Fashion Trends That Will Likely Remain After the Pandemic Is Gone
The COVID-19 pandemic came as an unexpected phenomenon to everyone. While we were in shock, we somehow had the hope that it would quickly disappear so that our lives could go back to the way they used to be. However, after an entire year of braving through the COVID-19 storm, we have been forced to adapt and accept the fact that the old normal might not be coming back soon, at least not in the way we knew it. The same sentiments have also been felt across the fashion industry, where we have witnessed a myriad of changes in terms of how people perceive fashion, what it means to them at such a time, and how the face of fashion might be changed beyond the pandemic. As expected, there are definitely some trends that have flourished during the pandemic that we expect to keep going strong even after the pandemic is over.
Comfort and cosiness
One of the things that the pandemic gave us was time to reflect, time to introspect and think critically about the things we really love. With little pressure from the outside world and no one to impress apart from ourselves, the pandemic really had many people resorting to more comfortable clothes such as pyjamas and lounge wear. Even after the pandemic is gone, people have already accustomed themselves to wearing and selecting clothes based on feeling and experience more than aesthetics. As economies are opening up and vaccination rates are rising, people are getting to go out but there are not leaving comfortable behind. Instead, most people are now adopting lounge wear with bolder colours and prints, just to lift their spirits up, even when they are indoors. There is therefore a high likelihood of being “dressed down” becoming the order of the day, after the pandemic.
Most of us have missed out on physical shopping because of the pandemic, and we had to resort to digital means of shopping. The use of technology in enhancing the shopping experience for clothes was already in motion for most companies, but COVID-19 helped speed things up. There is much excitement over the fact that economies are opening up, and most fashion lovers cannot wait to go shopping. However, it is highly unlikely that the digital shopping will be abandoned all together. Shopping features such as 3D simulation of fashion pieces have brought convenience in the way consumers buy clothes, presenting an opportunity for them to have a prior look and a feel of what their garments would look like, post-production. This means there is a significant reduction in production of garments that end up being thrown away for failure of meeting the customers’ standards in terms of fitness and aesthetics. Consequently, fashion retailers get the opportunity to produce garments that meet the demand and preferences of their customers in more efficient ways. This prominence of digital shopping also means, shops made of brick and mortar will see their relevance dwindling, given that most customers have had ample time to try out online shopping, and appreciate its benefits over physical shopping. Where a customer can select a garment of their choice online, order it, make a payment and have it delivered, they will certainly choose that option over having to physically go to a store.
Now more than ever, sustainability has become the buzz word and for good reason. The coming of the pandemic gave people a wakeup call of the importance of conserving the resources they have, and being mindful of their impact on the future generations. Most people have had time to understand what it really means in terms of the lives of people, if sustainability is not taken into consideration. Consumers are now more conscious of the ill effects of unsustainable fashion, such as land pollution, high carbon foot prints, and abuse of workers in the fashion industry among other things. As such, in the future, consumers will most likely choose to buy from brands that engage in ethical sourcing, and purchase products that are environmentally friendly.
In the spirit of comfy, athlesisure has taken centre stage in the fashion industry, especially since the pandemic started. Its growth and popularity across many spheres can be attributed to the fact the increased amount of time that people spend at home, and remote working. Even when the pandemic ends, more people will be working from home than before. This means people will continue seeking comfort and most of all spend their time at home. People are gravitating towards health and wellness activities, as a way of keeping COVID-19 and respiratory illness under check. Ultimately this contributes to a rise in the demand for athleisure, as more people have increased their frequency of exercising and taking part into sporting activities where possible. Athleisure is also slowly transitioning into luxury wear, thanks to influencers like Beyonce and Rihanna, who have contributed to the glamorizing of active wear, as a “behind the scenes lifestyle” fashion.
Before the pandemic, fast fashion had been on the rise, making fashion almost a disposable type of commodity. However, the pandemic has taught consumers to shop wisely and take note of what fashion means in the present moment and in the future. The COVID-19 pandemic brought changes such as remote working, which altered the lifestyle of most people, forcing them to take stock of their actual needs in many areas of their lives-fashion included. Consequently most consumers are now inclined to the purchase of trendless, premium quality fashion. This trend is more likely to live beyond the pandemic, as consumers gravitate towards season-less fashion which is versatile and can still be classy and stylish regardless of ever-changing trends. For retailers, this means there will be a cut in fashion seasons and a need for them to adjust production accordingly.