- This thesis is a study of the types and numbers of items of apparel in a selected group of Oregon State University women's present college wardrobes and in a college wardrobe they consider to be adequate, the occasions for which each type of clothing is worn, the amount of time each type of clothing is worn, and the percentage of the clothing budget to be spent for each type of clothing.
This study was selected because the present information concerning
wardrobe needs available to students entering Oregon State
University is very limited. Letters were sent to the Deans of Women
at 39 colleges and universities in Oregon, Washington, and northern
California to determine the amount and type of information concerning
clothing that is available to women entering these institutions.
The 35 replies received indicated that one college sends incoming women students a suggested list of minimum and average numbers
of items of apparel for their college wardrobes; 13 colleges or
universities have publications containing specific information on types
of clothing for various occasions, (similar to the information found
in Oregon State University's student handbook); 14 colleges or universities
have a publication which mentions clothing, and eight colleges
or universities have no information available concerning clothing.
Although little information is available to the college student,
the literature reviewed stressed the importance of clothing to the
present day university woman. A review of studies concerning the
psychological and sociological significance of clothing show that if
a woman student has a wardrobe that is adequate for the occasions
which arise, she will feel more at ease, be less concerned about her
appearance, and therefore, she will be better able to meet the demands
of college life.
According to one study reviewed, high school girls think that
college women need more clothing than college women consider
necessary. Since research found that women buy most of their clothing
before they enter college, information concerning a college
wardrobe seemed to be an evident need before they arrive on campus.
Other studies pointed out that talking to college women was the best
source of information on college wardrobe needs. Therefore, a selected group of women students on the Oregon State University
campus was contacted through interviews and questionnaires for
their advice regarding a college wardrobe.
Twelve junior or senior women majoring in Clothing, Textiles,
and Related Arts were interviewed to ascertain the current terminology
used by women students to describe their clothing and the occasions
for which each type of clothing was worn. This information
was used in the preparation of a questionnaire.
Questionnaires were given to 283 sophomore and junior women
students who were registered in the School of Home Economics, had
completed a course in clothing selection, and had been admitted to
Oregon State University no later than fall term, 1966. Questionnaires
were returned by 147 students, and 113 questionnaires met
the established criteria. This was a 40 percent useable return of
the total number of questionnaires distributed. The data from these
questionnaires was compiled by computer and analyzed by the writer.
The data revealed that the respondents owned a mean of 154.92
items of apparel, and they thought a mean of 148. 30 items of apparel
would be adequate. The sorority women owned more of all types of
clothing than did the non - sorority women, and the quantity the sorority
women considered to be adequate for all seven types of clothing
exceeded the quantity considered adequate by the non -sorority women.
However, 81.98 percent of the respondents indicated their present wardrobes were adequate for the occasions they had encountered
at Oregon State University.
The total cost for an adequate wardrobe as indicated by the
respondents was a mean of $1708.73. The percentage of the clothing
budget to be spent for each type of clothing was allocated by the
respondents as follows: 41.20 percent for campus apparel, 21.37
percent for church or dressy apparel, 9.63 percent for unclassified
apparel (undergarments, hosiery, nightwear and loungewear), 9.16
percent for formal apparel, 8.88 percent for casual apparel, 5. 27
percent for semi - formal apparel, and 4.49 percent for grubby
The respondents reported that they wore each type of clothing
the following percentage of the time during a school year: campus
apparel, 37. 09 percent; casual apparel, 26.96 percent; grubby
apparel, 26.89 percent; church or dressy apparel, 7.86 percent;
semi -formal apparel, .85 percent; and formal apparel, . 35 percent.
The percentage of the clothing budget to be spent for each type
of clothing (excluding unclassified apparel) was compared to the
percentage of the time each type of clothing was worn, but the percentages
were not the same for any of the six types of clothing.
Campus clothing was worn the highest percentage of the time and
was also designated the highest percentage of total cost; semi -formal
apparel ranked fifth in both categories, but there was no correlation between the percentage of time the other types of clothing were worn
and the percentage of total cost designated for each.
A total of 67 women or 59.82 percent of the respondents said
they brought some clothing to the campus they did not need, and 89
women or 79.46 percent of the respondents reported they needed
some items of apparel they did not bring to the campus.
Eleven of the 12 women interviewed indicated the wardrobe
requirements would be the same for a woman entering Oregon State
University as a freshman, sophomore or junior. Therefore, the
writer recommended that the findings of this study, specifically a
list of the items of apparel to be included in an adequate wardrobe,
should be made available to women students entering Oregon State