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Spending shifts away from clothes

That swanky couch in your living room and the faded old khakis you like to wear, believe it or not, point to a trend: Consumers are now spending more on furniture than on clothing.

Workplaces increasingly allow casual dress every day, and tastes have shifted to more moderately priced apparel. At the same time, home construction is up - and perusing Pottery Barn for high-end home furnishings is in. In fact, spending on household items jumped 124 percent between 1991 and 1999 compared with a 61 percent increase in apparel during the same time.

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