Table of Contents

Introduction

In this insights report, we try to understand the fashion and clothing habits of Irish consumers, and how things have changed over the last year during the pandemic. This research was gathered on 3rd February 2021 over 24 hours. 1047 responses were collected from 18 to 55-year-olds in the Republic of Ireland.

Shopping Habits

Many consumers follow distinct strategy and habits when shopping. A quarter of our panel describe themselves as a bargain hunter, that is they seek the best deal, use coupons and are attracted to sale items. The least popular strategy was the brand loyalist, demonstrating the overall power of a brand has weakened over the years. Approximately, 1 in 5 consumers describe themselves as a browser, or rather someone who enjoys shopping, but are unsure of what they actually want. Another fifth of Irish consumers describe themselves as the opposite, they are practical shoppers who buy what they need and no more. 

Frequency

40% of consumers purchase new clothing every few months and roughly 20% buy new clothes every month, while another 20% buy new clothes every few weeks. The most popular reason to purchase new clothes was to improve your wardrobe with 68% of respondents selecting that option. Other popular reasons were to replace worn out clothes and “to make myself feel good”. Interestingly, over half of respondent choose the latter option. 

T-shirts, sweaters and hoodies were by far the most frequency purchased items of clothing, with 55% of respondent position it as the most frequently purchased. Underwear and socks were also frequent purchases, with 20% of respondents saying it was the most frequent item. The items were least frequently purchased was jackets and coats, with 42.02% ranking those items at the bottom. 

Influence and trends

The largest influence on clothing decisions according to our panel was necessity, that is the functional decision of the individual. Some 62.56% of respondents ranked necessity as the top influence. Traditional media had the lowest influence, with 44.22% ranking it last.

Only 11% of respondents ranked fashion trends as the most influential factor in what they wear. Fashion trends are constantly changing and we wanted to see how much the regular consumer kept up. Similar portions of our panel selected the options “extremely aware” or “not aware at all”, with 12% of respondents each. Most respondents (38.59%) were “quite aware”, followed closely by 36.96% of respondents saying they were “slightly aware”.

 

Spending

Most consumers spend between €251 to €500 on clothing each year, with 28.94% of our respondents selecting that option. Another 26.84% of respondents spend between €501 and €1000 a year. Approximately a quarter of respondents (26.16%) spend less than €250 a year on clothing. The majority of respondents (56.73%) have spent less money on clothing this year since the pandemic hit, though 29.7% have seen an uptick in how much they are spending. 

Key Takeaways

  • Most shoppers are bargain hunters, despite that the majority of our panel, approximately 3 in 4 still spend over €250 on clothing each year.
  • Actual fashion trends have a weak influence on consumer choices, but necessity followed by the influence of friends have a significant impact on consumer clothing decisions. 
  • Coats and jackets are among the least frequently purchased items by consumers. The most frequently purchased items were t-shirts, sweaters and hoodies with over half of respondents buying them the most often. This reflects the popularity of streetwear and also the growth in online merchandise such as branded t-shirts.

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