Is this me?

PhD thesis shows that the newest trends don't determine what clothes people buy.

They choose a pair of boots or a pair of pants because they like the style, the colours and the cut and because it feels right. In other words the consumer asks his or herself: Is this me and do these pants go with the rest of my wardrobe?

This is one of the surprising conclusions of the PhD dissertation, ”The Daily Selection”, by Else Skjold, MA in modern culture and cultural communication.

Else Skjold has applied "the wardrobe method" and has studied regular people's wardrobe collections, and the many interviews with both men and women reveal that emotions control our shopping rather than a desire to follow the latest trend.

- When a man buys a pair of cowboy boots he doesn't do so because they are the height of fashion but because they make him feel like a cowboy, says Else Skjold in an interview to Danish radio P1 Morgen.

Environmental advantage
Else Skjold therefore recommends that the fashion industry focuses on consumers who don't necessarily care about fashion but who do like to get new clothes.

- The fashion industry mainly focuses on young women with a lot of money but this group is a minority. There are people who are willing to spend a great deal of money when they find something that fit them, and I think the fashion industry should focus much more on them, says Else Skjold, who has made frequent appearances in the media over the past few weeks, including in newspapers Politiken, Weekendavisen and Jyllands-Posten.

Else Skjold believes that her studies of consumer habits show that the fashion industry doesn't have to make new collections all the time, and that they will benefit from making fewer collections as will the environment. 

- If you focus on making good products with a great fit and a long life, you have opted your chances of getting more loyal costumers. This would also create a better balance between production and consumption and therefore a more sustainable industry, says Else Skjold to magazine Dansk Mode & Textil.

The dissertation has been completed in collaboration with shoe manufacturer ECCO, Fashion Designer Mads Nørgaard and teaching staff at Design School Kolding.