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Online Shoppers Are Itching for a Reason to Dress Up Again

After months of buying essentials and loungewear, consumers are being wooed by statement-making heels, tiny bags and animal prints. New data by global fashion search platform Lyst reveals that searches for “going out” fashion are on the upswing.

Searches for “summer” and “party” dresses are growing, up 26 percent and 12 percent month-on-month respectively, Lyst reported. The most popular styles continue to be open-back and cut-out, or styles with a halter neck.

Interest in occasion wear is also filtering into online accessories searches. Demand for heels has been increasing since the beginning of June and is currently up 10 percent month-on-month, Lyst reported. “Sandal heels” lead searches, while Amina Muaddi, the designer known for sculptural stiletto heels, crystal ornaments and color-saturated satin uppers, is the most searched for brand.

The latest data by Lyst indicate consumers are being wooed by statement-making heels, tiny bags and Meghan Markle-approved linen dresses.
Muaddi Naimi sandal / Bergdorf Goodman Bergdorf Goodman

Mini bags are making a return, too, with searches up 18 percent week-on-week.

The surge in searches for “going out” fashion, however, is contradictory to the climbing cases of confirmed COVID-19 infections in the U.S. and the rolling back of reopening plans that cities like Los Angeles and New Orleans are enforcing to curb the viral spread.

Other trending items may be better suited for quarantine life.

This month, Lyst said searches for slip-on mules rose 16 percent. Clear and tan mules remain the most popular among online shoppers, however, searches for “pink mules” are on the up and up.

Animal-print swimwear is also having a moment in the sun. During the first two weeks of July, searches for animal-print swimwear increased 66 percent. Leopard and zebra prints have been receiving the most views, followed by searches for “leopard print bikini.” The trend echoes the growing demand for animal-print bodysuits, which have become bestselling items for Spring/Summer 2020.

And a rare spotting of Meghan Markle in Los Angeles sporting a sleeveless MagicLinen dress spurred a flurry of online searches for white linen dresses by fans who wanted to emulate her effortlessly breezy summer look. Searches for white linen dresses increased 233 percent during the weekend of July 11-12, Lyst reported.

Shoppers also took note of Markle’s two-tone Sam Edelman ballet flats—which are sold out—and oversized Janessa Leone straw hat. “Sam Edelman flats” quickly become a breakout search term, Lyst reported, while page views for Janessa Leone’s straw hats increased 23 percent.