Fashion Forward

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It may be hot outside, but inside, apparel companies are already filling their racks with the new fall lines. Retail sales of clothes and accessories will reach nearly $150 billion this year, according to estimates by Washington, D.C.-based market research firm Woods & Poole Economics Inc. Not surprisingly, young adults, those between the ages of 18 and 34, are the most concerned about their look. According to Simmons Market Research Bureau, 26 percent of this group is “very fashion conscious,� meaning they follow the trends, dress in the latest fashions and want to be considered in vogue by others. Leading the parade of fashionistas: young Asian women (38 percent), young black women (36 percent) and young Asian males (33 percent). Yes, you read that right, young Asian men are more fashion conscious than either Hispanic women (32 percent) or white women (29 percent). Now, that's a fashion statement.

Measure for Measure

Americans' textile consumption last year:

• 46 billion sq. yards of textiles
• 23.1 billion pounds of textiles
• 170 square yards per person
• 86 pounds per person
Source: American Textile Manufacturers Institute

Slip into This

Rising popularity of women's mules:

UNIT SHARE OF WOMEN'S FOOTWEAR (FEB-APR) PAIRS OF MULES SOLD
• 1998 2.6% 412,677
• 1999 2.4% 442,154
• 2000 6.5% 1,324,781
• 2001 9.6% 1,717,555
Source: The NPD Group

I'll Take It

Annual spending per household:

• Men's apparel $421
• Women's apparel $548
• Boy's apparel $93
• Girl's apparel $107
• Footwear $303
Source: Consumer Expenditure Survey, 1999

Suit Yourself

Cities with the highest annual spending on suits per male:

• Bal Harbour, Fla. $70.50
• Chesterbrook, Pa. $65.11
• Larkspur, Calif. $61.88
• Highland Beach, Fla. $61.55
• Palm Beach, Fla. $61.39
Source: American Demographics' analysis of data from Easy Analytic Software Inc.

What's a Classic Worth?

Cost of an oxford shirt from:

• The GAP $34.00
• Brooks Brothers $49.50
• Ralph Lauren $59.50
• Thomas Pink $99.00
Sources: The GAP, Brooks Brothers, Ralph Lauren and Thomas Pink

Lace ‘em Up

Average retail price of sports footwear:

2000 1995 % change
• Water sports $13.93 $11.46 22%
• Cheerleading $39.09 $32.90 19%
• Hunting boots $64.43 $56.05 15%
• Basketball shoes $57.16 $50.35 14%
• Soccer shoes $34.22 $36.94 -7%
• Bowling shoes $31.74 $33.06 -4%
Source: National Sporting Goods Association

JUST MY SIZE

Per-person shoe purchases over a three-month period (February to April 2001):

AGE MEN WOMEN
Under 17 0.17 0.67
18-24 0.49 1.73
25-29 0.44 1.71
30-44 0.45 1.48
45-54 0.79 2.53
55+ 0.32 0.98
Source: The NPD Group, 2000

CHARGE IT!

Where women shop:

1998 2000
Department store (i.e. SEARS, MACY'S, NORDSTROM) 40% 53%
Mass merchandiser (i.e. WAL-MART, KMART, TARGET) 18% 22%
Specialty clothing (i.e. THE GAP, LIMITED, ANN TAYLOR) 8% 5%
Discount clothing (i.e. T.J. MAXX, MARSHALL'S, FILENE'S) 7% 4%
Note: Columns do not equal 100, as not all categories are shown.
Source: WSL Marketing Inc., 2000
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