Total apparel sales for women grew 2.1 percent from January 2013 – July 2013 compared to the same time period one year ago. Units were up 3.5 percent and the average selling price remained flat. While there was little growth from the top women’s apparel categories – knit shirts and dresses – there were some stand-out categories that benefited from renewed interest in tailored fashion.
“With the sale of dresses flat and tailored clothing up, consumers are making a trade-off,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group, Inc. “Women are still conscious of what they are spending their dollars on and they want to invest in pieces that will give them multiple uses. With the blazer they can put it over a dress from their closet during the day and pair it with jeans at night or on the weekends.”
Total apparel sales for men grew 6 percent from January 2013 – July 2013 compared to the same time period one year ago. Units were up 1.7 percent and the average selling price was up 4.3 percent. While there was little growth from the top men’s apparel categories – knit shirts and woven shirts – there was double-digit growth in tailored categories.
“In the dot-com era, when the workplace was more casual, it took a lot to compel a man to buy a new suit,” stated Cohen. “Today men are purchasing suits for special occasions, a family event or job interview, but they are also dressing more formal in their daily life including for work. So now men need to own more than two suits, or at least a couple of suits and some blazers to pair with pants.”
“There has been a slow and steady return to dressing up over the last couple of years, in and out of the workplace. With suits separates becoming a huge player, now that it is acceptable to break up jackets and pants, men and women are able to diversify their wardrobe more than ever,” added Cohen.
About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group provides global information and advisory services to drive better business decisions. By combining unique data assets with unmatched industry expertise, we help our clients track their markets, understand consumers, and drive profitable growth. Sectors covered include automotive, beauty, consumer electronics, entertainment, fashion, food / foodservice, home, luxury, mobile, office supplies, sports, technology, toys, and video games.
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