DRESS YOUR AGE

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Ever wonder what possesses some mothers and daughters to dress as though they just stepped out of a Britney Spears video shoot? A recent Internet poll of more than 4,000 Americans age 13 and older found that while most prefer to dress their age, more than 1 in 10 (12 percent) say they use their wardrobe to add or subtract a few years. The study, conducted by Cambridge, Mass.-based STS Market Research, finds that 6 percent of Americans (5 percent of men and 7 percent of women) dress in the hope that people will think they are younger, while another 6 percent of both men and women dress to look older than their true age. Young-looking dressers of both sexes say they purchase brands such as Gap, Levi's and Tommy Hilfiger to project a youthful appearance. Men prefer apparel sporting Nike and Abercrombie & Fitch logos, while women go for Old Navy and Guess — as in “guess� my age. Female respondents also say that when they want to look younger, they might don a pair of low-rise or bell-bottom jeans. The question is, are those pants new or are they the same ones they wore when low-rise and bell-bottoms were popular the first time around?

I DON'T WANT TO GROW UP

For both men and women, the desire to dress to look older than their actual age rapidly fades after 25, whereas the desire to look younger never grows old.

PERCENT OF AMERICANS WHO:
AGE DRESS OLDER DRESS YOUNGER
13-24 18% 3%
25-34 2% 7%
35-44 <1% 9%
45-54 <1% 8%
55+ <1% 6%
Source: STS Market Research
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