For this study, information on garment design images and general perception, including with regard to self-consciousness, was extracted from among elderly women. In the first survey, 16 garment design images using the evaluations of 130 women (average age : 67.3 years old) were extracted by principal component analysis and cluster analysis. The four design image groups were categorized, revealing the three most popular (DG4) and six least popular (DG1) outdoor garments from the Lady & Feminine & Elegant & Chic and Modern & Sharp image style classifications, as well as the four most popular (DG2) and three least popular (DG3) everyday garments from the Casual or Basic & Retro image style classifications. The second survey captured information from 243 women (average age : 69.23 years old) on the actual usage of fashion garments and image features reflecting a sense of value (DG1 : hated garments, DG2 : close to what the women regularly wear/seemingly easy to wear, DG3 : easy to wear, DG4 : nice garments that the women want to try). Average trends in the general perception of garments, taking into account elderly women’s self-consciousness and features by age, show that there is stronger demand for comfort in an aging society. However, the study showed that aging women experience little change in their sense of satisfaction in buying garments, in the social roles of garments, and in garment maintenance.
The six common factors affecting the general outlook on garments were extracted from among elderly women (over 60 years old), including self-consciousness, by means of factor analysis. Using six factor scores, a cluster analysis was conducted, and the elderly women were categorized into six garment perception groups, including self-consciousness : old age, comfort priority, satisfaction priority / very active in fashion, reasonably active in fashion, normal life priority, and non-active in fashion. The features of garment design images of each garment’s perception including the self-consciousness group were represented by means of principal component analysis using the actual usage and sense of value for garments (close to what women regularly wear, favorite garments, fashionable garments, easy-to-wear garments, and hated garments). This showed that the old age group carried out different assessments to the other groups. The old age group preferred relatively plain designs, while the group prioritizing satisfaction and activity in fashion preferred “younger” designs, even for the same types of garments. Among elderly women, regardless of their age and type, fashionable and high-interest designs were highly regarded, and this was particularly true of garments within the Lady & Feminine & Elegant & Chic and Modern & Sharp image style classifications.