The pandemic has majorly impacted our lives on a global scale and as a result the way we dress. New research data shows us which fashion product categories are thriving at this time and which are not.
According to a new market report by Edited, the quarantine and work-from-home lifestyle shifts led retailers and brands to quickly adjust their category mix away from formalwear to comfort dressing. As a result, sleepwear, activewear, and loungewear emerged as category winners.
Here are the three most impacted products as comfort became the pandemic’s defining fashion trend.
Flats over heels
Comparing April 2020 to April 2021, retailers reduced their assortment of women’s heeled shoes by 23%. In contrast, flat shoes saw an assortment increase of 7%. This was driven by the evergreen demand for sneakers and the resurgence of comfort and casual brands like Crocs and Ugg, which enjoyed strong performances despite the pandemic.
Hoodies over blazers
With workwear on hold, retailers executed a 19% reduction on blazers between April 2021 vs. Apr 2020. In contrast, they leaned into hoodies; a product that transcended the cash cow categories of loungewear, activewear, and streetwear. The essential item saw a 32% YoY growth in investment.
Sweatpants over trousers
Retailers cut trousers assortment by 2%. To complement hoodies and cater to the Zoom dressing trend, buying and production were heavy for sweatpants, which saw a 67% increase.
Mix but do not match in 2022
As vaccine distribution increases and governments begin to allow more free flow, data from Edited show consumers embracing pre-pandemic categories, seen by a growing demand for high heels, swimwear, and blazers.
The Spring 2022 collections presented on Vogue.com are looking different than a year ago, and early sales data is showing signs of recovery. Fashion trends for 2022 show that there will be a “mix and do not match” theme, combining casual wear with formal wear, which reflects the new hybrid online & offline trends in the way we work, go to school, and socialize.
Therefore in 2022, we will see more relaxed suits that will be worn with casual shoes like sneakers and crocks, as well as miss-matched outfits as according to Vogue “cloths that go together, are so 2020“.
“Perhaps being trapped at home made us crave the liberation of a truly wacky outfit, or 16 months in coordinating sweats inspired us to wear things that actually don’t “match” at all”, Vogue.com.