July 08, 2021 4 min read
“We were standing on one side of a massive river of uncertainty and hardship.. we’re now seeing the other side of the river.” - Christine Lagarde
After several months in lockdown, people are emerging to a whole new world. We’re learning to embrace new ways of shopping, travelling, working and socializing. The pandemic has perhaps left an indelible mark on humanity - people are seeking out more meaningful connections with their family, friends and community, healthier lifestyle choices, and deeper spiritual experiences.
Not to be left out of the mix, the world of fashion has received a huge makeover. McKinsey & Company estimates that shoppers are switching into “revenge shopping” mode to recuperate from the pent-up demand. We’re seeing people switch up bulky and conspicuous garments for lightweight, versatile luxury.
In this article, we bring you up to speed on what to expect with post-pandemic fashion and how you can get ahead of the curve. Let’s dive in!
After spending copious amounts of time indoors, not everyone is open to making that jarring shift from comfortable sweats to fitted clothing. Comfort and compromise are taking center stage. Some are trading in their pre-lockdown boastful closet for pieces that are breathable, pared-down and stylish.
The impetus for these new pieces runs the gamut; everything from accommodating body changes after a prolonged lockdown to hybrid work environments that don’t call for getting all dressed up every day.
So what does this mean for the avid fashionista? Well, it doesn’t necessarily herald a closet overhaul. Don’t ditch your stay-at-home uniforms just yet. You can still hang on to your colorful prints, statement pieces and breezy tailored luxury items that work for a quiet-night in or a luncheon with your colleagues. Basically, we’re looking at unrestrictive, light pieces that are easy to wash and wear.
A couple of must-haves in your closet this season: loungewear, easy-fit jackets, and bold, airy pieces. Modish sneakers are taking the place of kitten heels and pumps. The key is to look for opportunities where you can incorporate casual clothing into your evening wear. Bottom line: think luxury meets leisure and you’re going to rock this new season of fashion!
We’re seeing the rise of three strong trends this season that are perennial in their appeal. The first is essential athleisure clothing. The 2020 Cotton Incorporated Lifestyle Monitor™ Survey found that 48% of consumers have switched up their denim jeans for athletic pants, wide-leg trousers and shorts. Leggings and yoga pants also hold a lot of sway with shoppers, allowing them to move throughout their day comfortably and still stay true to their voguish sensibilities.
The second trend that is capturing our collective imaginations is, you guessed it, strong colors! Like a butterfly emerging from its cocoon in all its glory after a long gestation period, people are embracing their own metamorphosis. As a way to express their liberation, we’re seeing an uptick in bold and experimental color palettes.
From multi-print scarves to bohemian inspired dresses, we’re shedding dull colors not only because of the summer but to celebrate a long-awaited season of freedom, reunion, and gratitude for the beauty of life.
And the third trend to transform the fashion landscape is something that is as enduring as the gorgeous burnt orange sky over the cliffs on a balmy summer evening. Yes we’re talking about geometric prints! These are picking up some serious steam post-pandemic. Apart from floral prints which are always a crowd favorite, people are looking to energize their wardrobe.
The beauty of a geometric scarf, for instance, is that you can go from brunch to running errands to an impromptu date without skipping a beat - no need to worry about switching outfits!
Something has shifted in the fashion zeitgeist. People now want their clothing choices to reflect their values. Shoppers are looking for more than just style. The company’s values and motives play a huge role in the decision-making process.
The pandemic has bestowed on us a few invaluable life lessons. Patience, compassion for other humans, and a desire to make sustainable choices for the planet. While consumers are looking to indiscriminately spend their almighty dollar after a year of restriction, sustainability is still very much on their minds. In this vein, they have moved to reduce their carbon footprint, restrict the use of single-use plastics, and are holding their friends and neighbors accountable to the initiative as well.
So dedicated are shoppers to this cause that an IBM survey found that 8 in 10 respondents cite sustainability as a driving factor when shopping and nearly 70% of this number would be willing to shell out 35% extra on average for a sustainable product. Given these staggering numbers, several fashion brands are moving to a more sustainable model to meet the moment. One example of this is brands who prioritize all-natural ingredients, ethical work practices, and responsible production.
Creativity is crucial! In a bid to reduce waste, products like reusable beauty swabs to replace single-use cotton and biodegradable home cleaning products are reigning supreme. And quite deservedly so!
While our social lives were on hiatus, the fashion world was silently burgeoning into a global phenomenon with ethical products, comfortable clothing and bold new patterns. If you find yourself caught in a frenzy of new trends, we’re here to assure you that you can’t really go wrong so long as you keep it simple.
Going on a shopping spree? Think comfortable flats, a breathable and stylish pair of lounge pants and a loose t-shirt. Dropping in for cocktails with your besties? Floor length summer dresses, casual dinner jackets and sedate accessories like a pair of shades will do the trick.
This is a unique moment in history to re-define your closet in a way that expresses your personality and fully leans into the comfy-chic aesthetic.
And remember, as long as you stay true to yourself, you’ve already won. Happy trails, shoppers!