Whilst we are starting 2021 with a gradual goodbye to COVID-19, the pandemic has left society with the change that might be here to stay. Whether it is in terms of how we shop, how we work, or even in how we spend our weekends, the need for safe, responsible living is unprecedented.
More particularly, the fashion industry has been affected for the long term – whether in terms of how we dress, the ways in which we buy clothes, or even in how retailers are communicating with us as consumers, the indirect impacts of COVID-19 on fashion are immense. In saying this, one of the more intriguing causes of change comes as a result of the popularity of working from home. Whilst lockdowns will eventually end, the shift to remote working looks like it is here to stay, at least to some extent.
This is a change that brings with it a huge impact on fashion trends and norms – ultimately, as we put more importance on fashion at home rather than purely outside, the ways in which approaches to clothing and fashion are influenced provide an intriguing insight into what we might expect from 2021 fashion and culture.
How Approaches to Home Style are Changing
With working from home at an all-time high, consumer trends are shifting towards the attitude that fashion is just important at home as it is outdoors. Sure, social interaction and visual communication might be limited to video calls – however, people are more often adopting the viewpoint of access to fashion being intrinsic to a high quality of life, whether it is in gaining productivity, structure, confidence or passion.
What was once restricted to loungewear and pyjamas is becoming an area of fashion that is more professional, yet emphasizes self-expression, even shifting social norms regarding workplace attire that were once more restrictive and traditional.
This is a shift that doesn’t end with clothing – the significance of interior design and personalization is ever increasing as remote workers make home working spaces their own, with changes that would be unlikely in an office environment. Even collections of furniture such as Remarkable outdoor furniture are shifting to match consumer demand, as interest in home office interior design spills out into other areas of the home.
How Fashion Retailers Are Adapting to a Changing Environment
On top of changing consumer preferences, fashion retailers are having to adapt in order to overcome challenges in marketing and communicating their products. As photographers, stylists and models are hindered by travel bans and general COVID-19 restrictions, in-person studio collaboration is often not an option. With this struggle to capture the ‘perfect’ image of their products, many retailers have shifted their approach in order to maximize conversions and reach their target audience.
For many retailers, their chosen tactic has been to show a more genuine view of their clothing – by getting models to take their own photos, they are continuing to showcase their products to customers while taking a more personal angle. This approach is proving to be more intimate and relevant to customers that are similarly stuck at home and represent a method of communication with customers that is vastly different from approaches that preceded it. Not to mention, further emphasis on social media campaigns is encouraging customers to show off their clothing choices, in turn perpetuating the popularity of at-home fashion trends.
Why People Are Bringing Style to the Home Office
As part of a morning routine, getting dressed was once an important part of the day for many professionals. While working from home has been a game-changer for plenty of people, others are sticking to a routine, starting their day with some creativity and individuality in order to make the adjustment work.
On top of the productivity and motivation that comes with a fashionable start to the day, home office fashion has brought with it new trends surrounding office style and the balance between work and casual wear. In finding the ideal balance between relaxed and polished, office culture will undoubtedly see change, even if working in the office once again becomes the norm.
This isn’t to say that fashion sales are at an all-time high – while clothing and style interests are shifting, many retailers are reporting dramatic declines in sales. Yes, their adjustments to marketing strategy are working to meet changes in what customers are looking for – however, as with any significant change in clothing culture, many consumers are only just beginning to jump on the bandwagon. Not to mention, while some consumers are making updates to their wardrobe, others are bringing old clothing back in fashion – more vintage styles of dresses, scarves and even gloves have made a return during the pandemic.
As we begin to put the pandemic behind us, there is a lot to look forward to within the fashion industry. With these changes to style at home, as well as the inevitable increases in clothing sales that will occur as restrictions are reduced and many are eager to leave the house, the direction that the clothing industry takes will be an exciting one.