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COMFORT AND PRICE ARE TOP FASHION INFLUENCES NOT DESIGNER DICTATES SAYS SURVEY

 NEW YORK, April 8 /PRNewswire/ -- A new survey documenting women's shopping habits and views towards apparel has found that when it comes to the vagaries of fashion, most female consumers base their clothing selections on practical rather than fanciful criteria.
 Despite designer dictates, most women have not succumbed to recent fashion trends that call for a radical change in dressing as well as a significant financial investment. The majority cite comfort, affordability and wearability as the prime incentives for new purchases.
 These findings are the result of a coast-to-coast survey conducted by The Wirthlin Group for Cotton Incorporated, the fiber company of U.S. cotton growers.
 When asked which were the most important influences on their purchasing decision when shopping for clothing, 98 percent of women polled responded that a garment must be comfortable, 95 percent said it must be a good value, and 76 percent indicated that the item in question must be a style that is realistic to wear.
 Only five percent of those polled said the fantastical fashions sent down couture runways have a great deal of influence on their buying behavior.
 The survey found that the average amount a woman would spend on something to wear when dressing up was $104. Not surprisingly, 23 percent of those polled reported they usually made most of their clothing purchases in the bridge sportswear department of large stores as opposed to 17 percent who frequented the designer department.
 Even when the economy isn't a factor, women tend to prize versatility over luxury. If given a thousand dollars to spend only on clothing for themselves and the choice between a cashmere twin-set, a formal evening dress, a leather motorcycle jacket or coordinated cotton separates such as a blazer and pair of slacks or a skirt and a blouse or sweater, the majority of women, 77 percent, opted for the complete outfit. Current fashion trends that were likely to affect future shopping trips were rated accordingly; seven percent said they were followers of the grunge trend, 23 percent favored the sheer layering trend, 51 percent subscribed to the long skirt trend, while the majority, 66 percent, predicted the sportswear trend would have the strongest influence on their upcoming purchases.
 The survey also found that cotton is the preferred fiber in apparel. Asked to rate a number of fabrics, 69 percent name cotton as their favorite for fashion clothing.
 -0- 4/8/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Complete survey available./
 /CONTACT: Lisa Anderson or Bill Daddi, 212-586-1070, for Cotton Incorporated/


CO: Cotton Incorporated ST: New York IN: TEX SU:

TM-LD -- NYFNS4 -- 4025 04/08/93 07:31 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 8, 1993
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