This study investigates the relative importance of diagnostic cues used by female consumers in an emerging market to evaluate work wear assortments in major South African department stores. The cue diagnostic framework was used as a theoretical perspective for the study together with conjoint analysis to provide insights into the relative importance of diagnostic cues in terms of specified attribute levels as well as attribute ranking of importance. A survey research design was employed for the study. Data were collected through a self-administered questionnaire and completed by 121 (N=121) female consumers residing in Gauteng. A non-probability sampling technique was used to recruit these working women who were between the ages of 20 and 60 years with some form of higher education or training. The results indicate that these female consumers have set preferences when purchasing work wear from department stores in South Africa. Certain product cues/attributes were found to be more prominent than others while some were used in conjunction with other attributes to collectively strengthen the importance of these attributes in the decision making process. The findings of this study contribute to existing literature on consumer preferences in emerging markets and the apparel attributes that inform these preference structures. This research will be useful for researchers as well as marketers who are interested in marketing campaigns, product assortment planning and retail settings.