In 2020, COVID-19 disrupted various aspects of our lives, including the fashion industry. Many people chose comfort and opted for athleisure and loungewear while staying at home. As life returns to normal, what will be the lasting impacts on fashion? Will people continue to prefer comfy clothes or look forward to dressing up again? A survey of 600 women in the United States conducted by a fashion brand revealed that 51% of the respondents were excited to wear less loungewear and dressier outfits. Moreover, 67% of the participants stated that COVID-19 restrictions influenced their fashion choices last year.
The pandemic had a significant impact on clothing purchases as well. Employment uncertainty and the need to stay at home caused people to spend less money on clothing overall. In the survey, 69% of the participants claimed that COVID-19 impacted the amount they spent on new clothes, while 31% said the pandemic had no effect on their shopping habits. However, online shopping increased over the last year, with retail sales rising by 32.4% year over year.
Comfort was the top priority for clothing purchases in 2020, with loungewear being one of the most coveted items. Leggings, pajamas, and sweats were the most popular, with 54%, 53%, and 50% of the participants purchasing them, respectively. However, as COVID-19 restrictions ease, many people feel it is time for a clothing refresh. In the survey, 74% of the participants said they were excited to try new fashion trends.
Participants are looking forward to dressing up for occasions such as casual outings, vacations, and date nights. They also expressed interest in classic throwbacks with a few trendier elements, such as classic button-down shirts, high-waisted pants, and gold statement jewelry.
While the survey results focused on women’s fashion, men’s fashion trends in 2020 also saw a shift towards comfort and versatility. Men opted for relaxed and casual clothing such as sweatpants and hoodies, as they spent more time at home. Additionally, work-from-home culture inspired the rise of the “business-on-top, casual-on-bottom” fashion trend, where people dressed up their top half for Zoom calls while remaining comfortable on the bottom half.
As life returns to normal, men’s fashion trends are also shifting towards dressing up for occasions. However, comfort remains a priority. Men are opting for versatile pieces that are comfortable and functional, such as joggers, polo shirts, and bomber jackets. Moreover, there has been a rise in athleisure-inspired clothing, such as tailored sweatpants and knitted tracksuits.
In conclusion, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a lasting impact on the fashion industry, with people prioritizing comfort and versatility over formality. As restrictions ease, people are excited to try new fashion trends and dress up for occasions, but comfort remains a top priority. Classic throwbacks with a modern twist are the trend, and athleisure-inspired clothing remains popular in men’s fashion trends.