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Self-concept and the fashion behavior of women over 50

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of the present study is to examine the connection between the self-concept and fashion consumer behaviors of senior females. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Participants for the study (n=200) were recruited from 12 chapters of the Red Hat Society located in the Southeastern USA; they completed a self-administered survey. Relational, individual and collective identities were measured via well-established, pre-existing scales. Statistical findings were used to examine how senior females with unique identities (i.e. relational, individual, and collective self-concepts) differ in terms of their shopping behaviors and fashion orientation. Findings ‐ Statistical results from this study indicate that apparel purchase decisions for senior females are complex and involve issues beyond style, fit, and price. Information on how the identity groups differed from one another in the various shopping behaviors and their interest in fashion is identified. Research limitations/implications ‐ This study provides an examination into the complex self-concept of older females and its link to fashion-related consumer behaviors. Recommendations on how specific apparel retailers can better target senior females are presented. Originality/value ‐ Research regarding the complex fashion needs, and purchase decisions of senior females, is sparse. This research contributes to the literature on fashion and apparel by examining how different identities relate to various fashion consumer behaviors for women over 50.
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Keywords: Identity; Retailing; Self-concept; Senior females; United States of America

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-07-12

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