Clothes Make the Man: Symbolic Consumption and Second Hand Clothing

Wearing second-hand clothes has often been regarded as an economic-oriented practice dealing somehow with a controlled fear of contamination. In this paper, we examine the underlying symbolic meanings individuals associate with used clothing. We report the findings of an exploratory study which show firstly that attitudes of acceptance or rejection toward used clothing derive from the degree to which individuals imbue such possessions with their sense of self; and secondly, that various positive meanings can be associated with worn clothes insofar as they become mentally detached from their previous owner and evaluated for their intrinsic properties.


Emma N. Banister, Margaret K. Hogg, Alain Decrop, and Dominique Roux (2005) ,"Clothes Make the Man: Symbolic Consumption and Second Hand Clothing", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 7, eds. Karin M. Ekstrom and Helene Brembeck, Goteborg, Sweden : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 455-456.


Emma N. Banister, Lancaster University Management School, U.K.
Margaret K. Hogg, Lancaster University Management School, U.K.
Alain Decrop, FUNDP, University of Namur, Belgium
Dominique Roux, University Paris XII, France


E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 7 | 2005

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