Clothing interests of young adult, middle aged, and elderly men

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


This study was undertaken to investigate the importance of clothing to adult men and to ascertain whether differences existed in clothing interests of young adult (age 25-44), middle aged (age 45-64) and elderly (age 65-80) men. A secondary purpose was to investigate the relationships between the five factors of clothing interest and other demographic variables.

A questionnaire was administered to 244 Lions and Kiwanis club members in southwestern Virginia. Analysis of the data revealed that the older men had higher average scores on four of the five aspects of clothing interest (personal appearance, conformity, psychological awareness, and modesty). Concern with modesty in clothing increased significantly with age for all three groups with the younger men exhibiting the least degree of concern. Concern with personal appearance was the highest component of clothing interest and concern with the use of clothing to enhance the self-concept was the lowest of the five dimensions for the sample.

The most influential demographic variables were occupation and income. Protective and service workers indicated the least degree of concern on four factors, personal appearance, conformity, psychological awareness, and self-concept, for the sample. Their interest in personal appearance was significantly lower than the interest displayed by business men, clerks, and kindred workers. Individuals earning incomes of less than $20,000 were more interested in the psychological awareness of clothing than men with higher incomes. Overall, the men in this sample exhibited a low to medium degree of interest in clothing.