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Quarter of women still spend €2k on clothes

MORE than half of all women still buy new clothes every month, proving that fashion still comes first even in a downturn.

While nearly three-quarters of women have reined in their spending on clothes because of the recession, a quarter still spend up to €2,000 each year on fashion, a survey has found.

The poll of 320 women found that one in four women spends between €1,000 and €2,000 a year on clothes, while 28pc said they spend between €500 and €700 a year on hair and beauty treatments.

The survey was carried out by public relations firm Pembroke Communications.

The ongoing appetite for new clothes led Niamh McCoy to take the brave step of opening up a boutique. The 27-year-old said her new Gallery 9 store in Naas, Co Kildare, had been doing well with customers seeking outfits for this week's Punchestown races, as well as for communions, confirmations and weddings.

"So far, so good. I had been working in retail and I knew how the business worked, so I decided to go for it now because the good thing about a recession is you can keep your overheads low and negotiate on things like rent," said Ms McCoy.

While she specialises in clothes for special occasions she made a conscious decision to go for separates such as jackets, trousers, skirts and tops that could be mixed and matched.

"I didn't want to do rows and rows of dresses, I wanted stuff you could reinvent, because in the current climate when women invest in new clothes they want to get a lot out of them," she said.

Irish Independent