UK consumers are opting for technology over clothing to improve their image, according to a report by Microsoft.
Nearly half of the 1,000 respondents said that they would rather spend their money on the latest gadget than on clothing, and that technology was more important to their overall images than fashion brands.
Mobiles in particular have benefited from this shift, with 40 per cent of those questioned saying that their phones are more important to their image than they were five years ago.
Microsoft's 'Tech to Impress' report also found that the recent increase in tech advertising aimed at women appears to be having an effect, with young professional women more likely to own several portable gadgets, including mobile phones, digital cameras and laptops.
Speaking about the findings, Microsoft spokesperson Andre Reuter said: "This research is further proof of the social impact of the rise of mobile working. As more people use technology on the move and therefore in front of others, this places far more importance on the look of the accessories they are using than ever before.
“It has got to the point where technology is now an integral part of many people's image."