Effect of satisfaction and fit problems with career dress on career women's willingness to trade styling options, time, and money for more sizing options in career dress Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/h989r6716

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  • The objectives of the study were: to investigate career women's satisfaction with current career dress; to determine willingness of career women to trade styling options, time, and money for more sizing choices in career dress; to determine the effect of satisfaction on willingness to trade styling options, time, and money; to investigate fit problems with career dress; to determine the relationship between satisfaction and experience with fit problems; to determine the relationship between fit problems and willingness to trade styling options, time, and money;and to investigate career women's actions to solve fit problems that they have experienced with career dress. A survey method was used to collect data. Questionnaires were completed by career women present at professional association meetings in western Oregon during the winter of 1986. The sample used in the study consisted of 218 women working in professional or managerial occupations. They tended to be middle-aged, college educated, of above average family income, married, and full-time workers. The data included general satisfaction with career clothing, satisfaction with a suit-type jacket worn to work, frequency of fit problems, actions taken to solve fit problems, willingness to trade styling options for more sizing choices, willingness to spend more time and money to get more sizing choices, and demographic characteristics. Descriptive statistics, chi square, correlation coefficients and analysis of variance were used to analyze the data. As hypothesized, respondents who were satisfied with career dress were also satisfied with a specific jacket (p <.001). The respondents were very satisfied with their career dress and with their own jacket. Over 90 percent of the respondents were willing to accept fewer styling options to get more sizing options. They were willing to spend "some" more time to get more sizing options, and they were willing to spend $20.99 or less to get more sizing options. The hypothesis that willingness to trade styling options, time, and money for more sizing options is a negative function of general satisfaction with career dress was partially accepted. Level of satisfaction with career dress had a significant effecton willingness to spend more time (p = .037) and money (p = .028) to get more sizing options. However, satisfaction with career dress had no significant effect on willingness to trade styling options for sizing options. The hypothesis that level of satisfaction is an inverse function of experience with fit problems was accepted (p = .001). The data revealed that every respondent had experienced fit problems when shopping for ready-to-wear career clothing. As the frequency of fit problems increased, the level of satisfaction decreased. Finally, the hypothesis that willingness to accept fewer styles, spend more shopping/travel time, and spend more money for more sizing options is a positive function of career women's experience with fit problems was accepted (p = .001). A surprising number of respondents altered their own garments, wore poorly fitting garments, sewed their own career clothing, and paid to have ready-to-wear altered. They also have shopped in alternative departments, hired garments custom made and have refused to purchase as responses to fit problems with ready-to-wear career clothing. The present findings suggested that perhaps measures of consumer problems would be a more useful indicator of how to satisfy the specific needs of clothing consumers than are satisfaction measures. Although widespread fit problems were reported, high career dress satisfaction was reported. Consumers' preconceived ideas about what to expect may have influenced the satisfaction process, leading to low expectations regarding fit, and therefore, a reported high level of satisfaction. While effect of satisfaction on willingness to make resource trade-offs was not as strong as expected, experience with fit problems was significantly correlated to willingness to make resource trade-offs. In this study, consumers with fit problems indicated that they wanted more sizing options in career dress and were willing to accept fewer styling options, spend more money, and spend additional time in order to get more sizing options.
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