As consumers sought to refresh their wardrobe post pandemic, they mostly shopped for denim, reflecting their desire to retain comfort in their ensembles. Comfort will continue to be a dominating factor in consumers’ clothing choices, says Elizabeth Spaulding, CEO, Stitch Fix. However, they may also add new styles in office wear. Hence, ‘business comfort’ is likely to emerge as the new office style, adds Spaulding.
Over 70 per cent consumers to opt for jeans as office wear
Consumers’ eagerness to restock their wardrobes offers brands and retailers significant opportunities to cater to changing preferences, avers Spaulding. As per a Stitch Fix survey, denim sales increased 30 per cent Y-o-Y this year. Sale of straight jeans increased 30 per cent while wide leg denim sale rose 79 per cent. The company also recorded a 23 per cent rise in sale of men’s relaxed fits while sale of straight leg jeans grew 21 per cent.
In the next few months, over 76 per cent consumers surveyed by Cotton Incorporated said, they plan to wear jeans more often than they do now. Titled, ‘Coronavirus Response Survey’, it showed, in the last one month, around 44 per cent consumers wore jeans to work.
Future dressing style to be hybridized
The survey also revealed, only 16 per cent consumers wore sweatpants at home last month. On the other hand, 39 per cent wore denim to office. The pandemic has casualized officegoers’ dress code with 25 per cent opting of less formal clothes to office. Employees capable of working remotely plan to adopt the hybrid style of dressing to office in future, shows a research report by Gallup. Stitch Fix also indicates a growing preference for denim, dresses and a combination of knit and woven garments in offices.
Denims to top purchases in next three months
Around 30 per cent respondents to the Coronavirus Response Survey said they plan to prioritize denims as their top clothing purchases in the next three months. This will followed by sweatpants at 27 per cent, activewear at 25 per cent and athleisure at 21 per cent.
Pent-up demand for denim jeans was highlighted when consumers returned to their offices and social gatherings, states the NPD Group. In 2021, sale of classic bottoms in the US increased 36 per cent to $18.4 billion. Sale of women’s jeans grew 9 per cent while men’s jean sale went up 12 per cent, as against 2019 figures. Jeans manufacturers continue to be leading innovators as they offer new styles and options to consumers to up their comfort quotient.