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Retailers restitch a comfort-forward fashion future
The Future. People have gotten so used to wearing sweatpants while they work from home that they want to stay just as comfy as they return to the office, leading to the rise of “business comfort.” While many employers will probably allow the style to appease employees, businesses that maintain a strict dress code may actually stand out in unique ways in the marketplace.
Welcome to the sweatpants generation.
- According to retail-analytics firm EDITED, this year saw a 53% increase in sweatpants in the marketplace, but 41% of them still sold out.
- A survey from styling service Stitch Fix found that 45% of consumers want to stop wearing business suits, and 31% never want to wear a button-down shirt or dress pants again.
- That same survey found that a third would take a 10% pay cut if they didn’t have to “get dressed” for work again.
In the wake of the closet change, retailers are creating a new style of dress that some are calling “business comfort” or “work leisure.”
- It prioritizes comfort with stretchy fabrics and elastic waistbands and essentially elevates pieces like hoodies and leggings.
- This can mean blazers that feel like sweatshirts or sweaters that have collars.
- Brands such as Lululemon, M.M.LaFleur, and suit-stalwart Brooks Brothers have all started developing clothes that cater to this style.
After seeing their clothes become popular with finance bros, Lululemon, in particular, is focusing on making clothes that serve multiple purposes, including rain jackets that look like trench coats and an upscaled version of its popular On the Move pants.
Julianna Prather, CMO of EDITED, explained the trend: “As people have increasingly hybrid lifestyles, moving back and forth between work and home, they are combining workwear and home wear.”