothing by Australian women (14+) is $834, it’s much higher among those who strive to maintain a stylish wardrobe.

The most lavish spenders are women who agree with the statement, ‘I wear clothes that will get me noticed’ ($1,288 p.a), followed by women who agree that ‘it’s important to look fashionable’ ($1,179). Women who ‘buy a product because of the label’ spend on average $1,071 per year; those who try to look stylish spend $1,031; and those who ‘look for quality over price’ spend around $907. (Of course, some women fall into more than one category.)

Annual average spend on clothes by Australian women

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), Jul 2012 – Jun 2013, women 14+ n= 11,434

Warren Reid, Group Account Manager – Consumer Products, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“There are many clothing retailers who proclaim that, when it comes to fashion, you don’t necessarily need to spend more to look good. However, the more fashion-conscious the woman, the more she’ll spend on clothes. What’s particularly interesting is that women wanting to be noticed for what they wear spend the most. This category beat even the label-conscious shoppers, as well as women trying to look stylish.

“The debate over whether Sydney or Melbourne is the fashion capital of Australia is long-running and extremely subjective, and there’s little difference overall in the average amount women spend on clothes in both cities. But those in NSW who agreed they wear clothes ‘to get noticed’ have by far the highest annual spend $1,424, compared to Victorian women’s relatively modest $1,139. Admittedly, this isn’t definitive proof of either city being better for clothes-shopping, but it does give clothing retailers food for thought when it comes time to make decisions on marketing, distribution and clothing styles.”

For comments or more information please contact:

Warren Reid
Group Account Manager — Consumer Products
Office: +61 (3) 9224 5161

Related Research Report

View our Clothing Buyer Profiles, our extensive range of clothing retailer customer profiles and more. These profiles provide a broad understanding of the target audience, in terms of demographics, attitudes, activities and media usage in Australia.

About Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state of Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan Research has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

In Australia, Roy Morgan Research is considered to be the authoritative source of information on financial behaviour, readership, voting intentions and consumer confidence. Roy Morgan Research is a specialist in recontact customised surveys which provide invaluable and effective qualitative and quantitative information regarding customers and target markets.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%