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Study: Finding the Right Fit Still Difficult For Most Women

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What do women around the world think of finding a pair of jeans? Well, it isn’t easy.

During a panel discussion at the 2016 Initiatives in Art & Culture (IAC) fashion conference in Manhattan, Invista Global Director Jean Hegedus discussed a new quantitative study conducted by the company that examined the denim habits of women around the world.

The study, produced by Invista by 2CV Research, surveyed thousands of women across the world in five countries—Brazil, China, Germany, Brazil and the United States—on the role denim plays in their wardrobes.

While the findings of the study varied around the world, there were a few constants. To be sure, women in every country love denim. The average woman owns eight pairs, with women in Brazil owning the most pairs—more than nine on average.

That doesn’t mean she wants to wear jeans all the time, though, with most women reporting they prefer to wear jeans around the house, except in China, where denim is preferred. Among U.S. women, jeans are the pant of choice for running errands, where in China the opposite is true, with most women there preferring leggings for running about.

Worldwide, close-fitting jeans proved most popular, with only Brazillian women preferring straight silhouettes. Despite the chatter about the demise of the skinny jean, Invista’s survey found that most U.S. women still prefer skinny jeans above straight-leg styles.

The study also looked into the difficulties women face when purchasing a pair of jeans. Women across the globe cited jeans as one of the most difficult items of clothing to shop for. Only 52 percent of women worldwide described buying jeans as “easy,” and in the U.S. and Germany this was far less, with only 42 percent of American women and 30 percent of German women finding buying a pair of jeans to be easy. The one exception was China, where 75 percent of women said buying jeans was easy.

Likewise, the top two points of frustration among women when buying jeans were fit and knowing which style suited them best. When asked to describe the jean-shopping process, the top word was time consuming, followed by enjoyable, difficult, stressful, and frustrating. While “enjoyable” placed second on the list, almost all of that was driven by Chinese women, who generally had a much better experience buying jeans than their western counterparts.

But what happens when women don’t find their ideal pair of jeans? According to the study, 43 percent of women end up settling for a pair that’s less than perfect, while another 42 percent said they give up searching entirely. The remaining 15 percent said they simply look for alternatives like leggings.

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