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Frocks for festive feasting: Demand for fashion defies cost of living crunch


Despite the squeeze on spare cash, spending on fashion is booming, according to new research by Finder.

Aussie shoppers forked out $2.5 billion on clothing, shoes and accessories in the lead-up to Christmas, according to a nationally representative survey of 1,054 respondents.

The research found the average Aussie spent $126 on fashion during October alone.

Women spent more than twice as much as men – with women forking out $171 on average, compared to $78 for men.

Spending was greatest among those in New South Wales ($156), while South Australians spent the least ($93).

Chris Jager, shopping expert at Finder, said the demand for fashion is defying expectations for a pullback in non-essential spending.

"The cost of living is skyrocketing but Australians aren't letting all their luxuries go.

"Mortgages, groceries and petrol are all costing more but Aussies still want to dress to impress this Christmas.

"Some shoppers may need a new wardrobe – with lifestyle changes made during the pandemic leading to changes in weight."

Separate Finder research found 38% of Australian adults reported undesired weight gain since the start of the pandemic.

Jager said purchases of outfits for weddings and other events slowed right down during the pandemic – so some could be making up for lost time.

"A shift to working from home could have led to a demand for more casual clothing.

"At the same time, plenty of Aussies look forward to the festive season as a time to buy new clothes."

Younger shoppers have been found to spend the most on fashion – splashing out a whopping $222.

That's well ahead of older shoppers – with baby boomers spending $37 on average.

Jager urged shoppers to set a budget.

"People need to be conscious of where their money goes.

"Your best bet is to focus on essential expenses first, then you can set aside money for 'fun' expenses like that new pair of shoes."

How much have you spent on fashion (i.e. clothing, shoes, accessories) in the past month?
New South Wales$156
Western Australia$110
South Australia$93
Source: Finder survey of 1,054 Australians, October 2022

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