Clothing needs and related problems of female social pensioners in Stellenbosch

  • Bessie (E.M.) Visser Department of Home Economics, University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch
  • Ria van Wyk University of Stellenbosch
  • Marjanne Senekal University of Stellenbosch
  • Rita Uys University of Stellenbosch


This article reports on a study of the clothing needs and related problems of female social pensioners in Stellenbosch. The sample consisted of 107 coloured women who were 60 years and older, and non-institutionalized. A structured questionnaire was used to gather the data during interviews in the respondents' homes. It was found that most of the respondents buy their clothes at stores in Stellenbosch. They prefer certain stores which sell clothes at affordable prices. Style preferences include cardigans, gathered skirts, loose-fitting jackets, and dresses with front openings. The women value clothes that fit well, are comfortable and are aesthetically pleasing. The respondents felt that their clothes are adequate for their activities but that they lack certain clothing items, such as winter sleepwear and underwear.


Bartley, L. & Warden, J. 1962. Clothing preferences of women 65 and older. Journal of Home Economics, 54(8): 716-17.
Bezuidenhout, L.M. 1983. Klerebelangstelling en sosiale deelname van die bejaarde vrou. Tydskrifvir Dieetkunde en Huishoudkunde. 11 (3): 100-103.
Chowdhary, U. 1988. Self-esteem, age identification, and media exposure of the elderly and their relationship to fashionability. Clothing and Textile Research Journal, 7(1): 23-30.
Chung, Y.S. & Magrabi, F.M. 1992. Poverty status and expenditure patterns: comparison between elderly and non-elderly households. Journal of Consumer Studies and Home Economics. 16(3): 245-60.
Ferreira, M., Miller, V., Prinsloo, F.R. & Gillis, L.S. 1992. Multidimensional survey of elderly South Africans, 1990-91: key findings. Cape Town: HSRC/UCT Centre for Gerontology.
Grobbelaar, J.A. 1986. The aging of the South African population: implications for business. Stellenbosch: Institute for Futures Research, University of Stellenbosch.
Hogge, V. E. & Baer, M.M. 1986. Elderly women's clothing: acquisition, fit and alterations of ready-to-wear garments. Journal of Consumer Studies and Home Economics, 10: 333-41.
Lumpkin, J.R., Greenberg, B.A. & Goldstucker, J.L. 1985. Marketplace needs of the elderly: determinant attributes and store choice. Journal of Retailing, 61(2): 75-105.
Miller, N.H. & Petrich, B. 1986. Elderly consumers: problems and behaviors. Journal of Consumer Studies and Home Economics, 10:45-57.
Moon, M. 1990. Consumer issues and the elderly. The Journal of Consumer Affairs. 24(2): 235-44.
Rabie, P.J. 1987. Family structure and support systems in coloured communities. In: Steyn, A.F., Strydom, H.G., Viljoen, S. & Bosman, F.J. (Eds) Marriage and family life in South Africa: research priorities. Pretoria: Human Sciences Research Council.
Richards, M.L. 1981. The clothing preferences and problems of elderly female consumers. The Gerontologist. 21 (3): 263-67.
Rosenblad-Wallin, E. & Karlsson, M. 1986. Clothing for the elderly at home and in nursing homes. Journal of Consumer Studies and Home Economics. 10:343-56.
Senekal, M. & Fourie, L. 1991. Die maaltydpatroon en voedselverbruik van die bruin vroulike bejaarde pensioenaris in privaathuishoudings in die Stellenboschomgewing. Unpublished. Stellenbosch: Department of Home Economics, University of Stellenbosch.
Shim, S. & Mahoney, M.Y. 1992. The elderly mail-order catalogue user of fashion products. A profile of the heavy purchaser. Journal of Direct Marketing , 6(1): 49-58.
Smathers, D.G. & Horridge, P.E. 1978/79. The effects of physical changes on clothing preferences of elderly women. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 9(3): 273-78.
South Africa (Republic). 1983. Salaries and Pensions. Social Pensions Act. No. 37 of 1973, as amended by Pension Laws Amendment Act, No. 77 of 1974, as amended by Pension Law Amendment Act. No. 96 of 1983.
South Africa (Republic). Central Statistical Services. 1991a. Population Census 1991. Summarised results after adjustment for undercount. CSS-Report no. 03-01-01 (1991). Pretoria: Government Printer.
South Africa (Republic). Central Statistical Services. 1991b. Population Census 1991. Age by development region, statistical region and district. CSS-Report no. 03-01-03(1991). Pretoria: Government Printer.
South Africa (Republic). 1992. Government Gazette, 329(14410). Regulation Gazette No. 4982, November 20.
Steyn, A.F. 1993. Stedelike gesinstrukture in die Republiek van Suid-Afrika. Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrifvir Sosiologie. 24(I): 17-26.
Van Rooyen, D. 1993. Distribution in perspective. In: Marx. S. & Van der Walt, A. (Eds) Marketing management. Second edition. Cape Town: Juta.
Van Wyk, A.S. & Liebenberg, E. 1991. 'n Ondersoek na die lewensomstandighede van bruin vroulike pensioentrekkers woonagtig in die Stellenhosclrgemeenskap. 'n Behoeftehepaling ten opsigte van hul belruising. Unpublished. Stellenbosch: Department of Home Economics, University of Stellenbosch.
Visser, E.M. & Uys, R. 1991. Die kledingbehoeftes en kledingprobleme van bruin vroulike pensioentrekkers in n Stellenbosse gemeenskap. Unpublished. Stellenbosch: Department of Home Economics, University of Stellenbosch.
Wicht, C.L. 1982. Die proses van veroudering - 'n oorsig. Tydskrif vir Dieetkunde en Huishoudkunde, 10(2): 51-55.