NEW YORK — If you have the money and the time to spend in the summer, you could be missing out on a great deal.

    A new study from the National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACAA) finds that people spend more on summer apparel than they do on other goods.

    It’s a finding that comes amid a sea change in shopping habits that began in the early 1990s when consumers started to spend more.

    The study looked at the purchase patterns of 7,000 consumers across the country, with their clothing preferences.

    “The data shows that consumers are spending more money in the fall months, which is a great opportunity for us to be able to make some good, healthy decisions and make the best decisions for them,” said Dan Gorman, a NACAA associate director of advocacy.

    Among the findings: Nearly 70 percent of consumers are willing to spend up to $100 more than they would spend in summer.

    This includes spending more than $80 more on clothing in the spring, with nearly 60 percent spending more in the second half of the year.

    About 40 percent of the respondents said they spend more in summer because they like their clothes, and a further 17 percent said they have more clothing in their closets than they used to.

    Only 1 percent of respondents said their clothing spending is down because of climate change.

    But not all shoppers have to spend much.

    Nearly half of consumers say they can afford to spend $40 more a year on summer clothing than they spent in the past, and about 30 percent said their spending has decreased over the past five years. 

    The NACAAA study also found that consumers spend more during the winter months, especially when compared to spring.

    Overall, consumers spend $1,700 more on winter clothing than spring clothing, and $1.20 more on the summer months.

    Gorman said he believes the trend toward warmer weather will be good for retailers, as people will be more likely to wear their summer clothing when they’re not working.

    “You want people to spend less in the winter, but that’s not always the case.

    You’ll also see some consumers, like younger consumers, wearing sweaters in the warmer months,” Gorman said.

    Summer apparel purchases are expected to increase even more this summer, with retailers seeing a rise in shoppers purchasing summer clothing in June.

    As of June, the average retail sales for summer apparel were $2,000 higher than the average spring sales.

    A year ago, shoppers spent more on apparel in the Spring, according to NACAMA, but this year the numbers have changed, with consumers spending more during summer and fall.

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