When it comes to shopping for clothing, there are many factors that influence a purchase. Nostalgia, or liking a throwback to a different fashion era, is one of them. 

As the data show, 40% of U.S. adults say that nostalgia drives their fashion purchases to at least some extent, with younger adults and women the most likely to be the most influenced by nostalgia. 

Those most influenced by fashion trends and those who believe they are fashion leaders are also the most moved by nostalgia in their fashion purchases.

Of course, there are potentially centuries of style inspiration that could be triggering a sense of nostalgia. Looking at the last 70 or so years, U.S. adults are most interested in early 2000’s fashion. 

As it turns out, adults under 25 years old–who were in the throes of childhood in the early 2000’s–are the most interested in fashion from that era. This begs the question–are generations most attracted to fashion eras of their youth? The fact that adults aged 55 and older are most interested in fashion from the 70’s further supports this theory. It may not be just the clothes, but the memories from the life stage that the clothes conjure that contribute to making a purchase. 

So how often are Americans making these nostalgia-driven clothing purchases? In the past year alone, 24% of U.S. adults have made a purchase that reminded them of a different era of fashion. And those who made those purchases were most likely to purchase 90’s to early 2000s era fashion. 

So where are Americans looking to spend some cash on a nostalgic fashion choice? Of just a few popular retailers, consumers who are favorable towards Nordstrom and Walmart are the most likely to be motivated by nostalgia compared to Target and Kohl’s favorables. So these retail giants would be wise to keep an eye on this trend. 

Clothes can be many things–a source of comfort, a form of self-expression and, as it turns out, a throwback to a former era. With so many Americans moved to purchase by nostalgia–primarily those who are women under 25–could it be that the fashion future will really be a nod to fashion’s past? Only time will tell.