T.J.Maxx Conducts First-of-its-Kind Live Fashion Experiment To Explore How Women Use Fashion To Express Their Best Self

Experiment uncovers that whether a woman is five or thirty-five, her best self never stops evolving and fashion plays an important role in letting her "dress her self"

May 01, 2014, 09:48 ET from T.J.Maxx

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., May 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- T.J.Maxx, one of the nation's leading off-price retailers partnered with Developmental and Fashion Psychologist, Professor Karen Pine to conduct a live fashion experiment, uncovering that while a woman's sense of self continues to change, she never stops using fashion to express herself to the world. It's how she uses fashion that evolves, finding exceptional ways to let her best self shine through. Regardless of the stage she is in, getting that fashion statement right makes her feel proud, empowered and happy. 

Last year, T.J.Maxx conducted a study that found that women aren't fashion victims but rather control fashion as a tool to express their personality (77 percent) and individuality (74 percent). To dig deeper they wanted to understand how women use fashion to express their best self through their lifetime. 

"As environment and expectations come into play, whether it's starting high school or landing that first job, our best self continues to change and the way we use fashion changes with it," said Professor Pine. "Places like T.J.Maxx provide women with those incredible pieces that allow them to stay true to who they are every step of the way."

T.J.Maxx partnered with one of the industry's hottest fashion icons, actress and blogger, Jamie Chung to understand how she uses fashion to express her best self both on and off the red carpet, providing women with tips and inspiration to do the same.

"My best self continues to evolve over time but my fashion choices always stay true to who I am, which is why the live experiment findings really resonated with me," said Chung. "Whether experimenting with the latest trends during my teenage years or turning to quality designer pieces to show off my more refined style today, I've always turned to place like T.J.Maxx to find those pieces that are truly me."   

Jamie shares her personal tips for staying true to her best self through fashion:

  • Quality over quantity: Invest in quality versatile pieces, like an Italian leather handbag or designer jeans to express the person you've become and fit into the many facets of your life. Places like T.J.Maxx carry quality pieces at incredible prices so you don't have to break the bank to look like a million bucks.
  • Focus on key signature pieces to make your statement: You can pair a simple black dress with a bold necklace or bright leather handbag to rock your personal style.
  • Make it transformational: The live experiment found that women use fashion not only to reflect their self, but also change their outlook on the world. If you need a jumpstart on a dreary day, use bright colors and accessories to project a more positive outlook.
  • Fashion is fun so have fun with it: Don't be afraid to try new trends and styles – you never know until you try it!

More on the T.J.Maxx Dress Your Self Live Fashion Experiment

T.J.Maxx invited women in four key developmental age groups to have free fashion reign to select the pieces that express their best self to the world. Professor Pine and a team of researchers observed the sessions to understand each group's varying approach and uncover the below key stages.

  • Child's Play (5-8): Her best self is instinctive and unadulterated by her environment and responsibilities. She is uninhibited and unbound by expectations or practicalities, which is showcased by her freedom of fashion choices.
  • Experimental Expression (12-16): She is experimenting with her multiple best selves. She looks to friends and pop culture to find inspiration and acceptance. Her sense of experimentation extends into her wardrobe, weaving between trends to speak to each version of her best self, whether it's edgy one day or bohemian the next.
  • Dress Up Discovery (20 - 28): She is in transition, striving to fit into her new professional life, while staying true to who she is and her individuality. She relies on overall looks that make her appear pulled together and polished, using accent pieces like a standout necklace or a bold-colored blazer to make her statement.
  • In Her Stride (32 – 45): While her best self continues to evolve as she hits new life chapters, whether it's starting a family or a new job, she is comfortable in her skin and fashion choices. With this strong sense of self-awareness comes a certainty about what fashion works for her and her lifestyle. She selects head-to-toe looks and focuses on quality standout pieces – like a leather handbag or designer heels in her favorite color to express who she is.

For fashion tips, style alerts and more visit Facebook at facebook.com/tjmaxx, Twitter at @tjmaxx and Pinterest at pinterest.com/tjmaxx. For more fashion news and images, visit our newsroom at media.marshallstjmaxx.com.  


Professor Karen Pine is a renowned developmental, child and fashion psychologist with 20+ years of research experience. Pine specializes in understanding why people wear what they wear and the effects their clothes have upon other people and on their own thoughts and emotions. She is a professor at the Universities of Hertfordshire (Psychology) and Istanbul Bilgi (Psychology of Fashion). Professor Pine's research has been published extensively in academic journals and presented at conferences worldwide. She has four books published to date, with a new book on fashion psychology launching in May 2014: Mind What You Wear.


Jamie Chung is an actress by day and inspiring blogger by night. She is well known for her role in the hit comedy films HANGOVER 2 & 3. Previous to that, she was seen as "Lady Silk" in Universal's film MAN WITH THE IRON FIST with Russell Crowe and produced by Quentin Tarantino. Jamie is known for playing strong female roles such as the role of "Amber" in Zack Snyder's SUCKERPUNCH. She is currently seen as a series regular playing Channing in NBC's drama BELIEVE, produced by JJ Abrams and Oscar winning Alfonso Cuaron. Next up is her role in Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For, coming out this August. She has also taken on the title of fashion icon through her incredible personal style and fashion musings on her blog WhatTheChung.com.


Since its first store opening in 1977, T.J.Maxx has helped customers maximize their budgets by offering the same on-trend, in season, first quality merchandise as department and specialty stores, but for much less.  When shoppers compare price tags they will find that T.J.Maxx offers value that goes beyond just a low price.  Every item on the rack offers consumers the combination of high quality, current season designer merchandise at unbelievable values. T.J.Maxx is the nation's largest off-price retailer, with more than 1,000 stores spanning 49 states and Puerto Rico.

CONTACT: Meghan Ficarelli
Office: 212.704.4562

Rebecca Ruffer
Office: 212.277.3751

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