For as long as consumers spend the majority of their time at home, their desire for comfortable apparel shows no sign of waning. In its October report, product intelligence company Trendalytics examines the lifecycle of ongoing trends and identifies the peak themes retailers should watch as consumers begin their fall and winter shopping.
Athleisure and loungewear garments have an undeniable stronghold, but emerging trends in denim and dresses hint at a return of pre-pandemic normalcy.
Despite many women opting to go braless while at home, the women’s intimate apparel category has fared better during the pandemic than apparel and footwear. Consumers’ preferences, however, are shifting to styles that take comfort cues from the burgeoning activewear and shapewear categories.
Seamless silhouettes are on the upswing, Trendalytics reported, especially seamless bra tops and seamless bras, which have seen searches climb 67 percent and 50 percent, respectively, compared to last year. The term “seamless thong” is expected to grow in coming months as well, with searches up 16 percent, Trendalytics reported. And as consumers settle into fall, searches for seamless tights are up 47 percent.
Other skin-skimming items on the rise are sleeveless bodysuits, sculpting leggings and sports bras—specifically ones in shocking shades of yellow.
Fashion finds a way to balance itself out. While consumers are searching for body-hugging tops, Trendalytics data reveals demand for wide-leg bottoms is growing.
Though wide-leg trousers and jeans were a seminal part of F/W 20-21 runway collections, the demand for comfort has thrust the loose silhouettes front and center in loungewear assortments. Searches for wide-leg joggers are up 117 percent compared to last year. And they are becoming increasingly available. Skims and Madewell are among the brands to recently add the bottoms to their sweats assortments.
Summer’s linen trend is getting a fall update, too. Wide-leg linen pants are “exhibiting emerging behavior,” with online searches up 9 percent year-over-year.
And don’t count out the influence of those runway collections. With searches for wide-leg jeans up 78 percent compared to last year, Trendalytics anticipates that this retro-inspired trend will continue to gain momentum over the next year.
More good news for the denim category: jean dresses are a part of the midi dress explosion this fall.
“Midi dresses and midi skirts are both experiencing extremely high search volume, with 360K and 58K average weekly searches, respectively,” Trendalytics reported.
The silhouette has benefited from the spike of year-round popularity knitwear has seen in 2020. Searches for knit midi dresses increase 76 percent this year, while searches for knit midi skirt is currently at its peak, up 37 percent.
Denim, poplin and linen are key fabrications in growth mode, but data suggests that consumers are seeking ways to evolve their midi wardrobe. Searches for tiered midi dresses are up 107 percent compared to last year.
Despite the fact that travel plans are scaled back this year, data shows that men still want to dress for vacations.
Momentum for “tropical staples” is building, Trendalytics reported. Searches for men’s linen shorts are up 13 percent while searches for seersucker shorts are up 50 percent. And mimicking a trend that has taken off in women’s wear, men’s Bermuda shorts are seeing a surge in popularity, with searches up 28 percent compared to last year.
Male consumers appear to have one foot in summer and the other in fall. Though shorts are still trending, fall layering pieces are as well. Men’s basic hoodies and knitwear are emerging as key items, Trendalytics reported. Searches are also climbing for matching sets, loungewear and tees, both oversized and graphic.
This interest in lightweight layering pieces explains the recent decline in search interest for heavy winter jackets, Trendalytics noted. Searches for men’s corduroy coats are down 3 percent compared to last year; men’s long coats are down 11 percent.
There are some bright spots in outerwear, however. Multi-season investment pieces are picking momentum. Searches for oversized leather jackets increased 188 percent year-over-year.
Do-it-yourself is no longer a hobby—it’s a fashion aesthetic. “The DIY conversation that emerged over the summer is continuing well into fall,” Trendalytics reported.
Dye effects continue to drive this trend. While searches for men’s tie-dye shirts—up 37 percent compared to last year—have reached their peak, the firm names bleach dye hoodies a safe bet for retailers. Searches for the athleisure piece have spiked 323 percent year-over-year.
The DIY look is expanding into other categories, namely denim. Searches for men’s patchwork jeans is up 53 percent compared to last year.