Are Mac users really more fashionable?

We’re all aware of the stereotypes: Mac users are fashionable and style-conscious, while PC users are less about style and more about utility. But are Apple addicts really more fashion-forward?

The Mac vs. PC debate is as old as Steve Jobs’ signature collection of black turtlenecks (the late Apple founder asked designer Issey Miyake to make him a custom black turtleneck in the early 1980s, and Jobs stocked up on enough to last a lifetime). 

Apple upped the ante in 2006 when they launched their "Get a Mac" campaign with actors Justin Long as the cool, casual "Mac" and John Hodgman as the boring, brown-suited "PC.” It got people thinking: Is Mac the better choice for style-conscious people? Are PCs designed for people who are more interested in functionality and less about design?

Here at Bundle, we use data from billions of anonymous, aggregated credit card transactions to look for trends in spending patterns. We analyzed the spending of more than 700,000 PC and Mac buyers, and confirmed that the stereotypes may be true: Our data indicates that Mac users are indeed fashionistas. 

Mac buyers tend to shop at luxury stores and they like their labels (especially Jimmy Choo, one of Carrie Bradshaw's favorite brands). That's not to say PC users aren't fashion-forward: They also like to peruse the racks at Bloomingdale’s, but they’re less inclined to whip out their credit cards than Mac users.

Rather than shell out a few hundred dollars for a pair of stilettos, PC buyers prefer to shop at more modest price points. The PC segment likes to shop at popular retail stores: They prefer Old Navy, Perry Ellis and Nautica over Barney's, Hermes and Burberry. PC users tend to wear clothes as reasonably priced as their computers.

Apple computers are notoriously more expensive than PCs, and Mac users generally have more money to spend. Forty percent of the anonymous Mac users we examined earned more than $100,000, while twenty-nine percent of PC users made six figures or more. 

But Mac users still hunt for bargains. Mac buyers are more inclined to search for bargains in upscale shops, or they’ll track down the labels they love in outlets or on the clearance racks. Mac users work hard to scour the shelves for stylish goods at everywoman price points at outlets: They like to shop at Last Call by Neiman Marcus, Thomas Pink outlets, and Coach outlets. PC users tend to hit Van Heusen and Columbia Sportswear when they’re at the outlets.

Based on our results, there is some truth to the hip, fashion-forward Mac user stereotype. As for PC users, our data shows that they're not stereotypically dull, just more mainstream. 

In the chart below, we've highlighted various retailers that are popular with Mac and PC users. Further, we've only highlighted the retailers where the difference in popularity for Mac and PC users was the greatest.

Have you noticed the fashion-forward Mac or the more casual-style PC stereotypes among your friends? Are you a PC user who wears Burberry, or a Mac user who can’t tell Prada from Payless?

PC vs Mac Barneys New York Intermix Saks Fifth Avenue Henri Bendel Ermenegildo Zegna Hermes of Paris Jimmy Choo Ted Baker Limited Burberry USA Lucky Brand Jeans New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc Nautica Old Navy Izod Aeropostale The Children's Place OSH Kosh B'gosh Haggar Clothing Co Perry Ellis Fabco Shoes Off Fifth Saks Fifth Ave Outlet The Coach Factory Store Thomas Pink Barneys New York Jockey Factory Store Last Call by Neiman Marcus Columbia Sportswear Outlet Carters Childrenswear Outlet Van Heusen Factory Outlet Store Converse Outlet Store Jones New York Factory Store L'eggs/Hanes/Bali Factory Outlet Zales Outlet

How we did it:

We examined our anonymous spending data to see which clothing stores PC and Mac users preferred. Our analysis is based on a sample of 395,000 Mac people who made a purchase of $800 or more from an Apple store, and 369,000 PC people who made a purchase of $300 or more from a major PC manufacturer including Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Sony, Lenovo, Toshiba, Asus, Acer and Alienware.

Then we used our Mac and PC customer segments to look at which clothing stores were the most popular among each segment. Individual retailers were rated by popularity for Mac and PC segments on a scale of 1 to 100. The popularity score is calculated using the number of transactions each customer segment had at specific retailers. The greater the number of Mac or PC customers that spent money with a retailer, the higher the respective popularity score.