Over a lifetime Brits will amass £32,951 worth of unworn clothing in their wardrobes – equivalent to the average cost of a wedding or university fees for undergraduate degree. This has been found by True Fit, a global data platform for fashion industry that decodes personal style, fit, and size for consumers to help them find right clothes and shoes.
Research involved over 2,000 consumers. According to the report, the average British woman will stash £22,140 worth of unworn clothing in their wardrobes – the equivalent to a house deposit for a first-time buyer – while men accumulate on average £10,811 of garments they will never wear – comparable to the fees for a child under two to attend day nursery full time for a year.
With British women forecast to spend £29.4 billion on clothing this year alone, nearly half of UK female shoppers (45 per cent) admit to having bought something online that they have never worn or have only worn once (44 per cent) because of difficulties choosing items in the right style, fit, and size for their unique personal characteristics and preferences.
And this fashion discovery epidemic, True Fit’s data suggests, extends beyond women’s wardrobes. With only 1 in 2 (44 per cent) of the UK’s garments fitting them properly, the average Brit admits they only wear three quarters (74 per cent) of the clothing in their wardrobes. When it came to finding clothes they love, and choosing the right style, fit, and size, jeans proved the trickiest item to shop for online for both men (15 per cent) and women (21 per cent), followed by trousers (12 per cent), boots (5 per cent), dresses (4 per cent) and heels (4 per cent).
And, such is the frustration with style and sizing guesswork that over three quarters of women (77 pre cent) now say they choose not to purchase clothing online because they are unsure of which styles suit them best and which size to buy. Half even purposely avoid certain retailers because the style, fit, and sizing of their clothes is so unpredictable, causing shoppers to lose confidence in buying from them.
Lars Rabe, a business leader and fashion expert at True Fit, commented: “There is so much disparity in retailers’ sizing – with consumers’ clothing fluctuating several dress sizes depending on where they shop, for example – it is leaving many shoppers confused and frustrated when shopping for fashion online.”
“And it’s not just bad for consumer confidence, it’s also bad for the retailers themselves. Not only might they lose out on sales and erode customer loyalty, but they may also end up bearing the cost of fulfilling redundant items and orders – where shoppers order several items of the same product due to size uncertainty – as well as the cost of returns due to any combination of ordering items aren’t right for a shopper’s personal taste, body, or size,” he added.
Romney Evens, chief product and marketing officer at True Fit, said: “The fact that half of the female consumers we polled avoid certain retailers due to inconsistencies in style, fit, and sizing is a clear indication of the confidence gap consumers face when shopping for fashion online. If retailers make recommendations for customers based on what they believe their average consumer would prefer, they are making that customer conform to an imaginary and inaccurate concept. This is where sophisticated AI technology can help – true one-to-one personalisation is needed to satisfy and delight consumers. This means making recommendations for that individual customer, not for people similar to them. Consumers are demanding an easier experience, and it’s exciting to see leading retailers adopting this capability.”