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Appearance-related consumption among dating, cohabiting and married consumers: a comparison between men and women

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This article aims to investigate to what extent dating/cohabiting/married men and women buy their partner different kinds of products and services related to appearance (clothing, footwear, jewellery/watches, make-up, skin care products, hair care products, perfumes/fragrances, hairdresser services and cosmetician services). A total of 685 Finns (344 men and 341 women) aged 15–64 years with a spouse or dating partner completed a nationally representative mail survey. The findings indicate that the proportion of women who buy their spouse/dating partner clothing, skin or hair care products on a regular basis is considerable. Men who had purchased their spouse/dating partner some of the surveyed products or services did so once or twice a year. Age, type of relationship, income and respondent's personal buying frequency were associated with the likelihood of buying spouse/dating partner different products related to appearance. This trend was particularly prevalent among women. The findings suggest that marketers and retailers of appearance-related products should pay more attention to the role of women as purchasers of their husband's/partner's clothing and grooming products, and the importance of age, type of relationship, income and respondent's personal buying frequency in explaining this type of consumption.

Keywords: clothing; consumer behaviour; couples; jewellery; personal care

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Economic Sociology, Department of Social Research/Marketing and International Business,University of Turku, Turku,20014, Finland

Publication date: February 1, 2013

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