Semester of Graduation

Spring 2018


Master of Science (MS)


Textile, Apparel, and Merchandising

Document Type



As environmental concerns have been increasing and fashion market condition has been fierce and competitive ever before due to consumers’ ever-changing fashion tastes, customization has received growing attention considering as a solution to overcome those challenges. Despite the numerous attention, research on customization has been limited to only issues from business viewpoints whereas studies from consumers’ standpoints are little.

The purpose of the study was to examine how consumers’ psychological properties (i.e., self- promotion, need for uniqueness, self-expression, social identity, self-monitoring, and other-directedness) affect buying intention of customized apparel products mediated by perceptions of customization and extended-self. To achieve the purpose of the study, the online survey was conducted (N = 338), and Structural Equation Model(SEM) was utilized to assess the psychological factors’ causal effects on purchase intention of customized apparel products.

The results show that in the pre-purchase stage, among the six psychological factors, need for uniqueness has the most significant effect on both mediating factors, perceptions of customization and self-extension. The sense of self-monitoring is also positively associated with the perception of customization but is negatively related with self-extension. However, the effects of self-expression and other-directedness on both mediating factors were negligible. In purchase stage, the strong direct effects were found between perception of customization/ self-extension and purchase intention (β=.44, β=.19 each). The significant causal effects between mediating factors, from self-extension to customization perception, were also identified. The results of the study provide valuable insights about consumers’ psychological process when purchasing customized apparel products. The findings also contribute to the fashion literature on the understanding of consumers’ pre-/purchase behaviors in a psychological manner. Enhanced understanding of consumers’ psychological buying decision process will be beneficial for retailers and managers to develop criteria for target segments and to establish marketing plans to increase sales of customized apparel products.



Committee Chair

Lang, Chunmin