Emotional Fit: Developing a new fashion methodology with older women

Katherine Townsend, Ania Sadkowska, Juliana Sissons

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This article reports on a user-centred methodological approach towards fashion design for older women (55+). Referred to as the ‘baby boomers’, the women in this study are the product of the cultural revolution of the 1960s, who consequently have a strong sense of their own agency, as conveyed through their clothing and style, but now find themselves stepping into the unknown territory of a limited market. The majority of fashion brands and stores aim at younger consumers, and with some exceptions, it is only high and niche designer labels who are offering stylish garments that complement the changing bodies of an older generation women with strong aesthetic values. In response to this negative scenario, three researchers have developed an original practice-based research methodology that synthesizes fashion and textile design practices with interpretative phenomenological analysis. The emerging holistic, co-design and user-centred approach uniquely responds to both the physical and emotional needs of an ageing female demographic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-249
Number of pages17
JournalClothing Cultures
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

Bibliographical note

Accepted for publication 4th June 2018. Journal issue back dated to 2017.


  • fashion methodology
  • older women
  • ageing bodies
  • interpretative phenomenological analysis
  • emotional knowledge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Psychology(all)


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