In its inaugural Style Forecast report, Stitch Fix predicted continued growth for athleisure and the emergence of the “business comfort” workwear category that combines athleisure with a “polish” look often associated with workwear. traditional.
The report used the company’s sales and purchase information from 4.2 million customers and “thousands of Stitch Fix stylists,” combined with consumer surveys and industry data to compile the data.
Overall, the company said active pursuits and athletic recreation remain its fastest growing categories for both men and women, with everyday lifestyle apparel including woven bottoms and rising polars.
Athleisure is fastest growing
“Nearly two years into the pandemic, athleisure and activewear are still experiencing impressive growth. When it comes to athleisure, our fastest growing category, versatility is the name of the game. Customers favor pieces where comfort, style and active tech support intersect. It is essential to incorporate these pieces into their daily lives, whether it is lounging at home, taking the children to the park or taking a flight,” the report states.
For women, trending items from athleisure for business include stretch woven bottoms, bodysuits and fleeces. For men, trending athleisure styles include joggers/sweatpants, fleeces, and retro sneakers.
“Fleeces in 90s-style color blocks are set to become a super trend in 2022. Men’s sneakers in particular are having a moment, with our sales growing nearly 80% year over year. ‘other. White and colorful sneakers are trending, with some of the top performing brands including Adidas, New Balance, Vans and Nike,” said Stitch Fix.
The report notes that performance-oriented sportswear is doing well, with women’s sales increasing by more than 300% year-over-year and men’s by 100%. Stitch Fix noted: “Perhaps due to people spending more time outdoors during the pandemic, clothing, combined with sports and activities like tennis, golf and hiking, are fashionable.”
In the activewear category, trending styles for women include skirts and skorts, logo apparel, and bike shorts. For men, trending activewear styles include hiking shorts, golf shorts, and performance polo shirts.
Athleisure Driving Boys
Among children, business sales in the boys category are largely driven by activewear and sports recreation. Major national brands, including Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, Vans, The North Face and Hurley, outperformed the tweens.
Stitch Fix said of the appeal of athleisure around boys: “This wholesome category, which bridges the gap between play/comfy wear and real actives, accounts for about a third of our overall activity. We expect this momentum to continue into 2022.
Girls are opting for skirts and sweaters as they have shifted to dressier styles. Stitch Fix noted that its skirt inventory grew 46% year-over-year with varsity-inspired tiered, A-line and pleated styling topping the category. Girls’ sweaters were up 55% for the company over 2020. Tie-dye has been described by Stitch Fix as “becoming an icon of pandemic fashion” among girls, though requests in the fall have dropped by 30%, suggesting that 2022 could likely bring a new dye and wash. effects.
Overall, in kids, exterior styling is on the rise. Stitch Fix wrote: “Although still in its infancy, signs point to healthy growth for outerwear like flannels, sherpa and fleece layers, down jackets and shirts.”
Coordinated looks were also important to kids, with nearly 80% asking for it, 20% asking for a head-to-toe matching outfit and 60% asking for pieces that go well together.
Workwear evolving towards professional comfort
In workwear, Stitch Fix has seen a trend move from casual to business comfort, with stretch blazers, knit tops (knit + woven) and elastic waist bottoms.
In October, Stitch Fix said requests for “return to office” and “return to work” increased by 39% compared to the same period in 2020, as offices reopen and vaccination rates increase
In a survey conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of Stitch Fix, however, 71% of consumers said balancing style and comfort is more important now than before COVID-19. The vast majority of consumers (91%) agreed that professional workwear doesn’t have to be uncomfortable to look good.
Says Stitch Fix, “After more than a year of lounging in work-from-home favorites like leggings and hoodies, however, people have sworn off the stiff workwear of years past.”
Backing up this claim, the survey showed that almost a third (31%) of respondents would rather take a 10% pay cut than dress for work, and 77% of respondents said that they had sworn off at least some work clothes for good. . Forty-five percent of respondents said they would never wear a suit again, including 55 percent of Boomers. Thirty-one percent said they planned to not wear button-up shirts, and the same 31 percent would no longer wear dress pants.
For women, said Stitch Fix in the professional comfort category, trending styles include soft, oversized/boyfriend fit blazers, sweater dresses, elastic waist bottoms, pullover tank tops and flyknit flats. For men, the big trend in the comfort business style are polo shirts. Polo shirts in performance fabrics are a favorite, accounting for about half of polo shirt sales on the company’s platform in 2022, up from about a quarter of polo shirt sales last year. Other men’s business comfort trends that have gained popularity include long-sleeve stretch tops, commuter pants (fabric with four-way stretch/performance properties), hybrid chukkas and oxfords and knit blazers.
Other trends in his Style Forecast report include:
- Bold colors and patterns — The company predicted magenta to be its color of the year, with mint, mustard and purple also popular with women. For men, it would be dusty lavender, dark green and coral. Color blocks, checks and graphics are some of its most popular designs.
- Jeans – As evidenced by increased demand and sales from Stitch Fix’s customers, its customers are turning to more relaxed fits with wide leg sales up 70% year-over-year over skinny jeans .
- Get dressed — According to a December 2021 Coresight Research survey compiled for Stitch Fix, 44% of consumers plan to replace their going out wear, including 61% of Gen Z respondents, as demand for special occasion wear and high heels increases on Stitch Fix.
To read the report, go to here.
Photo courtesy of The Guardian