I’d guess that I do over a hundred budgets a year with clients and they often tell me they don’t spend anything on clothes – I’m not buying it. I’ve been meaning to see just how much the average Joe or Jane does spend so that I can give a little push back and say, “on average, you should budget $XXX.”

I got lucky and found this recent article, “Average Cost of Clothing per Month Will Surprise You” by Kim Pinnelli with lots of stats drawn from a variety of sources. Read on – it’s quite enlightening!

  • How much does the average family spend on clothing per year (the Bureau of Labor Statistics includes financially independent people and singles living together sharing expenses as a family)? $1,800 per year

    52% of women have shoes in their wardrobe that they never wear – these are mine!

  • How much does the average man spend on clothing per year?
    • Aged 25-34: $333 per year
    • Aged 35-44: $347 per year
    • Aged 45-54: $468 per year
  • How much does the average woman spend on clothing per year?
    • Aged 25-34: $535 per year
    • Aged 35-44: $607 per year
    • Aged 45-54: $793 per year
  • How much does the average family spend on shoes per year? $388 per year
  • How much does it cost to clothe a family of four?
    • The average household spends around 3.8% of their income on clothing. Families bringing home the average $64,175 annually spend around $2,440 on clothing per year.
      • WARNING LADIES: It gets personal here…
  • What is the average value of the clothes in a woman’s closet?
    • Women have an average of $1,000 to $2,500 of clothing sitting in their wardrobe. Even though this seems high, 9% of women have more than $10,000 sitting in their closet!
  • How much more expensive is women’s clothing than men’s?
    • On average, women pay 8% more than men for their clothing. The highest difference is in shirts. Women’s tops cost 15% more than men’s shirts. Jeans were a close second, costing 10% more for women than men’s jeans.
  • How much of the average woman’s closet is more than 5 years old?
    • A whopping 73% of women update 25% of their closet every 3 months. Just over 15% of women don’t have any clothes older than 5 years in their wardrobe.
  • How much of the average woman’s wardrobe is never worn?
    • More than 50% of women claim 25% of their wardrobe sits in the closet collecting dust. This equates to around $600 thrown out the window.
  • How many shoes does the average person buy per year?
    • The average person buys 7.8 pairs of shoes per year. For family of four, that means 31.2 pairs of shoes per year.
  • Are men or women’s high-end brand name shoes more expensive?
    • Clothing might be more expensive for women, but men pay more for name-brand shoes. On average, men’s designer shoes cost $190 more than women’s shoes.
  • How many women own more than 25 pairs of shoes?
    • We know women love their shoes and the statistics prove it. 32% of women own more than 25 pairs of shoes. That’s almost a different pair of shoes for every day of the month.
  • How much money does the average woman waste on unworn shoes?
    • According to a study conducted by One Poll, 52% of women have shoes in their wardrobe that they never wear. The top reason was the shoes were so uncomfortable that women could not even walk in them. Many of these women even knew the agony the shoes caused when buying them but still went ahead with the purchase.
  • What type of shoes do women impulse buy most often?
    • Surprisingly, the top impulse buy is the flip-flop. This could be attributed to their much lower cost than most other shoes.
  • What’s the top reason women have unworn shoes in their closet?
    • The shoe addiction tends to make women buy shoes they don’t even have an occasion to wear them. Of the 52% of women with unworn shoes in their closet, many of them thought they would find an occasion to wear a specific shoe but have yet to find it.