Your wardrobe decoded

1,000 British women reveal how they really get dressed


In our recent Getting Dressed survey, we asked you to tell us about your relationship with clothes – the results may surprise you.


British shoppers spend almost £55 billion a year on the high street and, as an industry, it is worth £26 billion to the UK economy.

There’s no denying fashion affects us all. Unless you’re living on a nudist colony, we all begin every day of our lives deciding what to wear. And that decision is loaded with a million little questions about who you are, how you feel and what you want to say about yourself to the world. Which is why we wanted to get to the bottom of what makes you tick.


We asked you to tell us about how you get dressed every day, from shopping and styling to knickers and floordrobes.

The results are illuminating and sometimes surprising, but most of all, they reveal just how emotionally invested you are in the clothes you wear (and that it might be time to clear out your sock drawer).


63% of you wouldn’t change your style for a date or new relationship


67% of you say you dress for yourself  rather than your partner in your day-to-day life


43% of you have cried because you couldn’t find anything to wear

ELLE tip: ‘Find some quick wins for speed. Make time toput together some failsafe looks so you can nail it every time without any of the emotional hassle when you’re busy.’


You told us that you haven’t worn 13.3% of your wardrobe

ELLE tip: ‘Enlist the help of a good friend who you really trust to help with a wardrobe clear-out. Someone who isn’t emotionally attached to anything you own will speed up the process.’ 


59% of you have a floordrobe instead of a wardrobe

72% of you have bought a new wardrobe for a new job


MORE THAN HALF of you clear out your wardrobe at least once a year


Your functional uniform:

47% of you own a pair of ballet pumps

32% of you own a pair of black jeans

23% of you own a white shirt

45% of you wear black trousers at least once a week


43% of you prefer to shop in store

24% of you like buying online more

1 IN 3 of you  do both


MORE THAN HALF of you prefer to shop alone

(11% shop with friends, 13% with your partner, 17% shop with your mum)


You have an average of 3.3 odd socks


When getting dressed 81% of you put your knickers on first, followed by your bra (14%)


8% of you put your socks on first

ELLE tip: ‘Invest in new underwear (including socks) every six months. If you start with great basics, everything else grows from there.’


MORE THAN HALF of 18-24s (the selfie generation) look in the mirror 3 or more times before leaving the house (vs only 34% of 35-45 year olds)

31% of 25-34 year olds would not wear an outfit you’d already been pictured in on social media

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