The Death of Clothing? Another Nail In the Coffin for Retail


The irrelevance of fashion has been “my” topic for years – everyone knows I have no patience for the whims and follies of the business – starting with sizing myopia, costly runway shows, and out-of-touch-with-reality designers.

But then I discovered COS  and my fashion uniform was born and I no longer had as many nasty things to say about fashion.

And that is why, when I initially read the now famous “Death of Clothing” article in Bloomberg I planned to challenge it. After all, if I finally got more involved with fashion, surely clothing was not on its deathbed.

But not so fast.

In reviewing my clothing spend over the last 5 years, it is indeed way down:

2017:      $1745

2016:      $3628 (discovered Anthom, a one-time splurge)

2015:      $2699 (the year I discovered COS)

2014:       $1186 (very thrifty year?)

2013:       $2354

Based on these figures, Bloomberg is correct: my spending year over year is down 52% and over 5 years, down 26%.

READ ON BELOW for key takeaways from this excellent, insightful Bloomberg story along with their well-researched charts and statistics .


Apparel is being displaced by “experiences” i.e. travel, eating out and activities, which have grown to 18% of purchases.

Technology, including data charges and media content, accounts for 3.4% of spending which tops all clothing and footwear expenditures.

No more work wardrobes: No one needs to buy separate work attire anymore:

  • There has been a 10% increase, over the last 5 years, in employers allowing casual dress every day of the week.
  • Half of Americans say they can wear jeans to the office

Fashion’s kingmakers: No longer retailers, magazines or high-end designers

  • Influencers have moved online with millions of tastemakers all over social media
  • With such a variety of aesthetics at play, it’s harder for new trends to break through.


Share of personal consumer expenditures shows experiences dominate


More casual dress; drycleaning shops closing


apparel store closings


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