Study: The Powerful Role That Fashion Plays In Self-Expression

In Marketing, What's New, Industry News by Accessories Staff

TJMaxx-web-IG-originalFramingham, MA—Prepare to remove the term “fashion victim” from your vocabulary forever!

At least that’s the take home from a new study from T.J.Maxx, one of the nation’s leading off-price retailers, in partnership with Dr. Hazel Clark, Research Chair of Fashion at Parsons The New School for Design. Their study found that a full 87% of women said they are not controlled by fashion, but that they control fashion, using it as a tool to express their personality (77%) and individuality (74%).

Futhermore, the study found that women are not confined by trends or pegged into style profiles. Instead, they are taking fashion into their own hands, with more than half of women (55%) interpreting trends to make them their own.

They are fashion chameleons–on average, describing their personal style using four different profiles, transforming from classic and conservative to unique and artsy at the crack of a closet door. In fact, nearly two-thirds (63%) of women who described their personal style as classic also continued to describe themselves as trendy and stylish.

It’s no wonder 77% of women said they want more options to express themselves. But one thing remains consistent–they prioritize quality items (38%) and great prices (45%) when building their personal style wardrobes.

“Findings clearly show that women are feeling empowered by fashion, not confined by it,” said Dr. Clark. “They see it as a creative outlet that allows them to express who they are, not what’s on the runway or a mannequin. They aren’t looking for some cookie-cutter approach to shopping or to copy a head-to-toe look.”

What Makes Personal Style?

Ultimately, personal style is just that–it’s personal, with 88% of women agreeing that they dress for themselves, not for others. In fact, only a quarter of women say they dress to “fit in.” Personal style impacts more than just how women look, with 91% of women agreeing with the statement “when I look good, I feel good.” Which may explain why more than two-thirds of women (69%) enjoy the art of getting dressed, viewing it as a creative outlet and something instinctual and natural.

And, when they achieve that desired look they feel confident (44%) and satisfied (21%).

T.J.Maxx is also inviting women to show what inspires their personal style, asking them to put together a self-expression Pinterest board for a chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree with T.J.Maxx Style Scout Helena Glazer of fashion blog Brooklyn Blonde in New York City. For more information and to enter the MaxxExpression Pinterest Contest for your chance to win, visit:

About the Study

All statistics are a result of the February to March survey conducted by Braun Research, a strategic communication research consulting firm. The survey was completed by 1,000 women between the ages of 18 to 54 and the results can be viewed in the illustrated infographic left.


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