Clothing prices are dropping, Americans spending less of their incomes on wardrobes

Getty ImagesGetty ImagesThough the prices of certain designer items may seem higher and more ridiculous than ever, we have some surprising news for you: clothing is cheaper than ever before. In addition to that, Americans are spending far less of their disposable income on clothing and shoes than they have in the past.

Dr. Mark J. Perry, professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan, found that Americans spent almost $326 billion on their wardrobes in 2009. Sounds like a ton of money, but that only made up 2.98% of their disposable incomes. That's the lowest amount in U.S. history! In comparison, the average American spent 9% of their income on clothing and shoes back in 1950.

So does this mean we are shopping less? By the looks of our overstuffed closets we'd have to say no. With a far greater selection of garments and footwear to choose from than in the past, constantly fluctuating trends, increased materialism, and the advent of online shopping, we're definitely greater consumers than previous generations. But since 1992, the price of clothing has dropped 8.5% even taking inflation into account. Isn't that incredible? It's nice to know, especially during a recession, that we are in fact spending less of our hard earned money. [Carpe Diem]