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Online Searches for ‘Granny Chic’ Clash with Leather and Sheer Trends

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For brands and retailers, online searches are a portal into the consumer psyche. While recent data from predictive analytics firm Trendalytics and fashion search platform Lyst reflect consumers’ unwavering desire for comfort, it also points to their readiness to try new statement fashion.

After a year in lockdown, Trendalytics said consumers seek the opportunity to get dressed up and show skin. Second-skin silhouettes and fabrics culled from the intimate apparel and dance categories—a theme echoed on the Spring/Summer 2021 catwalks and again at the F/W 21-22 presentations of David Koma and Givenchy—are shaping up to be a key source of inspiration.

Garments with bold cutouts are proving to be a major trend on and off the runway, as well as fishnet tops. Searches for the ’90s raver-style top are up 45 percent compared to last year. Consumers are also searching for sheer layering pieces such as organza trench coats, sheer maxi skirts and mesh turtlenecks.

Consumers are also chasing a ballet aesthetic. Over the past two weeks, Lyst said searches for wrap-around tops and cardigans increased 25 percent and 19 percent respectively. Meanwhile, “tulle” is currently among the most popular keywords alongside skirts and dresses. Searches for the tutu-inspired frocks—like the ones seen in H&M’s collaboration with Simone Roche, are up 22 percent month-on-month.

Dress to impress

Recent searches also signal a return to special-occasion looks. “Hopeful for the return of events this summer, men are searching for formalwear again,” Trendalytics stated.

The trends, however, are not a repeat of prior spring seasons. While Lyst reported that page views for men’s silk scarves have gone up 38 percent since January (with Gucci being the most-wanted brand), Trendalytics said searches for silk ties are on the downturn. Instead, men are showing interest in herringbone ties.

There’s room for other accouterments to grow in this space as well. Lyst said searches for men’s brooches have climbed 76 percent since January, particularly ones from Chanel, Loewe and Dior Homme. Meanwhile, searches for button cufflinks are up 22 percent compared to last year, according to Trendalytics.

This movement toward sharper dressing is filtering into women’s closets, but in a more classic way. Items like vinyl trench coats, sleeveless blazers and trench dresses reveal a trend for reworked traditional workwear essentials. Searches for corset blazers, up 50 percent compared to last year, are expected to continue to grow over the next six months, Trendalytics reported.

Pop-culture influences

The Grammy Awards served a dose of impactful fashion trends to watch.

Interest in leather dresses went up 25 percent hours after Beyoncé wore a custom-made Schiaparelli dress, but Harry Styles, who opened the show shirtless in a Gucci leather suit, created the biggest fashion moment of the evening, Lyst stated.

Searches for men’s leather trousers surged 100 percent in less than 24 hours. G-Star Raw, Paige, Acne and Costume National are some of the most-searched brands for men’s biker trousers.

Styles also was the tinder that set searches for feather boas on fire. Lyst saw a 1,500 percent spike in searches for feather boas in the 48 hours after he wore one with his leather ensemble.

The awards show wasn’t only a fashion playground for men. The ’80s-style party dresses worn by Lizzo and Megan Thee Stallion made an impression too. Searches for dresses “with bows,” “ruffled” and “ruched” collectively grew 10 percent after the show, Lyst stated.

Online Searches for 'Granny Chic' Clash
Lizzo at the Grammy Awards

Dua Lipa also helped put chain slip dresses on the radar of fashionistas with her throwback Versace frock. Searches for chain dresses went up 18 percent, while interest for embellished and bejeweled dresses grew 15 percent.

Trends with legs

Data, however, shows that consumers haven’t had their fill of DIY and outdoor-inspired fashion.

Versatile staples like men’s plaid flannel shirts and chore jackets continue to garner searches, while searches for men’s Fair Isle sweaters are up 129 percent compared to last year, Trendalytics reported. And men’s joggers appear to have replaced fleece sweatpants as the most covetable men’s loungewear bottom.

Garments that look handmade and personal—and with a sustainable element—continue to trend, particularly in women’s wear.

While Trendalytics said macramé and tie-dye are making a “major comeback in the retail world,” how they are executed is shifting from early pandemic trends. Instead of tie-dye sweats, searches for tie-dye skirts and socks are climbing.

Momentum for patchwork jeans, which tap into consumers interest in sustainable craft, is gaining, up 362 percent. Deadstock fabrics, in general, are safe bets. Trendalytics said searches for sweaters made with deadstock fabrics are up 134 percent from last year—a signal that consumers are ready to “combat the industry’s negative environmental impact.”

And don’t count out crocheted fabrications just yet. As a technique tied to ’70s trends and the emerging trend Lyst describes as “granny chic,” it is seeing substantial gains. Lyst said searches for crocheted pieces have spiked 45 percent, while Trendalytics calls out crocheted bucket hats as one of the most in-demand styles, with searches for the laidback chapeau up 998 percent compared to last year.