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Nearly Half of American Consumers Want Customized Apparel, New Study Says

Fashion is no longer solely dictated by retailers—and customized apparel, an alternative to conventional garments—is becoming more popular among American consumers., an Italian made-to-measure men’s e-tailer and YouGov, a market research company, recently conducted a study on American consumers’ fashion purchase habits, including their views on customized apparel.

The study, “Lanieri US Fashiontech Insights,” found that nearly half (49 percent) of U.S. adults are interested in buying customized clothing—and are likely to spend, on average, $207 to buy it, with men willing to outspend women by nearly $60. What’s more, Millennials are also expected to drive the customized apparel movement, as they angle for products that deliver more of what they want.

What these consumers want when it comes to customized product varies by gender. Seventeen percent of men said they’d be most interested in made-to-measure work clothes, followed by shoes and wedding garb. For women, customized wedding wear came first, with 15 percent indicating an interest in it, followed by an equal desire for customized work clothing and shoes.

“The FashionTech industry is exploding with the growing demand for made-to-measure items,” Lanieri CEO Simone Maggi said. “The newly published research shows a growing trend that goes hand in hand with the Millennials’ positive attitude toward online made-to-measure and the increase in their spending capacity.”

According to the study, 21 percent of Americans purchased customized apparel in 2016. Millennials, who are arguably more tech savvy than older demographics, bought the most customized apparel, with 34 percent saying they picked up a made-to-measure product in 2017. About half of these Gen Y shoppers (42 percent) also indicated that they’d be willing to spend more money to buy customized garments.

[Read more on made-to-measure innovations: This Korean Startup is Ditching Standard Sizes to Realize Better Fit]

E-commerce was the preferred channel for American consumers to buy customized clothing. According to the study, 51 percent of those interested in customized apparel would search for these garments on websites, as more than half expect better deals than in stores. When purchasing customized apparel online, 68 percent of American consumers would choose companies that have free shipping and highly rated customer service.

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Privacy, however, remains a top concern for American consumers interested in customized apparel. In the study, 70 percent of American consumers said they were worried about the use of their personal information for retail marketing campaigns. Privacy concerns varied between shopper demographics—American consumers 55 and older (80 percent) were the most worried, while more than half (53 percent) of Millennials were also concerned about retailers sharing their personal information. Despite privacy concerns, 23 percent of American consumers said they would be open to other retail technology, including receiving assistance from chatbots on their purchasing journeys.