Average American Women has $550 worth of Unworn Clothing

April 1, 2014

A new study reveals an interesting reality among American Women—at least 20% of the clothes she owns have never been worn, amounting to a value of more than $550. The study, conducted by Voucher Cloud, sought to learn more about the shopping habits of American women with a survey of 2,137 women aged 18 and over.
The top reasons for unworn clothing include favoring alternative items, receiving a negative reaction from a friend or partner, being uncomfortable or going out of style and lastly that they had simply forgotten. In fact, 39% of the participants said that they couldn’t be bothered to take the clothing back and another 18% said they held on to the items in case they changed their minds.

This study shows that many American women have more clothes going to waste in their closets than most would think. It calls attention to the fact that although it is fun to make certain purchases whether they may be spontaneous or eccentric, women must pay more attention to making sure they will actually wear their purchases.

So how can you ensure your hard earned money doesn’t just sit idle in your closet?


The fashion industry is increasingly responding to the problem of unworn and extra clothing by introducing online consignment shops where you can easily sell your pieces for a profit. Large sites such as ebay may seem daunting for many individuals, however sites such as i-Ella, ShopHers and Vaunte allow you to easily sell pieces and make a decent profit without going through local consignment or vintage stores that may take a high percentage.  Most products are offered at about half the price of retail and include a range of pieces from designers like Saint Laurent, Dior, Cartier for great deals to more common and inexpensive labels such as Forever21.

thredUp is a new company started by Rent-the-Runway, with a focus on the closet clean out process. The concept is refreshing your closet by packing up like-new condition pieces in the specific pre-paid and pre-addressed thredUP bag and simply dropping it off at a nearby FedEx location or giving it to your USPS carrier.

Clothing is analyzed by a group of fashion resale professionals who decide the resale value, which can be up to 80%. Customers can earn credit on the site or cash through PayPal, and even have the option to get clothing back if items are not accepted.

clothes swap

Another fun way to deal with unworn clothing is to invite friends over for an exchange gathering in which everyone brings a bag of extra clothing they may be sick or bored. By exchanging with friends or coworkers, you may even get to enjoy the piece on someone else and not feel the same issue of completely getting rid of pieces.  Turn it into a party by bringing wine and cocktails and light bites.  The perfect time for a Sip and Swap is the change of season. Send invites via Paperless Post to friends and plan something fun in your living room or backyard if lucky enough to have one.

Other ways to refresh closets include bringing bags to your local salvation army, researching charities that put clothing to good use, and dropping off at consignment stores.

April has arrived and the time has come for spring-cleaning to begin. More American women should consider this an excellent opportunity to clean out the good in order to welcome the new and beautiful. Services and sites like these are exciting, logical and refreshing ways of making a bit of extra cash. America is such a consumer based nation and the excitement of getting new things is truly widespread. At the same time, more and more individuals are looking to get a good deal or value so the process is rather two-sided.


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