Have You Ever Wondered How Much Women Actually Spend On Clothing & Accessories?

There’s nothing more enjoyable than going shopping and having a splurge on all the latest designer labels. In fact, many women will openly admit that they regularly spend vast amounts of money on clothing and accessories. However, to give us a better idea of actual figures, a survey was recently conducted by ING Direct and Capital One banks. The study looked into the spending habits of 1,000 women and came up with some eye-opening figures.

How Much Women Actually Spend On Clothing & Accessories

Spending Habits

It is estimated that the average woman (with a life expectancy of 80 years of age) will spend approximately $125,000 in her lifetime on clothing and accessories. This will equate to just over 3,100 different items and include 145 handbags, 185 dresses and yes you’ve guessed it, over 270 pairs of shoes. With that being said, age is a huge factor in spending habits, as the surveys show that women under the age of 25 are more likely to average $200,000 during their lifetime, based on their current spending habits. Women who are aged 55 or over will average just under $100,000 during their lives, once again based on their current spending habits.

It appears most women, on average, will spend somewhere between $150 and $400 on clothing on a monthly basis, which equates to approximately $1,800 to $4,800 per year. It also appears that a woman’s spending habits are extremely closely related to their personal lives, especially their relationship status. A woman who has recently broken up with their partner will typically go all out and start spending outrageous amounts of money on clothing and accessories, although in truth, that’s no real surprise. However, if a woman has been single for an extended period, she may go months and months without ever spending a penny on clothing and then suddenly for no apparent reason she will go on a massive spending spree.

Other Facts Revealed in the Survey

  • 1 in 10 women admitted that they would typically buy an item of clothing, on a weekly basis, usually during their lunch break, so they could wear that piece of clothing on the same night once they have finished work.
  • 12% of respondents claimed to keep a spare pair of shoes at work just in case they happened to go on a night out straight after work.
  • Two-fifths of the women (that’s 400 out of the 1,000 surveyed) claimed that they changed their outfit at least twice a day. In addition to this, the same number of women said that they would re-apply their makeup anywhere up to as many as five times per day. It appears that 25% of women would also look in the mirror over five times a day as well.
  • 1 in 7 women regularly hides clothing and accessories they have purchased from their partners.
  • And even after all this spending and hundreds of items of clothing, 3 in 5 women complain on a daily basis that they can’t find anything suitable to wear in their wardrobe.

Similarly, a survey carried out by Professor Karen J. Pine of the University of Hertfordshire on female economic behavior and the emotion regulatory role of spending in 2009 provides an insight into the spending habits of women. The study found that a significant proportion of women use shopping as a way of relieving unhappiness, and some respondents attributed their emotional shopping spree as a thrill they just cannot control.

These surveys were carried out in the United Kingdom and the United States respectively, but it’s pretty evident that women from all around the world could easily relate to these statistics!

13 thoughts on “Have You Ever Wondered How Much Women Actually Spend On Clothing & Accessories?”

  1. Umm I’m 15 and spend around $250-$300 a year on clothing with the money that I make. I recently just got into online shopping and I keep buying more and more

  2. Cool post. I don’t spend anywhere near those numbers a year but I don’t consider them ridiculous. $125,000 for a lifetime of looking wonderful is something I’d be fine with. I do believe everyone has their vices.

  3. Fascinating article! It is amazing to me (but not surprising) that shopping habits often correlate to a woman’s emotions at the time. Just like anything else in life, “binging” on shopping is just one more way to self-soothe, but it can get dangerously expensive! Better to meditate/pray, pick up a new hobby, or go for a run. 😉

  4. It’s great you elaborated on how shopping can help a woman relax, especially when new clothes are part of the equation as well as expanding the wardrobe. Most women shop for practicality, while others shop because they want to follow the latest trends and own them before everyone else, and that’s fine and dandy. When it comes to looking for matching clothing, women are much better at finding them and coordinating items in order to throw a new outfit together–which is something that I, as a man, could only dream of doing!

  5. I’m clearing my closet out now. You are so right on having favorite pieces one wears. It’s a shame as a women we spend so much money on clothes all because of want (like) not need. I spend so much time in my moving clothes around to fit new ones in. Needless to say when I donate my clothes many still have the price tag still on.
    I have been asked by many people at the Assistance Thrift Store I donate to if I have a store because of the amount of shoes, clothes, leather purses I donate. I was happy to read this article for a wake-up call. Thanks – Hoping I can stick to a closet I can actually move on the rod.

  6. I thought I was off the charts with my spending which is all in thrift and resale shops except for under-clothing, of course. And I have been feeling guilty. But I’m at or below the low end of this range. I agree with all the different emotional reasons described above for doing it. The biggest problem for me has been yo-yo-ing weight (although by less than 10 pounds, but on my slight frame and with my taste in structured clothes, that’s two sizes). About every other year I was purging the bigger or smaller stuff and replacing with the current size. For the first time in about 20 years, I have stabilized my weight, feel much more in control about keeping it there, have cleaned out my closet, and can wear 95% of what’s in my closet. I have all I need and more to look in style and make a nod to current trends. And, for the first time in a long time, can organize my closet by color and fabric weight rather than by size! Yay! So pleased.


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