Investigation of petite and tall sized women's clothing needs: fashion involvement versus pre-purchase clothing satisfaction



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Texas Tech University


Most women acquire clothing in the ready-to-wear market where consumer products are mass produced for the average individual. Therefore, consumers who are different in height and weight from the average, experience daily inconveniences. Most apparel manufacturers and retailers had not recognized these groups of consumers' special needs until the great economic stagflation and inflation in the mid 1970s. The updated segmentation scheme in search of a new cure for sagging business resulted in new specialized target markets, such as petite, tall, and large clothing markets. Today, petite clothing can be found in department stores, specialty stores, and in mail order catalogs. Despite the recent development in apparel size ranges, few changes have been made in sizing for tall women. There are a limited number of stores and catalogs that carry clothing for tall women. Besides, both sources carry only a limited range of styles and a limited inventory. Although the petite and tall clothing market is profitable, numerous studies indicated that apparel manufacturers and retailers did not meet the needs of these consumers. Petite and tall consumers reported several fit problems in purchasing apparel products and the lack of availability.

Recent demographics indicate that the size of these consumer groups keeps increasing; however, limited research has been found in regard to this groups of consumers' pre-purchase clothing satisfaction. Since previous studies have revealed availability of clothing presented the greatest challenge to petite and tall women, it was important to investigate their satisfaction at the stage that the purchase decision occurred.

The purpose of the study was to investigate (1) clothing needs of petite and tall sized women in terms of fashion involvement and pre-purchase clothing satisfaction, (2) if there is a significant difference in clothing needs, fashion involvement, and pre-purchase clothing satisfaction between the two groups, and (3) if there is a relationship among the three selected variables.



Women's clothing industry, Clothing and dress measurements, Body size