Will Americans go shopping for dressier clothes as the COVID-19 threat is reduced?
Sweatpants may represent the wardrobe of the pandemic, but coming out of it, you might expect people to want to dress up as they re-enter public life. Will they?
Many may continue to crave the cozy loungewear, sneakers and other relaxed styles they’ve grown more accustomed to during the pandemic. COVID-19 may have only accelerated the shift towards casualization trends over the last few decades. Any shift toward work-from-home will further prioritize comfy clothes.
At the other extreme, some are predicting a “Roaring 20s” comeback as pent-up demand to socialize brings back sequins, stilettos and mascara. Retailers, citing the return of dresses and denim in recent quarterly conference calls, have heralded a return to more stylish dressing.
Nonetheless, many fashion insiders see at least a transition back to pre-pandemic style and aren’t expecting consumers to quickly forgo the comfort and versatility they’ve grown used to. Bright colors in more relaxed silhouettes and fabrications, stretchy dresses, more comfortable footwear, and looser, forgiving fits are some post-pandemic style predictions.
“I think it’s going to be hard to go to older standards of formality now that people are so used to doing their jobs in more comfortable clothes from home,” Sonya Abrego, a design and fashion historian, told USA Today.
“Personally, the relentless sameness of quarantine has deepened my appreciation for anything even slightly offbeat,” wrote Hilary George-Parkin for Glamour. “Give me clashing prints and bright colors. The more personality, the better. With so much bleakness in the world, fashion feels like a vital sign.”
She added, “Twelve months of couch clothes have also made me utterly intolerant of discomfort, though, which rules out nearly all my heels, a large swath of my dresses, and any bag too fussy to wear while riding a bike.”
“Women are absolutely going to want to get dressed up,” Carolina Herrera creative director Wes Gordon told Vogue Business. “But I think what fun clothes and special occasion pieces mean for 2020 and 2021 and beyond is very different from what they meant in 2019 and 2018.”
- What will post-pandemic fashion look like? Expect brighter colors and comfier shoes – USA Today
- Here’s What Post-Pandemic Fashion Looks Like – The Wall Street Journal
- Are trends no longer in fashion? – Harper’s Bazaar
- Post-pandemic playbook: Fashion returns to glamour – Vogue Business
- The Pandemic Personal-Style Apocalypse – Glamour
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will people be eager to dress up when they can safely socialize again? Do you see the relaxed dressing trend seen during the pandemic having a short or long-term negative impact on the dress and formal wear category?