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Will Fashion Consumers Play It Safe This Fall with Heritage Prints and Brands?

Cooler than normal temperatures across parts of the U.S. and the start of Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte season are not the only signs that fall is around the corner.

New data by global fashion search platform Lyst indicates that consumers are beginning to get into an autumnal mood for fashion as well. And instead of scoping out the directional trends that dotted the F/W 20-21 runway like relaxed suiting, lingerie as daywear or Roaring Twenties-inspired glitz, their online searches point to safer bets that will endure through changing seasons.

In line with the consistent demand for comfortable and cozy heritage looks since the start of the pandemic, flannel shirts are picking up momentum. Interest in the versatile fall staple, Lyst stated, has been climbing since the beginning of August and searches for the genderless top are currently up 48 percent compared to the same time last year.

And the most in-demand brands for flannel—Ralph Lauren and Off-White—reflect the confluence of fashion as millennial and Gen Z consumers seek out both timeless and relevant labels.

Reminiscent of the heritage and functional fashion trends induced by the Great Recession in 2008, rubber boots are experiencing a revival.

Lyst reported that searches for wellies and rubber boots have significantly increased week-on-week, 50 percent and 29 percent respectively. In particular, searches for short, Chelsea and glossed rain boots are collectively up 64 percent compared to the same time last year.

The most wanted are those by Hunter—a brand that saw a global boom in sales during the last economic crisis.

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Another workwear-inspired item—the shacket, or shirt jacket—is having a moment. Searches for shackets have “spiked significantly” during the first week of September, up 43 percent week-on-week.

Interest in the hybrid item bodes well for the denim market. Lyst reported that denim, corduroy and oversized are most commonly searched for while the most wanted color is khaki.

Similarly, demand for cardigans continues to grow. Searches for the Cottagecore item increased by 54 percent since the beginning of the month. Data shows that ribbed, chunky, cropped and colorblock are the most popular cardigan styles. Consumers, however, are favoring neutrals like black and camel.

And perhaps an elevated alternative to the robe, Lyst reports an uptick in searches for long cardigans, which have risen 15 percent over the past week.

With classics garments top of mind, consumers are also warming up to pre-owned investment pieces. Fashion searches that include words such as “vintage” and secondhand have risen significantly since the start of September, up 11 percent week-on-week, Lyst stated.

While luxury brands like Chanel, Hermes, Celine and Burberry have a history of dominating searches for vintage, Lyst noted that shoppers are now searching for specific product categories.

Searches for “vintage blazer,” “vintage top” and “pre-owned bag” has increased 48 percent collectively over the past seven days.

This newfound appreciation for old garments is even filtering into the bridal category. Online searches for wedding dresses that include the words “vintage,” “second hand” or “pre-owned” are collectively up 38 percent year-on-year, averaging close to 20,000 searches a month, Lyst reported.