Objects, Practices, Experiences and Networks









Emotional Fit: Developing a new fashion design methodology for mature women  

Katherine Townsend, Ania Sadkowska, Juliana Sissons  

Nottingham Trent University


Keywords: ageing bodies, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), emotional durability, fashion methodology


This paper reports on a user-centered methodological approach towards fashion design for mature 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 are aimed 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 situation three researchers have developed an original research methodology which synthesizes fashion and textile design practices with Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), resulting in an holistic, co-design and user-centred approach that responds to the emotional and physical needs of an ageing female demographic. 

This paper is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence.

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Cite this paper: Townsend, K., Sadkowska, A., Sissons, J. (2016). Emotional Fit: Developing a new fashion design methodology for mature women. Proceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference. Brighton, UK, 27–30 June 2016.

This paper will be presented at DRS2016, find it in the conference programme

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