Clothing buying practices and life style differentials between employed black and white women

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Virginia Tech

The purpose of this chapter was to present the study findings, data analysis, and hypothesis testing results. Three hypotheses were established for the study. The first hypothesis was concerned with the differences in clothing buying practices between employed black and white women. The findings related to this hypothesis revealed that there were significant black-white differences for 20 of the 45 clothing buying practice variables which provided sufficient support for accepting Hypothesis 1.

Three constructs (clothing buying dimensions, clothing buying style groups and life style dimensions) were developed to facilitate the testing of Hypotheses 2 and 3. Eleven clothing buying dimensions were identified from factor analysis of 39 clothing buying practices. These eleven clothing buying dimensions were used in NORMIX Cluster Analysis as a basis for clustering the respondents into four unique clothing buying style groups. These four clothing buying style groups were "Fashion Enthusiasts," "Clothing Mainstreamers," "Quality Conservatives,” and "Economic Utilitarians." "Fashion Enthusiasts'' appeared to be more interested in the style and fashion aspects of clothing. "Clothing Mainstreamers" displayed few extremes (very high or very low) in their response patterns. They were described as the average clothing concerned group of employed women. "Quality Conservatives" were more conservative in fashion interest and were not interested in lower price clothing. “Economic Utilitarians," on the other hand, were very interested in low prices, maintenance and utilitarian aspects of clothing.

Factor analysis of 145 AIO statements identified 25 life style dimensions. These 25 dimensions, along with race and 5 other demographic variables were used as predictor variables in discriminant analysis among the four clothing buying styles. Hypotheses 2 and 3 were accepted since there was a significant relationship between: 1) race and clothing buying styles and 2) life style dimensions and clothing buying styles.

With regard to race, the findings indicated that the "Fashion Enthusiasts" group contained significantly more black than white women. The "Quality Conservatives" group contained significantly more white than black women. However, the "Clothing Mainstreamers" and "Economic Utilitarians" groups had essentially equal black-white representation. As for life style dimensions, some major relationships were: "Fashion Enthusiasts" were not interested in household concerns such as shopping for household items; the "Quality Conservatives" considered themselves "Swingers"; "Clothing Mainstreamers" were very active in the community; and "Economic Utilitarians” tended to save more money than the other group members.

African Americans