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Fashionistas and fashionmisters defy recession

19th September 2009 Print
Dedicated followers of fashion are being urged to put an accurate price on their image as new research reveals two thirds (69%) of British adults have no idea how much the contents of their wardrobes are worth, leaving them at risk of underinsurance.

As London Fashion Week begins, the ‘Fashionable Finances' study commissioned by specialist insurer Hiscox, reveals the average Brit spends almost £1,000 a year on their wardrobe. But for many ‘fashionistas' and ‘fashionmisters' this figure is much higher with as many as one in twelve (8%) spending between £200 - £400 every month on new togs. The recession hasn't had an impact for over half (56%) who admit they have spent the same in the last year on clothes as they would do normally and a further four per cent admit to spending more.

On average people buy three designer items each year and the most expensive item in their wardrobe comes in at an average of £293. But there are many who prefer to treat themselves more regularly or more expensively; one fifth (20%) buy three or more designer items every year and nearly one in ten (9%) have an item in their wardrobe that cost them £500 or more.

Wardrobe neglect

Despite this, when asked to estimate the worth of their ever-expanding wardrobe of clothes, shoes, bags and sportswear, the average came in at only £2,838, and almost a third (30%) did not know if the value of their wardrobe contents is reflected in the amount of home contents cover they have.

More than a quarter (27%) admit they didn't add up the value of their wardrobes when taking out their home contents policy, while over a third (35%) say they concentrated on items like TVs and furniture and just didn't think to include their fashion items.

Austyn Tusler, household insurance expert at Hiscox, comments: "Our research shows that the British are dedicated followers of fashion. However, many don't have a grasp of the value of the clothing and accessories they have accumulated over the seasons.

"As a result many people may be underinsured when it comes to their wardrobes and, as quite often is the case, they could be underinsured when it comes to the rest of their household contents too. One female customer for example gave us an estimate of around £3,000 to cover her wardrobe contents but, once we had reviewed it with her, the total was actually more than £25,000 - over eight times the value she had thought.

"When people consider their wardrobe, many think only of the current pieces they wear each season, rather than taking into account the wealth that has mounted up over the years. Other items such as high tech performance sportswear and outdoor clothing can also significantly increase the value, yet one in five (20%) admit they don't know how much their sportswear is worth. It is important that people spend a bit of time totting up the costs of replacing their items to make sure their full wardrobe is covered. That way, in the unfortunate event that they have to make a claim, they will have enough insurance cover to bring their wardrobe back to its fashionable best."

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