Womenswear is changing it up and taking a more one-style-doesn’t-fit-all approach for S/S 18.
According to WGSN’s Buyers’ Briefing S/S 18: Womenswear Key Messages & Looks, versatility will be at the helm of women’s apparel for the coming season. While category-blurring and femininity continue to be key to women’s styling, a more formal aesthetic is expected to take center stage as consumers minimize their spending and prioritize wardrobe essentials.
Many global apparel markets, including the U.K., are pursing more multi-seasonal looks in keeping with demand. From January to March 2017, the U.K. witnessed 6.6% fewer shorts and 2.2% fewer skirts showing up online compared to last year, while other apparel categories experienced year-over-year growth, including knitwear (10.3%), jackets (3.5%) and jeans (11.6%). Dresses continue to lead assortments with 24 percent year-over-year growth, while tops hold 20.5% of the new apparel assortment, up from 19.9% last year.
Versatility will be a core concept for S/S 18 womenswear. Consumers want valuable garments that work for their busy lifestyles, and while spending remains high for experiences like entertainment and travel, consumers are looking for pieces that are interchangeable and work for multiple purposes when they do decide to spend. Clothing on will feature detachable components, zip off and Velcro designs and decorative tabs for customized looks. Dresses have already been experimenting with versatility, as shown with dress robes, detachable tops and skirts and other novelties, and two-piece styling will gain momentum as this trend continues for the next season.
Normcore is slowly moving out and feminine utility is coming in for S/S 18 womenswear. Bows, defined silhouettes, ruffles and volume sleeves will make up most utilitarian looks for contemporary and 35+ apparel. Garments that fall under this category, including trenches, chore jackets and utility shirts will act as transitional pieces, while providing room for styling creativity. Cotton material will appear in most utilitarian pieces, while shades of sand, tobacco, khaki and cameo will be the color story for this theme.