Forget about long coats, checks and other trends that reigned over the Fall/Winter 2020 catwalk presentations. Today's fashion must-haves have been redefined by the wearers themselves and largely by the consequences of the covid-19 pandemic rather than fashion designers. Home office workers, women and men alike, are looking for comfortable outfits rather than statement pieces, with sweatpants and slippers leading the way.
International designers had imagined bold and chic looks for this season, showing sleek long coats, tartan, animal prints and extra-high thigh boots... You may have imagined yourselves treading the office corridor and coffee room sporting such iconic pieces this fall, however, for many of us our living room has become our new catwalk. So be it... it's a reminder that the Devil can't wear Prada indefinitely... this season the Devil is more likely to wear sweatpants than a LBD...
It's no secret that the fashion industry is trying to reinvent itself. Covid-19 has accelerated the brands' embrace of more eco-friendly fabrics and means of production, and also created new trends sparked by lockdown measures. Amidst stay-at-home recommendations due to the ongoing global health crisis, especially in Europe where a second wave of pandemic is hitting hard, most of us are turning towards more comfortable daily pieces. Track pants are the new pantsuits. As early as April, Women's Wear Daily had already pinpointed a 40% growth of track pant sales on Net-a-porter. And this trend seems to be here to stay.
Cocooning comes first
Why bother with jeans or suit pants while working from home? Although experts predicted a growing interest in sophisticated, fashion-forward pieces when the first wave subsided somewhat, new restrictions cropping up in various countries should give a new boost to cocooning. Apart from track pants, and lounge pants more generally, XL sweatshirts and puffer vests to wear indoors are part of today's cocooning trend. Another trend, forecast by designers before the health crisis hit is also here to stay: vintage 1990s pieces.
"All the outdoor practices now take place indoors, and so we need to feel protected. There's a tendency afoot to cozy up our homes and living environments like we would wrap ourselves up warm in a puffy jacket. If we stay inside more and are in search of comfort, we'll need to add protective, cocooning layers," explained Vincent Grégoire, of trend forecasting agency Nelly Rodi, back in October.
In such a context, an unexpected accessory, far from the fashion sphere, could become the most sought after piece in the coming months: the blanket, to keep a home office warm all winter long.
Are men going more casual?
Meanwhile the latest Lyst Index concerning fashion trends shows that the male wardrobe has become increasingly comfort-oriented. For instance, men's favorite fashion items worldwide for the third quarter of 2020 include Boston Birkenstock clogs, Nike's Tech Fleece track pants, UGG's Scuff Deco slippers and Balenciaga socks. Luxurious Air Jordan 1 High OG by Dior x Nike come first but the rest of the list is pretty casual. One may even wonder if suits will survive the pandemic!
The data show that consumers aren't giving up fashion altogether, be it luxurious or affordable, however the global situation has definitely reshaped this season's trends.