This summer and autumn, before women return to the office, they seem to be shopping for clothes and going out to socialize again. Casual dresses, beautiful, feminine tops and sweaters, flared jeans and straight jeans, and shorts have been selling well in retail stores.
Although many companies keep telling employees that they need to start coming back, retailers say that buying work clothes is not a customer’s main priority.
Instead, they have seen a surge in the purchase of clothes to wear immediately-to parties, celebrations, backyard barbecues, outdoor cafes, dinners with friends, and vacations. Bright prints and colors are essential to enhance the mood of consumers.
However, their work wardrobes will be updated soon, and retailers have made some predictions about the appearance of the new office uniforms in the fall.
WWD interviewed major retailers to learn about sales in contemporary areas and their views on the new way of dressing back to the world.
“As far as our business is concerned, we didn’t see her shopping. She focused on her direct wardrobe, her summer wardrobe. We haven’t seen the demand for traditional work clothes pick up,” Intermix’s chief merchant Divya Mathur Said that the company was sold by Gap Inc. to private equity firm Altamont Capital Partners this month.
She explained that since the March 2020 pandemic, customers have not done any shopping last spring. “She has basically not updated her seasonal wardrobe for nearly two years. [Now] she has been 100% focused on spring,” she said she focused on leaving her bubble, returning to the world and needing clothes, Mathur said.
“She is looking for a simple summer dress. A simple poplin dress that she can wear with a pair of sneakers. She is also looking for vacation clothes,” she said. Mathur pointed out that brands such as Staud, Veronica Beard, Jonathan Simkhai and Zimmermann are some of the major brands that are currently on sale.
“This is not what she wants to buy now. She said,’I'm not excited about buying what I already own,’” she said. Mathur said thinness is always important to Intermix. “In terms of what’s trending right now, she is really looking for the latest fit. For us, this is a pair of high-waisted jeans that run straight through the legs, and a slightly loose 90s version of denim. We are at Re/done Brands such as AGoldE and AGoldE are doing well. AGoldE’s cross-front denim has always been an incredible seller because of its interesting novelty details. Re/done’s skinny jeans are on fire. In addition, Moussy Vintage’s wash The effect is very good, and it has interesting subversive patterns,” she said.
Shorts are another popular category. Intermix started selling denim shorts in February and has sold hundreds of them. “We usually see a rebound in denim shorts in the southern region. We started to see this rebound in mid-March, but it started in February,” Mather said. She said that all this is for a better fit and the tailoring is “very hot”.
“But their loose version is slightly longer. It feels broken and cut. They are also cleaner, taller, and the waist is like a paper bag,” she said.
As for their work wardrobes, she said that her customers are mostly remote or mixed in summer. “They plan to fully resume life before the pandemic in the fall.” She saw a lot of movement in knitwear and woven shirts.
“Her current uniform is a great pair of jeans and a beautiful shirt or a beautiful sweater.” Some of the tops they sell are women’s tops by Ulla Johnson and Sea New York. “These brands are beautiful printed woven tops, whether it’s printed or crocheted details, she said.
When wearing jeans, her customers prefer interesting washing methods and fit styles, rather than saying “I want a pair of white jeans.” Her preferred denim version is high-waist straight-leg pants.
Mathur said that she is still selling novel and fashionable sneakers. “We really see a substantial increase in the sandals business,” she said.
“Our business is great. This is a positive response to 2019. We will start to develop our business again. We are providing a better full-price business than in 2019,” she said.
She also saw hot sales of event clothing. Their customers are not looking for ball gowns. She is going to attend weddings, birthday parties, coming-of-age ceremonies and graduation ceremonies. She is looking for products that are more sophisticated than casual wear so that she can be a guest at the wedding. Intermix saw the need for Zimmermann. “We are bragging about everything we brought from that brand,” Mather said.
“People have activities this summer, but they don’t have clothes to wear. The rate of recovery is faster than we expected,” she said. When Intermix purchased for this season in September, they thought it would take the longest time to come back. It began to return in March and April. “We were a little nervous there, but we have been able to chase the product,” she said.
Overall, high-end day wear accounts for 50% of its business. “Our true’event business’ accounts for 5% to 8% of our business,” she said.
She added that for women on vacation, they would buy Agua Bendita’s LoveShackFancy and Agua, the latter being real vacation clothing.
Roopal Patel, senior vice president and fashion director at Saks Fifth Avenue, said: “Now, women are definitely shopping. Women wear not specifically to return to the office, but for their lives. They go shopping to buy clothes to restaurants, or eat brunch or Lunch, or sit in an outdoor cafe for dinner.” She said that they are buying “beautiful, relaxed, relaxed, lively, and colorful dresses that can run around and improve their mood.” Popular brands in the contemporary field include Zimmermann and Tove. , Jonathan Simkhai and ALC.
As for jeans, Patel has always believed that skinny jeans are like a white T-shirt. “If anything, she is building her own denim wardrobe. She is looking at high waists, 70s bell bottoms, straight legs, different washes, boyfriend cuts. Whether it’s white denim or black denim, or the knee Ripped holes, and matching jackets and jeans combinations and other matching clothing,” she said.
She thinks that denim has become part of her staple food, no matter if she goes out at night or calls these days. During COVID-19, women wear denim, beautiful sweaters and polished shoes.
“I think women will respect the casual elements of denim, but in fact I think women will use this opportunity to dress well. If they wear jeans every day, no one wants to wear jeans. The office actually gives us the opportunity to wear our best Good clothes, our tallest high heels and favorite shoes and dress up beautifully,” Patel said.
She said that as the weather changes, customers do not want to wear jackets. “She wants to look beautiful, she wants to have fun. We sell happy colors, we sell shiny shoes. We are selling interesting apartments,” she said. “Fashion-loving women use it as a celebration to express their personal style. It’s really to feel good,” she said.
Bloomingdale’s Women’s ready-to-wear director Arielle Siboni said: “Now, we see customers responding to more’buy now, wear now’ products,” including summer and vacation wear. “For us, this means a lot of simple long skirts, denim shorts and poplin dresses. Swimming and cover-up are really powerful for us.”
“In terms of dresses, more bohemian styles, crochet and poplin, and printed midi work well for us,” she said. The dresses of ALC, Bash, Maje and Sandro sell very well. She said that this customer has always missed her because she wore a lot of sweatpants and more comfortable clothes when she was at home. “Now she has a reason to buy,” she added.
Another strong category is shorts. “The denim shorts are excellent, especially from AGoldE,” she said. She said: “People want to stay casual, and many people are still working at home and on Zoom. You may not see what the bottoms are.” She said all kinds of shorts are on sale; some have longer inner seams, Some are shorts.
As for the clothes back to the office, Siboni said she saw the number of suit jackets “definitely increase, which is very exciting.” She said that people are starting to return to the office, but she expects full maturity in the fall. Bloomingdale’s autumn products will arrive in early August.
Skinny jeans are still on sale, which is a large part of their business. She saw denim turn to straight-leg pants, which started to happen before 2020. Mom’s jeans and more retro styles are on sale. “TikTok reinforces this shift to a looser style,” she said. She noticed that Rag & Bone’s Miramar jeans were screen-printed and looked like a pair of jeans, but they felt like a pair of sports pants.
Denim brands that performed well include Mother, AGoldE and AG. Paige Mayslie has been selling jogging pants in various colors.
In the top area, because the bottom is more casual, T-shirts have always been strong. In addition, loose bohemian shirts, prairie shirts, and shirts with embroidered lace and eyelets are also very popular.
Siboni said that they also sell many interesting and bright evening wear, white dresses for brides and elegant evening wear for prom. For summer weddings, some dresses from Alice + Olivia, Cinq à Sept, Aqua and Nookie are very suitable for guests. She said that LoveShackFancy is definitely wearing heavy clothes, “very amazing.” They also have a lot of bohemian holiday dresses and dresses that can be worn to the bridal shower.
Siboni pointed out that the retailer’s registration business is very strong, which shows that the couple is redefining their wedding dates and there is a demand for guest and bride clothing.
Yumi Shin, the chief businessman of Bergdorf Goodman, said that in the past year, their customers have been flexible, buying special products that stand out from Zoom phones and personal luxury splurge.
“As we return to normal, we feel optimistic. Shopping is definitely a new excitement. Not only for going back to the office, but also for the long-awaited reunion with family and friends who are thinking about travel plans. It must be optimistic,” Shen said.
Recently, they have seen interest in romantic silhouettes, including full sleeves or ruffle details. She said that Ulla Johnson performed well. “She is such a great brand and talks to so many different customers,” Shin said, adding that all the products of the brand are selling well. “I have to say that she [Johnson] is proof of the pandemic. We sell long skirts, mid-length skirts, and we are beginning to see shorter skirts. She is famous for her prints, and we also sell her solid color jumpsuits. Pants, navy blue pleated jumpsuit is performing for us.”
Occasion dresses are another popular category. “We are definitely seeing dresses becoming popular again. As our customers begin to prepare for occasions such as weddings, graduation ceremonies, and reunions with friends and family, we see dresses sold across the board from casual to more occasions, and even Bridal gowns have also become popular again,” Shin said.
As for skinny jeans, she said, “Skinny jeans will always be a must-have in the wardrobe, but we like the new products we see. Fitted denim, straight-leg pants and high-waisted wide-leg pants have been popular in the 90s. We really She likes it very much.” She said that an exclusive brand, Still Here, is located in Brooklyn, which produces small batch denim, hand-painted and patched, and does a good job. In addition, Totême performed well, “We are also selling white denim.” Totême has a lot of great knitwear and dresses, which are more casual.
When asked about the new uniforms when consumers return to the office, she said: “I definitely think the new dress code will be more relaxed and flexible. Comfort is still important, but I think it will transition to everyday luxury styles. We I saw a lot of chic knitwear suits that we like.” She said that before the fall, they launched an exclusive knitting brand, Lisa Yang, which is mainly about the matching of knitwear. It is located in Stockholm and uses natural cashmere. “It’s super chic and it performs well, and we hope it will continue to perform well. Comfortable but chic.”
She added that she was watching the performance of the jacket, but more relaxed. She said versatility and tailoring will be the key. “Women will want to take their clothes from home to the office to meet friends; it must be versatile and suitable for her. This will become the new dress code,” she said.
Libby Page, Senior Marketing Editor of Net-a-porter, said: “As our customers look forward to returning to the office, we are seeing a shift from casual wear to more advanced styles. In terms of trends, we see from Chloé, Zimmermann and Isabel. Marant’s prints and floral patterns for women’s dresses have increased-this is the perfect single product for spring workwear, also suitable for warm days and nights. As part of our HS21 event, we will launch’Chic in’ on June 21 The Heat’ emphasizes warm weather and dressing for returning to work.”
She said that when it comes to denim trends, they see looser, larger styles and an increase in balloon styles, especially last year, because their customers seek comfort in all aspects of her wardrobe. She said that classic straight jeans have become a versatile style in the wardrobe, and their brand has adapted to this situation by adding this style to its core collection.
When asked whether sneakers are the first choice, she said that Net-a-porter introduced fresh white tones and retro shapes and styles in the summer, such as Loewe and Maison Margiela x Reebok collaboration.
As for her expectations for the new office uniform and the new fashion for social attire, Page said, “Bright colors that evoke joy will be the keynote of spring. Our latest Dries Van Noten exclusive capsule collection embodies neutrality through relaxed styles and fabrics. , Relaxed and pleasant aesthetics that complement any everyday look. We also see the popularity of denim continue to rise, especially our recent launch of the Valentino x Levi’s collaboration. We hope to see our customers dress their office Pair it with denim to create a relaxed look and a perfect transition to the dinner party,” she said.
Popular items on Net-a-porter include popular items from Frankie Shop, such as quilted padded jackets and their exclusive Net-a-porter sports suit; Jacquemus designs, such as crop tops and skirts, and Long dresses with messy details, Doen’s floral and feminine dresses, and Totême’s spring and summer wardrobe essentials.
Marie Ivanoff-Smith, Nordstrom’s women’s fashion director, said that contemporary customers are considering returning to work and are beginning to get involved in woven fabrics and a large number of shirt fabrics. “They are versatile. She can dress up or dress up, she can wear them now, and she can go back to the office completely in the fall.
“We saw the return of woven, not only to return to work, but to go out at night, and she began to explore this.” She said Nordstrom worked very well with Rag & Bone and Nili Lotan, and she said they “have Impeccable shirt fabric”. She said that printing and color are very important. “Rio Farms is killing it. We can’t keep up. This is awesome,” she said.
She said that customers are more inclined to the contours of the body and can show more skin. “Social situations are happening,” she said. She cited examples of suppliers such as Ulla Johnson performing well in the region. She also pointed out that Alice + Olivia will launch more dresses for social occasions. Nordstrom has done a good job with brands such as Ted Baker, Ganni, Staud and Cinq à Sept. This retailer does a good job of summer dresses.
She said that she saw all-match dresses done well last year because they are very comfortable. “Now we see the bells and whistles come back with beautiful prints. With joy and emotion, go out of the house,” she said.
Post time: Jul-08-2021