The average person only wears about 20% of the clothing in his or her closets.
Most clothing goes unworn because it's the result of an impulse buy or doesn't fit correctly, Ray A. Smith at the Wall Street Journal reports.
"Generally you like it, but it's a little tight or a little baggy. And you think 'Oh well, it's a minor flaw. It won't bother me in the long run.' Then, that turns out to be the very thing that keeps you from wearing it," Miriam Tatzel, a consumer psychologist, told WSJ . "You think you might have a use for it in the future, but that day never comes."
The retail industry relies on these impulse purchases to stay in business, Smith writes.
The 20% figure, provided by California Closets, especially applies to women, who are more prone to impulse buys.
But 9 out of 10 people frequently make impulse purchases, according to a survey by The Checkout.
Stores get consumers to impulse buy by color-coordinating displays, doing time-sensitive promotions, and marketing items as "new and improved."
But just because shoppers buy things they don't need doesn't mean they always regret it.
"The conventional wisdom that shoppers regret splurges isn't true, research found," Smith writes. "In fact, shoppers most regretted, over the long term, passing up an indulgence for something practical or less expensive."
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