Fast fashion – the trend toward selling clothing featuring the latest designs to consumers as quickly and cheaply as possible – has long been the driving force in the apparel market. To the annoyance of many consumers, two consequences of this trend have been that clothing has become less durable and less unique.
Slowing Fashion Down
Now, supported by the growth of internet retail, a number of small producers and retailers have emerged to address these frustrations. Many of these companies sell tailored, made to order apparel. For example, Indochino Apparel sells tailored suits for men and Son of a Tailor sells tailored shirts. Others focus on offering more durable products, like Cotopaxi, which provides 61 year warranties for all of the apparel it sells. The success of many of these small firms has supported a proliferation of such companies.
Trends Still Small
Despite rapid growth, these firms still represent a small portion of the US apparel market. Highly durable and custom products tend to be much higher priced than many consumers are used to paying, which restrains growth. In a consumer survey commissioned by Freedonia Focus Reports, 71% of respondents reported that price was a key factor when deciding whether or not to purchase an item of clothing, a higher share than any other factor.
In addition, internet-based sellers of tailored clothing have yet to significantly penetrate the women’s clothing market, largely due to the higher number of measurements and alterations necessary for tailoring women’s clothing. Of course, a lack of penetration in such a large market also represents an opportunity for future growth.
Want to Learn More?
Don’t worry, we have you covered! For additional information and analysis of US market trends, see Apparel: United States, a report published by the Freedonia Focus Reports division of The Freedonia Group. The report also includes numbers and analysis covering US apparel demand by product and market at the manufacturers’ level for 2006-2016 with projections to 2021. Demand by product segments include:
- intimates and sleepwear
- coats, jackets, and suits
- accessories and other apparel.
Demand by market segments include:
- women’s and girls’
- men’s and boys’.
While you’re there, check out some of our related reports, which include Men's Clothing: United States and Women's Clothing: United States, two reports that focus on US demand for clothing at the retail level and provide in-depth looks at retail trends. Other related reports include Athletic Footwear: United States, E-Commerce: United States, and Footwear: United States.
About the Author
Steven Richmond is a Research Analyst with Freedonia Focus Reports. He holds a degree in economics and international affairs, and his experience as an analyst spans multiple industries.